Range: More than 700 species exist worldwide, but
only 20 cause dermatitis or vector diseases (various species are found
throughout the U.S).
Habitat: Fields, vacant lots, recreational areas
and parks with high vegetation, which harbors chiggers, rodents and
other animals that serve as wild hosts.
Health risks: Chiggers are microscopic red, hairy,
larval mites usually identified by the pathology they cause. An
infested person will experience intense itching, usually around the
ankles, sock tops, beltline or about the collar or sleeve cuffs. When
the itching is traced, the victim will find a red spot, the center of
which may contain a tiny red dot, which is the chigger
larva. Within several hours the red spot will take on a hive-like
appearance. Chigger mites are not known to vector any disease in the
United States. Potential victims should avoid infested locations or use
repellents on pants legs and shoes and tuck trousers into boots.
Management: Keep vegetation cut low. Chiggers can
be controlled in lawns and other infested areas by careful and thorough
treatment with Talstar® products. This miticide works best if applied