Many essential oils can keep insects and arthropods-including chiggers in the bay while you’re working in your garden or outdoors. However, this article focuses entirely on the essential oils for chiggers.
Like some other bugs found outdoors, chiggers attach themselves to the surface of the skin using their mouths. The attachment doesn’t typically hurt, but the fluid chiggers insert into the skin can cause itchiness in the affected areas.
If you want to use a natural product to deter chiggers, then essential oils may be the solution. Even though essential oils are natural, care may be necessary to prevent them from causing skin irritation. Also, use a few additions to make the oils as effective as possible.
In this article:
What are Chiggers?
Chiggers are minuscule orange mites (related to spiders and ticks). The larvae crawl inside human skin and excrete enzymes to digest the skin of the host. Common belief is that chiggers burrow under the skin.
They do not. Attaching themselves to the surface of the skin, they send out a feeding tube and imbibe the digested skin. These enzymes are what are responsible for the intense itching.
For more, read Essential Oils for Wasp Sting.
Essential Oils for Chiggers
Essential oils for chiggers are highly effective at both keeping the mites away and treating the bites if they’ve already occurred. Even more, ssential oils are oils that are directly extracted from a plant in a very concentrated fashion.
These oils should always be used with care and not on or near children or companion animals without checking with a medical professional first. Let’s go over which essential oils to use for both situations.
Those essential oils include:
Covering up the skin is the number one way to keep chiggers away. A great option for chigger repellent is to mix up this blend of essential oils, keep it in a spray bottle and spray on clothes and/or exposed skin when going into an area where chiggers are suspected to live.
Chigger Repellant Spray
To a 2 ounce glass spray bottle, add the following:
- 1.5 ounces of distilled water
- 1 teaspoon witch hazel
- 3-5 drops clove essential oil
- few 3-5 drops thyme essential oil
- 3-5 drops lemongrass essential oil
- some 3-5 drops citronella essential oil
After being bit by chiggers, the main goals are to stop the itching and speed up the healing of the bites.
To immediately relive itching, make up the following mixture in a glass bottle and spray directly on the bites:
- 1-2 ounces of distilled water
- 1 teaspoon of witch hazel
- few 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5-10 drops thyme essential oil
- 5-10 drops tea tree essential oil
To promote healing (while also providing some itch relief, consider using lavender essential oil mixed into semi-solid coconut oil to make a salve. This can be applied several times a day to speed up the healing process while nourishing and protecting the skin.
For more, we recommend you take a look at our article Essential Oils for Mononucleosis: Recognize Mono Symptoms
Others Ways To Repel Chiggers Naturally
Some swear by this method! Apparently, chiggers do not like marigolds, so plant some around your home. Not only will you repel chiggers, your flower garden will be extra beautiful.
Diatomaceous Earth (for your clothes and yard)
For this method, use only food-grade DE only for your clothes and lawn.
Chiggers hate this stuff! Before leaving the house, dust a little food-grade DE on the bottom of your pants (about 6 inches upward), your socks around ankles, and your shirt sleeves.
For your lawn, sprinkle food grade DE to repel chiggers. The rule of thumb for this method is 5 pounds per 1000 square feet.
Keep Your Lawn Mowed
Chiggers love to hang out in tall grass and weeds. Keeping your lawn mowed as short as you can will help prevent chigger infestations.
Wear pantyhose underneath your pants. This is a popular method due to the fact that chiggers can’t bite through pantyhose material.
Spray your clothes with white distilled vinegar before heading outdoors. Some people do this and never turn back to any other method!
Hit The Shower
Every single time I spend any time outdoors, I head straight for the shower after I come back inside. It takes time for chiggers to pierce the skin, so the sooner you can take a hot shower, the better! I also recommend using antibacterial soap.
Using sulfur to repel chiggers is a well known and very effective repellent.
- Sulfur Powder – Dust your clothes and shoes with sulfur powder before heading outside.
- Sulfur Pellets – You can also spread sulfur pellets around your lawn to repel chiggers. The suggestion for this method is to do so before it becomes extremely hot out. However, this method is not recommended if you have pets.
- Sulfur Supplements – My mom swears by this method! My great grandmother used to give my mom sulfur tablets and the bugs really stayed away. You can buy sulfur tablets online HERE.
Before taking any sulfur supplements, please consult with your primary care physician if you have any known medical conditions, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are taking any prescription medications.
Eat a single clove of garlic daily to repel chiggers. Garlic is a great mosquito repellent as well.
There are many essential oils to fight chiggers. There are natural remedies available as well. Each of them has its own properties that work to alleviate the pain, soothe your skin, and prevent further infections. Moreover, they contain less if no harmful chemicals that can cause further damage.
It is also important to note your allergies so you can prevent further infection. Lastly, consult a physician right away, especially if the infection seems to be spreading or getting worse.
We hope this article has been helpful to you. Please share it with anyone who you think will appreciate the information!