The symptoms of chigger bites are often mistaken for mosquito bites. Both result in raised red welts and are extremely itchy. As chiggers congregate in groups, you may find that you have many bites in one area of your body. Chiggers have difficulty penetrating the skin, so you are likely to find chigger bites in areas of the body with thinner skin such as the ankles, groin area, armpits, and behind the knees.
The Progression of the Bite
Immediately: Chiggers are microscopic, and their bite is not noticeable. The chigger will inject saliva into the host tissue that contains a digestive enzyme that kills the surrounding tissue and causes it to harden into a tube-like structure called a stylostome. The chigger uses this to feed on the now liquefied tissue just like a straw.
1-3 Hours: The enzymes begin to take effect and itchiness sets in. The area around the bite, where the tissue is now dead will harden or rise into a blister-like welt.
1-2 Days: Following the bite the presence of the stylostome continues to cause itchiness. The welt persists and will grow until the chigger ceases feeding wether by itself or by removal.
2 Weeks: The lesion caused by the stylostome can take up to 1-2 weeks to fully heal.
“Chiggers, HYG-2100-98.” Ohioline. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2100.html.
“Chiggers.” Medicinenet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. www.medicinenet.com/chiggers