can chiggers bite through clothing

can chiggers bite through clothing

Can Chiggers Bite Through Clothing?

Chiggers, or red mites, are tiny, red, arachnid larvae that are often found in grass and foliage. Although the larvae are not known for biting humans, their saliva does contain a powerful enzyme that can cause a fierce skin irritation. The big question is, can chiggers bite through clothing?

The Effects Of Clothing On Chigger Bites

The larvae of chiggers do not feed on human skin, and must first come into contact before they can begin the irritating process of infesting an area. Due to this, clothing is often thought to be a form of protection against chigger bites. Luckily, this assumption is true, since the larvae are unable to penetrate fabric with their tiny mouths, which would be insufficient for even a single chigger’s bite.

The Best Clothing To Wear During Chigger Season

During chigger season, the best clothing to wear is light-colored, tightly woven fabrics such as cotton or linen, as these fabrics typically provide the greatest protection against chigger bites. Be sure to avoid loose-fitting clothes such as shorts, tank tops, and skirts, as chiggers are able to latch onto exposed skin. Additionally, long-sleeved, tight-fitting tops with minimum seams can be effective deterrents against chigger bites.

Additional Protection Against Chigger Bites

Aside from clothing, there are some other precautionary measures that can be taken to protect against chigger bites.

  • Insect Repellent: Applying insect repellent before going outside can help to repel chiggers, making them less likely to latch onto exposed skin if clothes become loose or torn.
  • Showering: A quick shower after being in high-risk areas (tall grass, bushes, etc.) can help to remove any clinging chiggers that have become attached to clothing.
  • Laundering: When possible, laundering clothing after being in an area potentially containing chiggers can help to remove any that may have become lodged in fabric.


In conclusion, chiggers are not able to bite through clothing due to their small mouths, but it is important to be mindful when in areas where these pests may be present. Taking preventive measures such as wearing the right clothing, using insect repellent, and showering and laundering immediately afterwards can help to mitigate the risk of chigger bites.

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