Are chiggers an issue for you this summer? If you walk back inside only to find itchy and irritating red bites on your legs and ankles, you probably have a chigger problem. The best defense for these pesky insects is a good offense. Chiggers enter our environment from wildlife including birds, mammals, and reptiles. They thrive in undisturbed environments like fields and brushy areas. Here are a couple of tips for preventing chiggers in your yard.
- Disturb their environment by keeping your lawn mowed, watered and fertilized on a regular basis.
- Try to control the wildlife in your yard. Take down bird feeders and remove any standing water.
- Find a good organic or synthetic pest control product to keep these insects at bay.
Organic Chigger Control
Applying sulfur to the yard is the most common all-natural method for chigger control. Sulfur is a repellant, not a killer. Because chiggers live in clusters, sulfur must be applied heavy. Powder sulfur is more effective than the granulated type but does not last as long and is messier to apply. Powder sulfur can also be used as a chigger repellent for humans. Simply put powder sulfur in a sock and dust the sulfur everywhere you don’t want to get bit. This same method applies to the lawn.
Another all-natural product for chigger control is Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your yard and over any areas that may offer ideal conditions for chiggers to live in. These areas include anything that may be overgrown or any area that offers a good hiding place, shade, and moisture. Focus on tall grass, weeds, and briars. If you’re going to attack chiggers with diatomaceous earth, we would suggest doing so by combining sulfur with it.
Synthetic Chigger Control
There are many good choices on the chemical side in both liquid and granulated. A good rule of thumb is to pick products with an active ingredient that ends with the suffix, “thrin”. Some of the most common are bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and permethrin. One product we suggest is Cyonara, made of lambda-cyhalothrin. One quart will cover about 8,000 square feet. Some of our other favorite chigger products include Hi-Yield 38 Plus Insect Control for a liquid solution or Talstar Extra for a granulated solution. As always, be sure to read and follow the label directions.
Find out more about chiggers here.