What are the tiny orange bugs that bite?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

The tiny orange bugs that bite are commonly known as chiggers. These pesky insects are actually the larvae of certain mites belonging to the Trombiculidae family. Chigger bites are most common in the warmer months, particularly in areas with tall grass, weeds, or shrubs.

Personally, I have had the unfortunate experience of encountering chiggers during a camping trip. I remember being covered in small, itchy red bumps after spending the day exploring the woods. It was not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

Chiggers are found in many parts of the world, but they are most prevalent in humid and heavily vegetated areas. They are especially abundant in grasslands, forests, and areas with dense undergrowth. These tiny bugs are barely visible to the naked eye, measuring only about 1/150th of an inch in size.

Chiggers are attracted to warmth and moisture, which is why they tend to bite areas of the body where the skin is thin and folds are present. Common bite locations include ankles, waistbands, underarms, and behind the knees. The bites themselves are often painless initially, but the real trouble begins a few hours later when intense itching sets in.

When chiggers bite, they inject a digestive enzyme into the skin that breaks down skin cells. They then feed on the liquefied skin tissue. The resulting bite marks can be extremely itchy and may develop into small red welts or blisters. Scratching the bites can lead to secondary infections, so it’s important to resist the urge to scratch.

To prevent chigger bites, it’s advisable to wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes when venturing into areas where chiggers are known to be present. Tucking pants into socks or boots can help create a physical barrier, making it more difficult for chiggers to reach the skin. Applying insect repellents containing DEET or permethrin can also be effective in deterring these bugs.

If you do end up with chigger bites, there are several remedies you can try to alleviate the itching. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can provide temporary relief. Taking an antihistamine may also help reduce itching. It’s important to keep the affected area clean and avoid scratching to prevent infection.

The tiny orange bugs that bite are chiggers, the larvae of certain mites. These insects are found in humid and vegetated areas and can cause itchy bites. Taking preventive measures and treating the bites promptly can help minimize the discomfort caused by these annoying bugs.