It hardly matters whether you call them chiggers, red bugs, or harvest mites, these compact-sized arachnids will be able to spoil your time outdoors. Even though the mite larvae might not be capable of transmitting any ailments in North America, their bites can drive you insane. In this blog, we have mentioned some essential ways to get rid of chiggers in your yard so that you will be able to enjoy your backyard activities such as barbecues without suffering from itchy red bumps on the skin.
Unlike mosquitoes and ticks, chiggers will take a different approach, and their bites can be quite gruesome as well. While they are in the larval stage, chiggers are in the habit of piercing a tender patch from the epidermis and injecting digestive enzymes causing skin cells to liquefy.
The encircling tissue will become hardened into a tube when your internal fluids are sucked up by these chiggers. In case the larva is capable of finishing feeding and does not become squished in the process, it will convert itself into a nymph after falling onto the ground.
It is a good thing that the adult chiggers or even the nymphs are not going to feed on humans. You’ll feel the itching sensation after several hours after the bugs have started biting you.
What is the appearance of chiggers?
These chiggers are usually quite small in size and it is difficult to see them with the naked eye. The color of these bugs happens to be orange or bright red. Although they appear like small crabs having 6 legs, they will be having 8 legs after attaining adulthood. Moreover, they do not have any wings as well.
Just like spiders and ticks, chiggers are going through four stages in their lives – egg, larva, nymph, as well as and adult.
Ticks and chiggers are often confused with one another because both of them are in the habit of feeding on animals. However, ticks tend to be bigger in size and they are also brown in color. While chiggers will be digesting skin cells, ticks will suck the blood of the hosts. On the other hand, while ticks will be able to transmit various ailments, chiggers are not known to transmit any disease.
How to get rid of chiggers?
You’ll come across quite a few ways to get rid of these annoying bugs from your yard for good. In the subsequent paragraphs, we have mentioned several of these methods.
1. Figure out their location
It is possible for the population density of the chiggers to differ from one place to the other since they are in the habit of clustering in groups. Make sure to find out their location by placing compact-sized sections of black cardboard around your yard. When the bugs will climb to the cardboard’s top, it will be possible for you to see them easily against the dark background since they happen to be red.
2. Stay away from heavy vegetation
In general, chiggers are going to reside near the ground where there is heavy vegetation. For this reason, it will be sensible to avoid areas having overgrown weeds, shrubs, grass, brush, bushes, and berry thickets while walking through public gardens or even hiking in the forest.
Make sure to get rid of overgrown and enticing areas on your own property as well. Remove the branches, leaves, and other plant matters from your property by making use of your rake. Take care of the weeds, trim the shrubs and hedges, and cut your grass short. Although short grass is not conducive to the health of your lawn, it may make you more comfortable in the long run.
3. Get rid of the trash
Chiggers tend to select dark and moist areas for getting their victims similar to many other garden pests. Trash happens to be a prime real estate to chiggers. It is possible for moisture to gather under newspapers, food wrappers, and plastic bags, as well as other trash that any individual might have left behind or one which has been blown into the yard.
Fortunately, it is not possible for the chiggers to jump and climb or even travel quite far. They will be able to catch their prey only when they are close to them. After clearing your property of any alluring and trashy habitat, these harvest mites will be migrating somewhere else for their subsequent meal.
4. Maintain your yard properly
It will be advisable for you to get rid of brush piles, plus other debris for getting rid of harvest mites and other pests. Your prime objective will be to make the garden unattractive to these bugs. It will be a good idea to minimize the amount of shade in the yard because of the fact that chiggers prefer shady areas.
Besides humans, chigger larvae likewise feed on birds, reptiles, small mammals, as well as amphibians. Make it a point to cover the trash cans and get rid of any stagnant water so as to discourage these pests from coming to your yard.
5. Try Diatomaceous Earth
In case you are of the notion that there is a particular location in your yard where the chiggers are concentrated, then make sure to use diatomaceous earth for dusting the area. Although it will be comparatively safe for pets, plants, as well as humans, it will cause irritation to the lung, nose, eyes, and skin to some extent. Therefore, take care not to come in direct exposure to these types of ingredients. It is a fact that diatomaceous earth will be capable of damaging the exoskeletons of these pests by making them dry.
6. Make use of beneficial insects
Chiggers have enemies that like to devour them similar to every other creature out there. It will be possible to keep these chiggers under control by inviting beneficial bugs into your yard. Some insects are in the habit of eating harvest mites, for example, leafhopper assassin bugs.
It has been found by research that beneficial nematodes will be attacking chiggers for feeding on the larvae. Being microscopic organisms, nematodes will be demolishing different types of garden pests without damaging the soil or harming stuff like beneficial insects and earthworms. It is possible to get hold of these nematodes online at present, or you will also find them via a garden center specializing in organic gardening.
7. Making use of essential oils
It will be a sensible idea to try essential oils if you want to search for a natural method of eliminating chiggers in the yard. These oils have the ability to repel chiggers because of the strong scent. Below, we have mentioned some of these essential oils that will come of use to you.
- Tea tree
Before applying these oils, make them dilute by dissolving them in water within a spray bottle. The repellent has to be sprayed on your skin and clothes, as well as everywhere in the yard where there is a possibility of chiggers hiding.
Nevertheless, it will be essential to find the location of these harvest mites before making use of natural repellents for eliminating them. This can be done by placing a piece of black cardboard on the edge of the grass for figuring out the location of the bugs. In case you do not see any sign of these annoying creatures, then make sure to stick the cardboard somewhere else in the yard.
8. Using insecticides
In case you find that nothing is working for you then insecticides will be your ideal solution. Try to get hold of an insecticide that consists of bifenthrin, carbaryl, diazinon, cyhalothrin, or permethrin as its active ingredient. However, make sure to go through the instructions meticulously irrespective of whichever pesticide you go for. In case you are not sure which particular product to use, then make sure to come in touch with your regional cooperative extension office.
9. Take the help of a professional
If you think that none of the methods implemented by you are giving you the results, then your ultimate solution will be to take the help of a professional best management firm. These experts will be having access to insecticides that will not be available to the public, and they are also experienced enough to destroy these harvest mites once and for all. Nevertheless, you need to be patient since you might require visiting them several times for dealing with your chigger issue.
10. Put on protective clothing
Lastly, we like to mention that it will be a good idea to put on protective clothing for safeguarding yourself while using these types of bug repellents. It will also help to minimize the possibility of getting bitten by several other pests such as spiders, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and so on.
Despite the fact that harvest mites might be quite irritating in nature, they are not going to cause you any serious damage in the long run. It will be comparatively simple to provide them with a wide berth and stay away from getting bitten. Make use of these above-mentioned steps for getting rid of these harvest mites from your yard in the best possible way.