Anyone else being bitten to shreds by these tiny monsters? Any easy way to get rid of them or control them?


Yep. Never had them in my orchard until this year and now they’re making life miserable. I feel your pain but have no tips for killing them. Before going to the orchard I tuck long pants into my socks, wear long sleeves, spray myself with off insecticide, and after I take off clothes outside and then shower immediately. That has worked so far but I still have bites from two weeks ago healing. Seems like a common theme this year, I didn’t appreciate when things were easy and now everything is harder. Hope you find some relief from the onslaught.


They are horrible, I got them on my legs in Peru sitting on grass . They really hurt and became infected easily . Go to the doctor.

If I don’t wear permethrin treated pants or spray with bug spray, I cannot go into my garden/orchard without becoming infested :sleepy:

Highly recommend getting some permethrin spray such as the Sawyer brand.
It’s much easier than dousing yourself with deet etc

You might be able to apply a granular insecticide meant for lawns, but I am not willing to indiscriminately kill bugs

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When I was a child we had to take baths upon returning from fishing, etc and my mom put a bit of pine-sol in the bath water. I don’t know that I would recommend that :flushed: but it worked!!!


The trick is showering after you get back inside or jumping in ponds or creeks frequently if home is not close. Few areas contain as many things that can make you miserable as Missouri and Kansas. Some areas not only have chiggers and mosquitos but ticks as well. None of them bother me most of the time. This is largely due to the fact i dont wear things to attract them life cologne, hair spray or other strong smelling things. A woman picked blackberries at my house once and had chigger bites covering her entire body about an inch or closer apart about chest high. Mosquitos had bit her face. My mother and i picked for a week and my mother was chigger bit a few times and was growled at by some sort of wild animal in the blackberry bushes that remained unseen. I was not bit at all by chiggars but received several mosquito bites as i sweat more and the sweat seems to provoke them. I did shower as soon as i got home. As a child the chiggers bit me up terrible. Anything out of place animals and insects notice. Having grown up here i suspect my smell is familiar. I suspect if a person was covered in mud they would sustain few bites. @scottfsmith i suspect is doing this with his trees when he sprays them with kaolin clay. Surround masks the scent of the food (fruit) that insects are searching for.


I second the recommendation of spraying the yard with permethrin. I had them in my yard last year. Every time I walked across the lawn I could see them running up my bare legs. One application of permethrin on the lawn and shrubs did the trick.

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Buy some sulfur powder from the apothecary and regular baby powder. Mix them 1:1 and pour enough into a knee high sock nylon until it is almost the size of a tennis ball. Knot the the nylon close to the powder to keep the mixture in a ball shape. Rub and pat this all over your ankles, back of knees, etc., wherever you typically get chigger bites. This has worked very well for me. Maybe about 98% effective. I get a few bites, but not many. Of course you do have a certain aroma surrounding your person, but I guess this is what the chiggers do not like.

As far as reducing numbers of chiggers in your yard/orchard, burning the grass early in the spring before green-up helps. I realize a lot of you may not be able to burn your yards or orchards though. This can be tricky if you have a lot of trees, even if you have adequate fire suppression equipment.
We live an an area where we burn pastures every spring to remove standing dormant forage and stimulate new plant growth. We also burn our yard, usually a few weeks prior to burning the pasture. Our yard is composed of native grasses and forbs, similar to the pastures. Some years we do not get the yard burned, and those years the chigger and tick numbers are higher than on years we do get it all burned. It is getting harder to burn the yard each year as I slowly turn it from yard to orchard.
This will sound anecdotal to most of you I suppose, but it is well known around here. Unburned grass has higher numbers of chiggers than burned grass areas. I assumed it was because the fire was killing most of the overwintering adults, therefore greatly reducing the numbers that survive to reproduce. I guess it could also be killing the eggs or the larvae if the temps have been warm enough (over 60deg) and the females have been awake and laying eggs already. I haven’t seen any studies on this, so it’s just my experience and opinion. :smile:


I actually burned my garden area once expressly to try to reduce chiggers. Interesting!
“A certain aroma surrounding your person” Hilarious!
I get in trouble just handling 90% sulfur granules. If i deliberately put sulfur on myself, i wouldn’t be allowed in the house for days!

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I will say - I have also found that the Swamp Gator brand of natural insect repellent works for chiggers.
Apply it to your legs and you’ll probably be good to go.
Smells great but it is a little greasy. nothing too bad.

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Mixed with the baby powder, I wouldn’t describe the smell as bad really, just… different! I am used to it, and since it keeps me from being eaten up with chiggers, or doused with deet, I am OK with it! :grin:
I haven’t seen Swamp Gator, I will look for it.

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