Q. I had not had a chigger bite for over 50 years, so I wasn’t sure what the bites were when I got some last year. I tried the old remedies, including nail polish and calamine lotion, to no avail.

This year I knew that when I worked in my garden I would probably get chigger bites again. Sure enough, the bites itched like crazy.

I read somewhere that toothpaste on a blemish helped it heal. In desperation I daubed it on the bites, and the itching stopped. I reapplied several times and the bites went away.

I recently stepped into my little garden knowing I would probably get a chigger bite. I did, but once again I applied toothpaste and there was no itching. It’s a little messy, but I will take that over the intense itching any time.

A. Thanks for this interesting remedy. We have heard from people who have used toothpaste on minor burns, yellow jacket stings or itchy fungus under the breasts. This is the first report we have had that toothpaste might ease the itching from chigger bites.

Dermatologists often prescribe strong corticosteroid creams or gels to calm the itch. If toothpaste works for you, so much the better. Other readers have found that a baking soda soak can be beneficial.

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  1. objoyfull

    After years of suffering from chigger bites, I tried the mustard (plain wet mustard from the fridge). Spread about 1/2 teaspoon on a bandaid and apply to the bite and the burn/itch will be gone for good!
    So much faster than the hydrocortisone /Benedryl I was using.
    Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Josie

    It’s been 25 years since I had chiggers, but I still remember the agony that I went through when I was bitten. Those little buggers like warm moist places and being pregnant gave them lots of places to find on my swollen body! Fells-Naptha laundry soap saved the day. I felt relief even after the 1st bath with it, and it only took a few days for me to be back to normal. I found mine in the grocery store laundry aisle, and I have kept a piece of it in my 1st aid kit since then.

  3. Michele

    When I bought my house 18 years ago, chiggers were a problem in the outer areas of the yard. I went 100% organic 16 years ago, and began applying beneficial nematodes to my yard twice a year. They take care of the chiggers, fleas, ticks, fire ants, grub worms, cinch bugs, you name it. But they leave the earth worms and cicada killer wasps alone.
    I expect to get chiggers when I go to the lake, but *not* in my own backyard! :-)

  4. PP

    I have found that the antiseptic “New Skin” works for me. Don’t know if it’s the nail polish effect or the antisepsis, but gave relief from bites that were getting infected.

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