Zoology or Animal Biology

What is a chigger?


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Chiggers are tiny 6-legged creatures. They are known to attack people in wooded and/or damp areas. They are most commonly found during summertime when grass and weeds grow the heaviest. Chiggers do not bury themselves into the skin like small ticks do; they bite near the hair follicles and produce red welts which can be very painful and itchy. Chiggers are very small and cannot be seen without a magnifying glass. They usually feed on snakes, birds, and mammals; even humans. Chiggers usually bite humans where clothing fits tightly or in places like waistlines, armpits, and behind the knees. Chiggers are not known to carry disease in the United States. When they bite, the symptoms can continue for about a week. If symptoms are not treated, then they become a secondary infection.