Answer: According to the University of California, chiggers do not live in southern California (not enough heat and humidity to suit them). However, you can certainly collect samples of the mystery bugs and send them to the Plant Pathology Dept. for microscopic identification. In the meantime, use a mosquito repellant with DEET as the main ingredient on your feet and legs, hands and arms before visiting your garden. Chiggers are repelled by DEET and won't crawl up to feed on your skin cells. Best wishes in your garden!
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