Jiggers (insects)

   The jigger, or chigre is a small flea found in the West Indies and South America. The female burrows under a person's skin, especially beneath the skin of the foot. At first a slight itching is the only indication of the insect's presence, but the jigger's abdomen soon swells up with eggs to the size of a pea, and a painful ulcer is formed in which the colony of young jiggers make a temporary home. Rubbing the exposed parts of the body with tobacco leaves is regarded as a preventive. In the South the same name is applied to the unrelated harvest mites which attach themselves like ticks to the human body and make painful red swellings or "jigger hites."