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Chiggers can cause an enormous amount of discomfort, biting their victims at the hair follicles and creating an intense itch. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not infiltrate human skin. Rather, they sit near the hair follicles and ingest the victim's liquefied tissue. The chigger also injects a digestive enzyme that dissolves skin cells. The bite, coupled with the enzyme, causes those affected by chiggers to experience welt-like bumps and extreme itching. If chiggers venture onto your couch, you must get rid of them or risk getting bitten every time you sit down.
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Vacuum your couch. These microscopic mites will work their way into the crevices and cracks of your couch as well as occupy the cushions. The hose attachment of your vacuum will remove the pests from your couch. Pour boiling water inside the vacuum bag or canister to destroy them. Empty the vacuum bag or the canister's contents into an outside trash can.
Scrub the couch with hot, soapy water to kill the mites. Wash pillows or cushions in the washing machine, if they will fit. Rinse off the soap with hot water and allow it to air dry.
Spray an insecticide safe for indoor use on your couch. Spray the cushions as well as any creases or seams to eliminate the chiggers. While most insecticides are applied directly to the couch, read the directions on your product's label for best results.
Dust powdered sulfur, available at many drugstores, on your socks, shoes and the bottom of your pants. This strong-smelling substance typically repels mites. If the sulfur smell is too offensive, create a mixture of half talcum powder and half powdered sulfur.
Cut your grass short to prevent chiggers from hiding out.
Treat chigger-created welts with local anesthetics such as benzocaine and ammonium hydroxide, usually available at pharmacies.
Heather Vecchioni is a freelance writer in Maryland. Her work has appeared in several animal-interest magazines, as well as Baltimore-area newspapers and publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years and has been writing and editing professionally for over five.