7 Essential Oils for Chiggers Bites & Relief from the Itch

I can’t begin to describe the maddening itch from chiggers. I feel sorry if you get into a nest of these parasites.

Your long anticipated outing on the countryside or just an evening stroll down the park can turn into a total nightmare from chiggers’ infestation. [1]

Chiggers are tiny, almost invisible bugs or pests. Chigger bites can leave you with a horrible itch, rash, and inflamed skin. Don’t let these little buggers take you for a ride!

In this article, you’ll learn using essential oils for chiggers’ repellents and how these natural remedies soothe the itch of the inflamed skin and much more. [2]

Continue reading inside:

  • What are chiggers?
  • How do they bite?
  • What are the symptoms of chigger bites?
  • Best essential oils for chiggers bites relief
  • How to use essential oils for chiggers bites and itch relief?

What Are Chiggers?


chigger biteThe scientific name for a chigger is “trombiculid mite.” These tiny pests have many other nicknames such as red bugs, harvest bugs, harvest mites, harvest lice, mower’s mites, etc.

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. In the same family as spiders and ticks.

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

An interesting fact is that it is not the adult chiggers that bite. Instead, the larvae members or nymphs ( approximately 0.3 millimeters long) of the chiggers attack the humans.  [2] [3]

The larvae stay clumped together in the tall grass, overgrown bushes or leaves after being hatched from the eggs. You may, unfortunately, come to their reach while passing by a thick grassy area. [2]

Chiggers may have a variety of color ranging from orange, red, yellow, etc. The tiny mites thrive in 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 the late spring, summer, and early fall. [3]

How Does a Chigger Bite?


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

The next thing they do is biting and creating 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 to 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 typically within a few hours of the bite.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites


Some of the symptoms of chigger bites are:  [2]

  •    Unrelenting itch and burning sensations on the inflamed area that may give you sleepless, miserable nights.
  •    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 ‘summer penile syndrome.’ There will be 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 chigger lurking on them.

There are many traditional anti-itch creams, ointment, lotions, antihistamine pills, steroid shots, etc. to relieve the itch and swelling of chigger bites.  [2]

In case the neverending scratch turns into skin infection you are prescribed antibiotics. However, you don’t need to resort to these chemical chigger repellents when you have natural remedies at hand.

Using essential oils for chiggers can relieve much of the chigger bites symptoms in the quickest possible time without any risk of side effects. [6]

RELATED: 15 Ways to Get Rid of Rash Naturally (Step-by-Step)

7 Essential Oils for Chiggers Bites


Essential Oils for Chiggers BitesEssential oils are time-tested home remedies for some skin disorders. The strong anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antimicrobial and calming properties of the oils make them the most effective home remedies for chigger bites. [7] [6]

Here are the top essential oils for chiggers:

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is known for its calming effect on the body and mind. The oil originates from the lavender flowers through steam distillation.

The potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative components of the oil can relieve the itch, pain, and discomfort associated with chigger bites. Lavender oil readily gets absorbed into the skin and provides with the desired calming effects to the inflamed skin. [8]

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.

RELATED: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

2.Tea Tree Oil

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

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

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of tea tree oil relieve the pain, irritations, and itch as well. [9]

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

RELATED: 11 Incredible Uses of Tea Tree Oil for Hair (With Directions)

3. Lemongrass 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 effective anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic compounds can relieve much of the chigger symptoms in no time. [10]

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

4. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus 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 pain and itch associated with chigger infestation. The oil can inhibit a secondary skin infection caused by extreme scratching of the itchy skin. [11]

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

RELATED: 14 Effective Essential Oils for Fever & How to Use Them

5. Sage Oil

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

Indeed sage oil has the restorative properties of your body and mind. Sage oil comes from the leaves and flowers of the sage herbs.

The spicy scented aromatic oil can effectively treat your chigger affected skin and relieve the painful symptoms. [12]

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

6. Peppermint Oil

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

Peppermint oil can relieve the pain and irritations by boosting the blood circulations around the chigger bite skin areas. [13]

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

RELATED: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

7. Thyme Oil

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

The strong antiseptic properties of the oil can keep away secondary infections on the chigger affected skin area. Thyme oil is as useful as the other essential oils for chiggers’ symptoms. [14]

We strongly recommend you to mix thyme oil with any of the carrier oil before you use it topically on the skin for chigger bites.     

Bottom Line


Chiggers don’t spread any disease on their own. However, these tiny mites are a nuisance given the extreme irritation, itch, and inflammations they cause on your skin.

The essential oils for chiggers bites discussed here are your best relief from the unfortunate contact with these little monsters.

Stay alert and protected the next time you venture onto an open grassy space and do remember the natural remedies you learned here.

Write us your feedback and queries in the comment section.

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