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Chigger bite infestation in East Texas

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) - This year, chiggers are in a feeding frenzy.

"I've received a bunch of phone calls here in Longview, people that have chiggers, chigger problems, wanting to know what to do," said Randy Reeves, the Gregg County AG Extension Agent. "The only thing we can come up with is just the high humidity."

The intensely itchy bites are caused by the mite latching onto a person.

"They hang on and they bite you and then they jump off, they hang on longer than a flea or maybe a mosquito," said Patricia Griffin, a Nurse Practitioner. "They hang on for a while, causing quite a lot of swelling and discomfort at the site, but they do not burrow, that would be scabies."

Most chigger cases do not require a doctors visit, Griffin tells us. But be on the lookout for some symptoms.

"They're having other symptoms that would be more systemic, like they feel like their throat is swelling or they're having a lot of swelling on their body, not just the bite and they're starting to have symptoms of a bigger allergic reaction to the bite itself," said Griffin.

Our experts say to keep your grass short, if you think you have been bitten, shower as soon as possible, and always use bug spray.


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