Chigo, a species of flea (sarcopsylla penetrans), called also jigger and sand flea, found in the West Indies and the tropical regions of South America. It inhabits the sand and chinks in the stalls of animals, and it is only the impregnated female that is found on man. She bores deeply into the skin of the feet in order to deposit her eggs, and as soon as an attachment is obtained, her hindmost segment swells up in a wonderful manner beneath the skin, so that the thorax and head appear as appendages to a bladder often as large as a pea. This sac contains the eggs or larvae, about GO in number, which, if the sac be broken during removal, are scattered through the tissues, and give rise to troublesome ulcers, which may necessitate amputation. Its removal unbroken may be effected with a needle, as soon as the swelling takes place. The negroes, and others going without shoes and stockings, are liable to suffer from this insect; and some of them acquire much dexterity in its removal. The best preventive is cleanliness and the constant wearing of shoes.
1. Chigo, magnified. 2. Chigo gorged with blood.