Chiggers - do the *type* of pants matter, and do you freeze your merino after?

fwafwow

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I'm recovering from a chigger infestation after an unsuccessful deer hunt (shot and failed to recover a doe - so lots of walking through the woods). I'm trying to figure out prevention going forward. I've read the older posts about spraying boots, tucking my shirt in and pants into my boots, etc.

My questions:
  1. Do the *type* of pants (and socks) matter? Or said another way, are chiggers small enough to get through the rough weave of the wool pants that I was wearing? I had them pretty tight around my boots, so I'm wondering if they just crawled up the boots, down the socks, and/or into my socks through the weave? Sure, I can spray everything with permethrin, but I'm just curious.
  2. After an infestation, it is recommended that you wash all of your clothes in hot water and then dry them on the hottest setting. That's not how I want to handle my fancy pants merino wool stuff. So at the moment (and unbeknownst to my wife), my clothes are in a bag in the basement freezer. Probably overkill days later.
 

WoodBow

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I have never treated clothing that encountered chiggers any differently and have never experienced any issues.

I'm no help with whether different fabrics will help. I just spray bug spray around my ankles and waist and call it good. I understand wanting to avoid bug spray when hunting but in my experience if they are going to smell you, they are going to smell you with our without it.
 

warrenw41

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Pretty much the only thing I have found to help with chiggers is permethrin and bug spray. I have not put much thought into type of pants, but if they are real bad (and ticks), I duct tape the bottom of my pants around my boots. They could possibly get through a rough weave, but I am not sure.
 

Nillion

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Dec 29, 2019
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Spray everything with permethrin. As a extra bonus it'll stop ticks from getting at you also. It's an easy fix, there's no need to make it more complicated.
 
OP
fwafwow

fwafwow

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Spray everything with permethrin. As a extra bonus it'll stop ticks from getting at you also. It's an easy fix, there's no need to make it more complicated.
The spray and lotion are inbound from Amazon. So I'm fixed going forward. I'm just curious as to how they got into my pants in the first place. Maybe I've just been naive that fully clothed was protection enough.
 

*zap*

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permethrin and deet, a good shower asap after being exposed will help a lot....if your clothes are sprayed no need to do anything with them after. If not I would freeze since them below 49° kills chiggers. I got hit hiking with untreated clothes recently but it was all below my knees....actually I sprayed my pants but not my running shoes. I think they came aboard via my footwear. Most bites were on feet/ankles. Just clothing will offer no protection from a chigger swarm.

Extra strength gold bond body powder helps a lot.
 

Fordguy

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Jun 20, 2019
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As others have said, permethrin is your friend. Chiggers are tiny. Most untreated clothing material wont stop them, though it will slow them down. The nasty little buggers are small enough to get down into your pores next to your hair follicles. On one occasion (building a shed for the girlfrend's mother) I checked myself multiple times, never saw a thing and ended up miserable the next day with just under 200 chigger "bites". That was my first chigger experience. Now I use Sawyers liberally and don't have that problem.
 

btolli

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May 22, 2017
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Kentucky
Treat your clothes with no scent permethrin from Walmart or amazon to prevent them. Throw your current infested clothes in the washer & dryer. Hydrocortisone 2% keeps the itch down.
 

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