Enlarged approximately 1,500 times, this chigger looks like the latest sci-fi movie star. In life, chiggers are red, but not from dining on blood as many people think. The larval form of a type of mite, chiggers are barely visible to the naked eye. Courtesy Dr. W. Calvin Webourn and the Ohio State University Acarology Laboratory.




The worst thing about the Missouri summer isn't sunburn, heat or humidity-it's chiggers.

Chiggers first show up as annoying red bumps. An itch begins. It grows. More hard red welts surface. From your feet and ankles upward, and especially at those tender locations your mother told not to scratch in public, a maddening itch takes hold.

Savage scratching begins. Every welt becomes a persistent, exquisitely itching preoccupation that continues to irritate for days and even weeks. You probably recognize these symptoms of chigger bites. Yet we never see the culprits responsible for this summertime agony. What are chiggers? Why do they bite us? How can we stop that horrible itching?

Read the article from the Missouri Department of Conservation...