Chigger mite

Trombicula spp.

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 after mowing.