It seems that no matter how careful I am, once a year I get covered in chigger bites and they itch like crazy.

Last year I went blackberry picking in the woods and got them.  This year I wasn’t going near those woods but apparently Speck got too close to the edge of the yard when we were out walking the other day and he must’ve gotten them and shared them with me.  I haven’t noticed him scratching but I can bet he’s noticed me scratching!  We have several anti-itch creams here because Vince and Chad are both allergic to poison ivy.  There are lots of grandma’s remedies for everything and they often work better than storebought stuff.

What’s your sure cure remedy for chiggers?  Tell me quickly please!  🙂


  1. 1

    Brenda B. says

    I put fingernail polish on them. Jerry went fishing the other day and got some on him. I was telling a kid at work and he said he heard to go to a swimming pool with chlorine will stop the itching. Good luck!

  2. 4

    lw says

    Warm, soapy bath; rub the area well with a wash cloth. When you get out of the tub, use your hydrocortisone cream. Don’t scratch if it itches, pat it.

  3. 5


    I lived in Texas for years as a kid and was covered in them for the entire summer ever year, or so it seemed. The only cure that ever worked for me was a long dip in the pool. I think it must have been the chlorine in the pool, because a bath tub wasn’t the same.

  4. 6

    SarahB says

    My parents always used nail polish on us but I think lw is right to use the hydrocortisone cream, it heals the bite faster. Also take a benedryl (or any kind of antihistimine) since it’s really just an allergic reaction.

  5. 7

    WiAmy says

    White vinegar works on mosquito bites. I wonder if it would help these. With mosquito bites, vinegar stings at first and then within 5 minutes all the itching and entire bite disappears. It only works on fresh bites that haven’t been scratched!

  6. 8

    Katherine says

    My son got chiggers when we were camping and he was a toddler. I put him in the tub with a very mild bleach water and poured it over him. Stopped the itching quite nicely.

  7. 9

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    When my then-BF and I camped just outside of Dallas way back when, it was Chigger-ville. OMG. We found out the next evening, when we got back to his house in Baton Rouge. We spent a LOT of time hunting down each chigger bite and smothering those little demons with fingernail polish. I can’t remember whether the cortisone creams were non-prescription yet or not, but my doctor was in Atlanta–where *I* lived–so the fingernail polish was ready to hand!
    We wanted to be doing *something* about it, in any case. Just sitting and waiting for the next day would’ve driven us nuts.

  8. 10


    I am reading all answers to see if it will work for me! I get them too Judy – for some reason what helps me best is to scratch them and actually have an open head on it then alcohol-burns but seems to help them from itching so much for me. I have no chlorine pool or I would surely try that. I will try the fingernail polish next time, I have a clear bottle on hand.

  9. 11

    Debbie says

    They don’t seem to bother me… ( I have been told its because I am a sourpuss) but my husband does the rubbing alcohol..

  10. 12


    Oh, I hate chiggers, used to get them every summer at camp. I agree w/going in the pool and nail polish. Good luck getting rid of them.

  11. 13

    Melissa says

    If the chlorine pool works, then put some bleach in your bath! My niece and nephew have excema, and the doctor told their mom that chlorine baths were the best thing for them. They get a chlorine bath every night. Hope this helps you out!

  12. 14

    Charlene says

    My mother always used clear fingernail polish to smother them so they would quit moving around under the skin. We were never allowed to touch Queen Anne’s lace – they were loaded with chiggers. I was surprised when I went to Northern Michigan and their Queen Anne’s Lace didn’t have chiggers. I still itch when I see that flower(?) in a flower arrangement.

  13. 15

    Diane Hines says

    The best thing I have found is Chiggerex. It is a cream that comes in a white jar with red letters and a red top. It works much better than nail polish. When I was a kid at Girl Scout camp, I would have over 100 chigger and mosquito bites at a time. I used nail polish, but they still itched for over a week. I would scratch off the polish because they itched so much, then reapply it. There is also some stuff that you can soak your socks in that keeps them away I think it is Pyrethine. I have not idea how to spell it. I got some once in a camping or sporting goods store. It works well. Good luck.

  14. 18

    Debra says

    If you take a bleach bath as soon as you get home, you’ll have very few of them hanging around. We lived on a farm, and my husband swore by the bleach baths. I’ll bet it’s the same as jumping in a swimming pool.

  15. 19

    Jeanette says

    I may be a bit older than some other folks, or live a little further out in the sticks! My GGM was always out in the woods digging ginseng and other herbs. Her sure-fire cure was to dab the critters with used bacon grease. Worked for us. Anything that will cut off their oxygen and kill them will start the healing. Then to deal with the itch. Baking soda paste helped with that. Good luck!

  16. 20

    JoAn GODFREY says

    seems like my brother used baby oil. the chiggers can’t breathe and die.

  17. 21

    Karen says

    I can’t help you since you already got them. But for the future, Avon’s Skin So Soft bath oil does the trick for chiggers and ticks.
    Put it on before you go outside and you won’t have any problems.
    I think Bandaide brand makes an anti-itch gel that works pretty good.

  18. 22

    Mary Jo says

    I’m part of the nail polish crowd. When I was a kid I got them several times every summer (slow learner I guess!) The nail polish did work for me.

  19. 23


    I have always heard to take a warm bath with a little clorox in the water. As soon as I return from berry picking in the woods that is what I do. I hate those little buggers! Since we have no berry crop this year due to the drought, I haven’t had red bugs this year. Sure do miss the berries, but I DON’T miss the red bugs!
    Kat in Tamale Land

  20. 24

    Hilary McDaniel says

    My hubby taught me to put bleach in a tub of water. Kills them instantly. You only need 1/4 c. and it’s not bad. It works everytime. We’re in the woods and I’m a magnet. I put about 5 ”
    water, just enough to be able to dunk into. You have to “soak” for a few minutes; then I empty, refill w/olive oil drops in the water and my skin no longer itches. It really works; That nail polish thing doesn’t work for 100+ bites Way too much yuck on my skin. Try it

  21. 25

    Julianne says

    A long time ago I had a Doctor tell me to put sulphur powder around my ankles socks shoes waist band …you get the idea….dust yourself with the stuff. Apparently chiggers do not like sulphur and don’t bother you in the first place. Or you can simply just not wear any fitted clothing.. Maybe something that kind of hangs from the shoulder and doesn’t touch you any where.. Oh and you have to go with out undies..Yes that is what he told me. LOL The sulphur does seem to help if I remember correctly. after they already get on you….Nothing helps for long. I am allergic to the chigger or the protein of the chigger and I get big water blisters from them so I will do almost anything to avoid them.

  22. 26

    Cheryl L says

    Clear fingernail polish……it seals them off from the air they need. We went through several bottles every summer when I was a kid in MO.

  23. 27

    Carol says

    Another fingernail polish gal here. And when I went to summer school on an island in Lake Erie, there was this sulfur powder that you applied in all “tight” places like waist bands, sock cuffs, etc. That kept them off…

  24. 29

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    Benadryl spray! It helps the itch but the spray dries and seals the bite, cutting off the oxygen to the chigger! (There is also a benadryl gel and a creme but for this issue…spray is the best.)

  25. 30


    I don’t think we have chiggers, but I’ve been bitten by many a mosquito (the Oregon State Bird), and no-see-ums. Biggest relief? Ammonia. Or, you could go get one of those bug bite relief pens — but they are full of ammonia.

  26. 31

    shari says

    We were a clear nail polish family. Mom also used witch hazel when I was particularly itchy. Biting bugs will come from a tri-county area to find me so itchy is/was a way of life for me.
    Get well soon.

  27. 33

    Alberta in N GA says

    another vote for the fingernail polish… you really should use the clear as the color can stain your skin and will take a while to fade.

  28. 35

    katie says

    I get bites from ant when I’m out in my yard. they get big and welt up, get hot and then burn. I found this stuff that at least slows it down and it is called Chigarid. It is a little brown bottle and does the fingernail coating as well as a menthal smell.
    I read in a newspaper artical, to help with you reaction to poison ivy to rub the inside of a banana peal on the area for releaf. some thing to think about ..

  29. 36


    Ummm……my comment won’t help you at all, but after reading all the other comments (specially Charlene’s)…..I simply have to say:
    I’ve never heard of a chigger (northern Wisconsin here), and you can keep them all down by you. Charlene’s comment of “moving around under the skin” gave me an image that literally made me say EWWWWW and shudder. I can only sympathize with you Judy!!!!!

  30. 37

    Freda Henderson says

    Dab them with bleach and they don’t itch anymore. I just put some bleach on tissue and dab them on the chigger bites.

  31. 38


    gram used to put campho phenic on chigger bites, but i don’t even know if you can still get that these days! hope you get some relief.

  32. 39

    Charlene Tudor says

    Altho we used nail polish when I was a kid, I’ve since learned that the itching is from the chigger’s saliva….the little bugger isn’t really under the skin. They love me and my back yard is full of them – I keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the bathroom and everytime I have my pants down to go to the bathroom I douse those bites. I’ve also found hydrocortisone cream works. Also teatree oil. I’ve been told about sulpher being a deterrent also – old fashioned remedy is to fill an old sock with sulpher powder and bang it against your ankles before you go out to keep them off. They have to have something to push against to bite you, which is why they go for the backs of the knees and around the elastic on underwear. Also, they don’t like heat so — stay out of the shade if you have a choice….

  33. 40

    Nancy says

    As Charlene just said, chiggers don’t burrow into your skin. They feed on skin cells. A google search will give you correct information about chiggers.

  34. 41


    Cheap Ammonia. We buy it by the half-gallon for cleaning (outside and inside), but I always keep a bottle of it in the shower JUST for chiggers. Pour it on a washcloth and rub the spots with it.

    I GUARANTEE it will work…or it has on five of us. If I’m desperate, I just pour it right onto me (yes, get out of there or the fumes will get you)
    Rubbing alcohol doesn’t work on me, or does fingernail polish. The Chiger-aid or Chiger-rid is just a mild form of ammonia. I’m telling you WHAT WORKS!!! We have them like crazy…AND seed-ticks. YUCK!

  35. 42


    Hubby swears by the nail polish method. He once advised some affected co-workers of this method and they came back to work with little red splotches of nail polish all over their bodies. They didn’t think about using the clear polish. Got quite a laugh.

  36. 45


    OMG. I remember our first bout with chiggers, tromping through a 10-acre farm we were looking at to buy. Hadn’t been mowed all Spring and the chiggers about jumped down our throats. Chiggerex is the stuff to buy. Cheap at the pharmacy and works like a charm.

  37. 47


    A hot soapy bath as soon as I come out of the woods, and when I get the chiggers “CHIGGER X” you can buy it at walmart, it is a god send!!!!