You’re at the park on a beautiful Sunday morning. Suddenly, one of your kids shows an itchy rash on their ankle.
The likely culprit? Chiggers. These tiny bugs are so small that you can’t see them without a magnifying glass.
Yet, they can still ruin your day. In this article, we’re going to answer the question: are chiggers contagious?
Are Chiggers Contagious?
In short, no. The rash that comes from chiggers can’t be spread to another person.
A chigger can, however, switch from person to person. In that case, a rash would develop, but it wouldn’t be to the rash itself being contagious in any way.
As a parent, if your child gets a rash, you won’t need to worry about getting a rash yourself by helping them. Chiggers are quite the acrobats.
They will often latch onto your shirt or pants, then find a way to your skin. Here, they’ll use their jaw-like claws to make holes.
Finally, they’ll inject their saliva, which will cause your cells to become “mushy”.
Where Are Chiggers Found?
Unfortunately, there’s nowhere on the planet where you can go to escape from chiggers. They live in every country. So, if you’re trying to hide, forget about it.
They are most commonly round in moist, grass-rich areas like forests, open fields, and yes- even your own lawn. They also thrive near streams and lakes.
In the United States, chigger “attacks” are most common in the summer and late spring.
Fortunately, they can’t survive in temperatures below 42-degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in temperatures of about 80-degrees Fahrenheit though.
Baby vs. Adult Chiggers
In the first section, we answered the question: are chiggers contagious? And we discovered that they aren’t.
In this section, we’ll bust another myth: do adult chiggers bite? Once again, the answer is no. An adult chigger does not bite.
It’s the babies that cause the damage. They’re also called larvae and are typically yellow or orange in color.
They’re also quite small (0.3 millimeters in length). These are the key differences between baby and adult chiggers.
How Long Will the Itching Last?
A chigger bite can happen anywhere on the body. However, they are most common on the lower legs and waist.
Although chiggers aren’t contagious per se, they can spread to different areas of your body. After the first hour or so, you might not feel anything.
But after 2-3 hours, you will develop a very powerful itch. The itching from a chigger bite will last about 3-4 days. That can feel like an eternity when you’ve got a severe itch.
What is Summer Penile Syndrome?
This section is for all the men reading. During the summer, it’s possible to get chigger bites on the groin area.
This can cause something known as summer penile syndrome and it’s quite annoying. It leads to itching, difficulty peeing, and more.
It will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It generally doesn’t lead to complications, but it can really ruin your summer.
Don’t Worry- Chiggers Aren’t Contagious
I think we’ve answered the question “Are chiggers contagious?” as best as possible. These rashes won’t spread from person to person.
Another thing- chiggers don’t spread diseases. This is another common myth that people have about them.
Finally, don’t scratch your chigger bite as it could lead to an infection (or simply make it itchier).