lchishol at uoguelph.ca
Thu Jul 21 22:48:51 EST 1994
You were partially correct. The chigoe is a flea (Tunga penetrans).
Chiggers are mites (Trombidiidae and Trombiculidae). The immature stages
can be extremely common in many parts of North America. They are
parasites of a number of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. The stages
infesting humans wait in vegetation for a suitable host and attach to
exposed skin, injecting a tube of saliva that breaks down the tissues,
causing the itch. The best cure is prevention - long pants and insect
repellant (like DEET) in areas where chiggers are common. Covering the
chiggers with clear nail polish is often effective. Calamine lotion will
cut the itching. I've spent a lot of time in the field with an
entomologist who always seems to get them in the most excruciating places
on every trip. He finds that Scotch relieves the itch nicely.
University of Guelph
More information about the Parasite