Meetup With Invisible Menace No Walk in the Pinelands Park

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,646
2,903
Pines; Bamber area
Look in the areas with tall grass for the larvae, and in dead and rotting organic material (especially logs) for adult mites. The adults live close to the ground and are readily visible with the naked eye.
It's odd, I've collected and pressed over 1,300 plant specimens from the pines, and likely analyzed another 1,000 under a 50 power zoom microscope, and have never seen a chigger. Not one. Then again, maybe it's not that odd at all.
 

stiltzkin

Scout
Feb 8, 2022
78
114
Medford
I have absolutely seen chiggers in the pines - at least, here in the Medford area. Or, what I always thought were chiggers. They're very very small, and bright red.

I was bitten up pretty bad once, years ago. All over the ankles and the top of the feet. Some of the most incessant itching I've ever experienced. Luckily just that one time though.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,646
2,903
Pines; Bamber area
Gerry did a little more digging and sent me an email below. I agree with his comments completely. If anyone wants the article, email me.

"I did a little more digging and turned up an old article (attached) that indicates that the chigger species, the larvae of which can bite humans, has been reported from NJ. The Ewing article has the following sentence: “Toward the northern limits of its range the species occurs only in isolated ‘islands’ where the local conditions are favorable for its maintenance.” It also cites that a single specimen was collected from Pemberton but doesn’t indicate its place of deposition. The scientific name used by Ewing was Trombicula tlalzahuatl. More current literature indicates the common problematic species goes by the name Eutrombicula alfreddugesi, the species named for French-born, Mexican physician and naturalist Alfredo Dugès (if I were Dugès I would be pissed that a nasty chigger was named after me). The Rutgers Pinelands Station is studying this species but it is related to ectoparasitism of Eastern fence lizards. I also found this statement (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1962. Report on the Comprehensive Survey of the Water Resources of the Delaware River Basin. Vol. VI. Appendix L. Insects of Public Health Importance: 12): “Chiggers (Eutrombicula alfreddugesi) are uncommon in the Delaware Basin. These mites or ‘red bugs,’ are known to occur in Sussex Co., Delaware, and in Atlantic Co., New Jersey.”

I think the experiences of you, me, and the mite guy I talked to at the Rutgers Pinelands station back in the 1980s make clear that the vast, vast majority of “chigger doses” people get in South Jersey are caused by tick larvae. These observations are bolstered by the reports from the scientists in Long Island and the comments by Ewing (1923) and the Army Corps (1962). Cheers, Gerry"
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,309
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millville nj
www.youtube.com
I"m with Guy.I know they are ticks but I still call them chiggers.It would be like trying to explain to people that tere are no Water Moccasins in NJ.I gave up on that a long time ago.People will believe what they want to.
 
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