Chiggers are tiny, almost invisible bugs or pests. Chigger bites can leave you with a horrible itch, rash, and inflamed skin. [1] . In this article, you will find the best essential oils for chigger bites that you can use to heal the bite.

What is Chigger

The scientific name for a chigger is “trombiculid mite.” It is also called red bugs, harvest bugs, harvest mites, harvest lice, and mower’s mites. Chiggers aren’t insects. They’re “arachnids” or tiny larvae like arthropods with four pairs of legs. [1]

As arachnids, chiggers belong to the same family of spiders, ticks, scorpions, and mites.

Chiggers exist in almost every part of the world. They thrive in moist and grassy areas such as forests, fields, lawns, streams, creeks, etc.

An interesting fact is that it is not the adult chiggers that bite. Instead, the larvae members or nymphs attack the humans. [2] [3]

After hatching from the eggs, the larvae clumps in the tall grass, overgrown bushes or leaves. You may, unfortunately, come to their reach while passing by a thick grassy area. [2]

Chiggers may have a variety of colors for example orange, red, or yellow. The tiny mites thrive at a ground temperature that is 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why in the U.S.A. the riskiest period of getting a chigger bite is in the late spring, summer, and early fall. [3]

Some essential oils for chigger bites can relieve the itch, irritation, swellings, and related symptoms.

Best Essential Oils for Chiggers Bites

Essential oils are home remedies for numerous skin disorders. The oils contain strong anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antimicrobial and calming properties. These components make them the most effective home remedies for chigger bites. [5] [6]

Here are the top essential oils for chiggers that may work:

1. Lavender Oil Lavender-oil

The lavender essential oil has a calming effect on the body and mind. The oil originates from the lavender flowers through steam distillation.  

Its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and sedative components can relieve the itch, pain, and discomfort. Lavender oil gets absorbed into the skin and reduces inflammation. [7]

How to use lavender oil for chiggers bites:

You can dilute 3-5 drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut or jojoba). Now soak a cotton ball with the mixture and attach it to the chigger affected skin area.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is the most potent anti-inflammatory agent in the world. The oil comes from the leaves of the medicinal tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia plants.

Tea tree oil has strong antiseptic qualities. The oil can draw out the cell destructive enzyme or chigger saliva off your skin.

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the oil ease pain, irritations, and itch. [8]

How to use tea tree oil for chiggers bites:

It is a must to dilute, they 4 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil. Apply the robust solution to the affected skin using a cotton ball.

3. Lemongrass Oil lemongrass-essential-oil

Lemongrass oil is famous for its mild texture and earthy aroma. The oil originates from spikey lemongrass leaves. Lemongrass oil is used in ancient Chinese medicinal practice for thousands of years.

The oil has a stimulating and purifying effect on your chigger inflamed skin. The anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic compounds can relieve much of the chigger symptoms. [9]

How to use lemongrass oil for chiggers bites:

Mix 4-5 drops of lemongrass oil with coconut oil and apply to the chigger bites.

4. Eucalyptus OilEucalyptus_Essential_Oil

The oil comes from the steam distillation of twigs, stems, and leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The oil is favorite for all sorts of skin disorders.

The therapeutic ingredients in eucalyptus oil can relieve the symptoms of chigger bites. It can inhibit a secondary skin infection caused by extreme scratching of the skin. [10]

How to use eucalyptus oil for chiggers bites:

Soak a cotton ball with a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil and apply to the chigger infected skin.

5. Sage OilSage-essential-oil

Sage essential oil derives its name from the Latin ‘salvia’ meaning ‘to heal.’

Indeed sage oil has therapeutic properties for your body and mind. Sage oil comes from the leaves and flowers of the sage herbs. The spicy scented aromatic oil can treat your chigger-affected skin. [11]

How to use sage oil for chiggers bites:

Mix 4 drops of sage oil with 1 teaspoon of jojoba or any other vegetable oil. Apply the solution to the chigger bites to reduce swelling, itch, and redness of the skin.

6. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has the superb aroma to uplift your spirit. The oil has a calming effect on your inflamed and itchy skin because of its potent menthol compound.

Peppermint oil can relieve pain and irritations by boosting blood circulation. [12]

How to use peppermint oil for chiggers bites:

You need to dilute 3-4 drops of peppermint oil with 1 teaspoon of castor or almond oil to treat the chigger bites.

Also read: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

7. Thyme Oilthyme-essential-oil

Using thyme essential oil for chigger bites is a native remedy in Southern Europe.

Its antiseptic properties can keep away secondary infections on the chigger-affected skin. Thyme oil is as useful as the other essential oils for chiggers’ symptoms. [13]

How to use thyme oil for chiggers bites:

Apply thyme oil to your affected areas. We recommend you mix thyme oil with any of the carrier oil before you use it on your skin for chigger bites.

How Does a Chigger Bite?

The tiny chigger mites are invisible to the naked eyes. In case you are passing by them, the mites may latch on to your pants. They crawl around and look for a thin patch of skin especially the ankle, the groin, and the knees of the host’s body. [3]

The next thing they do is bite and create holes in the skin area with their sharp claws. In this way, the larvae chiggers inject a feeding tube into your skin. They insert a destructive enzyme or saliva that turns your skin cells into mush. Then, they feast on the liquefied cells. [4]

The mites may keep attached to your skin for days while feeding on the body cells. The terrible itching starts within a few hours of the bite.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites

Some of the symptoms of chigger bites are: 

  • Itching and burning sensations on the inflamed area.
  • The relentless urge to scratch the itchy area may cause skin infections.
  • Red tiny dots, redness, blisters, bumps, welts, and rashes on the affected skin.
  • A chigger bite in the male groin area can result in “summer penile syndrome.” This will cause prolonged itch, swelling, and trouble in urination.
  • In extreme cases, the itch and irritations may result in fever.

The very first step in discovering a chigger bite is to take a hot shower and scrub the affected skin with soap. You have to wash off the clothes that you wore to remove any existing chiggers lurking on them.

Some anti-itch creams, ointment, antihistamines, steroid shots, etc. can relieve the itch and swelling of chigger bites. 

If the chigger bite turns into a skin infection, doctors will give you antibiotics. 

Using essential oils can also relieve much of the chigger bites symptoms.  It can give you fast relief with less risk of side effects. [5]

Precautions for Using Essential Oils

Be careful with the topical application of essential oils. Although these oils are natural, they can be hazardous to your skin if not used properly. Keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil before using them. Coconut oil, olive oil, etc. are some good carrier oils.
  • Conduct a patch test before you start using them on a regular basis. It will help you to find out if you’re allergic to that particular oil or not.
  • If you use any essential oil that is quite citrusy, don’t go outside during the day. It’s because the sunlight may harm your sensitive skin.
  • Always consult with a doctor before using an essential oil during pregnancy.

When to See a Doctor

Chigger bites usually heal on their own or with the help of home remedies. But if you see no improvement in your condition after a few days, you need to see a doctor.

Your bites may also become infected. Then you will need steroid shots to soothe swelling and itching. Consult a doctor immediately if that happens.

Final Word

Your long anticipated outing in the countryside or an evening walk in the park can turn into a total nightmare from chiggers’ infestation. 

Chiggers don’t spread any disease on their own. But, these tiny mites are a nuisance. It causes extreme irritation, itch, and inflammations on your skin.

Stay alert and protected the next time you venture onto open grassy space. Also, remember the natural remedies you learned here. These natural remedies can soothe the itch and irritation of the inflamed skin. 

Seek medical attention if there’s any severe infection due to the bites.

Also read: