chigger itch remedy? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

What is your favorite remedy for curing the intense itching of chigger bites? My ankles are covered with bites and it is keeping me awake at night! Mona

-- mona (, August 15, 2000


Fingernail polish over the bites or hairspray to kill chiggers. Take Benadryl for itch relief. For prevention--wear pantyhose sprayed with hairspray in weeds and tall grass. Jungle commandos use this preventive method.

-- Joel Rosen (, August 15, 2000.

Fingernail polish works or that cortizone salve from drug stores works. Before going into the grass dust your pants, socks and drawers with sulfer powder, also available at drug stores.

-- Joe Cole (, August 15, 2000.

When i was a little girl we used to take a bath with a little clorox in it. In addition, the application of Garlic oil would probably have a desirest effect when it comes to killing them. For a few bites I find my children do well with a little liquid motrin on the tip of a finger rubbed into the bite. This is a new remedy for me and I do not recommend that large amounts of this stuff gets smeared on the body, I simply take my childrens motrin bottle and stick the end of my finger into the syrup left in the cap and touch it to each bite. This has been a very favorable remedy for my family from mosquitoes to bee and wasp stings. I also use an antihistamine. When we get a bite or sting we use a teaspoon of dimatapp, and the motrin. The motrin stops the itch in seconds. We have had no negative effects from this use. The effect of the motrin seems to last and last. it is important to note that some medicines can go into the blood stream at much greater concentrations than through the digestive tract. I don't know if this is true for motrin, but I am very careful to use it sparingly and only when necessary. Keep in mind the amount I am using is extremely small compared to the recommended dosage for children. Motrin is pain relieving and anti-inflammatory. If I ever see a sign of allergic reaction I will wash and discontinue use, but so far the only reaction we have had is stickiness around the bite area from the sugar.

Little Bit farm

-- Little bit Farm (, August 15, 2000.

Chiggers? Castor oil! A little dab'll do ya, stops the itch almost immediately & therefore will help it heal quicker. Problem is, their little red heads are still in the skin. There is also a homeopathic remedy that I think may work: Apis Melifica.. I probably spelled that way wrong; this works on lots of varmint bites and I can personally attest to that one, too, although I haven't had chiggers bites since I moved to NM. I once had over 150 seed ticks all over my bod after a romp thru the Arkansas woodlands near Jerusalem. Wish I'd have known about castor oil or Apis then! I itched for 2 weeks straight & was worth my weight in Calamine Lotion! Good luck. debra in nm.

-- debra haden (, August 15, 2000.

First it might help to know why it itches so bad. When a chigger bites' it sticks a needle in you, much like a mosquito, and injects it's digestive fluids, waits for the tissue around the bite to dissolve and then sucks out the fluid. The chigger then drops off. Many people think the chigger burrows into your skin, but this is false. Sometimes a bite area will swell up while the chigger is still hooked on and it might cover part of the chigger, but they never dig in.

What makes them so bad is that the fluids they inject mess with your body's immune system in such a way that the hole won't heal and there is a tube formed through the skin down to live tissue. The old folk remedies designed to smother the chigger really just plug the hole so you don't have air getting to live tissue.

So what helps? First chiggers find it much easier to puncture the skin when they can push against something. Rub your skin where it contacts tight fitting clothes (waistbands, socks etc) with a corse washrag as often as you can to dislodge the little beasts. Then wash well and vigorously as soon as you come in from chigger territory.

For any bites that you do get, I've found that toothache drops take the pain out immediately. The earlier mention of Motrin would probably be safer. I don't use the toothache drops if there are more than a few bites--I doubt the stuff is good for you in large amounts. The second thing is to seal the puncture hole. Fingernail polish is traditional and effective, but many things will work as well. I've used various oils, Vaseline, warm melted candle wax and other things with success in the past.

Chiggers only feed on animals once in their life. This means that (unlike ticks) they do not spread diseases. The biggest health risk is secondary infections from scratching.

-- paul (, August 15, 2000.

My great-grandma used kerosene.

-- Cindy (, August 15, 2000.

Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone! I will try sone of the remedies. I had forgotten fingernail polish which I used as a child. The motrin sounds interesting too. I took some benedryl last night before bed, and it really helped the itching, but I felt groggy all morning. Mona

-- mona (, August 15, 2000.

The old home remedy we used when "eat up" with those nasty things-- embalmin fluid! Kill'm immediately and they don't itch as long. Course, back then you could buy a bottle from your friendly neighbor undertaker for about a buck. A bottle would last for several years. Worked well if you didn't mind smellin like fermaldahide! Matt. 24:44

-- hoot (, August 15, 2000.

i manage to get into chiggers every year. Didn't have them in NY so when we moved here to VA I got them, rather they found me and feasted on my yankee blood:) I use a remedy that works great, take some butter or margerine and mix with salt, rub on, it may sting, but they are gone in just a bit, smothers them. hope this helps.

-- Bernice (, August 15, 2000.

Hey, another Mona!

As soon as possible after being in chigger weeds, jump in the shower or bath, bubble up really good with lye soap, let it soak on you for about five minutes then rinse off. Works every time for us!

-- Mona (, August 15, 2000.

I'm fortunate enough not to suffer to much from insect bites. Some people can "put it out of their mind" more than others. I think if you can manage to leave it alone long enough, the "problem" diminishes. I'm a big fan of taking benadryl. Its good for sunburns, insects bites, and nausea. As a kid we used to subject our selves to the coldest water we could stand (usually the well). That felt great.

-- Chris Stogdill (, August 17, 2000.

Chigarid product from the local Pharmacy. Used it for years. Ingredients: Camphor, Menthol,Phenol, Oil of Eucalyptus. Works great on my little one who is a chigger magnet.

-- sallyp (, August 17, 2000.

during chigger and seed tick season i keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 1/3 bleach and 2/3 water by the door. when i have been out working and come in with attached critters i just spray my legs and wipe off with a paper towel. it seems to help me alot. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (, August 21, 2000.

We have a couple of "Chigger Magnets" in the house plus the rest of us get bites occasionally-chiggers seemed to be especially bad here. First is prevention, which is wearing loose light colored clothes, tucking pants into socks or boots to keep them from scampering up your legs. (Of course avoiding high grassy weedy areas help tremendously!) As soon as possable, take a warm to hot shower, and if you have some lye soap around use that-thats also good for poison ivy. Wash the clothes in hot water- I havn't found bleach to make any difference-again this will kill P.I. If you still have bites, o ur best remedy is to take Benedryl orally-you can get low dosages that won't make you as sleepy, you can also buy Benedryl clones for the budget minded-your looking for diphedryl hci. Use 1% hydrocortisone ointment on the bites themselves. It comes in different forms, such as cream, gel etc. I use the gel (Its like in a petrolium jelly solution) This will smother the chigger if he's still in there-I don't bother with the fingernail polish. I find the hydrocortisone works better than calamine lotion-though calamine is certainly better than nothing. This has worked well for us, and we recently had someone who had over a hundred chigger bites! Another note-If you use a insect repellent, such as Off or Cutters or similar product, make sure the contents do not get too hot or cold. If they get too cold or too hot-say, you leave your repellent in the truunk of the car while your having a picnic on a hot day, the solution will lose its effectivness. I hesitate to use these repellents on my kids- what we have found to work was to spray the reppelent on shoes, hat, pants-especially cuffs, but not on bare skin. I use Avons Skin -so- soft or a specially made children's sun-block/repellent on faces and arms-you can get genric sun-block/repellent at a reasonable price-we go through a rather lot of the stuff in the summer time.

-- Kelly Saderholm (, August 21, 2000.

I think if you go to our web site, you will find the answer you've been looking for. Chigg-Away not only prevents you from getting the bites, it will also stop the itch of all nonpoisonous insect bites as well as bee stings, swimmer's itch, fire ants, etc. It has been in the military stock system since 1983, so we have establlished a reputation. Check out our site at Thanks.

-- Marcie Behan (, March 18, 2001.

A real good place to pick up chiggers is in a blackberry patch. My husband loves to pick blackberries (and eat the pies or cobblers I make). His remedy which really works is: as soon as he leaves the chigger patch, he runs a small amount of cold water in sink, adds quite a bit of salt to make strong salt brine, dips wash cloth in the brine and "sops" it all over ankles, waist and anywhere else that clothing fits tight. Don't towel off, just let it air dry.

-- ruth in s.e.Illinois (, March 19, 2001.

Mom used to always take chapstick and rub it over the spot. That was after she'd put something on it to kill the itch. Apparently the chapstick does the same as the fingernail polish, it fills the hole, and it doesn't smell like polish, doesn't feel like polish, and is lots cheaper.

-- Paul W. Earp (, May 01, 2001.

If you know in advance that you are going to be in a chigger area, load up on B vitamins. We went to a family reunion in a park one time several years ago. I heard about B vitamins and started taking them a couple of days ahead of time; my wife didn't. She got covered with chiggers and I did not get a single bite.

-- virgil (, July 06, 2001.

The only thing I have found that really works: First, a hot bath with two cups epsom salts. Scrub bites with bristle brush, but do not scrub hard enough to break skin. Stay in bath one hour. Rinse, pat dry, and immediately apply teatree oil to bites. This stuff works miracles. Asprin will help during the day; at night, or when you will no longer be driving or operating machinery, or doing something that requires concentration and alertness, use benedryl. Recovery is usually overnight.

-- Paul Mallamo (, August 29, 2001.

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