A small pest that feeds on humans and pets, chiggers cause painful bite marks that turn into welts and last for a week or more. Chiggers are the larva of trombiculid mites and typically live outside. However, they can attach themselves to your clothing and your pets and hitch a ride in to your home. The best defense against chiggers is prevention. By taking the necessary steps, you can rid your home of chiggers and keep them from returning.
Mow your grass regularly. A trimmed lawn is less appealing to chiggers than an overgrown one. This is especially important in the warm months from spring to fall when the chiggers are most active. Also keep weeded areas and brush trimmed.
Spread diatomaceous earth over your lawn. Diatomaceous earth contains tiny sharp edges, which will damage the chiggers as they crawl through it. Use a ratio of 5 lbs. of diatomaceous earth per every 1,000 square feet. Alternatively, apply the same ratio of dusting sulfur over your lawn.
Launder clothing worn when visiting a chigger prone area immediately in the hottest water temperature allowed for the fabric. The hot water will kill any chiggers attached to the clothing.
Wash bedding--including your pet's bedding--as you normally would except use the hottest water temperature allowed for the fabric. Immediately place the bedding in a dryer and dry with heat.
Bathe pets regularly in warm water with flea and tick shampoo. The shampoo will kill any chiggers living on your pet. Rinse your pet thoroughly with warm water and towel dry.
Bathe thoroughly in a hot bath or shower immediately following visits to a chigger-prone area. Take this time to examine your body for possible chiggers. Check hair, underarms and other areas chiggers may be hiding.
Vacuum your home regularly. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum fabric chairs and sofas. Dump the contents of the vacuum canister into a plastic bag and secure closed. Place the bag outside away from your home.