Chiggers are tiny mites that live in areas with grass or brush.
Chiggers, also known as red bugs or harvest mites, usually cannot be seen
without a magnifying glass.
Chiggers attach to skin pores and feed on skin cells for a few
days, most often in the warm creases of the body. In the United States chiggers
do not cause any diseases. But some types of chiggers in Asia and the
Pacific carry a disease called scrub typhus.
Chigger bites can result in:
Intense itching at the bite site beginning a
few hours after the bite. Itching may be at its worst on the second day and may
last for days or weeks.
A raised bump that gets bigger over 24 to
48 hours and may be present for up to 14 days.
Less commonly, fever
and a rash.
Home treatment can help relieve itching. The mites will fall off
the body within a few days.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine