How To Stop the Insane Itch of Chigger Bites

Chiggers.  One mention of the word is likely to fill southerners with dread.  The itch of their bite is so intense that it can only be described as torture.

For those of you who aren't familiar with these evil little creatures, a chigger is a small mite that lives in tall grass or shrubs in damp or humid areas, a.k.a the south.  During their larva stage, they leap onto humans or animals and feast on the liquid in the skin cells.  Gross, right?

Unfortunately for us humans, the chiggers are so small that they can't be seen with the naked eye and a person won't know that they've been bitten until the itchy welt appears.  They frequently congregate in the damp (sweaty) areas on the body: armpits, under waistbands or bra straps, groin and inside socks.

I had my first chigger encounter just weeks after moving to Nashville in 1994.  Being the Colorado girl that I am, I foolishly assumed that the bites on my ankles were from a pesky mosquito.  I applied a little cortisone cream and went about my business.  The only problem was that the cream did little to stop the insane itch.  I lost sleep and scratched my ankles until they bled.

One day as I was strolling the aisles of my neighborhood grocery store, a kind old lady noticed my plight.  She explained to me who the real culprits were and suggested that I paint the chigger bites with nail polish.  This seals the bites from the air thus reducing the itch.  It helped a little, but I was still miserable for weeks.

Last week, the boy and I found ourselves in an area that unbeknownst to us was infested with chiggers.  While the boy's bites were located all over his body, mine seemed to be clustered on the backs of my knees and in my groin.  I was thrilled because nothing is more horrifying than the sight of a 39-year-old woman frantically scratching her crotch.

I took handfuls of Benadryl and tried applying calamine lotion, nail polish and the prescription cortisone cream that my doctor prescribed for my last bout of poison ivy.  Nothing worked.  Then a friend suggested I try something a little different...

© shoutingforha
...Anbesol (I bought the generic version).  A little dab of the magical liquid seemed to numb the nerves and provide almost instant relief from the itching.  I plan on keeping a bottle in my medicine cabinet in the event that I have another unfortunate encounter with chiggers.

If you find yourself plagues with bug bites that just won't stop itching, give Anbesol a try.  It just might provide the relief that your skin so desperately desires.


This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family.  Pop by for some more handy tips.

17 comment(s). Leave yours!:

Kay said... Best Blogger Tips

This is brilliant! Last time I got into some chiggers, I thought I would just like to die before it was all over. Miserable. So nice to know there is something out there that might actually help! : )

Itching in cast said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome post !I reading your blog today it's very interesting and informative for everyone i waiting your next post.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

It's 3am and I was going crazy itching from recent chiggar bites. Out of desperation I got on the Internet. Thank You!!! It worked!

shoutingforha said... Best Blogger Tips

@Anonymous I'm so glad it helped!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG!!! I could kiss you!! My @ girls and myself get attacked every summer and nothing ever seams to help but this WORKS!!! I may not know you but I think I love you!!!

shoutingforha said... Best Blogger Tips

@Anonymous I am so happy that you are finally getting some relief. May your summer be itch free!

michelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I didn't even have to go outside to get chiggers, my dogs bring them in to me...while I sleep. I'll have to give this a try, I have four bites on my legs (2 each) that are driving me insane!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

3 AM now for me as well.. These things are all over my legs, and I can't sleep. I NEED to get some of this stuff :(

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I see this is an older thread, but Behadryl itch stopping gel works AMAZING. I now purchase the CVS version, less expensive, but it stops all itching immediately.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

God bless you!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Not only is this interesting and helpful, but it cleared up some chigger myths that I had been told, as well. Thanks for this!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I've always used fingernail polish but I recently used clorox in the bath tub and that really worked well.

c.w.frosting said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you! Need to buy this immediately! -caroline

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Dora Weber said... Best Blogger Tips

WOW! For the first time in nearly a week, I have some relief. The itching is bad during the day but at night while I'm trying to sleep, I scratch my feet and ankles so much that I tear the skin. (I even had to trim my fingernails just so they wouldn't gouge so deeply!) This tip is EXCELLENT and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Heather said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have over 60 bites on each leg and have been trying all kinds of products and home remedies and was still in total misery. I bought a bottle, put it on the bites 4 hours ago and no itching or pain yet! I am so incredibly grateful for this tip!!!

Артур Ефремов said... Best Blogger Tips

In my case i use this product Repel 100 Insect Repellent. So i remove them so fast. But i hear about another spray called Bugs BeGone Repellent, anyone hear about it?

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