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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How Long Do Chiggers Live In Bedding?

My husband thinks he may have chigger bites and probably got them in Mississippi more than a week ago We live in California. Do I need to wash our bedding at home, we have been home more than a week? His red spots showed up a couple of days ago and do not itch. I have no bites. All of his clothing, except one pair of jeans were washed when we returned home.
Tue, 26 Feb 2019
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi,

Chiggers are tiny larvae members of the arachnid family and are sometimes called 'red bugs'.

Only the larvae bite humans. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. Chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva. The saliva contains an enzyme that breaks skin cells down to liquid form.

Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days. Usually they last about 4 days before falling off.

The body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube, or a stylostome through which the chigger sucks the host’s body fluids.

It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for chigger bites to heal. If there is suspect of having chigger bites, immediately wash with soap and water. This will get rid of any remaining chiggers on your body. Then apply an antiseptic to any welts.

Try to avoid scratching, as this can cause infection. You can use over-the-counter anti-itch medications like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. You can also apply ice packs to the bites to relieve the itch.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Ashakiran S, General & Family Physician
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How Long Do Chiggers Live In Bedding?

Hi, Chiggers are tiny larvae members of the arachnid family and are sometimes called red bugs . Only the larvae bite humans. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. Chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva. The saliva contains an enzyme that breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days. Usually they last about 4 days before falling off. The body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube, or a stylostome through which the chigger sucks the host’s body fluids. It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for chigger bites to heal. If there is suspect of having chigger bites, immediately wash with soap and water. This will get rid of any remaining chiggers on your body. Then apply an antiseptic to any welts. Try to avoid scratching, as this can cause infection. You can use over-the-counter anti-itch medications like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. You can also apply ice packs to the bites to relieve the itch. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr. Ashakiran S, General & Family Physician