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Chigger killing environments

 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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Has anyone here found a successful way to reduce/eliminate a chigger population through changing the environment? In other words, have you been able to introduce chigger predators to your environment, and what have you found that works best here in the ozarks? (A list of predators at the bottom of this page... http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/chigger.htm) While there is snow on the ground I'm starting my battleplan for the spring. Any other ideas on how to kill these mother f*ckers?
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Josh,

We have an abundance of predators due to planting plenty of what draws in the predators. Bad news...the chiggers are still winning! We have actual scars as a result of being eaten alive by those little devils! We have also had no real luck with the numerous items used to repel or block them. We are in central Virginia and chiggers are very bad here; in fact, I do not think it is possible to be any worse! I do hope some else has found a successful solution before it gets warm again. A warm day last week had me dreading their arrival, too.
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 468
Location: Eastern Kansas
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We have plenty of ants but we also have chiggers!

When I mow my lawn I will often run the lawnmower in a path from the house to the garden and other points of interest. The lawn mower delivers to the side, and so the little pests are vacuumed up and tossed aside. Of course they come back, but it reduces the bites.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Hello, Josh and welcome to permies! It's good to have more Ozarks folks here

i think we only have chiggers in the mowed lawn....ours lawn area gets smaller each year as we let more grow up and plant other things. Even so over a wet summer they are bad and especially in newly mown grass. We have put a lot of faith in two guineas to eat ticks and maybe some chiggers this year.

edit to add...I think diet might play a part in how much we are bit...or even one's age. I know that when I was younger, but also eating much more meat and SUGAR, I would pick up chiggers where ever we were...totally raw ankles all summer. This is kind of an 'I don't know' answer I guess.
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@Judith...

You may have something there! However, I do know firsthand that your one suggested cause / effect is incorrect. Our personal, lifelong diet precludes what you thought may be the catalyst. That being said, it is a known fact that mosquitoes eat some people more than others...So, it is reasonable to think chiggers are drawn to certain people for a reason! Which could include actual biological factors that may change over a persons lifetime...as you observed in your own life. Any science to back this up, from anyone, would be great! We also, get bit up all the time in non-lawn areas; so for us at least, I think it is a matter of an overpopulation of the devils. When we first moved here, we also had a massive amount of ticks...being bit on the elevated front porch within a minute of going out the door. We picked up about a dozen roosters and things have gotten better, but, they are still abundant as well.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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Judith Browning wrote:Hello, Josh and welcome to permies! It's good to have more Ozarks folks here

i think we only have chiggers in the mowed lawn....ours lawn area gets smaller each year as we let more grow up and plant other things. Even so over a wet summer they are bad and especially in newly mown grass. We have put a lot of faith in two guineas to eat ticks and maybe some chiggers this year.

edit to add...I think diet might play a part in how much we are bit...or even one's age. I know that when I was younger, but also eating much more meat and SUGAR, I would pick up chiggers where ever we were...totally raw ankles all summer. This is kind of an 'I don't know' answer I guess.


I know guineas will eat ticks, but do they eat chiggers? Has anyone had any luck with diatomaceous earth killing the little scar creators? It seems to me that DE would be a hard way to go, because chiggers cover such a wide area.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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Through a little research I found that Jewelweed(Impatiens capensis) is commonly used to treat bites and stings and such. Although it doesn't kill chiggers, it seems that it does help reduce their effects. This is a plant I haven't tried. Anyone having success with it?
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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So has anyone had any experience with Pyrethrum as an organic pesticide? See Mother Earth article about it HERE. Tansy is another one I've found that is used to repel mosquitoes, beetles, and ticks, but they don't mention chiggers. Wiki HERE
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@Josh...

We test patched DE last year...no luck. Spreading it everywhere may work; however, we will not do that since it will kill our good bugs too. We used an rx cream from the doctor that helped with the swelling and itching as none of the natural formulas helped us. Also, no natural topicals kept them off of us. This winter we have been drinking our coffee with 1/4 chicory; as I remember, that it is ofen drank in the south to ward off all biters. We bought it in bulk on Amazon, so it was fairly freshly packed and not costly. My spouse likes it; I taste a chemical taste from it...but, I will drink it all April preparing for the May-Sept. onslaught. I will report back on our results; but, you may just want to give it a shot too!
 
michael Egan
Posts: 68
Location: central illinois
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We're in central Illinois, also chigger country. Last Spring (2014) I bought a 10 lb. bag of "feed grade" sulfur powder and used it this season. I'm cautiously optimistic, I did get bit but I think the times I got bit most were when I either didn't use the sulfur or was lax about applying it. I found the best technique was to put some in a sock and swing/hit myself all over with it, carrying the sock around my belt also in order to re-apply. I'm going to stay with sulfur next year and be more disciplined about using/carrying it along with the other known practices including showers when I come in, pants tucked in, long sleeves, etc.
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@ Micheal...

We will check into the sulfur; have not tried that yet. On the use of chicory...


I did not get bit at all for months...then I stopped drinking chicory...and my feet are killing me as I type! The buggers got me on single trip in the yard in flip flops. (I now have my chicory coffee in hand even as I write, lol) I thought chicory had not been the cause / effect because my spouse was bit up all summer (about half as much as prior year) while drinking the chicory also. Our experience indicates it does work very well for certain body chemistry and not so well for others.
 
John Pollard
Posts: 125
Location: Ozarks
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I call them little bastards myself. I've always read they live in tall grass, over 6 inches and have noticed that's when I get them most but can also get them in the woods. Chickens won't eat them as they're too small for them to see but keets are supposed to eat them. My son and I are chigger magnets but wife and daughter don't get them. We pretty much all eat the same things so I don't know if diet makes a difference but I just started eating quite a bit of garlic for health reasons and am hoping it will help. Will help with the skeeters at least.
 
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