13 Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

Home remedies for chigger bites

Chiggers, also known as harvest bugs, mower’s mites or harvest lice are tiny arachnid pests that are barely visible to naked eye. Native to almost every country, chiggers can be found wherever there is moist and grassy fields. Areas near streams and lakes are ideal chigger habitats but so, unfortunately, is your lawn. Just like head lice, these creatures are not dangerous but their bites can be irritating, itchy, and painful.[2] So small are they that you will not notice being bitten until an unpleasant rash appears minutes later. If you have a chigger infestation and have been bitten, then don’t worry. Try out our home remedies for chigger bites to get quick relief.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites

Chiggers are small insects, barely 0.3 millimeters long. The adults are either yellow, red or straw colored, yet it is the larvae that actually bite.

To identify chigger bites, look for small pimples or blisters. The symptoms of chigger bites are often confused with hives.  The bites are grouped together and may be extremely itchy as well.

As chigger bites are confused with infectious rashes, a common assumption is that the rash is contagious which it is not.

Chigger bites usually occur in skin folds. However, men can get also get bites in the groin area. This can cause a condition known as “summer penile syndrome.”[4]

This condition comes with itching, swelling, and trouble peeing, but do make sure you are not confusing it with pubic lice. The healing time is a few days to weeks.

Chigger bites from going outside are more common in specific seasons. Chiggers die when it gets hotter than 42 degrees F. When the ground is between 77 to 86 degrees F, these critters are the most active.  Summer, spring, and early fall is the time chiggers come out.[5]

Home remedies for chigger bites

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

  1. Take a Hot Shower

One of the best home remedies for chigger bites is taking a hot shower. If you take a hot shower on time, it can stop the chiggers from biting. Hot showers will stop chiggers from attaching themselves to the skin.

It can also help in preventing the itching that results from a chigger infestation.

A hot shower right after exposure reduces that chance that you need further treatment.

Showering within one hour of exposure can keep chiggers away completely. Use soap and scrub a lot for even better results.

  1. Use Baking Soda Paste

This is one of the home remedies for chigger bites that work wonders if followed within an hour. All you need is baking soda and water.[6] Mix an equal amount of water and baking soda. This will create a paste. Rub it on the exposed parts in the shower.

Let the paste stay for a few minutes. Rinse off later in a gentle manner. This is simple yet effective. It can also aid bad itching on chigger bites. You can also try this remedy if you already have bites on your body.

When you apply the paste of soda and water, it might sting. But a little sting can get rid of bad itch which can keep you up at night.

If you like taking baths, try adding a cup of baking soda to your bathtub. The water has to be cold and not warm. After stirring, you can soak for 10-20 minutes.

Do this every day until the bites are gone.

  1. Spray on Bites

Using herbal tea and salt water as a spray is another simple remedy to treat chigger bites. remedies for chigger bites. Chamomile tea is the most effective.[7] Just add a few tablespoons of sea salt to one cup of tea.

Make sure that the tea is strong. You can add the mixture to a spray bottle and keep it in the fridge.  The mixture will ease the itching and reduce redness as well.

  1. Try Salt

If you try this home remedy for chigger bites, be ready for a little sting. It hurts but it is very effective.

Salt is said to neutralize the spit of the chigger. This is important as it is the spit that causes the bite wound as chiggers do not suck blood, but use their saliva to dissolve your skin. The liquified skin is then sucked up!

The best way to use salt is by mixing it with a soothing agent such as Vicks Vaporub. Apply the mixture to the affected area. You can keep using it until the inflammation is gone.

Vicks Vaporub is a popular medicine that contains menthol. The menthol will cool down and soothe the itching after usage. It will also reduce any chance of blisters.

  1. Apply Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera gel is known to have a cooling effect. Many people use it for inflammation on the skin. It is also a fantastic home remedy to get rid of chigger bites. You can also use the gel direct from the plant on your bites.[8]

Essential oils can be used as a carrier to make a chigger bite lotion. Mix ¼ cup of aloe vera gel with one drop of peppermint essential oil. Rub over the affected parts to soothe them.

  1. Use Castor Oil

Using castor oil is one of the home remedies for chigger bites suggested by entomologists. It is an old remedy that works in a slow way. All you need to do is apply a few drops of castor oil to the bites.

This remedy does not work as fast as the others. But if you have nothing but castor oil, you can always give it a try. It does relieve itching and swelling of the skin.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are two ways to use apple cider for chigger bites. For the first one, you only need a bathtub filled with warm water and the vinegar.

Add two cups of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar into your bathtub. You can soak for up to 15 minutes but use a moisturizer after the bath. Do not let your skin dry out.

The other way to use apple cider vinegar is by applying it directly on the bites. You can use cotton balls. The vinegar has to be raw and unfiltered in this method as well. Leave the vinegar for at least thirty minutes before washing.

You can follow both of the methods until your bites go away. If you are applying apple cider vinegar direct on bites, try to do that 2-3 times a day. Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and anti-itching properties. It will help reduce swelling.

  1. Go for Olive Oil

Olive oil contains antioxidants and vitamin E. It is one of the great home remedies for chigger bites. It also speeds up the healing process. You can apply drops of olive oil to the bites after you wash them. This should be done 2-3 times a day.

You can also use olive oil in combination with honey or tea tree oil. Mix equal amounts of honey and olive oil and use the mixture to dab the chigger bites. Olive oil can also be used with a few drops of tea tree oil which has antiseptic properties.

This step may be followed until the bites heal completely.

  1. Bath with Oatmeal

Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritating, and soothing properties. Choosing this remedy out of all other home remedies for chigger bites is a good idea if you have a bad itch.

To follow this step, you need colloidal oatmeal. This is a fine and powdered form of oats. Take a cup of colloidal oatmeal and add it to your bathtub. The water has to be lukewarm. Stir till the granules are well-distributed. [9]

Soak yourself in the bath for about 15-20 minutes. You might need to do this more than once or twice. The amount will depend on the condition of your chigger bites.

  1. Rinse with Indian Lilac

Indian lilac can be effective in easing itching and inflammation. It is also known as neem. If you are concerned about the chigger bites becoming infected, then this is one of the best home remedies for chigger bites.[10]

Add a handful of neem to 2-cups of water. After the water boils, leave it to simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain the water after 15 minutes and let it cool down. Use this water to rinse affected areas.

Natural creams and lotions with Indian lilac can also be used. You can use moisturizers with neem to keep the skin hydrated.

  1. Use a Cold Compress

This is th home remedy that you can follow when you do not have anything else. A cold compress can numb the bite areas. This reduces the itching sensation.

You only need ice cubes and a cloth for this remedy. Wrap a few ice cubes in the cloth. Then, compress this on the itchy areas for around ten minutes. You can also do this several times to get rid of the itching.

Make sure the cloth you use is clean. If you have cuts due to scratching, using dirty cloth can cause an infection. It is also suggested to take a break before compressing again.

If you do not have cubes to hand, then dip the bitten area in cold water. It can help with the itching but the water has to be ice-cold.

  1. Apply Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is among the popular home remedies for chigger bites.  It can be useful for swelling and inflammation.[11]

Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt to a glass of water. Stir until it is dissolved. Apply to the chigger bites and keep it on for 15-30 minutes.

  1. Try Aspirin

Many people swear by aspirin to treat chigger bites. It is also a popular remedy for yellow jacket stings and bed bug bites. The reason why it is effective is because asparin helps to break down the toxic proteins in the saliva of the chigger. It also is a mild analgesic, soothing the scorched skin.

Crush aspirin tablets and combine them with water. Rub the paste on the chigger bites. Try to keep the applied paste dry.


  • You can try natural cooling creams for redness and itching
  • Keep the bites clean and away from dirt
  • Clean the bites before using anything on them


  • Do not scratch too hard on the bites
  • Avoid touching the bites time and again
  • Do not use ointments for other skin conditions on the bites


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