The weather is cooling and it’s perfect for spending time outdoors. Unfortunately, for many people, this will mean dealing with bites and the allergic reaction that comes along with them.
People who have been outdoors in grassy areas may report instances of hundreds of red, itchy bites around the ankles, lower legs, or groin and assume these are chigger bites; but on Long Island, they would be mistaken.
Chiggers are red bugs found in the southern, southeastern, and midwestern United States. They are the larval stage of a parasitic mite that tends to bite in clusters where clothing is tight against the skin. They have not been found on Long Island.
So if not chiggers, then what are those bites? Most likely, these bites are from the larval stage of the Lone Star Tick. Lone Star ticks bite in similar areas of the body as chiggers so it is easy to confuse them. Ticks bite in order to feed on blood, and while they do they often transmit tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease. Deer ticks are another parasite that may also cause these bites. These ticks may be almost invisibly tiny so they’re very hard to avoid.
Your best bet to avoid any biting insect outdoors is to dress properly in long sleeves and pants and use bug repellent containing DEET. Stay on paths when you hike and avoid grassy areas!
If you’re worried about ticks in your yard—be it dog ticks, deer ticks, or Lone Star ticks—you can contact us to have your yard treated!