Annoyance factor: 7
Favorite hangouts: Damp and shady wooded areas.
Most annoying when: You're enjoying a rigorous nature hike through a remote, wooded area.
Annoying, associated diseases and afflictions: Scrub typhus, Trombiculosis (extreme itching and swelling).
Disgusting eating habits: Chiggers — skin-eaters and not blood-suckers — do not "bite" nor do they burrow themselves under human skin. After attaching themselves to a host, they form a hole called a stylostome that allows them to chew up parts of the inner skin. This is all after these red-colored cousins of the tick (shown here enlarged appx. 1,500 times) inject a delightful digestive enzyme into the skin that helps to break down skin cells. Lovely.