Ah, chiggers...

It's been years and years since I got into chiggers.. But, I went walking with my dog through a lovely field yesterday, and it seems that I inadvertently fed a pack of chiggers while we were out there too.

Past me would have slathered on hydrocortisone.. but I've since learned better and avoid even a bit of steroids if at all possible.

In somewhat lucky timing, I also accidentally broke off a piece of my aloe plant. So, I've made up a little aloe gel from the insides of that limb, mixed with a drop of peppermint essential oil. This helps pretty well, but the relief doesn't last more than an hour or so.

Is there anything you guys might suggest for longer-lasting bug bite itch relief, and maybe something to help them heal quickly too?

I have a feeling this is going to be a common occurrence for me now, so I'd love to have something I can make up a batch of and keep on hand.

Now, I'm going to go re-watch that herbal bug repellent presentation we just offered, haha, and get some made so I'll be better prepared for the next walk! πŸ˜…πŸΊ



  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 576 admin
    edited July 2019

    Honestly, I'm not 100% certain of the ingredients. But, I use or this or this when I get fire ant or chigger bites. I'm have really bad localized reactions to fire ant bites... I swell up so bad...and the pressure/itching keeps me up at night. The benzocaine seems to really help me sleep.

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    Thank you for the suggestion, Ruth! I'm the same with fire ants... just one bite and my foot is quickly twice it's normal size and it hurts so bad I consider just cutting it off. :( lol

    For these chiggers and random bites I have from who knows what, this aloe mix has been working well. I wound up taking another aloe leaf, scrapping the insides from them, then mixed that with about equal parts coconut oil, and a couple more drops of peppermint.

    At first, the itch relief doesn't last very long, but after about 3-4 hourly applications they don't bother me for most of the day. I start putting it on more frequently before bed time and that gets me through the night too.

    My only trouble with it now is that it really should have been emulsified together. Since it's fresh aloe, I keep it in the fridge, which causes the coconut oil to separate completely, and it's hard to apply. But, I just ordered the cutest tiny blender! πŸ˜„ So, problem will soon be solved!

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Boy, I'm curious, too! Calamine lotion can help, but something that offers longer-term relief would be most welcome. We're dealing with some serious no-see-ems right now here in SW CO!

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    The aloe mixed worked so well.. it ran out.. haha. I don't want to take another leaf from my aloe plant though, so I've been using simply coconut oil with a little peppermint oil for the minor itchies, and I did wind up getting some calamine for the (I think) spider bites I got a few days ago. I'm looking at getting a bottle of aloe gel to make up more in the future, and looking into ways to make it more potent, since I'm sure I'm gonna need it often!

  • sandymoran725
    sandymoran725 Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    I don't know if I've ever experienced chiggers, but Touch-Me-Not works pretty good for itchy mosquito bites. Use only the juice from the water retaining stems...and you can just reapply until it doesn't itch anymore. Google what they look like, they grow wild, and have a very small orange or yellow flower that looks like a snap dragon but the florets are spaced out and not dense.

  • sandymoran725
    sandymoran725 Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    On calamine: I find that as it dries, the drying makes me itch, so I haven't used it in years. I suspect oatmeal ground up fine, and put in the bath would help too since it does wonders for chicken pox.

  • tboyce24
    tboyce24 Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    Not sure if it would work for chiggers, but I made plantain infused oil ( I used jojoba oil) and it really helps for mosquito bites and fire ant bites, relieving the itch very quickly.

  • kathrynthecloser
    kathrynthecloser Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    When I get chiggers, no see ums, mosquito bites and especially fire ant bites. I use my vegan non GMO clay mask on the bites. The clay draws out the toxin, relieves the itch. I put it on and let it dry and flake off as it does or it gets removed when I shower. It doesn't look pretty but it works and the relief is immediate and long lasting. Non toxic drawing out of poison. And safe to use on kids.

  • lmikolyski
    lmikolyski Posts: 7 ✭✭✭

    My experience with chiggers is this. Just as soon as you can after exposure, shower or bathe and apply a brisk washing with cloth and soap all over. I haven't used ACV but will next time. The brisk, but light scrubbing helps to take any off your body. If by chance you develop bites anyway, my mixture of equal amounts of peppermint, lavender and purify essential oils with small amount of carrier oil applied morning and night usually takes care of the itch. I apply the oil with a rough rubbing, never scratching. I think it takes care of something having to do with the nerves around the bite. Those sneaky chiggers get y our in the most obscure places. I think they go through my clothes.

  • dpdreamer
    dpdreamer Posts: 1 ✭

    I have been re-introduced to chiggers this summer after living in a chigger-free area. My first bite on my ankle bubbled-up, then scabbed over and took almost a month to heal. I can still see where it was. I tried Tea Tree, Coconut oil and a host of other natural remedies I thought were effective for me before, but not this time. Numerous bites later, I came upon a remedy on the web that I tried. It suggested mentholatum - for the camphor (they suggested Vicks Vapor Rub) and SALT - I use sea salt. I do not like mentholatum because it is petroleum based - yuk. I just happen to have a CBD salve product that I use (and actually sell) that has camphor in it so I started using that. I would put the salt in the palm of my hand, get a tiny bit of the salve on my finger tip, dip in salt and rub on the chigger bite. Ahhhhh! The coarseness of the salt gives instant itch relief, plus long lasting as well. The best part is that it will dry up the bite in like 3-4 days. Now whether the CBD and other excellent ingredients in my salve is part of the healing secret, or just the camphor and salt, I do not know. But it works! I apply before bed and again in the morning. And yes, the salt sticks on you then falls off. So what. It works for me!

    DEBRASHIPP Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I use Essential Oils for bug bites and stings. I mix a few drops of each together and apply right on the bite. I put it on neat (which is without a carrier oil) but you can dilute it for children.

    Lavender is my favorite. It helps with the sting and the itching afterwards.

    Tea Tree helps with the pain swelling, itching and infections.

    Peppermint or Spearmint for pain, itching and inflammation.

    Basil for inflammation and infection. Especially good for bee stings.

    Eucalyptus for healing and infection.

    If you haven't used Essential Oils, you need to educate yourself on the correct way to use them and the cautions for children and pregnant women.

    If you don't have all of them, the Lavender and Tea Tree would be my choice.

  • Elena Upton
    Elena Upton Posts: 16 ✭✭✭

    Run, don't walk to your local health food store and buy the Homeopathic remedies Apis mellifica and Ledum. Apis is made from bee venom and helps to neutralize any and all bites and stings. Ledum is made from Marsh tea and is the number one choice for any puncture wound and used to help eliminate infection. (Actually can be used as a substitute for tetanus).

  • geneaum
    geneaum Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    My goto site for health info has always been earthclinic.com. As I am also a bug-magnet I needed something

    that works fast. Lotions and potions have just never worked for me. But on E/C someone posted a suggestion

    to apply a very warm/ or hot compress to the bite. This denatures (unfolds) the proteins in the bug-injected gunk :*).

    Immediate relief! It works amazingly well. A no-cost, and far more effective solution.

  • Carol
    Carol Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I too use essential oils. I am a mosquito magnet and here in Montana we have swarms of "no-see-ums" that think I am particularly tasty too. The bites sometimes itch for weeks, especially if I forget my hat and they bite my scalp. My go-to oil is lavender, I keep a roller bottle of it with me, peppermint is also excellent for the itching.

  • 2cherylj
    2cherylj Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I'm so glad you asked because I just came upon something wonderful! I got into a mess of chiggers and really didn't want to reach for that tube of steroid cream when I heard a YouTube talk on all the wonderful properties of Lomatium and how it stops itchy bug bites when applied topically. I immediately grabbed my bottle of Lomatium that I hadn't opened yet and dabbed some on every chigger bite and I'm happy to report that they completely stopped itching and I didn't even need a second application! What a life saver!

  • barbweymouth
    barbweymouth Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    For mosquito bites, it's hands-down the all-natural homeopathic remedy Ledum palustre 30C from the health food store. It not only stops the itching within ten minutes or less but also reduces the swelling of the bite. The label claims use for bug bites and insect stings.

  • cahrens7905
    cahrens7905 Posts: 1 ✭
    edited July 2019

    I have used Bentonite clay with huge success with mosquito and unidentified bites.

    It comes in a powder, you add water a little at a time and I keep the clay or 'mud' as we call it on the counter at home and the cottage.

    When bites happen I put a layer on, there is an immediate 'cool' and the itch disappears and bonus, if you leave it on until it dries, it will draw all the stuff those bugs inject into you and the area will look normal.

    This is great for young children to seniors.

    You can get the powder online or at most health food stores. I don't have a summer without it.

    We also use homeopathic remedy apis mellifica but usually don't need it if the clay is applied.

  • Lina Maria
    Lina Maria Posts: 1 ✭

    I had an unfortunate encounter with chiggers while harvesting some bamboo in a field. ICE CUBES DID THE TRICK FOR STINGS!! REALLY IMMEDIATE RELIEF! I EVENTUALLY got rid of the bites using Clear Nail polish

  • t655
    t655 Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    My go to for all bites and stings is plantain. I have never had a chigger bite though. I either use mashed up fresh leaves or plantain oil, often turned into a salve with some added essential oils such as lavender.

    PHYLLISBALA Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    One time my husband's relatives came out to Northern California from Missouri for a summer visit. We were all having a picnic on the front lawn with blankets and sunning ourselves. The looks on their faces were worth a million bucks! Jaws dropped & eyes popped in disbelief. Wondering what was so incredibly strange about our behavior, we all stopped & stood up in surprise. "What about the chiggers?", they were so taken aback!

    My husband & his family had to explain to us Californians what chiggers were & the fact his cousins had never sat on a lawn because of them. How awful not to enjoy the grasses! But now that I think of it, it wasn't only the chigger bite that was the problem, I recall that they also can burrow under your skin. Never having met one, I have no idea if that is true. For bites I use cold pressed Castor Oil massaged into the skin, directly on the bite; (NOT cod liver oil, as many people confuse it with). Castor Oil comes from the bean of the castor plant.

    For FIRE ANTS: In Belize the native people bury whole, fresh limes in the hot coals in their wood burning cook stoves. You could probably boil them in a pan of hot water or put them in a microwave (I don't have a microwave or know how to use one). So I can't say how long to microwave one to get it boiling inside the skin. It only takes a few minutes to bring a whole lime to a boil inside the skin in a wood stove. When it's boiling hot, slice in half. Quickly scrub the hot lime juice onto the bites of FIRE ANTS. As soon as the juice dries, the stinging is over! Done. I was bitten by huge army ants all over my legs & then again by fire ants on the bottoms of my feet. For those bites, I just threw myself into a trance & acted like I was firewalking. I let the fire move thru me, accepting the fire of the ants while apologizing for standing on top of them with my big, bare feet. It passed thru me in seconds with no ill effects.

  • pmrc423
    pmrc423 Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    Make a strong infusion of echinacea and dab it on the bites as soon as possible. You could probably use echinacea capsules. I discovered this when I was looking for herbal remedies for my dog's skin problems. I tested it once when I got into a nest of chiggers. I treated one side of my body and left the other alone. Overnight, on the treated side, the itch was gone. So I treated the other side, but it took longer to heal since I didn't get the echinacea on soon enough. It also works for tick bites, but I don't know if it has any effect on tick borne diseases.

  • kefirkisses
    kefirkisses Posts: 1 ✭

    i did not read all the comments but in case no one mentioned camphophenique i will. i use it a lot and it does a good job on most bites. i do not know what the bites are. some have said they are the oak mites and i had lots of them on my neck and many other places last year. this year they are mostly in any, any skin fold so i am wondering if they are a different critter. bathing as soon as am ready to come in for the day has been a big help also or at least wiping down with acv or rubbing alcohol is helpful also. rinsing is better with scrubbing and soap. better result.

  • Wendy Donnelly
    Wendy Donnelly Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    Whenever I get bit by anything I swell up with a huge hot, red welt. I have not been bitten by chiggers or fire ants. We are now in our deer fly/ horde fly season here in NH. I got bit on the back of my leg that swelled up from my upper hamstring all the way down my calf.

    I took Plantain from my yard cut and mashed it up as best I could. Mixed it with a little water placed it on the bit with gauze. I left this on for a couple hours and I was not red, hot or swollen any longer.

    I also did the same thing the other day on my arm and shin. Boom! Went away. I had some slight pain from the bite if I touched it but that was all.

    You can pick it, chew it up and place it on. Or in the second case I have cut it up, mashed it in my mortar and pestle and put some coconut oil in for a carrier and bacterial killer. I have been having quite a lot of success with Plantain. I wished I used it a long time ago. I would suffer for almost a week with swelling, redness and pain.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,583 admin

    Wow @Linzi 2.k views on this thread!!!

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    Oh wow so many good ideas and responses! Thank you all, I've added many to my herbal med notes!

    @pmrc423 I read your comment right after I noticed two brand new bites yesterday evening, and immediately grabbed my echinacea tincture, since it was something always try to have on hand. I put a drop on each bite, and they still haven't itched today! There is a little welt, but no pain or itch! This may be my new-go-to and I'm glad to know yet another use for one of my favorite herbs. πŸ˜„ I applied it to some older bites too in hopes they'll at least heal quicker with it.

    @lmikolyski I think is what has helped the most! I've learned a ton more than I ever wanted to know about chiggers while looking up how to stop them.. They do tend to crawl all around on you, for hours after exposure even, until they find a nice spot to drill into you πŸ˜–.. So yea, after that first run in with the chigger horde, I now have it planned so I take my dog for that long walk every evening and then go straight to the shower when we're back home. Since doing this, I haven't gotten any more bites that I can identify as a chigger!

    I don't think ACV is needed, just soap and water seems to work just fine, though ACV may still help with existing bites.. I'll try this in the future too, maybe as the menstruum of a plantain or echinacea tincture.

    @cahrens7905 and @kathrynthecloser I'm going to try my bentonite clay out for this for future venomous bites. I keep this clay on hand already for my toothpowder and facemasks, and I bet it does work well when you're trying to draw out venoms too! Thank you both for the ideas!

    @Wendy Donnelly and @tboyce24 I've looked and looked for plantain around here, this was my first thought to try, but very surprisingly I haven't been able to find any.. I'm keeping an eye out for it though, it's usually everywhere in n Texas. It is a tincture I'd really like to have on hand..

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    Oh I know! πŸ˜„ And so many amazing ideas and recommendations from everyone. I really appreciate all the advice and knowledge shared here!

    Thank you, @Merin Porter for linking this in the digest! πŸ€—

  • Texas Gal
    Texas Gal Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    The best thing I have found to help with the itch of chiggers or any itchy insect bite is called ChiggerX. I find it at CVS and Walgreens but they may also carry it at places like Walmart in the pharmacy section. I always make sure we have a little jar of it on hand. It is a lotion consistency and doesn't dry on your skin like calamine does.

  • J V
    J V Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I love all these amazing ideas! My first line of defense has been BiteMD from Cutter. It's super effective on bee stings and mosquitoes. Smells like camphophenique. Not so sure how natural it is. (Benzocaine and phenol are active ingredients. I don't know what they are.) But I will definitely try some of these other ideas in the future!

    I've never been around chiggers, but for nasty bug and spider bites, (even the ones that the doctors say will never heal), ring worm, and puncture wounds that are red or starting to streak, not open wounds though (clean and close the wound in a normal manner-this is for if infection starts in afterwards) we have always used a blue rock called copper sulfate. It is super poisonous on the inside the body, so keep it carefully put away from kids, but so helpful on the outside of the body, an antibiotic, I believe, that really seems to penetrate through the skin. Get it wet just a little and rub it on the bite or ring worm site, a few times a day if it is bad. Let the blue moisture dry. It won't feel real good for a few minutes (sometimes about 20 minutes) but it will draw the poison out and heal really well with time. For puncture wounds I soak a cotton ball with blue water from setting the rock in a little water, then apply the cotton ball to the puncture site with tape or a bandage and let it set for a few hours checking it every 10-15 minutes to make sure the blood streaking is going away and not spreading. It should withdraw and go away pretty quickly, (like the first or second check, 20-30 minutes,) if it doesn't you need professional help right away. I haven't had it not fix the problem yet though.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    You bet! I think we should turn this into an article!!! :)