Help......we're getting eaten alive by chiggers :(

chelsea_gardener(7b)June 13, 2006

We've been on our property for 6 weeks now and we absolutely love Alabama. I have found time to plant a vegetable garden and even though I 'm getting a late start, it is coming right along. We have about 4 to 5 acres of mowing that we have to do so I'm wondering if that is throwing the chiggers up on to us. I try to keep the dogs and cats outside as much as possible and I do use frontline on them, so I assume that would kill the chiggers too.

I throw our gardening clothes into the laundry as soon as well come inside too. I'm sure you local gardeners must have a way to deal with them. What am I doing wrong?

Please give me any tips you have. My grand daughter is here visiting from Hawaii and she is starting to get bit too.

Thanks in advance :)

Terry

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The chiggers are living in the grass, waiting for a warm blooded victim. Your pets don't have anything (or very little) to do with the fact that you are getting bitten by these awful things. You might want to ask your vet about the Frontline, and what you can do to prevent them from being walking chigger factories.

It is recommended that you wash your clothes in HOT water, on a long cycle. They can survive in the laundry if washed in cool water. ;-( Cover up as much as possible, of course so that they stay on the clothes not on you. In the shower, scrubbing is a good policy rather than relying on a quick rinse-off to do the job. Repellents are helpful and I've always like Avon's Skin So Soft. Works for me.

I would think that frequent mowing would help, and maybe applications of insecticidal soap to areas that are frequented by you all. You can do a population test by placing squares of black (or dark) paper on the grass or plants. After just a few minutes, chiggers will climb on board (if there are any).

The attached fact sheet will be helpful in understanding these creatures. The insecticidal information at the end is outdated and incorrect. (Their recommendations are no longer available on the market, thankfully.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Scratch scratch scritch scritch

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 1:26PM
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fernaly(z7 AL)

chelsea__gardner,

Make sure to use repellent, while outside. Also try a cup of bleach in your bath water, the chiggers will let go before they dig under your skin. If one happens to dig in, dip a Q-tip in un-diluted bleach and apply to the bite, It will sting but the chigger will crawl out. They can't stand the bleach.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 12:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Chiggers don't 'dig in'. You should read the link attached in the earlier post,fernaly. It explains what is really happening with all of that awful itching!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 9:32AM
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