Chiggers Life Cycle: All You Need To Know  

Chiggers are parasitic arthropods that feed on the skin of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The chiggers life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. The eggs are laid in the soil and hatch into larvae within a few days.

The larvae climb onto vegetation and wait for a host to come close enough to attach to. Once attached, the larvae insert their mouthparts into the host’s skin and begin to feed.

But what exactly are chiggers, and where do they come from? This article will provide an overview of the chigger life cycle, from egg to adult.

What do chiggers look like?

A true ixodid mite blood sucking parasite carrying the acarid disease sits on a On a green leaf of grass in the field on a hot summer day, hunting in anticipation of the victim

Chiggers or trombicula alfreddugesi are tiny mites that can be found worldwide. Adult chiggers are 1/60″ in length and have eight legs. Nymphs are 1/6th of an inch in length and also have eight legs. Larvae are 1/125-1/100 of an inch in length and have six legs. 

Where do chiggers live?

Chiggers are tiny mites in tall weeds, grass, berry patches, and wooded areas. They are most active in summer, spring, and fall afternoons when temperatures exceed 60˚F (16˚C).

They disappear as the temperature drops below 60 F (16 C). If you walk by them, they can immediately cling to your skin.

What color are chiggers or trombicula alfreddugesi?

What color are chiggers or trombicula alfreddugesi?

Chiggers are a type of mite that have eight legs. They are most commonly red, but their color may vary depending on their diet. After they have fed on blood, they turn a reddish color.

All you need to know about the Chiggers Life cycle

A true ixodid mite blood sucking parasite carrying the acarid disease sits on a On a green leaf of grass in the field on a hot summer day, hunting in anticipation of the victim

There are four stages of the chigger life cycle: Egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Chiggers complete three generations per year. Once the male deposits sperm into the female genital pore, the female will find and insert spermatophores into her body.

Females lay fertilized eggs on the soil surface around two weeks after fertilization. Adult female mites lay from one to five eggs per day.

After 5-7 days, the eggs hatch into 6-legged larvae that immediately start looking for a host. After molting, they will become nymphs and continue to molt until they reach adulthood.

Larvae feed on the skin tissue of a warm-blooded host for 3-4 days before molting into 8-legged nymphs. Nymphs then search for a mate, and the life cycle repeats.

The nymphs will then molt into adults after two weeks to one month, depending on environmental conditions. The adult Chigger Mite is larger than the nymph and is most active when the ground temperature is between 77°F and 86°F.

Adult chiggers will overwinter in protected places until the weather becomes warm enough to lay eggs. A single generation of chigger mites will be produced each year. The eggs are laid in damp soil during the first warm spring weather, and the larvae hatch a few days later.

The larvae will feed on insects, small animals, or plant material before molting into a nymph stage. Finally, the nymphs will become adults and start the process over again.

After hatching, chigger larvae (mites) search for a host. Once they find one, they attach and feast for up to 3 days. After that, they detach from the host and fall off to the soil to complete their development into nymphs and adults.

Nymphs and adults feed on arthropods which are small invertebrates such as insects. Chigger mites are parasites of mammals; in other words, they attach themselves to a host and feed on it. Their life cycle is completed in about 2-3 months.

How long do chiggers live?

Chiggers have a 50-70 day lifespan. After hatching from an egg, the larva develops into a nymph and becomes a fully grown adult mite. The chigger larvae feed on skin cells, which causes the itch.

Do chiggers bite?

Do chiggers bite?

Chiggers do not burrow through the skin but inject a salivary secretion that contains powerful digestive enzymes. This secretion dissolves the surrounding tissues and allows the chigger to drink its blood meal.

The bite wound will harden around the chigger and form a straw-like tube of hardened flesh called a stylostome. Symptoms of a chigger bite include swelling, itching, welts, fever, and nausea.

Most chigger bites occur around a person’s ankles, groin, and crotch area. These areas are generally more exposed and are typically compressed by clothing (such as belts), which creates a hospitable environment for chiggers.

As a result, it is important to be mindful of where chigger bites commonly occur and take measures to prevent their bite.

What facts are required to identify chigger bites and their disease vectors on the body?

Chiggers are tiny parasitic mites that latch onto someone walking through an infected area. Once they’ve attached themselves, they inject their saliva into the skin.

This saliva causes the skin to form a tube in response, and the bumps are reddish and may look like welts or blisters. Chiggers bite in areas where the skin is folded, such as behind the knees or around the waist.

In addition, chigger bites are usually located around the ankles, waist, armpits, crotch, and behind the knees. People usually report symptoms within hours of being bitten. The most problematic symptom is intense itching and an uncontrollable desire to scratch.

Sometimes, chigger bites on the penis can cause severe itching, swelling, and painful urination.

How to treat chigger bites: Chigger treatment for humans

How to treat chigger bites: Chigger treatment for humans

It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for chigger bites to heal. In the meantime, you can do a few things to help relieve the symptoms and speed up the healing process.

  • Wash the chigger bite area with soap and water to eliminate any remaining chiggers on your body.
  • Antiseptic or anti-itch medications like hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion can help reduce inflammation and itchiness.
  • Avoid hot baths and showers, as they can cause infection or worsen symptoms.
  • Chiggers do not burrow under the skin like ticks; you cannot remove them. It is also not necessary to try to remove them as they will eventually fall off on their own. 
  • The best way to treat chigger bites is to apply a topical antihistamine or cortisone cream and to avoid scratching the bites.

How long do chiggers bites last?

Chigger bites are itchy and can last for a few days. The bites usually resolve independently, but you can take measures to relieve the itchiness. Socks and waistbands are tight-fitting clothing items that chiggers like to bite, so check those areas if chiggers have bitten you.

Do chiggers burrow on skin or under the skin?

Do chiggers burrow on skin or under the skin?

Chiggers are tiny, parasitic mites that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. They do not burrow into the skin but instead attach themselves to it and inject their saliva, which contains digestive enzymes.

It causes an intense itching sensation as the enzymes break down the cells. The bites may appear as blisters or flat or red areas on the skin.

Where do chiggers come from?

Chiggers are tiny, parasitic mites that can be found worldwide. They prefer moist, grassy areas, forests, and even your lawn. They live in any country with a suitable environment for them to thrive.

Conclusion

Chiggers go through a life cycle that begins with eggs. The larvae are 6-legged and bright red. They are microscopic and can only be seen with a microscope.

Ultimately, chiggers go through a life cycle in which they feed on a host, molt into an adult form, and then die. During their final molt, they will turn into eight-legged adults capable of reproducing.