I thought I knew every pest in our woods and on the trail to Great Falls National Park, and had been bitten by all of them, but I have never encountered chiggers. Not in our woods, not on hikes to and in Great Falls National Park, not in Shenandoah. I have always thought of them as denizens of the deeper South.
However, today the arborist who is taking down a large dead tree in our woods said he been badly bitten by chiggers yesterday. He said it was worse than the worst case of poison ivy.
I looked up chiggers, and saw that they are in Northern Virginia. See Chigger Map of the United States. If so, they have been keeping a low profile in Great Falls.
Are chiggers having a good year here because we have had enormous amounts of rain this spring and summer? Or are they more numerous because they are moving north?
If masses of chiggers have moved permanently into the northern Virginia woods, how can I protect myself against them? I always wear long pants and long sleeves anyway; do I need to do more?