The Q&A Archives: Itching problems with red seed-like growth in grass

Question: Yesterday, my family and I were walking through the grass on our front lawn. We started feeling things jump up our legs, and we started itching badly. We got off the grass and starting dusting and picking off little-tiny red seed-like things off our legs and clothes. At first we thought they might be an insect, but we couldn't detect anythings like legs. It appears that they might be something like a seed from a weed, but not sure. Some of us got a weird rash that only lasted 30 minutes or so, but it did itch. What could this be, and how do I get rid of them.

Answer: What you describe sound like chiggers. Chiggers, which are also called harvest mites or red bugs, are very small and can not usually be seen without a magnifying glass or microscope. They can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. I'd treat the lawn to get rid of the pests, before their populations become so large that they attack when you're simply standing near the lawn. There are several products labeled for chigger control, including carbaryl (Sevin), diazinon or cyfluthrin (Tempo).

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