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By Matt McGowanU of A System University RelationsMay 4, 2018
PHOTO available for download: https://flic.kr/p/244CQWu
Listen to Podcast
FAYETTEVILLE —In the new edition of Short Talks From the Hill, a podcast from the University of Arkansas, Ashley Dowling explains exactly what
happens when chiggers bite us.
BUGGED — The velvet mite is the adult stage of the common chigger.
Photo by Ashley Dowling
“They do not burrow into our skin,” Dowling says in the podcast. “When they get on
us, they basically make a wound in the skin. They're not feeding on blood even, they're
just feeding on skin cells. So they make a little wound, and then they inject enzymes
through saliva, which dissolves the skin cells, and then they're basically slurping
Dowling is an associate professor of entomology for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life
Sciences. Researchers in his lab study micro-arthropods, focusing specifically on
In the podcast, he describes chiggers as a type of mite called a velvet mite, which,
during the larvae stage, feed on humans and other species, and then later become colorful
and “charismatic” as adults.
Dowling also studies ticks. In the podcast, he discusses an important citizens-science projectdesigned to reduce tick-borne diseases in Arkansas.
To learn more about Dowling’s research and these pesky pests, go to ResearchFrontiers.uark.edu, the home of research news at the University of Arkansas. Listeners can also find
Short Talks From the Hillpodcasts under the “Local & Podcast” link at KUAF.com.
Short Talks From the Hillhighlights research and scholarly work at the University of Arkansas. Each segment
features a university researcher discussing his or her work. For more information
and additional podcasts, click on the Multimedia link at ResearchFrontiers.uark.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Fred MillerU of A Division of AgricultureArkansas Agricultural Experiment Station(479) firstname.lastname@example.org