We moved to northern GA after living my whole life in Oregon where you could sit on the lawn... However, I would not want to leave the beautiful South, not even because of bugs! ~ Barb (if I find more solutions I will write to you!)
My very first experience with chiggers was a few years ago in Tennessee. I suffered from dozens of chigger bites which tormented me for weeks, then left scars for about 6 mos. I had not walked in tall grass, only on a mowed lawn and we sat on a patio with nice lawn furniture for about 4-5 hours. Several hours later, I was itching like crazy (and none of the rest of the people were even bitten!)
Now I know what to do. When chiggers bite you, they inject their saliva which liquifies or softens the skin so they can eat the skin tissue. The skin makes a minute tube of scar tissue to counter the chigger saliva which dissolved the skin tissue for the chigger - this tube itches like crazy about 4 hours after you've been bitten and of course the chigger is long gone off of you, unable to bite again. What is itching is your own scar tissue! The chigger (a larvae) is gone right after he bites, and he can't bite more than once. Of course Off! with Deet spray would have been the best idea, or even wiping off legs with a paper towel after walking in the yard or being on lawn or patio furniture - but I didn't know better back then...
What works best is Meat tenderizer (sprinkle on wet hand and rub into bites - this also feels good because it scratches the itch but doesn't break the skin!) The enzymes dissolve or break down protein - the tiny scar tubes in your skin will be dissolved by the meat tenderizer and the itching stops. Also, Chiggerex (find online at WalMart) $1.99 a bottle of cream that has the scent of Noxzema. This is the best after you've rubbed meat tenderizer on the bites. I used Meat tenderizer (even the kind with salt and garlic seems ok too). This rubbed on with a little water (feels good because the salty granules scratch just right... Do this for a few minutes and leave the pasty watery granules on skin for about 10 min., and then shower, put Chiggerex on and you will not itch. The tiny scar - tubes your skin has made will dissolve as the meat tenderizer with bromelain breaks down the scar. Remember, there is nothing in your skin, it is the little tube of scar tissue which is itching. The only reason clear nail polish helps at all is because it keeps air off the bite and that reduces itching.
What I now know and I wish I had known:
1. Use Deet spray - Off! on before going in yard or on patio furniture (they are on patio furniture)
2. If out in yard, rub off legs and arms with paper towel after being out in yard to get chiggers off (they are the size of the line on edge of a dime)
3. If bitten, Use meat tenderizer (any kind in the supermarket - mine even had garlic salt and it was ok )
4. Leave on for 5 or ten min. and wash off in the shower, put Chiggerex on, and you will stop itching.
I really suffered - even went to the hospital and had to have shots. Now I know what to do, and I hope this helps someone else avoid hospital and weeks of misery, months of scars from scratching.
Also, for any trips or outings, take Off! with Deet and If bitten by any insect, use Afterbite (found in CVS or RiteAid in pet section) - the ammonia neutralizes the saliva of the insect.