How to Get Rid of No-See-Ums, Bite Relief, and Facts

Today we’re going to be discussing one of the smallest and most annoying pests on the planet, No-See-Ums. These little pests may be hard to see, but their bite is certainly not hard to feel. Visiting Florida, I’ve had many encounters with these little bloodsuckers, and luckily for you, I’ve tested many products to find which ones work the best to kill and repel them.

You might also hear No-See-Ums referred to as biting midges, punkies, biting gnats, moose flies, and sand flies. These are all monikers for a family of biting flies known as Ceratopogonidae.

no see um

If you’ve ever been bitten by a No-See-Um, you already know what a pest these nearly invisible pests can be. In this guide, I’ll share with you how to get rid of No-See-Ums, facts about their bites, pictures of No-See-Um bites, and some good repellents you can use to defend yourself while you’re out and about.

No-See-Ums are incredibly small, making them hard to detect. There’s no use trying to flee from them, as they are typically present in large numbers, particularly when the sun is rising or setting! When you first encounter No-See-Ums, you may think they are not big deal because their bites don’t hurt too bad right away, but the next day you’ll like find dozens of itchy lumps.

If you’ve had that experience, stick around and I’ll share with you the best ways to keep No-See-Ums away.


No-See-Um Facts: Know Your Enemy

They may be small, but biting midges are formidable foes. These creatures have a four-stage life cycle, which is similar to another well-known bloodsucker: mosquitoes. When a mature female biting midge is ready to reproduce, she will have a blood meal to nourish the eggs. She will then seek out a body water, muddy puddle, or even moist sand to offload her eggs. Biting midges can lay upwards of 400 eggs at a time and repeat this process about six or seven times during the female’s lifetime.

The eggs of the biting midge usually start off cream in color, but later taken on a darker shade. In a short time, the larvae will emerge from their eggs. These larvae share the same segmented body shape as tiny mealworms, but the head is reddish brown in color while the rest of the body is off-white.

What Attracts No-See-Ums?

If you’re the person in your group who always gets eaten alive by mosquitoes and No-See-Ums, it’s not just bad luck. The reason lies in your genes! Scientists now estimate that 85 percent of our susceptibility to mosquito bites lies in our genetics.

Carbon Dioxide – Mosquitoes and No-See-Ums are attracted to carbon dioxide, a gas that humans naturally exhale. They also sense other chemicals humans exhale such as lactic acid, uric acid, and fatty acids. This chemical cocktail signals to no-see-ums that a vertebrae mammal is nearby.

The combination and amount of chemicals along with CO2 we exhale is influenced by our genetics.

Secretions and Lactic Acid Levels – Humans secrete compounds called saccharides and antigens through their skin that attract mosquitoes and no-see-ums. The amount a particular person secretes is largely influenced by their genetics.

Blood Type – Scientists have done extensive testing on which blood types attract mosquitoes, and they found that type O blood was the most attractive and type A was the least attractive.

The bottom line: There really is nothing you can do to make yourself less appealing to No-See-Ums without the use of repellents. You can also use mosquito nets and long sleeve clothing to prevent bites.

Why Do No-See-Ums Bite Some People More Than Others?

As mentioned above, there are a number of factors that make mosquitoes and No-See-Ums more attracted to some people. Factors such as blood type, skin secretions, lactic acid levels, and other biological factors make some people much more attractive to no-see-ums.

This is also why some no-see-um repellents will work for some people and not others!

These critters are everywhere — literally! But, don’t go trying to hide from midges, No-See-Ums, or whatever you want to call them, these pests are everywhere. Mountain climbers have even encountered biting midges on Mount Everest — even Mr. “Green Boots” couldn’t escape from biting midges.

Biting midges are incredibly small. These pests are so small that a biting midge could easily rest inside the letter “O” on an American dime. They are so small they can get through screens on windows and doors. When someone is bitten by a biting midge they are often aware that something is biting them, but they are unable to see exactly what is doing the biting. This is how this species earned the nickname “no-see-ums.”


Here Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of No-See-Ums

First, we need to temper your expectations. Removing biting midges from your property can be a challenge. Traditional pest control techniques such as insecticides generally only kill off the present and active No-See-Ums and other flying pests for only 24 hours. But, if you are only looking to thwart biting midges for a one-day outdoor event such as a family reunion, insecticides can be effective in fulfilling your goals.

1. Sawyer 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion or Spray

sawayer picaridin insect repellent

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This is one of the most popular DEET free mosquito and no-see-um repellents on the market. You can find it in both a lotion or spray bottle. Both the liquid and spray are very effective, but If I had to choose one I would go with the lotion repellent form here. The spray form is effective as well, but you’ll have to apply it more often.

The active ingredient used to protect against mosquitoes and other biting insects is Picaridin.

If you haven’t heard of Picaridin is a chemical that resembles the compound piperine that occurs naturally in black pepper. It does not kill no-see-ums of mosquitos, it simply repels them and seems to block their ability to sense prey. Sawyer also makes an odorless insect repellant to use on clothing, camping gear, and tents.


2. Avon Bug Guard Towelettes with Picaridin

Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard picaridin towelettes

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Avon Bug Guard Towelettes also contain picaridin and are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get rid of no-see-ums. They’re great for traveling because unlike liquid sprays, aerosols, lotions, and gels that have bottle size restrictions when going through airport security, there are no restrictions on wipes like these.

They are great because you can just throw them in your backpack or car and whenever you notice no-see-ums or mosquitos you can bust them out.

From reading the package, we know it contains Picaridin, vitamin E, and Aloe. The only potential con I see to these wipes is that the inactive ingredients are not fully disclosed.


3. Avon Repellent Spray

Avon Bug Guard Plus No See Um Bug Repellent

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No-See-Ums (biting midges) are most active during the dawn and dusk hours, especially in late springtime. They prefer these hours because the moisture in the air helps them better detect hosts and the conditions are neither too hot nor too cold. If you are active outdoors during these hours, one good spray is Avon Bug Guard Plus with Picaridin or Avon SPF 30 Bug Guard.


4. No Natz No-See-Um Bug Spray

No Natz no see um mosquito and gnat deet free natural bug spray

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No Natz is one of the most popular bug sprays to use against no-see-ums in Florida. This is a very important spray to use particularly around dusk. The spray is DEET-free and is hypoallergenic. It is made with natural ingredients such as lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, geranium oil, citronella oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. This spray comes in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, and 8-ounce containers.

The same company also makes a spray called No Mosquitoz. This is very similar to No Natz but uses cedarwood oil rather than germanium oil. Both with work decent to stop no-see-ums and mosquitos.


5. Essential Oils (Moderately Effective)

Repel Essential Oil lemon eucalyptus insect repellent

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If you share this article on Facebook, someone will eventually ask the question “What about essential oils?

Do any of them deter biting midges?” And, the answer is “Yes, sort of.” The Center for Disease Control does list the oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (chemical name: para-menthane-3,8-diol), the synthesized version of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as ingredients that “provide reasonably long-lasting protection”. The article by the CDC referenced above is talking specifically about protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other arthropods. It does not specifically mention biting midges or no-see-ums, but the page is still relevant to no-see-ums.


6. Demon Max Insecticide with 25.3% Cypermethrin

One Pintdemon max Insecticide with Cypermethrin

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While it isn’t a long-term eradication solution, Demon Max Insecticide with 25.3% Cypermethrin appears to be highly effective against biting midges. Simply mix the concentrated solution in a two-gallon lawn sprayer like this one offered by Chapin International and spray the mix across your property. The cypermethrin in this product should deter biting midges for at least several days.

But, if you’re looking to a long-term solution that only requires the flip of a switch, then we’ve got something for you. It’s known as the Dyanatrap XL, but you can simply call it the ultimate biting midge killing machine.


7. Dynatrap DT: No-See-Um and Mosquito Trap 

dyanatrap no see um and mosquito insect trap

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The Dynatrap DT1050 offers the best protection against biting midges and other flying pests. And, it’s backed by science. This is the half-acre version and there is also a one-acre version which is the DT2000XL Heavy Duty Insect Trap.

It’s taken science hundreds of years to acknowledge what you probably discovered in just a few minutes of standing outside: biting midges appear to be attracted to mammals. More specifically, biting midges or No-See-Ums seek out sources of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas all mammals exhale.

The Dynatrap XL features a surface that is coated in titanium dioxide. When placed in sunlight, this surface off-gases carbon dioxide, which attracts biting midges, mosquitoes, and other blood-sucking pests. Before the biting midges have time to scream “It’s a trap!” the Dynatrap XL’s whisper-quiet vacuum has already sucked them into the depths of the device’s internal retaining cage. The internal fluorescent UV light helps to quickly dehydrate pests trapped in the cage as well as draw pests to their dehydrated doom.

With traditional bug zappers, there are always those annoying zapping sounds and curious kids trying to poke them with a stick. Plus, they are hardly effective against No-See-Ums. That is why we highly recommend the Dynatrap XL. Tolono makes a gnat and mosquito trap that can be used indoors.


8. Learn to Love Body Nets

no-see-um and mosquito repellent bug suit with hood and jacket

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If your outdoor adventures take you to an area where biting midges and mosquitoes are especially prominent, you want to look into ordering a full-body no-see-um and mosquito net. Whether you are planning to spend a great deal of time outdoors or traveling to Central or South America, we highly recommend at least having a full-body mosquito net on hand. Homeya makes an anti-mosquito and anti-biting midge full body net with a fine mesh, which greatly reduces the risk of being bitten by No-See-Ums. In my opinion, it’s definitely not.


9. Cover Your Legs

Professor Paul Bartel is an invertebrate biology researcher at Warren Wilson College. Professor Bartel recommends keeping legs covered since this is the most popular location for biting midges to feed. The reason is simple. As you walk, the backside of your leg is shielded from airflow, which allows the biting midges to continue their feeding activity without being swept off the surface of the skin.


10. DEET Repellents (Not Recommended)

DEET remains a controversial insect repellent and should never be worn for prolonged periods due to the risks. But, products that contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are some of the best at keeping biting midges from feasting on your chemical-laden skin. So, essentially, it’s up to you to decide if adding poisons to your skin outweighs the risk of being attacked by a swarm of No-See-Ums.


No-See-Um Bite Relief – How to Treat Bites

No See Um Bite

Biting midges are incredibly small. You may not even notice when one or many of these pests attach themselves to your skin and begin their feeding frenzy. Although, the bite marks they leave behind will quickly clue you in. Biting midges usually seek out exposed areas of skin, such as the legs, ankles, neck, face, arms, or hands.

Know the symptoms. Depending on how your skin reacts to the bites, you may see small red dots, or large clusters of lumps or welts if you have an allergic reaction to this type of insect bite. And, yes; the bites will most likely be itchy, but resist the urge to scratch them!

If home remedies and over-the-counter products do not relieve you of the symptoms, or you are having adverse reactions to the bites, causing problems with swallowing or breathing, go see a doctor as soon as possible. Also, if you develop a severe rash or experience other physical or health-related issues beyond the bite marks, put your safety first and seek help from a medical professional. Life-threatening reactions are rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

Locate the Bites

If you see several bites on your arms or legs, check other areas of your body to see if those too were affected. Biting midges are highly opportunistic and will attack the surfaces that are the most exposed. But, if you happened to be wearing loose-fitting clothes that day, the biting midges could have gone after other areas of your body as well.

Wash the Affected Areas

Use warm water and mild antibacterial soap to wash any areas where you’ve been bitten by No-See-Ums. It’s best to do this as soon as you notice bites. By washing, you eliminate any residual saliva from the No-See-Ums left on your skin, which can reduce irritation. In addition, this step helps to reduce the risk of infection.

Avoid the Urge to Scratch at the Bites

It can be hard to resist itching at the bites. But, itching can lead to an infection, which will prolong the agony. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence which states that scratching bite marks from biting midges doubles the healing period. So, try to avoid itching the bites at all cost!

Get Relief From the Itching Sensations

Because biting midge saliva contains histamines, you may feel compelled to scratch at the affected area. A loratadine-based antihistamine such as Kirkland AllerClear can help diminish the effects of the itchy sensations and bring much-needed relief.

Some recommend applying a towel soaked in hot water to the bites, while others find relief from applying a cold pack or cortisone to the bites. We’ve also heard that cortisone and zinc creams offer effective relief from bites. Cortisone, in particular, has proven to be effective in reducing the swelling of welts caused by biting midges.


Biting Midge Facts

Wherever there are mammals there will be biting midges. These pests are persistent and actually quite odd. We’ll start with a highly theoretical question: If you could eliminate all biting midges on the planet with the flip of a switch, would you do so? Before you decide, read the following paragraph.

Eliminate chocolate or biting midges?

The choice is yours. Do you like chocolate? In classic fairytales, all grand wishes, whether dispensed by a genie or wizard, seem to come with a negative consequence after the wish is fulfilled. The biting midge is the Ying to chocolate’s Yang. Biting midges are the only known pollinators of the cacao tree — yes, that very same tree that produces cacao nuts, which are eventually turned into the world’s favorite delicacy, chocolate. So, would you choose to eliminate all biting midges and possibly create a future world with no chocolate? Or, are you willing to suffer from the occasional No-See-Um attack in order to enjoy chocolate for the rest of time?

Biting midge larvae slow their growth in colder climates

Your typical No-See-Um larva will pupate and reach adult after 28 days. But, the hardy variety of biting midges in colder climates (sorry Mt. Everest climbers) can remain in the larval stage for nearly a year. How is that for weirdness?

Scots versus biting midges: the saga takes an unlikely turn

The “highland midge” is a notorious pest in Scotland, which makes us wonder how kilts were ever a thing. In Scotland’s northwest, highland midges gather in clouds, where they plot the carnage they are soon to extoll on unsuspecting sheep, deer, Scots, cattle, and then more sheep (Scotland has plenty of sheep).

While the highland variety is not known to carry diseases that can affect humans, biting midges have left many visitors to swear off traveling to Scotland ever again. In 2010 there was a ray of hope that a long cold snap would kill off the biting midges. We can imagine the biting midges guffawing at this suggestion. In the spring, ecologists found that not only did the lengthy cold not kill the pests, but their populations actually increased since their natural predators (birds, bats, and other predators) were more affected by the harsh cold.

Mass reproducers

The female biting midge can lay over 2,800 eggs within her lifetime. Now, compare that to the measly 300 eggs female mosquitos lay during their short lives!

The best chemical midge-killer is banned in the US

As a country, we had a choice in the 1950s: either we continue poisoning the planet by using DDT to kill biting midges and mosquitos, or we call a momentary truce to this mutually assured destruction scenario. As you’d expect, the United States banned the sale of DDT-based insecticides.

The Greeks referred to them as “horn beards”

When it came time to name the family of biting midges, the Greeks settled on Ceratopogonidae, which roughly translates to “horn beards.”

Biting midges are neither terrestrial nor aquatic

Since biting midges need moist environments to grow in their larval form, they require a specially adapted oxygen-breathing organ while in water. This makes them truly unique in the insect world.

No-See-Ums are disease vectors in livestock

Biting midges are especially problematic in parts of Europe, where they spread nasty livestock disease such as “Bluetongue virus (BTV).”

Sometimes they lay eggs in rotten fruit

In tropical climates, it can sometimes be difficult for biting midges to find a suitable spot to lay their eggs. So, they choose the next best thing: rotten fruit.


FAQs on Biting Midges

You have questions, we have answers! In this section, Pest Control Gurus will attempt to answer your questions as accurately as possible. If you have a specific question on No-See-Ums that is not covered here, please reach out to us and we will answer it on this page.

Do No-See-Ums lay their eggs under people’s skin?

It may be an old wives’ tale told to young Scots to have them home before dusk, but biting midges do not lay their eggs under the skin of unsuspecting humans. It sounds totally plausible given the nature of biting midges, but fortunately, this myth is false.

Do biting midges spread disease?

There have been no reported cases of diseases spread by No-See-Ums in the United States. But, in South America, Central America, and in the Caribbean, biting midges are known vectors of Mansonella filarial worm parasites, which can cause skin lesions and dermatitis. Health experts state that the primary concern of No-See-Um bites in the United States is due to allergic reactions, which on rare occasions can be life-threatening.

Are chiggers and biting midges the same thing?

These two species are often mistaken to be one and the same. No. Chiggers are a type of earth-dwelling, biting mite while biting midges belong to the order of flying insects. Also, sand flies are not biting midges, these are a different pest species.

Can I alter my property to get rid of biting midges?

Yes! One long-standing practice has been to increase the drainage to properties to remove standing water and excess moisture in the area. Biting midges love humid coastal regions and are especially fond of tall grass, which helps retain moisture in the earth. So, if biting midges are problematic on your property, you might look into hiring a drainage specialist and mow your lawn frequently.

How bad are bites from biting midges?

While there are definitely worse insect bites out there, most bites from biting midges only cause scratching and irritation. Of course, there are always allergy risks and risks to animals and livestock.

How do I protect my pets while outdoors?

The best way to protect pets from biting midges while they are outdoors is to keep them inside during the dawn and dusk hours, the period when biting midges are most active. There are some spray-on products that are designed to deter biting midges, but many users report that the effectiveness of these products is questionable.

Where are biting midges common?

Biting midges are more common in moist, highlands type environments, but they can be found in every part of the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica. In the United States, biting midges are especially problematic in areas such as Sacramento and the west end of the Central Valley in California.

What time of year are biting midges most active?

In the United States, biting midges are most active during the warm and wet seasons. Therefore, around May and June are the most common times of year to be bitten by biting midges. This is due to the fact that the females are busy reproducing and require bloodmeals to nourish the eggs.

Why do only female No-See-Ums suck blood?

The reason that only the females suck blood is that they are seeking extra nourishment before they lay eggs, which they will do five to seven times in their lifetime. Male biting midges, on the other hand, are completely harmless to humans and livestock since they only feed on nectar and occasionally tree sap.

Why are No-See-Um bites itchy?

If you’ve ever been bitten by No-See-Ums then you know the worst part isn’t the bite, it’s all the itchiness that follows. The reason bites from No-See-Ums itch is because their saliva contains proteins and histamines that aid in anti-coagulation and keeps blood pooling at the surface of the skin. If you’re looking for more info on this interesting topic, the US National Library of Medicine offers free access to a peer-reviewed journal article titled “The salivary secretome of No See Ums, Clucoides sonorensis.”

Public Service Announcement. Give Us Your Feedback, Please!

After trying any of the methods on this list, please give us your feedback on how they worked for you. No-see-ums are literally one of the most difficult pests to deal with. While I have personally tried many of the products on this list, I have heard of products working for one person, but not another person who was standing right next to them. As mentioned above, our level of attractiveness to no-see-ums is largely genetically influenced.

Let me know if you have found any products that have worked for you in the past. A combination of essential oils would be great, but I have not found any combinations that are effective enough to recommend as of yet!

First image top of the page (biting midge) credit: CSIRO.

51 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of No-See-Ums, Bite Relief, and Facts”

  1. I have these bugs in my home. My next-door neighbor has directed his downspout drain towards my house. They came in through my windows. I keep shut now.

    I am going insane with these things. I had someone come and spray my home. But, they were worse than ever. Please can you help?

    Reply
    • No-See-Ums are most active at dawn and dusk. Depending on how many their are outside maybe air out your house during the day so they can fly away. Keeping a fan on you may help as well as they can not fly well in high winds. When the house in closed get one of the recommended insect trap to catch and kill them.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for a very thorough explanation of what the biting midge is … I was hoping for a nematode species that might be effective against them, since nematodes have been beautifully effective in getting rid of fungus gnats and other pesky bugs. I do have a Dynatrap and our property has been noticeably better since we started using it this year. Thank you for sharing the names of the actual products you are aware of to combat these creatures!

    Reply
  3. I just moved to Florida and am one of the “lucky” people who gets hives from them these little suckers!
    I happen to have some Avon Repellent and gave it a shot. It worked GREAT! At one point I washed my left hand and forgot to reapply and within 10 minutes was bitten- ONLY on my left hand. Definitely two thumbs up!
    Now if only my Type A blood outweighed my other (apparently) delicious secretions!
    Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  4. These insects are biting my horse so bad. Now she is scratching and rubbing herself raw. Any ideas you have would be helpful. Also I’m in Arizona and its dry and hot here.

    Reply
    • Similar tactices could be used with horses. If the sprays do not work maybe try a fan when the hourse is outside. To prevent them from coming inside a lanai or screened in stall could be built if they are really bad and not just an occasional problem.

      Reply
  5. These nasty little things are biting only me inside my house. I don’t know where they’re coming from. Do they attach to furry dogs. I’m wondering if my dogs are bringing them in and then bite me. I have so many bites I welted up and I hAd to call my dr for help. It works temporarily but just as I start getting better I get more bites. Help

    Reply
    • Yeah no-see-ums can get on pets and then come inside. The best way to prevent this is to not walk your dog right at dusk in areas that might have no-see-ums. Avoid heavy vegitaion and wet areas at dusk, exspecially on calm nights with no wind. Also you can likely apply the same natural no-see-um bug repellents to your dog without issue.

      Reply
  6. I walk my dog at dawn and dusk – he insists. Now, I blow hot air on him (and myself) with my hair dryer when we come in. This morning, two tiny, golden no-see-ums emerged on his head – the first I have actually seen. I also blow the hair dryer on my sheets and pj’s at night. So far so good.

    Reply
  7. This is helpful and not helpful. I now use the picariden products but they will find the one spot spray didn’t reach like under my fitbit band. Or my hand after I use the hose and wash off the spray. They have never been so bad as this year. And the time of day doesn’t matter. I’m using mosquito bits in my earthboxes regularly but there is water in the bottom. I have a zapper outside and ultraviolet trapper inside too. I use a few spots of diatomaceous earth for fleas the mice bring in. Fixes that problem easily. Took me years to figure that one out.
    Is it the wildfires out west (I’m in Maryland) or the hurricanes that are pushing them here? Or am I stuck inside from now on not only because of Coronavirus but Midges too? Does it help the sprays to use a mosquito incense stick at the same time? I’ll try that when I tend the EB’s’.

    Reply
    • It is likely due to a warm and wet summer. No-See-Ums thrive in this type of environment. Try to limit moist vegetation and water sources in areas that you do not want them to be. Make sure to have proper screen to prevent them from coming inside.

      Reply
    • I’m in a California High Fire Hazard zone, they love it here and are definitely sticking around. Hard to tell if I get bit in the house or outside.

      Reply
  8. We have them in our house. We got rid of our house plants where we found many dead ones after spraying with Tempo by Bayer. It’s produced in India. Since then we vacuum twice a day and spread salt in the carpets. We spray every other day and still have them They bite my wife incessantly. She’s at her wits end. They don’t bother me as bad. We believe they came from a large grass pile at the back of our property. Help! We’re at our wits end. We never have screens in our window. Every time we do yard work, we strip off our clothes and wash them immediately.

    Reply
    • It sounds like you are on the right track with getting rid of plants and finding the possible source outside. If you do not have scenes I would keep the windows closed starting around 1 hour before sunset. If the windows need to be open cause otherwise it is too hot getting fine mesh screens for the window seems like the best solution.

      Reply
    • Karen, that is a good qustion. No-see-um do well in a warm moist environment. It would likely be to new vegitaion habitat or the amount or stagnant water in the area. If you can find where the insects are living you might be able to remove the vegetation or water source.

      Reply
  9. I have done everything I know to do to get rid of these no see ums bugs. I have tried raid fogger, vinegar and detergent trap, boric acid, several essential oils, listerine, witch hazel, alcohol, baby oil, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, fly traps, Stri-fab, Sawyer repellent, msm cream (which suppose to be poisonous to them), vitamins, blowers, liniment, fans, closed doors and windows, darken room, and now I am using indoor Dynatrap. I still cannot get rid of them, but most of all I want to kill them that I have in my home.
    How can I accomplish that?

    Reply
    • Well it seems like you have tried some very good options! Make sure you are preventing them from coming in, then make sure there is not a habitat for them to live inside. Get proper scenes in windows and doors. Do not leave doors open at dusk when they are most active. If their are wet shower mats or plants in home get rid of them. Try and find the source. Dyna-trap and bug zappers from indoor use should kill the stranglers. Also try and eliminate vegetation and water sources where they might live around the outside of the house.

      Reply
  10. Wow I am so glad I am not alone in this fight. Years and years of this fight is exhausting. It’s not just exhausting to deal with but to constantly explain to everyone I meet why I can’t do this and that at this time of day. And what happens to me when I am bit by these little bugs. Fill in whatever you want.

    I am a sane happy fun positive person. It is sad the reactions I get like I’m a crazy person being dramatic and making up stories. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    Thank you for listening to my rant. It helps. So, on to the importance of my post. I definitely have used Avon Skin so soft for years for EVERYTHING! When I lived in California it was for ants. My whole family got tired of the smell but it really did the job. Now I live on the east coast and had no idea what I would encounter with this pest. It’s been 11 years and my whole goal in life has been to find out why I get bit and how to stop it. It didn’t take me long to become allergic to the no-see-ums and Green-head flies. Ouch! By the way, where I live late August and September are the worst because the gnats and other pests know the cold weather is coming and it will be over soon. I DID NOT KNOW THAT THE LARVAE CAN SURVIVE THE WINTER! UGH! And I didn’t know how populated they are in the world.

    Long story short with tons of investigating and learning. I use essential oils for everything. My go-to FOR ME is my Lavender Vanilla spray from Lemongrass Spa products in which I am a consultant. I became a consultant only to have access to natural products for about 5 years now. Also Doterra oils it’s the same fact and reason. At one point I learned about a product called “All Stop” which has melaleuca in it. I found it on Amazon. So LAVENDER, MELALEUCA (tea tree oil) CLOVE, and different variations of these products work for deterrence and effective post-bite. Any others don’t work as well for me. Must be my sweet tasting blood and lovely scent I secrete. Ugh!
    Lavender is always on me. Tea tree is immediately after the bite but I only get bit maybe once a year now. After 2-3 years of cellulitis and antibiotics, I had to step up my research. Clove helps with the itch and dries it up quickly.

    Also, I’ve had suggestions about running hot scalding water over the bite. Works GREAT! Relief! Also quickly dabbing a hot spoon (warmed on the stove) on the bite cures the itch also. Heat is the key. And most of all YES … wash it off immediately but keep walking it. I also tape with bandages small square alcohol swabs to the bite for effective drying up the bite.
    ARE YOU EXHAUSTED YET?! Whew! I am! I hope this helps all of you in this club that we didn’t choose to join. It is a sore subject for me. BUT I am pretty successful in fighting the fight now.

    Reply
  11. I have been bitten for the last 3 weeks. I thought maybe bedbugs but I have bedbug traps all over and none have shown up but I am getting bit during the night it seems. I get big hives from mosquito bites so I am wondering if it is no-see-ums? The first time was at my son’s in the country where he has 4 cats that go outside. One of the cats crawled under the blankets by my feet and I noticed that my ankle was very itchy. It stayed itchy and swollen for about a week. Then I got a bit around my knee which stayed itchy for about a week and I scratched until I broke the skin and put peroxide on and saw some pus last night. I must have been bitten again as by my other ankle I have swelling and itchy. I have put my blankets in the dryer? How do I get rid of them if I do have no-see-ums? I live in an apt in the city. Did I bring one home from the country? My windows have been open and I have screens? How do I know if this is a no-see-um bite or could it be something else? I am blood type 0. If a female bites me where would she go to lay the eggs? I have one pot with soil, would that be where? It is usually dry not wet.

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    • That does not sound like no-see-ums. Typically, no-seems are found in moist vegetation outside and would not likely bite when you are covered in a blanket. It could have been a range of other small bugs. Best thing to do is wash all the clothing and bedding and then take a shower. It is unlikely that no-see-ums are reproducing in your apartment.

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  12. Blane, first and foremost thank you for the great write up on the midges, very helpful. Now I would like to share something with you and others on dealing with the itching. Someone else mentioned heat as a treatment for the itching and I can affirm that it really works. However strange this may sound myself and friends have found that using a small midsize hairdryer on “low” eliminates all itching for a particular bite. We just hold it over the bite as close as possible without touching the skin and as long as it takes until you start to feel it burn, but it doesn’t actually burn the skin. There is no damage to the skin, no red spots or anything of that nature. I have done this literally hundreds of times with no ill effects of any kind. Some bites require a followup treatment hours later or maybe the next day, but most don’t. Of course this isn’t medical advice, but a home remedy that works well for us. The little Conair Mid size hairdryers 1875 Watts are available at Target for around ten bucks. I hope this helps others as much as it has helped us.

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  13. I stumbled upon this article just now and find it to be the most informative and helpful of any I have read! My guests have threatened to not visit me in Florida due to these nasty bugs… This year I will be armed thanks to you.
    Does a finer screening actually help? I have a large lanai with a cement floor and pool which is all enclosed. Not sure if replacing all the screening is actually worth the price. Thoughts?

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    • Thanks for the question Nancie. Yeah a good screened in lanai can stop no-see-ums. When selecting a screen their is a larger mesh size that is easier to see through but allows small insects like no-seems to pass through. The finer mesh is specifically made to stop no-see-ums. In Florida and many other places the entire point of the lanai is to stop these small insects so it is a good idea to get the finer mesh size screen.

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  14. I’ve done tons of research myself for years. This year for some reason they are abundant. They bite me everywhere. I’ve tried many of the same things listed above but they are getting worse and worse. Sitting on the couch watching TV, and I have had numerous bites within an hour and it doesn’t get better. Everybody thinks I’m psycho but if you’ve never had this happen then you can’t even imagine the awful pain I’m going thru. I wear leggings that have the feet plus I wear socks too. Seems as though are biting me thru my clothes. The backs of my legs foot to the knee are like one big sore, probably from scratching. I try not to scratch but the only way I cannot scratch is to put me in a straight jacket. They are biting me everywhere about every 15 seconds. Can nerves play a part? Someone told me it was just my nerves freaking me out! These bites are very real! I’ve read that they are attracted by dark colors. I have got a white sheet covering my couch and a cream-colored king size blanket covering the carpet. God forbid but when I try to clean or vacuum they really come out and I am the target. I’m sitting on my couch now while typing this. I can’t get finished because they are biting the heck out of me. Some of my sores on the back of my legs are really bad. I’m glad you mentioned the fact of these things biting the backs of legs. Before I read your message I actually thought they were coming from my couch. I’ve tried numerous DIY home remedies, EOs, diffusers, sprays prescription meds, and more, nothing works! Please help me. I’m going nuts. As of today, my PCP called in a script for Prednisone and Clobetasol cream. I’ve been on antibiotics several times but PCP said I couldn’t take antibiotics right now, they wouldn’t work. Help.

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    • Yeah, many people are saying that the no-see-ums are really bad this year. If clothing is thin and tight up against the skin even the small no-see-ums can bite through. This is why body nets are loose-fitting. It sounds like you have good anti-ich cream. The long term solution is to make sure the no-see-ums are prevented from entering the home. Make sure the screens on the house have a fine mesh size and try not to open doors and widows to the out side around dusk as this is when no-see-ums are most active. Also try to eliminate any nearby habit the insects may be living in. If all else fails contact a pest control professional to evaluate the property. Good luck!

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  15. In the evening I read in bed using my electronic Kindle e-reader and a few minutes into reading I have an annoying no-see-um flying around the device. Are they attracted to the light? I am mystified as the entire 2nd floor has no plants, is very clean, has no standing water, windows are shut and I don’t see any activity during the day. Where are they coming from? Any advice?

    Reply
    • Yeah, no-see-ums are attracted to light and heat. That is strange but the no-see-um probably flew in when the door opened. If you have pets that go outside they could have brought it into the house as well. If it just one I would not be concerned. If the number increases then it might be work investigating further.

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  16. Where do they go after they hatch and feast? Do they reside in your bedding or clothing or even towels? I see a few fling around occasionally and wonder where they go to wait for me to go to bed?

    Reply
    • Normally they live in moist warm vegetation. If you just have a few that flew into your house it is unlikely that they are reproducing unless there are lots of plants an water inside. If a few are in your house they could land anywhere similar to a mosquito. No-see-ums are attracted to light and heat when feeding.

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  17. I have been fighting these tiny pests for years. I believe they traveled back with me from South Texas / Port Isabel. I live in Louisiana, and it took me a long time to figure out what had infested my home. The local company could not identify them and told me they could not find any pests in my townhome. After reading all the comments, I was surprised that no one else is experiencing the issue I am with these pests. They somehow got in my clothing, and I am finding it impossible to get rid of them. I have tried hot water only and cold water only to wash my clothes, dry them on high heat for over 40 minutes, and it does not kill them in my clothes. Actually, I feel washing and drying my clothes will cause everything in that load to become infested. They are so tiny and so abundant, that when I wear something, I start itching, usually my arms and legs, and when I remove the clothing, actually have small round bruising from where the larvae or recently hatched small pests were concentrated.

    I have sprayed demon x, raid flying insect spray has seemed to help reduce the population of flying midges, and started spraying my small backyard with Cynara and demon X. I will try the Dynatrap for inside, as I feel that will also help reduce/eliminate the population in my home. I do not keep doors or windows open at all, too humid in Louisiana for that! Nor do I go out at dusk or dawn. I need to find something to get rid of these nasty little pests that have taken over all of my clothes! I cannot continue on like this. Hoping you or someone can advise what I can do to eliminate them from my clothing. I have actually considered getting rid of all of my clothes, spraying and getting a Dynatrap in my home, leave for 2 weeks, and start to rebuild my wardrobe. That is how bad they got in my home. I did not know what they were for about a year and 1/2 and probably did things to support their infestation when I look back. Any advice? Suggestions? I will try anything to get rid of them.

    Reply
    • Well if you think they are in you clothing it is probably not no-see-ums. These are similar to mosquitos and they would have been killed by doing the laundry. It is hard to say what is bothering you for sure or how the bugs keep getting re-introduced with having years gone by. It sounds more like bed bugs to me. Consider getting bed bug traps and seeing if any get caught.

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  18. Wash yourself and shower every day. If that doesn’t work, try figuring out where there coming from. If you figure out where, try to block it up. If that doesn’t work, then call pest control. There may be no way to get rid of no see ums altogether if you live somewhere with a hot, humid climate—as annoying as they are, they’re a fact of life in many places.

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  19. Trying to figure out where they are coming from. I don’t have house plants. They are driving me crazy and biting me in my head and face. I have used stuff from home depot and it’s not working also used vinegar and dish soap but they still come back. I don’t wanna deal with them for the winter again. Help, I am in New Jersey.

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  20. I live in Phoenix and have only noticed no-see-ums in the past two years, and this year they have been bad. I had my evaporator cooler running early summer so think they got into my house then, and now I wear long pants or no-see-um spray when I go out but I think they are getting me when I sleep. After I plugged in screamers in every main room, I saw 8 or 10 of them crawling up my refrigerator and I killed them all, so I think the screamers do work to some extent, but I don’t want to open windows to let bugs out because more could come in! This morning I saw about 6 black dots on the sink in my bathroom, got the magnifier out and sure enough, they were dead no-see-ums. I sure wish I knew what killed them – maybe eventually the plug-in screamers drive them nuts. I now have a dish of apple cider vinegar with some dishwashing liquid – that supposedly kills them – in the bathroom. Does anyone know of an indoor insecticide that will kill no-see-ums and not harm pets? I don’t want the contact stuff, I would have to be able to see them and spray them individually for that to work!

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  21. In the last few days, apple cider vinegar has worked. They are very small so it is hard to see them in it, but there were about 20 dead no-see-ums in it. Last night I left the apple cider vinegar in the bathroom with the light on and the door closed, and there were about three dead bugs in the vinegar and another 25 dead bugs on the bathroom sink next to the vinegar. So put the plug-in bug screamer things in every main room, keep windows closed, apple cider vinegar with some dishwashing liquid in the bathroom with the light on, and maybe that solves the problem eventually.

    For a person with bugs in their clothes, my guess is you have bites and the clothes rub your bites. When I have been biking my back itches terribly and I think it is due to my sweat irritating my bites. Also switch to a good brand of sensitive skin laundry detergent and sensitive skin softener, if you haven’t already.

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  22. This may seem a bit over the top but as one who is the host in my home for these little bigs, I needed to find a remedy for the bites. I would get them every time I went outdoors, especially to the beach. When I moved to the west coast of Florida 14 years ago I had no idea what was happening to me. I had never had the pleasure of being eaten by them before. I even went back to New York to see my doctor and he told me that I had scabies! When finally learning what they were I did some research on how to treat all of my bites and I found an article from a man in Key West. Where these little buggers live. His suggestion did the trick. He said to boil some plain water in a metal pot and then while it’s still boiling to take a cotton swab and dip it into the water and put a few “very hot” drops of water on the bite. It only stings for a minute and it takes the itch immediately away. More than that it kills any of the little creatures that may have somehow remained on the skin! As I said it may be a bit strange but it definitely works!

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  23. We had water leaks and a sewage problem it caused no see um to torment relentlessly. Water leak and sewage fixed but now I constantly have wells with a gel on them and feel like something is slithering on my skin and stinging bites. Is that from the no see ums? A friend said that it was basically because they decided to start laying their larvae on me. I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve tried everything. Please give any advice you can I’ve lost hope on relief. My fiance said maybe I need to go to a mental hospital because he doesn’t see anything there. Please help asap if you can!

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  24. Since moving to SW Florida about 7 years ago, and going to a wedding on the Island of Roatan, I found the people of Roatan used a little cocktail in a small spray bottle consisting of alcohol and tea tree oil to help repel these little nasty creatures.
    As I have become more exposed to them in SW Florida, I found that with each hatch of the no see ums, Midges, that I have become more sensitive to these little monsters. I have taken the cocktail one step further, by mixing half alcohol, half with hazel, along with tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil. To a degree with which I could handle the odor mixing in a spray bottle and spraying all my exposed skin areas as well as my clothes. It seems to do the trick. Well, anyway, I get way fewer bites.

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  25. I have a dear friend who keeps telling me that her apartment is infested with these no see ums. Yes, I did think she was absolutely crazy and so has every doctor she has gone to see about this. She believes that they are getting into her body, eating away at her veins, and even affecting her bowels.

    I will try some of these products to help her get some relief. The question is can her apt. Home been infested? Could having Cats be an issue, as she has two of them. She’s an older adult and her apt. home is not kept clean. Dishes left out. She’s even convinced that the cats are eating larve out of the carpeting.

    Please help me to help her.

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  26. Have been in my home for about 4 months. Driving me crazy! How do I get rid of them? The co2 thing what is it and does that work the best inside? I am desperate. I have to wear a bug suit after 4 pm and sleep in it. What fogger will kill them? I have no water, no plants inside or outside. No pets. Help me, please!

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  27. What to spray inside to kill no-see-ums? What co2 machine is best for inside. I have no plants, nor water inside. Should I put bleach down my drain?

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