Ways to deal with chiggers during summer months

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:51-04

Chiggers are back in Central Texas leaving an itchy bite to those affected.

Mikal Young said he got chigger bites when he got off his boat and tried to help someone on shore whose tractor was stuck.

"I walked into grass that was a little less than knee deep and it turned out to be terrible when I got home.There was probably 500 chigger bites on my leg. A lot of itching going on," Young said.

However, this is not the first time he has been affected by the mites.

"I'm a country boy. I've been off and on chiggers every summer all my life," Young said.

According to Dr. Shane McLellan with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service in McLennan County, chiggers are active during this time of the year.

"They'll be out when it's warmer, when the grass is actively growing. A little bit of moisture, they'll be pretty active," McLellan said.

He said the mites are usually in tall grass or in ditches so wearing long pants and mosquito repellent, help avoid contact with them.

Baylor Scott & White Health Dr. Mazhar Khan said if you get bitten, there are creams that can help. 

He recommends people to take a hot shower and scrub the affected area. Secondly, he said applying a topical antihistamine or taking an antihistamine tablet can help. If that doesn't help, he advises for you to use a hydrocortisone cream and any topical anesthethic medication that contains pramoxine to help relieve the pain.

"There are a lot of myths regarding chigger bites, I've heard about using nail polish or other home remedies, the fact of the matter is that the just don't work and they could be toxic to the skin," Khan said.

If the creams are not helping, and the pain and itching are not getting any better you are advised to go to the doctor.

"[If] now it has become more widespread and more red, that may be something you want your doctor to look at to make sure it's not a super infection of skin," Khan said.

He said in serious cases, people need a small steroid injection. However, he said that is rare. 

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.