Chiggers are small insects that usually reside in tall grass and weeds. These bugs are hardly visible. They are able to attach to the skin, put holes in it and inject their enzymes. When they do, the enzymes kill the skin around the holes. The bugs then use this to feed on them and stay alive. While they are not dangerous, chigger bites are annoying and itchy. In this article, we will offer a few home remedies for chiggers. These home remedies are cheaper than store-bought alternatives. They can be done right at home, usually with items you will already have with you. Each home remedy will come with instructions on how to complete it.
For other pest issues, you can check out our article on home remedies for fleas!
1. Hot Shower
Taking a shower the moment you notice the chigger bites can help. This is because the heat of the shower will help make the chiggers fall off of your skin and reduce the number of bites. A shower may also be able to reduce the severity of the bites. When you shower, you could choose to just rinse off with hot water. If you want to wash your skin, it is recommended that you only use a mild soap to do so. You don’t want to cause stinging on the fresh bites.
- Bathroom shower
- Turn the water on in your shower as hot as you can stand it.
- Stand under the water until the bites are soothed.
2. Vicks Vapor Rub and Salt
One of the best treatments for chigger bites is salt and Vicks Vapor Rub. This gel is able to hold the salt in it with ease, which can help cleanse the skin. The granular nature can also help with the itching as it is applied. Vicks Vapor Rub is designed to sooth inflammation. It is also good for reducing the itchiness of the bites at the same time.
- Vicks Vapor Rub
- Coarse sea salt
- Mix a palmful of Vicks Vapor Rub with a pinch or two of sea salt.
- Apply it onto the chigger bites with clean hands.
- In the morning, wash it off.
- Repeat this process until the inflammation goes away entirely.
- Vicks Vaporub Ointment temporarily relieves on chest and throat.
- The Vicks VapoRub medicated vapors begin to work immediately to relieve your cough.
- VapoRub is applied externally, so it doesn't interact with other medication the way pills can.
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3. Cold Compress
A cold compress may be able to help stop some of the itching that comes with chigger bites. Not only this, it may also be able to help with the painful swelling and inflammation. You can make a cold compress with just about anything frozen. What most people use are ice cubes in a towel, or a bag of frozen veggies, such as peas. You can use this to help numb the area and cool it to stop itching.
- Your choice of a cold compress
- Wrap the cold compress in a thin, clean, cotton towel.
- Press it to your chigger bites.
- Keep it there for 10 minutes.
- Remove it for 10 minutes.
- Reapply it again.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is excellent at removing the inflammation of the chigger bites. This can help reduce the pain and swelling. Baking soda helps stop the itch, too. This is because it is an acid neutralizer. By doing this, you can spend less time scratching the bites so they can heal properly. Baking soda is likely already in your home. If it is not, it is inexpensive to purchase at any grocery store.
- Baking soda
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into a bit of water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste onto the chigger bites.
- Let it dry for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water.
- Repeat this daily.
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5. Tea Bags
Tea bags are full of tannins. Tannins have astringent compounds in it that can help dry up the bites. These tannins may also be able to help with the redness and the swelling. By doing this, you can soothe the itch and sting that these bites cause as well. Almost any plain tea works, so whatever you have in your house should be fine. If you don’t have any, buying tea bags at the grocery store will cost next to nothing.
- Black, green or herbal tea
- Boil water.
- Pour the hot water over a tea bag.
- Let it steep for five minutes.
- Take the tea bag out and let it cool.
- Press the cooled tea bag on the bites for a few minutes at a time.
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6. Listerine Mouthwash
Full of menthol, Listerine mouthwash is able to cool the irritation of the chigger bites on your skin. Listerine also has an antiseptic property that may be able to take away the swelling surrounding the bites as well. This can help provide instant relief and keep you from clawing at your skin. Listerine may already be in your bathroom cabinet. if it is not, it costs only a few dollars for a bottle at the store.
- Listerine mouthwash
- Wash off the chigger bites with warm water and mild soap to clean the area.
- Pat dry with a clean towel.
- Soak a cotton swab in the Listerine.
- Apply it to the chigger marks.
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7. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a soothing compound that is used for a number of different skin conditions. It is able to help treat the bites using the magnesium sulphate and numerous other mineral compounds in it. Epsom salt also helps to dry out the bumps on your skin to help it heal sooner. You can find Epsom salt cheaply at any department store near you.
- Epsom salt
- Draw a warm bath.
- Dump in a few tablespoons of Epsom salt.
- Mix the water around with your hand.
- Get into the bath and soak in the water for up to half an hour.
- Do this a few days in a row for best results.
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8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is able to dry up chigger bites. This is because of its acidic nature. You can find apple cider vinegar in any grocery store for a cheap price.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dab apple cider vinegar onto the chigger bites.
- Allow it to dry.
- Repeat this process twice a day.
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Oatmeal is one of the most soothing compounds for any skin issues. This is especially true for inflamed, itchy skin. Oatmeal is full of anti-irritant properties that help to relieve the swelling and itching of chigger bites. When you use it, you should experience relief right away. Plain oatmeal might already be in your home, making this home remedy free. If it is not, you can get it cheaply at the store. It must be plain oatmeal; fruity varieties have sugar that might make the bites worse.
- Plain oatmeal
- Run a warm, comfortable bath.
- Dump in a good amount of oatmeal.
- Mix it in with your hand.
- Soak in the mixture for half an hour and then rinse off.
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Peppermint is able to cool the skin with ease, making it perfect for itchy chigger bites. This is due to the amount of menthol found in peppermint. You can get peppermint leaves and make a tea to rub on your skin or use peppermint essential oils. Both of these are easy to find in a grocery store. It shouldn’t cost that much.
- Peppermint leaves
- Boil water.
- Steep peppermint leaves in the water for 15 minutes.
- When it is cooled, apply the tea to your chigger bites directly.
- Allow it to dry.
- Rinse off the chigger bites.
- Pat the skin dry. Be careful not to wipe it dry as this might irritate the bites.
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11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an excellent choice when it comes to reduce severe swelling. This sort of swelling often accompanies chigger bites. Tea tree oil is also able to stop any sort of secondary infection from taking place due to the chigger bites. These sorts of infections usually happen when you scratch them too much. It is best if you dilute it with a bit of water before you use it. Undiluted tea tree oil might irritate the skin.
- Tea tree oil
- Mix equal parts water and tea tree oil.
- Dip a cotton ball into the solution.
- Pat the solution onto the chigger bites.
- Let it dry completely.
- Rinse it off.
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Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories available. It is able to heal the swelling of the chigger bites while also healing the irritated skin around it. Turmeric also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties as well. This will help prevent any sort of infection from happening. If there is already infection, it can help get rid of it.
- Turmeric powder
- Mix a bit of water into the turmeric powder to create a thick paste.
- Using a clean finger, dab it onto the chigger bites.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Wash it all off with water.
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Aspirin is another anti-inflammatory. You likely already have it in your home, making it a free home remedy for chigger bites. It not only has anti-inflammatory properties; aspirin has salicylic acid inside of it. This can help reduce the swelling and the redness. Aspirin, because it is a pain reliever, can help get rid of the pain that it causes as well.
- Aspirin tablets
- Crush a few aspirin into a powder.
- Drop in a bit of water in order to make it into a paste.
- Using a clean finger, apply the paste onto the chigger bites.
- Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or until you feel relief.
- Rinse it off and then pat it dry with a clean cloth.
14. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol helps to evaporate the liquid inside of the chigger bites. This can help them to clear up more quickly. This evaporation will also provide an instant cooling sensation to help you experience relief right away while it works. Rubbing alcohol is full of disinfectant properties that will help it heal any infections. These usually will have occurred due to scratching as well.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Pour a bit of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton swab.
- Dab the rubbing alcohol onto the chigger bites.
- Let it sit and dry completely.
- Apply a new coat every few hours to experience best results.
- Repeat this for a week or two until it heals up.
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- Rubbing alcohol can be used in small amounts on affected areas one to three times daily
- Once alcohol dries, wounds may be covered with sterile bandages
- First aid antiseptic
- Topical antimicrobial
- For treatment of minor cuts and scrapes
15. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is commonly used for any sort of issues with the skin. This is because it is instantly soothing and can help make you feel relief right away. If you apply it frequently to the chigger bites, you can help heal the infection while stopping it from spreading. It is also full of antibacterial properties that not only soothe the swelling and irritation but reduce the noticeable redness as well.
- Aloe leaf
- Cut an aloe vera leaf down the middle.
- Pull out the gel using a spoon.
- Apply the gel generously onto the chigger bites.
- Let it dry completely; do not rinse it off.
- Repeat this until you feel relief.
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In this article, we have provided you a few home remedies for chiggers. What is the method that you prefer to treat chigger bites? Let us and our readers know about it in the comments section found below.