Chigger Bites

Grab the Bug Spray, North Texas Sees Worst Chigger Outbreak In 30 Years!

July 3, 2018

North Texas, be on the lookout.

It is hot, and the chiggers are out in FULL FORCE.  In fact, DFW is seeing the worst chigger outbreak in nearly 30 years, thanks to the high temperatures and equally high humidity.  

Dr. Mike Merchant with AgriLife Center in Dallas said chiggers are his "personal worst nightmare."  He told NBC DFW, "They are tiny mites, barely visible to the eye, that live on the soil surface and, in their larval stage, are parasites on humans and other vertebrate animals.  You don't feel chigger bites immediately. It's a delayed gift.  You are at home in the evening after you've been outdoors and you start to get a little itch and it gets worse and worse and then you start to see these big red bumps."

Since chiggers will be out looking to annoy you to death, Merchant has a couple of tips to avoid the nastly little buggers.  He recommends to:

• Use a good repellent, applying to your shoes, socks and pants legs before stepping into a potential chigger area.

• Tuck your pant legs into your socks to make it harder for chiggers to get in your pants and find the tender places.

• Scrub yourself well in the shower after you think you might have been exposed.  Chiggers typically take several hours to settle down and begin feeding.  If you can shower before they begin chowing down, you can reduce the number and severity of bites.

And if you do happen to get bitten, you will be itchy, but as far as we know, chiggers DO NOT carry any disease.