Now that summer is here, so are those pesky bugs that like to make our lives miserable. One of those critters is the microscopic chigger and there are a lot of misconceptions about how to treat chigger bites.

The best way to treat bites is by bathing with hot soapy water, washing the affected clothing and applying a Calamine type lotion to the affected areas and taking an antihistamine like Benadryl.

For years, I too kept applying fingernail polish to my chigger bites, I thought I was suffocating them. The truth is when you wash with hot soapy water the chiggers come right off. All the fingernail polish does is alleviate some of the itching.

Chiggers do not stay attached like ticks do and chiggers are not known to carry disease. However, chiggers can cause allergic reactions in some people and trigger an asthma attack in others.

As with many of the outdoor insects that like to feast on us here in west Texas, it seems that wet weather makes their populations explode. The best way to cut down on them is by maintaining your yard. Getting rid of wet areas and treating your yard.

I recently addressed the disease carrying mosquitoes and ticks and how to best avoid them too.

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