Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season

15 Nov 2010 13:25 - 16 Jul 2012 22:27 #215 by Trekker
As we are now entering the dry season, its well worth brushing up on the issue of mites and ticks as you are very likely to comes across one or the other, especially if walking in open grassy areas. Forest ticks are also present in the forests.

Ticks you will see on your body and you can remove them by pulling out with tweezers (make sure to get hold of them close to the mouth parts) or wait for them to drop off. If you have any issues go and see the doctor!

Chiggers - when I figure out how to fully get rid of them I will let you know cos I am itching like mad at the moment and have a large hive patch on the top of my leg!

I also found this regarding chiggers which I found useful:

Symptoms of a Chigger Bite

A treatment for chigger bite is often required to ease the symptoms that occur after a bite. Within a few hours after a chigger bite, extremely intense skin itching will be experienced. This is accompanied by the appearance of red bumps on the skin. As time goes on, more and larger bumps, hives, or welts become evident. The itching and other symptoms usually get worse and last a long time because the chigger is constantly injecting the saliva into the skin in order to feed and the skin reacts to this saliva.

Once the chigger is done feeding after a few days, it falls off. However, the feeding tube structure is left behind. The tube is characterized by a red welt with a white, hard central area, which may develop into dermatitis. What people usually notice in the center of the hive is the tube and not the body of the chigger.

The stylostome or feeding tube continues to irritate the skin even after the chigger has left. The skin continues to intensely itch and contain hives or welts. The longer the chigger was able to feed, the deeper the feeding tube and consequently the greater the severity of the symptoms. The symptoms caused by the stylostome can continue for two to three weeks. Scratching the dried cap off the top of the stylostome will result in some liquid oozing out and possible infection.

Chigger bites are often confused with chicken pox. However, location of the hives usually rules out chicken pox because chicken pox tend to occur all over the body. Chigger bites target more specific areas of the body.

In terms of diseases, chiggers in North America usually do not transmit diseases and a standard treatment for chigger bite is all that is required. However, in East Asia and the South Pacific regions, a chiggar bite can lead to scrub typhus (also known as Japanese river disease, scrub disease, or tsutsugamushi). Symptoms of this disease include fever, headache, muscle pain, cough, and gastrointestinal problems.

Chigger Bite Prevention Tips

A treatment for chigger bite is not required if proper prevention steps are followed. Insect repellents such as those containing Deet should be used on the skin and on clothing. In particular, apply repellent to the ankles, wrists, neck, and waist areas. Sulphur is a proven repellent for chiggers, but may irritate the skin of some individuals.

Ensure you wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, socks, and shoes when in areas where chiggers may be present. Clothes should be made of tightly woven fabric and worn loosely.

Avoid areas with long grass or weeds and keep lawns mowed.

After being outside in areas where chiggers may be present, take a hot soapy shower immediately after returning in order to remove chiggers before they attach to the skin. Wash clothing in hot water in order to kill any lingering chiggers.

Treatment for Chigger Bite

The best possible treatment for chiggar bite is to remove the chigger right away. This will lessen the severity and length of time that the symptoms will be experienced. Chiggers can be removed by taking a shower in warm soapy water. Even light rubbing of the skin with a towel or cloth is enough to remove the chiggers.

Itching, hives or welts, and skin redness can be relieved by following the usual treatments for these symptoms. Therefore, for a standard treatment for chiggar bite, visit the mosquito bite treatment page. These treatments basically involve the use of hydrocortisone creams or antihistamines. There are also commercially available products as specific treatments for chiggar bites.

Time is the best treatment for chiggar bite. The feeding tube is what creates a lot of the symptoms and it cannot be removed. However, eventually the body breaks down the skin tissue that forms the tube and the healing begins. This process can take from 10 days to three weeks.

Because of the intense itching and scratching, skin infections can occur due to the skin becoming abraded. If signs of infection are present such as growing areas of redness, pain, inflamed and hot skin, appearance of puss, and fever, then a physician should be consulted immediately. Therefore, using an effective treatment for chigger bite is very important.

Some people require a more complex treatment for chigger bite because they experience an allergic reaction to the bite. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include trouble breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, feeling faint, dizziness, hives, and/or nausea and vomiting. In these cases, the treatment for chigger bite requires a visit to the emergency room or physician as soon as possible.

More at www.healthy-skincare.com/chigger-bite.html



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18 Nov 2010 23:43 #223 by Trekker
Replied by Trekker on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
I was back in the forest at Khaeng Krachan (Petchburi River) on Wednesday for the day and have a fantastic 5 bite tick semi circle on my back with a huge red inflamation zone. Take precautions! When they get you they get you good.

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16 Jan 2014 18:49 - 16 Jan 2014 18:50 #1616 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
Can't wait for the wet season to start. I don't mind leeches, but have 30+ tick bites mostly around my waist which is far from pleasant.

Well, I think these are ticks, but I read this post about Chiggers and am not sure if these are chiggers. When I google I only found red chiggers. The tiny creatures I brought home after some jungle trekking are clearly dark brown, but not even a millimeter in size and look like ticks to me. Got a couple larger ones that for sure are ticks. And always thought these tiny creatures are just young ticks.

Tiger Balm reliefs the itching for a while.
But I actually would like to find something that prevents them from attaching to your body.
Any ideas?
A park official talked about olive oil... Still haven't tried it, but I would prefer such a solution over e.g. DEET. If only trekking every now and then it might have been OK to use DEET, but I'm very often in the jungle and don't like to put this toxic stuff on my body several days a week. Not to mention that it generally smells terrible.

Hope anyone has some suggestions for preventing bites?

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17 Jan 2014 07:29 - 17 Jan 2014 07:31 #1617 by WT admin
Replied by WT admin on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
I have found nothing that cures the itching, sometimes it goes on for days. Mites are also the same and probably more of a problem for us, mainly spider mites and tick mites.

Macro photographers get it with both barrels at this time of year as we have a tendency to get on our knees and that how they get into our clothing. I have found the areas that are likely to cause me problems are 1) grassy areas 2) stream beds (if on my knees).

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17 Jan 2014 08:25 #1618 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
Well, even though it doesn't cure it, Tiger Balm does relief the itching for a while. Or actually it replaces it with the cool/ slightly burning feeling of the tiger balm.

I'm sure macro photographers get the full 'treatment', haha.
It's the mammals that brought me into trouble though...
I got most when going off trail. Once while following the sound of an elephant foraging, and the second time when following the sound of the Pileated Gibbons. Different areas, but similar, rather thick vegetation.
So far mostly in bamboo areas (thin, low hanging bamboo). Not sure if they came off the ground or actually from the bamboo.
Perhaps that's my only remedy, don't get into those bamboo areas...

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20 Jan 2014 11:58 - 20 Jan 2014 11:59 #1623 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
For the insane itch that comes from some of these insects/plants (as well as the inflammation/rash) I suggest buying Topicorte 0.25% from your pharmacy. For me nothing works faster

Picked up a tick that attached to me in a baaaaaaaad place over New Years, not fun removing them from sensitive areas!

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19 May 2014 07:28 #1999 by NN
Isn't there a dangerous fever that can be caught from ticks?

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20 May 2014 10:04 - 20 May 2014 10:05 #2004 by WT admin
Replied by WT admin on topic Ticks, chiggers and mites - walking season
Lyme disease does occur in Thailand. You will know if you catch it because a huge red "bulls eye" rash will appear around the bite mark in a few days. I don't know of anyone in Thailand who has contracted Lyme though. If you did get the bulls eye rash just go to the doc and they will put you on a course of antibiotics.

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20 May 2014 23:12 #2006 by NN
It was scrub typhus I was thinking of, it's caused by chiggers, sounds quite nasty: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrub_typhus

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