How to Control Chiggers Without Pesticides
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Fred from Georgia on the line who’s dealing with a bug issue. Tell us what’s going on.
FRED: Well, I have an exterminator to take care of everything on the inside of the house and my wife is really scared about poison around the kids and the pets.
TOM: OK. OK.
FRED: And this year, we have – I call them red bugs but I guess down here they’re chiggers and they are really bad in my yard.
TOM: OK. Yeah.
FRED: And I wondered if there is a way to control that without using poison.
TOM: Well, I mean chiggers need moisture and shade so, generally, if you cut your grass fairly short, that becomes sort of a very bad habitat for them. And over time, if you do that, you’ll have fewer and fewer chiggers in your lawn.
FRED: OK. Like what kind of time?
TOM: Well, I can’t tell you for sure. I would expect that over a season, you’re going to start to thin them out.
In terms of putting in a pesticide, yeah, I agree that it can be an issue. I know a lot of folks will use aerosol sprays, like permethrin-type sprays, and put them on their clothes that they wear outside. So it’s not exactly on your skin but it’s on your clothes and that stops them from attaching. An insect repellent that has DEET in it will also work.
FRED: OK. Alright. We’ll, I’ve got fescue in it. It’s the top of summer here, so I don’t want to lose my lawn for the rest of the year.
FRED: So, I’ll try to cut it a little bit short and just deal with it, I guess. I was hoping there was some way to do it bio or naturally that would give them an element they didn’t like, so …
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, try to keep your lawn as dry as you can because it’s really the moisture that they like. So, if you can water less frequently or shorter spouts more frequently just to keep the lawn maintained but not saturated, if that makes sense. This way, as it dries out in the soil, they’ll just burrow deeper and deeper or find somebody else’s yard.
FRED: OK. Alright. Well, I really appreciate it. Thank you, guys, much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.