Have yourself a Merry Christmas chigger! Never seen before! Climbed a blade of grass on Chapman Forest floor! (Sing to ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’.)
Think of this as your Christmas card from a would-be entomologist. Sorry it’s a bit out of focus. I thought it was a berry. But the ‘stem’ looked so much like a blade of grass that I looked closer. This is an adult chigger. It won’t bite you, which makes it a more appropriate subject for a Christmas card.
Better focus photo. Photos taken 12/18/16 in Chapman Forest, MD.
Per Steve Tally at Perdue U: “Chiggers aren’t insects, but arachnids, just like spiders and scorpions. They are a type of mite related to ticks. “Chiggers is a common name we give to the larvae of several species of mite,” Tim Gibb quote.
• Sometimes tiny red mites (I didn’t think it was that tiny!) are seen, especially on light-colored concrete. These are adult chiggers, which don’t bite people, but instead feed on insect eggs and other insects. The chigger larvae are much smaller than the adults– half a dozen of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Chigger larvae can scarcely be been seen without a magnifying glass.
• Although adult chiggers have eight legs, when they are in their biting larval stage they have just six. And unlike ticks, chiggers don’t carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
• Chiggers aren’t really good at biting, and can bite only thin skin, which is why they bite children or women more than men. They like to bite in soft, light and moist areas of the body where the sun and weather haven’t made the skin tough and dry. These are places where chiggers are least welcome.”
Per entomologist H.B. Hungerford:
The thing called a chigger,
is really no bigger,
than the smaller end of a pin,
but the bump that it raises,
just itches like blazes,
and that’s where the rub sets in.MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! Please send comments and share this blog.