Chiggers are the only pest in Isle of Wight and Surry, VA, that aren’t dangerous, but can cause more discomfort than mosquitoes. Called no-see-ums by some because the bug is detected by the bites that can run into the dozens from one expedition into the woods. Fortunately the pest lurks in tall grass and weeds, so can be avoided by staying away from likely places during the summer. Unfortunately, I pick blackberries in the grass and can report that the tiny itchy bites last more than a week. They also increase in number each day you pick unless protective measures are taken. Protective measures include taping trouser cuffs to shoe tops, spraying shoes and cuffs with repellent or dusting inside your socks with powdered sulfur.
While your ankles are the common bite location, bites can be as high as the waistline producing some peculiar itching spots. They don’t remain in your clothing, so bites don’t occur after leaving an infested spot. I’ve never had a chigger bite on the arm, and, incidentally, during some 5 seasons of berry picking have yet to see a snake. On the other hand several wasps that weren’t avoided left their marks, one making a forearm swell up like Popeye’s. Wasps, bees and hornets are plentiful and varied, but less troublesome than the chiggers because they’re usually visible. They also provide beneficial pollination service.