Chiggers; those pesky little buggers

Today we will go in a different direction.  We are going to discuss a nice little
friend that plagues people in many parts of the world. That little friend is known by the common name of Chigger, or Chiggers. You have to say it in the plural form because with
them you don't just get one, you get a bunch. 
So what are Chiggers? They are essentially a little immature mite. In mites you have them
in 4 stages. They are as follows; Egg, Larva, Nymph and Adult stages. There are many different species but as a general rule, Chiggers is what we are discussing and they
are the mites in the Larva stage.  What happens in this cycle of these buggers is that the adult mite lays the egg(s). with most people in dealing with Chiggers is that
they usually become exposed to them in the nature environment.  This is usually in the tall grasses, forest areas and such.  Because of how the adult lays their eggs, in clusters, then moving on, you can become exposed to the chiggers in a specific spot and yet 20 feet
ways another person can be totally free of them, because they didn't come in close enough contact for the Chiggers, in their Larval stage, to "hop aboard" their host. They
generally detect the presence of the prospective host by the carbon dioxide expression of the
host. Once the Chigger hops aboard, it will then feed off of the skin of the host. It generally
will eat the skin, not necessarily the blood as most parasites do. They then gorge themselves, fall off the host then move on to their next stages. Then it becomes a whole
different game.
In this discussion we are focusing on the Chiggers and how to work with them, so we
won't go into the adult mites, etc., although that area is fascinating to the nth. degree, at least for me anyway. So since we are dealing with these little buggers, the questions float around.  One question that is commonalty asked is this;  Why do they bother us as
humans?  Well humans are really just an accidental host, sort of an afterthought for lack of a better host. They prefer birds, reptiles, etc. I guess some part of their evolution has taught them that humans are not the best hosts for a number of reasons. But when the clock is ticking and they need to eat or die, those little Chiggers make due with
what is there.  
What they do is attach to the skin, burrow in a touch to anchor in, then they go just
below the surface of the skin and feed off of the skin. I guess the surface skin doesn't taste as good as the subsurface skin does. Anyway, moving on.. once they have their fill, they fall off and move on. When we as humans notice the itchy skin, the red welts, etc., is an indicator
that they have likely moved on. The ones that have causes the problem anyway.  You will likely notice others there, they are likely the newcomers. 
The thing that makes the whole Chigger thing more palatable is that they do serve a very
useful purpose, they really do, at least as adults. The role they play in nature is very useful. One of their roles is to eat mosquito larva, which they do a good job at as well as
keeping arthropods in check. One can only hypothesize what life would be with arthropods running around unchecked. The Chiggers that we deal with in North American are generally
not disease carrying and worrying beyond the itch andChiggers; those pesky little buggers irritation of them is about all we have to be concerned with and our extent of our dealing with them. 
When it comes to working with Chiggers people will often treat themselves are they would
most parasites. IE; they treat the blood, which they should as a first go to. But one must keep in mind that the Chigger issue is a dermatitis issue and the sensation to itch is
just your own immune system reacting as it should. So how do you deal with this?   Since we are dealing with and after the fact" situation in this format, we will not really address the precautions due to the limit of time and space here. OK, after the fact; You are itching like mad,
your lower legs are almost raw from that stinking itch, yadda yadda.  Almost anything that can mask the carbon dioxide signature will help. IE; here you are making the larva decide if the stink is worth the meal.  As a general rule the more healthy you are the less likely you
are to be inflicted with a Chigger infestation, a general rule, not absolute. Leiann has a recipe formulation in her book that she has received a high number of testimonials about about how effective it is.  Here it is;  2 oz. of Jojoba Oil, 5 drops of Eucalyptus Citriodora
Essential Oil, 5 drops of Lavender Mailette Essential OIL
and 5 drops of Basil, (Sweet) Essential Oil. Mix those together, apply by rubbing over the areas of exposed skin, legs, feet, etc. Also, as a general rule most of these oils
from plants that are generally eaten as spices will go a long way in helping to repel the Chiggers. However, after the fact of "you"having feed the Chiggers, a number of other
itch preventatives and skin comforting items are a welcome relief. When you treat the skin for the itch derived from chigger bites it is preferable to not use, at least in my
opinion and experience, oils that can cause hyper sensitivity.  These are generally the stronger smelling oils, the Citrus oils, etc.  You would want to use oils
that are going to soothe the skin and take away the desire
to itch.My preference is to use oils that contain a moderate level of beta-caryophyllene.  Many Lavenders (not all) will contain a proper amount of this component.  Many other oils will too. But some of those decisions are already covered for you in some of the oil blends.  The one
blend, Comfort Touch should take care of his itch rather readily when mixed with a small amount of carrier oil. Other oils for external applications are Palmarosa and even Birch.
But the Birch must be mixed with a carrier oil.  Birch should work because of its pain suppression, but using it neat can be very irritating when first applied. I say should, as with most people, doing self help, anyway... it works for me. Tea Tree is another oil that can help, but again, using neat can be rough on you as it is sometimes a little harsh on sensitive skin.
When approaching from inward toward outward, this is meant to mean external application,
such as on the feet, to help the immune system wake up on the side of taking care of business.  The oil here would be Organ Master. Now there are some new blends coming out right shortly that will help in this area as well, but I don't have the authorization to really tell
you about them here. They really are good and you will like them. I will discuss them when I am able to. 
So there you have it, some simple ideas on working with the Chiggers after they have
"whooped up" on you. I may do another discussion dealing with the vectors, mechanisms and parasites in general. Well, it isn't a "may" it is a "I will" as I love the study of them and it really is important to understand the whole deal there.  It gives you more perspective in dealing with the oils and all the other nutritional products. This is no limited to just the physical but the emotional aspect as well. So have a good day. Thank you for the visit. 
Kent King