Top 5 Best Chigger Repellents (**2021 Review**)

Chigger bites are some of the worst bug bites in the world, and not because they’re painful, because you don’t even feel it when it happens!

The intense itching that follows can last for two or three weeks and drive you crazy, clawing at yourself to get rid of them.

So if you're looking for a repellent to keep chiggers away from you, your pets, and your family, you're in the right place!

Best Chigger Repellents
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Martin’s Permethrin 10% Indoor and Outdoor Use
This product is a great way to treat against chiggers in your yard, specifically in areas you are active when playing sports or gardening.
FEATURES
  • Broad-spectrum effectiveness
  • Kills chiggers upon contact
  • 28-day residual effectiveness

In this Pest Strategies product review guide, you'll learn:

  • What are chigger repellents?
  • How do chigger repellents work?
  • How does one use chigger repellents?
  • And our #1 pick for the best chigger repellent!

If you're short on time, click here to jump right to our top pick for best chigger repellent.

ImageProduct
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Martin’s Permethrin 10% Indoor and Outdoor Use
  • Broad-spectrum effectiveness
  • Kills chiggers upon contact
  • 28-day residual effectiveness
  • Broad-spectrum effectiveness
  • Kills chiggers upon contact
  • 28-day residual effectiveness
View on Amazon
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Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent
  • Lasts for 6 weeks or 6 cycles in the washing machine
  • Repels chiggers and up to 54 other insects and pests
  • One bottle can treat up to 5 different outfits
  • Lasts for 6 weeks or 6 cycles in the washing machine
  • Repels chiggers and up to 54 other insects and pests
  • One bottle can treat up to 5 different outfits
View on Amazon
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Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent (DEET)
  • Used by millions since 1946
  • Highly effective
  • 10 hours of protection
  • Used by millions since 1946
  • Highly effective
  • 10 hours of protection
View on Amazon
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Chigg-Away The Soldier’s Choice
  • Safe and effective ingredients
  • Repels chiggers and relieves their itch
  • Can be used to repel multiple insects
  • Safe and effective ingredients
  • Repels chiggers and relieves their itch
  • Can be used to repel multiple insects
View on Amazon
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Wondercide EcoTreat - Natural Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate
  • All-natural cedarwood oil
  • Kills and repels many insects
  • Safe for children and pets
  • All-natural cedarwood oil
  • Kills and repels many insects
  • Safe for children and pets
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated as of May 9th, 2021

  • Broad-spectrum effectiveness
  • Kills chiggers upon contact
  • 28-day residual effectiveness
  • Low toxicity

Permethrin is one of the best pesticides to use against chiggers. This product is a great way to treat against chiggers in your yard, specifically in areas you are active when playing sports or gardening. Just mix one bottle of product in a gallon sprayer with water and treat all moist and shady areas of your yard to knock down chigger populations. 

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Terminix-logo

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

aptive-logo

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Orkin-Logo

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

Top 5 Best Chigger Repellent

  1. Martin’s Permethrin 10% Indoor and Outdoor Use
  2. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent
  3. Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent (DEET)
  4. Chigg-Away The Soldier’s Choice
  5. Wondercide EcoTreat - Natural Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate

What Are Chigger Repellents?

Insect repellents as a class are chemicals or natural extracts which interfere with a target insect’s ability to smell, see, or hear human or animal hosts. Insects, including chiggers, are attracted by odors or body heat.

Spraying one of those chemicals or natural extracts on your clothes or skin has the effect of inhibiting their ability to detect those odors or body heat, making us effectively invisible to them. This prevents them from attacks us.

Chemicals such as DEET, Bifenthrin, and Cyfluthrin are effective against chiggers. DEET comes in a variety of different sprays intended to be applied to your skin and clothes, while the other two are pesticides to be sprayed around the yard, in grassy areas, bushes, and trees. Permethrin is also used as an insect repellent.

A number of essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, and citronella have bug repellent properties as well. They also provide a measure of itch relief when sprayed on your skin.

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Do Chigger Repellents Really Work and Are They Effective?

Avoiding tall grass, where chiggers can’t jump or fly onto you, is your first and best bet. Short grass, trimmed bushes, and manicured flower beds allow too much sunlight and air to dry out the damp soil conditions chiggers prefer. At home, a well-mowed yard is the best way to prevent an infestation of them.

However, you are probably like most of our readers and live an active lifestyle. When you’re hiking through a grassy area, long pants with plenty of bug spray on them and your boots or shoes will go a long way toward keeping the little critters off of you.

An excellent mosquito repellent, chigger repellent, or any other repellent for bugs only works if it is applied correctly.

If you spray it off-target or don’t cover all the openings in your clothes, it can’t do its job. It can have the best active ingredient in the world but unless it’s where it needs to be, you might as well be putting water in a spray bottle.

Chigger Repellent Sprays

How Do You Find The Best Chigger Repellent?

Our staff at Pest Strategies is composed of licensed pest control technicians who spent decades crawling under houses to kill termites, suiting up in hazmat suits to kill bed bugs and bees, and having roaches drop on them when they entered infested houses for a cleanout job.

Killing bugs is what we do and our years of experience have provided us with real-world examples of what works and what doesn’t. We put all that knowledge to work finding the best way to repel chiggers than pass it on to you.

We’ll tell you right now that putting nail polish on the bite to suffocate the chigger is a lost cause. By the time you feel the itching, the chigger is usually long gone. We don’t know where this urban legend came from but it’s no more credible than the tooth fairy.

If you're interested in exploring how to make your own DIY chigger repellent, check out the video below:

How To Use A Chigger Repellent

  • Chigger Repellents as Personal Sprays

Ready-to-use sprays come in pump spray bottles, already premixed. Wear knee-high socks and spray them before you put your pants on. Spray inside the bottom 3-4 inches of your pants legs. After you put your pants on, spray the entire length of each leg, stopping just before you reach the groin area.

Spray your shoes or boots inside and out. You don’t have to spray the inner soles, but the tongue and the upper part of the boots around the ankle, do need to be sprayed on the inside. Chiggers are so small they can easily fit into tight spaces. Spraying keeps them out.

Wear a long sleeve shirt and spray them from the collar up to the shoulders, then down the front where the shirt buttons. You can spray the outside of the collar then wait a minute or two for it to dry before putting it on.

Spray it on your hands then rub it on your arms, neck, and cheeks. Never try to spray your face or neck. If some of it gets in your mouth or nose, you’ll feel like you just drank kerosene. If you’ve ever siphoned gas and gotten some in your mouth, you know what we’re talking about.

  • Chigger Repelling Personal Lotions

Skin lotions leave stains on clothing so this one should only be used when you’re at the beach or swimming pool. This is not calamine lotion, by the way. Calamine lotion is good for relieving the itchiness of a chigger bite, but not for repelling them.

Read More: Top All-Natural Mosquito Repellents

  • Chigger Repellents as Yard Sprays

We’ve included one liquid concentrate on our list. The directions on the label have the force of law behind them so the mixing and usage directions are mandatory. The pest control industry has a saying, the label is the law because it is.

Follow the mixing instructions, usually in a 1-gallon pump-up sprayer. Once it is thoroughly mixed, start at the foundation of the house and spray a gradually widening band all the way around it, increasing the distance from the house each time you go around.

Continue circling the house until you’ve sprayed the entire yard. Depending on the size of the yard it might take several gallons. Only spray after the grass has been cut and on a day when it’s not supposed to rain.

Once the pesticide dries, if it’s a man-made chemical, it will be good for up to 60-90 days. If it’s an essential oil or all-natural product, it will only last until the first hard rain. Then it will be washed away and you’ll have to re-spray the yard.

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Are Chigger Repellents Safe Around My Pets And Children?

Yes and no. It depends on the active ingredient. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends not using products containing DEET on children under two months old, even while admitting the EPA hasn’t issued any guidelines regarding age limitations.

Essentials oils actually do have some age limitations on them in spite of being all-natural and we’ll cover those as we come to them. The bottom line is if you don’t feel safe putting something on your newborn, don’t.

Best Chigger Repellent Reviewed

  • Broad-spectrum effectiveness
  • Kills chiggers upon contact
  • 28-day residual effectiveness

Martin’s Permethrin 10% is a product that avoids simply repelling chiggers, but knocking down entire chigger populations in your yard. In pest control, we hear about problems with chiggers on camping trips, but the biggest complaints from homeowners come from their own yards. 

This means that large-scale treatments are necessary to get rid of itchy pests, and permethrin is one of the best pesticides to use for chiggers. Mix one pint of the product with water in a gallon sprayer, shake the sprayer, and saturate all areas where chiggers thrive. All moist and shady areas in the yard, areas with bushes, tall grass, etc. 

This product has a 28-day residual effect that stays in place as long as there is no heavy rain in the areas. Repellents are great but why not attack the problem and eliminate it from your yard before chiggers start to bite? This product gets the job done. 

Pros

  • Uses permethrin that kills chiggers on contact
  • Lasts for up to 28 days
  • Safe and effective
  • Covers up to 1,000 square feet

Cons

  • Not effective
  • Loses effectiveness if washed away
  • Lasts for 6 weeks or 6 cycles in the washing machine
  • Repels chiggers and up to 54 other insects and pests
  • One bottle can treat up to 5 different outfits

Chiggers are resilient pests and will attach to clothing and camping gear to bite you later on if necessary. Permethrin is one of the top pesticides to use for killing these pests, and this product is an excellent choice for treating your clothing, shoes, and camping/outdoor gear to repel chiggers. 

All you have to do is coat the spray along all of your clothing, shoes, and accessories to keep chiggers from clinging to the material. The product lasts up to six weeks or six wash cycles and is free of unpleasant odors. Once the chiggers crawl through the spray, they quickly crawl right off to avoid dying. 

Chigger repellents need to be able to repel, but it also helps to have a product that can kill them if they are stubborn and won’t crawl off. Best of all, this product will also repel mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, and other types of mites. 

Pros

  • Lasts for 6 weeks or 6 cycles in the washing machine
  • Repels chiggers and up to 54 other insects and pests
  • One bottle can treat up to 5 different outfits
  • Odorless after drying

Cons

  • Side effects possible if exposed to skin
  • The spray nozzle is prone to leaking
  • Used by millions since 1946
  • Highly effective
  • 10 hours of protection

This is the original DEET insect repellent developed by the United States Army in 1946. It has been safely used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide since then, protecting them from mosquitoes, chiggers, and biting insects of all kinds.

It doesn’t dissolve easily in water so it lasts a long time – up to 10 full hours – even when you’re hot and sweaty. Very few other repellents can make that claim, or have the decades-long track record of success that DEET has.

It has a slight odor to it, and at concentrations below 30%, can be used on children as young as two months old. It won’t stain your clothes, camping gear, watch faces, glasses, or leather.

Pros

  • Doesn’t dissolve easily in water
  • Won’t stain clothes or camping gear
  • Safe for children two months old

Cons

  • Has a slight chemical odor
  • Safe and effective ingredients
  • Repels chiggers and relieves their itch
  • Can be used to repel multiple insects

One problem seen with chigger repellents is the odors or residue that comes from the liquid formulation. Sometimes cream or lotion is better-suited for some, and Chigg-Away The Soldier’s Choice is the best choice in this formula for repelling chiggers.

A great thing about this product is that it will both repel chiggers and relieve the itching caused by their bites. So if you don’t want to lather in the lotion to repel chiggers, this is very effective for reducing the reaction to the bites. 

This product uses precipitated sulfur to repel the insects, and a range of soothing anti-itch ingredients to ease any chigger-associated itching. It’s also a lot easier to carry around than a large spray bottle!

Pros

  • Safe and effective ingredients
  • Repels chiggers and relieves their itch
  • Can be used to repel multiple insects
  • Non-greasy feel

Cons

  • Only repels chiggers; does not kill them
  • Some customers have reported a rash after prolonged use
  • All-natural cedarwood oil
  • Kills and repels many insects
  • Safe for children and pets

Wondercide is the all-natural alternative to Tempo. The active ingredient is cedarwood essential oil. It repels and kills ants, chiggers, chinch bugs, crickets, fleas, flies, gnats, Japanese beetles, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, roaches, scorpions, ticks, and more.

This 16-ounce bottle can be diluted with water to treat up to 8,000 square feet of lawn gardens, flowers, siding, vegetables, brick, and paint. Because there aren’t any harsh chemicals in it, there’s no waiting for it to dry. Your children and pets can play right away.

It has the added benefit of being safe for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It washes away easily when it rains though, so you’ll have to respray each time.

Pros

  • Treats 8,000 square feet
  • Can be used on vegetable gardens
  • Won’t hard beneficial insects

Cons

  • Washes away easily in water

Permethrin is one of the best pesticides to use against chiggers. This product is a great way to treat against chiggers in your yard, specifically in areas you are active when playing sports or gardening.

Just mix one bottle of product in a gallon sprayer with water and treat all moist and shady areas of your yard to knock down chigger populations. 

Want To Solve Your Pest Problem Now?


We’ve partnered with Terminix to bring you exclusive discounts and priority service for your pest control needs. Click to get your free instant price quote.

Limited Time: Save $50 off your pest control service.

Final Thoughts On Chigger Repellents

Chigger repellents need to be applied before you get into the tall grass. Once you’re in the middle of it, it’s too late. But, if you apply them correctly, ahead of time, they’ll keep the chiggers off you and your family.

Around the house, we recommend a combination of yard spray and personal repellent. If you’re going hiking or camping, use the personal repellent and make sure it is applied everywhere to give you complete coverage.

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Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

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Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Orkin-Logo

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects