Sometimes the most annoying problems go unseen until they strike. No-see-ums, also known as biting midges or biting gnats, offer a prime example. These extraordinarily tiny creatures can cause equally extraordinary discomfort for you and your loved ones until you get them under control.
If you’ve never had any previous encounters with no-see-ums or perhaps have never even heard of them at all, you’ll want to learn some key facts about these pests, from their appearance and lifestyle to how you can get rid of them. These frequently asked questions about no-see-ums will get you off to a flying start.
What Do No-See-Ums Look Like?
As their nickname suggests, no-see-ums appear all but invisible to the naked eye, at least when in motion. These midges may reach only half a millimeter in length even as adults, with the eggs reaching half that size. The larvae look like tiny caterpillars, while the adults have grey bodies and hairy wings.
Where and When Do No-See-Ums Thrive?
No-See-Ums gather around any ready source of water, including household pools, birdbaths, and lawn puddles. They usually make their appearance in large, swarming numbers, especially at dawn and dusk. No-See-Ums use these water sources as breeding grounds while also feeding on decaying organic matter nearby.
Why Are No-See-Ums a Nuisance?
You might assume that no-see-ums are a non-issue due to their practically invisible size. Unfortunately, these little creatures pack a big punch in the form of painful bites from their sharp, jagged mouthparts. Within days of a painful no-see-um attack, you may see a cluster of unsightly red dots or even large welts on your body.
No-see-ums attack humans for the same reason mosquitoes do. These pests can feed off the blood of many kinds of mammals. Humans produce substances such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid that alert no-see-ums to the presence of a potential food source. Genetics may predispose some unfortunate people to attacks.
How Can You Stop a No-See-Um Infestation?
No-see-um infestations can prove difficult to eliminate due to these creatures’ tiny size and the sheer numbers in which they swarm. If you must go outdoors during an active infestation, apply mosquito and midge repellent first and avoid early morning or early evening excursions.
Pest control experts can use a variety of treatment products and strategies to kill no-see-ums. Traps such as zappers typically lure these insects by producing carbon dioxide. More extensive no-see-um control methods include wide-area treatment with insecticide sprays and foggers. Always leave these techniques to professionals.
What Can You Do to Steer Clear of No-See-Ums?
Once you’ve gotten your no-see-um infestation under proper control, you can take steps to keep these little troublemakers away. For instance, all midges hate the odors of garlic and citronella. Spray water infused with garlic or keep a few citronella candles burning in areas prone to infestations.
Because no-see-ums breed and feed in water sources, you’ll want to get rid of any standing water around your home. Keep your landscaping trimmed, cover your pool, and consider removing any birdbaths, bowls, or other objects that might collect water the next time it rains.
The minuscule size of no-see-ums doesn’t necessarily work in their favor. An ordinary ceiling fan or box fan can generate enough wind to push these weak flyers away from rooms they might otherwise inhabit. You can also ask your pest control team to recommend a sufficiently fine mesh to place over your windows.
When you struggle with no-see-ums or other tiny, troublesome midges around the house, contact Mosquito Masters. We can evaluate the extent of the problem and provide an effective combination of infestation treatment and preventative guidance.