If you think you are somehow deeply connected to your yard and it is one of your favorite places to hang out. You are not the only one; most of us love spending time in the yard, some because of gardening, some have created a quirky look, and some have chosen minimalism, but we all have some connection that we like to strengthen frequently by spending some quality time there.
We love our yards dearly and work hard to maintain and protect the mini-ecosystem there as it is good for us and our environment. But even the thought of pests taking over our beautiful gardens and restricting us to go to our yard upsets us.
Suppose you go cheerfully and enthusiastically but return with super itchy skin. And you cannot spot the insects as they are too small to be seen. Your yard might be lurking ground for chiggers, they are known by a lot of different names including mowers mites, harvest lice, harvest mites, harvest bugs, or red bugs. But their scientific name is “trombiculid mites.” They belong in the same family as spiders and ticks, and they are arachnids.
No one likes trouble like chiggers in the backyard that makes us think twice before going to your yard. And that is why we have compiled this article for you. It covers everything you need to know to get rid of chiggers in your yard, which includes, how to identify them, where to find them, how to dress to prevent them from biting, full-proof organic ways to treat the yard for chiggers, and how to treat if they latch to you.
So, let’s get to it,
What are Chiggers and How to Identify?
Chiggers are arachnids, that if you get to see, look like spiders. These creatures measure between a range of 0.004 to 0.6 inch, thus have to be seen through the magnifying class. The larvae can be seen in a variety of warm colors, yellow to red. They are wingless. The larvae have six legs, whereas an adult has eight legs. Mind you, and the adult ones are not the ones that bite. It is the larvae that latch to your skin and leaves it itchy. They are non-lethal but can be very irritating.
Where Can They be Most Seen?
Chiggers can be found all across the world, and these are not geographically bound to anywhere in particular. They flourish best in hot and humid areas. Otherwise, they can be mostly found in moist places in any area. They can be easily found in forests, grasslands, and lawns, yards covered with grass. They are also likely to be found near water sources like ponds, lakes, and streams. If you have been experiencing itching every time you go to the lawn, you need to start looking.
But if you want to be sure if there are chiggers in your yard, take some black cardboard and place them in areas you most suspect chiggers. These will be moist areas with dense grass, areas with leaf litter, or edges where the grass is long and meets the most fencing. Return to the cardboard and thoroughly inspect, better if you have a magnifying glass. See if you can see red or little yellow creatures. You can also use a bowl of water instead of cardboard and find the chiggers on the rim.
Prevention Dressing for Chiggers.
Now that you are sure about chiggers lurking in your yard you need to make sure to be covered as much as possible every time you need to go to the yards, even if it is for taking measure to get rid of them you need to be dressed for it appropriately. Wear loose clothes with thick, tightly woven fabric. The perfect dress would be a turtle neck with full-length sleeves and full-length pants, socks, shoes, and gloves. Tuck the end of the pants into the shoes.
Suppose you are wearing a shirt, button all the buttons. You can also use insect repellent on clothes and skin. If you feel the population of chiggers is high to be safe, use sulfur powder on your shoes. Now you are ready to enter the battlefield and get rid of the chiggers in your yard and free your residence.
Whether you are going to check for chiggers or treating the lawn for it, before going into the house, examine your clothes and shake off the chiggers from your clothes if you have any. If possible, put the outer layer of clothing in a plastic bag and directly head for a hot shower with all clothes. Soak your attire in hot soapy water.
How to Get Rid of the Chiggers in the Yard
Start by mowing the lawn neatly, keeping the length of the grass short. Trim and prune and weed the yard regularly. Please keep it clean, get rid of the leaf litter, unwanted moisture accumulating logs, and tree stumps. If you have observed that the area getting good sunlight has lesser infestation than one in the shade, allow sunlight in the yard. Get rid of the shade temporarily. This will work, but it will require patience.
But if you want a more prominent solution or there is quite a heavy infestation, you can try some of the following things. But remember to use it in areas most likely to offer ideal conditions for chiggers to live in, as we have discussed above. It would help if you observed the habitat closely because some species also like the dry areas, but most commonly, it is in the moist and dense areas. These are some natural ways to get rid of the chiggers in the yard or garden.
Here are Some Organic Ways to Treat Chiggers in the Yard.
Sulfur Treatment is prevalent in such cases. Sulfur, however, doesn’t kill chigger; it repels it. You have to be strategic about how to apply it and where to apply it, due to two main reasons, One Chiggers live in clusters so enough should be applied to get rid of them. But two, the abundance of sulfur can affect grass, while it balances pH value if applied over time.
You can use natural sprays that contain oils whose main ingredients are citronella, tea tree, jojoba, eucalyptus, geranium, or lemongrass. Chiggers drive off due to the smells of these oils.
Diatomaceous Earth is also a proven natural product to get rid of chiggers in your yard. Dust the suspected areas with it, you can spray a light mist with the help of garden hose on the yard before sprinkling it so that the powder sticks to the grass and is most effective.
(Note – Common application of sulfur powder and Diatomaceous earth include dusting of 5 pounds per 1000 sq. Feet and water it regularly and adequately after application. Areas, where massive clusters are strongly suspected, can be treated with slightly heavy dosage but not the majority of the yard.)
Treating Chigger Bites
Even after being fully covered, it is best to inspect your body for them after you treat your lawn. If you see red dots latched or rushing or are just particularly itchy in some areas, you might have got some chigger bites. Usually, these are harmless and get better on their own. But you can try a few things to relieve yourself or a family member from the frustrating skin problem. Firstly, take a hot shower and scrub yourself thoroughly with soap and water and rinse it off. Get any of the clothes that you were wearing or that touched the ground washed.
If you, for some reason, cannot take a shower, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer of the area affected. If it still doesn’t get better, apply an ointment or anti-itch cream. Cold compress also seems to help in some cases. You can also use antihistamine pills if the other options can’t be availed.
But in case the bites don’t seem to get better, you might want to see a doctor in case the bites become infected. It can be treated with a steroid injection given by the doctor.
How to Get Rid of Chiggers Inside the House?
If you missed some point of left behind a piece of clothing in the house or somehow ended up with chiggers inside the house, do not worry. Some hot soapy water can help you indoors. Clean and vacuum areas that are suspected regularly, and in no time, the house will be chigger-free.
On that note, we conclude the mini guide of how to get rid of chiggers in the yard. We all the tips and tricks suggested by us are helpful and not back-breaking for you. If you want to keep your house and entire premise chigger-free, keep it neat and clean. Keep repeating things like mowing, trimming, and so on. It will keep chiggers far off from your property.
I wish you a chigger- free yard!