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Red bugs / chiggers

  1. Sep 1, 2004 #1
    Hey guys

    My class went into the forest to do vegetative analysis for ecology on Monday and I got my butt kicked by red bugs.

    I'm itching like crazy, I could barely sleep last night.

    But I'm wondering what causes the itch to be so bad? From what I've read, they inject a saliva that has enzymes that disolve skin cells. The body has an allergic reaction to the stylosome the bite forms. The chigger's feeding tube is stuck in the body and the body has to break down the tube?

    So why does it itch, though? I'm assuming that the bite, or the feeding tube that the chigger leaves is what causes the body to mount an immune response. What is it about the immune response that makes things itch? What type of immune response is being mounted? Is it humoral? Would this be a type of contact dermititis? So weird...


    A fascinating thing I read about them is that we itch when the chiggers bite us because of the reaction we have to theri bite, but the thing is we aren't their correct host! That's why we have the reaction. There is a species of chiggers in Asia and the Pacific whose host is humans and they don't cause an itching reaction on them There is one hell of an evolutionary adaptation!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2004 #2
    So, why didn't you ask your biology teacher yesterday ?
    But I guess you still have time for it today or tomorrow though,
    I don't know about immunology and I actually have never heard of any chiggers in Asia, and the Pacific whose host is humans like what you have said..But I know there are lots of BUGs in Microsoft software. I was told so when I took a class in Computer Science and Human Beings by an retired instructor from Sheetle (spell?) a couple of years ago...True --sal--
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2004
  4. Sep 1, 2004 #3
    So... Anyone who isn't on crack care to respond? :)
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