Enlarged approximately 1,500 times, this chigger looks like the latest sci-fi movie star. In life, chiggers are red, but not from dining on blood as many people think. The larval form of a type of mite, chiggers are barely visible to the naked eye. Courtesy Dr. W. Calvin Webourn and the Ohio State University Acarology Laboratory.
A chigger in relation to a human hair follicle Chiggers do not burrow under the skin, but bite us, often at skin pores or hair follicles.
The best precaution against chigger bites is simply taking a warm soapy bath with plenty of scrubbing as soon as possible after exposure. If you bathe at once, while the chiggers are still running over your body, you can wash them off before they bite. A bath will also remove any attached and feeding chiggers before you start to feel the itch.
Warm soapy water is all that is necessary to remove and kill chiggers. There is no need, and it is rather dangerous, to apply household products such as kerosene, turpentine, ammonia, alcohol, gasoline, salt or dry cleaning fluid. Don't do it.
Attached chiggers are removed by even the lightest rubbing. If you are away from civilization, you can remove attached chiggers before they do much damage by frequently rubbing down with a towel or a cloth.
What can you do to alleviate suffering if these precautions fail? Lotions will relive the itching somewhat, but no substance is completely effective. The only ultimate cure is time, since there is nothing you can do to dislodge the chigger's feeding tube, the true cause of your itch. You must simply wait until your body breaks down and absorbs the foreign object.
In the meantime, local anesthetics such as benzocaine, camphor-phenol and ammonium hydroxide may provide you with several hours of comfort at a stretch. Over-the-counter creams can also help. In rare cases, some people are allergic to chigger bites and require prescription medications from their doctor.
The most popular home remedy for which there is little justification is to dab nail polish on the welt. This cannot "smother" the chigger because it has not burrowed into your skin, and it was probably scratched off long ago. The only benefit to applying a thick coat of nail polish is that it helps to remind you not to scratch the bite.
via via http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/avoid-outdoor-pests/chiggers
h/t Sarah Fulghum