No see ums belong to the Ceratopogonidae family and are tiny midges which are capable of sucking blood. There are about four thousand species of these insects and are pests that are capable of stinging you despite their small size. No see ums are also known as biting gnats, pinyon gnats, and sand flies. They also have other names and are found in almost all parts of the world. These insects are tiny but can sting you and can let you in great pain. The no see ums are hardly an inch in their body built, you can say that its body size is almost one-sixteenth of an inch, so tiny to be visible but can harm you in significant ways by stinging you.
The no see ums can create a nuisance for fishermen, hunters, gardeners and pets if they happen to bite you. But the question is can you see it? This is a question that many people have in their minds. Yes, you can definitely see them, but they are really small in size just one-sixteenth of an inch. They may hardly look like a small piece of dirt, and it may be really tough to identify them as no see ums. They have their names as no see ums because people can hardly make out what is biting them other than a black spot which suddenly stings and move back leaving a red spot behind. Thus they get their names as no see ums because they are so tiny to be traced as insects. If you suddenly feel a harsh bite and get a red rash and discover nothing like an insect on the affected area, then you are probably bitten by a no see um. The effects of the bite of a no see um can last about two weeks and can leave the person stung by the ums in pain. The no see ums are cigar-shaped and are initially white in color during the larvae stage but turns into black color when they transform themselves as an adult. The adult no see ums have two sets of wings and closely knitted hairs and comes in different colors. The wings are basically the differentiating parts of a no see um's body which makes them different from other species.
Table of Contents
- Some interesting facts about no see ums
- What do the no see ums eat?
- Where do no see ums lay their eggs?
- How do these no see ums bite?
- Ways to treat no see ums bites
- How to get rid of no see ums
- 1 Destruction of larvae
- 2 Removal of stagnant sources of water
- 3 Get rid of moisture and wet mud
- 4 Mesh screening
- 5 Foggers
- 6 Switch off the lights
- 7 Use fans at full speed
- 8 Citronella candles
- 9 UV luring
- 10 Repellent sprays
- 11 Carbon Dioxide luring
- 12 Clothing
- 13 Air conditioners
- 14 Insecticides
- 15 Professional therapy
Some interesting facts about no see ums
• If you love chocolates, then you might know where we get chocolates from? It is the cocoa powder that is the main constituent of chocolate that we get from cocoa tree, right? This may be surprising for you, but the no see ums and gull midges are the only insects that help in pollination of the cocoa trees the primary source for chocolate powder. So you can say it is essential to have no see ums to get more and more cocoa beans.
• The no see ums are attracted towards the odour emitted by humans. When you breathe out carbon dioxide, it acts as an attraction for the no see ums, and they are also attracted to lactic acid as well.
• The larvae of the no see ums hardly takes twenty-eight days to develop into an adult, but in some cases, this span can increase up to a year.
• It is not only the moist places, and standing water where the no see ums can breed but you can also find the larvae of the no see ums being developed in a rotten fruit as well.
• No see ums can also cause a disease named as the blue tongue to the livestock which is stung by these gnats.
What do the no see ums eat?
If you are thinking what do these insects eat? It is actually the flower nectar that they consume as their food. But there is something more than the nectar that they need, and that is blood. Yes, you have heard it right they need blood too, especially the female no see ums. The female no see ums have a requirement of drinking blood in order to lay eggs. The female no see ums can bite livestock, humans, pets, birds, etc. to satisfy their requirement for blood. They require blood to fuel up the production of eggs, once it is done then the female no see ums will go and lay their eggs, and adult no see ums emerges out of the eggs after twenty-eight days. Thus the cycle continues again and again in the same process.
Where do no see ums lay their eggs?
No see ums can lay their eggs in laces which are moist as the larvae need an environment which is moist for its proper development. So you can find the eggs of the no see ums being laid at places such as riverbanks, marshes, still water, ponds, mud, decaying matter, tree hollows, etc. They have to lay their eggs in areas where there is enough water supply and a moist climate. The hatching up the eggs is also dependent on the temperature and climatic conditions. These gnats are more active during the time of dusk and dawn and usually sting you during this time.
How do these no see ums bite?
You must have heard of no see ums biting but do you know what exactly goes on when the no see ums get a chance to bite you? If you are bitten by a female no see ums then their saliva is being injected into your skin which is the major cause of the blood being pooled up in the area which is stung. You can see a red colored splotch developing on the affected area and get an itchy sensation. Further, it may also cause swelling and discoloration of the affected patch.
Ways to treat no see ums bites
If you happen to be bitten by the no see ums, then here are some remedies that you can follow to treat the bite.
Wash it off
One of the basic treatments for the bite is to wash off the bitten area with soap and water. The soap will help in cleansing the area that is affected and will reduce the chances of infection. Washing off with soap will also ensure that there are no traces of saliva left on the affected area.
No see ums bites are painful; thus you can apply hydrocortisone over the affected area. On the application of hydrocortisone, the itching sensation will be relieved, and you can sigh a breath of relief from your pains. But make sure that you use this cream after consulting a doctor and do not apply it in the areas surrounding the surface of the affected area, make it restricted only to the affected area. Also, do not use it for more than a week until and unless your doctor prescribes you of using it.
Calamine lotion is another solution that can come to rescue for treating the no see ums bites. The calamine solution can also be used as an alternative to the hydrocortisone cream and can be an effective method to treat the no see ums bites. You can apply this lotion by dabbing cotton in the solution and then applying it to the affected area. But in this case, also a doctor prescription should be taken so that you don’t get any side effects or allergies while using it.
Aloe Vera is another home remedy that you can make use of to treat the no see ums bites in a natural way. You need to simply use the aloe gel and apply it on the place where the no see ums have bitten you to get relief from the pain.
You can also consume antihistamine to get relief from your pain, but again here a doctor prescription is necessary before taking this medicine. Also, make sure that you stick to the dosage rules and do not consume much of this and only use it till the symptoms are reduced.
Water and ice packs
You can also use ice packs on the affected area to reduce the pain and swelling caused by the no see ums bites. Take an ice pack and hold it over the bitten area by pressing it hard against your skin so that your pain and itching is lessened.
Do not scratch
If you are bitten by the no see ums then don’t scratch over that area, refrain yourself from doing this act. Yes, it may be itchy bit scratching on it will only increase the complications. This is something painful as well and may also pose you towards further infections if you happen to scratch the bitten area.
Seek medical assistance
No see ums bites can also lead to symptoms such as swelling, breathing problems, high itching sensation, fever, redness, swollen glands, tingling sensation, etc. So if you are also facing such symptoms, then it is better that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible before it gets too late and the symptoms start increasing their foothold.
How to get rid of no see ums
No see ums are very tiny in their built but are ferocious midges, and their bites can cause you serious infections and pain. Thus it is important that you stay away from these tiny midges and take all possible steps to get rid of them. So here are few ways by which you can get rid of the no see ums.
1 Destruction of larvae
Destruction of the larvae is not a very feasible method as this can only happen if you sight such shelter places of the larvae. These methods are hardly used by people and are not a feasible one as well.
2 Removal of stagnant sources of water
If there is any source of stagnant water nearby your house, then make sure that you remove any such sources because these gnats can breed at such places. If you have bird fountains at your home or any other puddles where water is collected make sure that you remove them or either treat them so that these insects do no find a place to breed.
3 Get rid of moisture and wet mud
As we now know that the no see ums also have a habit of laying their eggs on wet soils, so make sure that your garden area is free from such sources which attract the no see ums to lay their eggs.
4 Mesh screening
If you have a good garden area with lots of trees and plants, then it may be quite probable that you have these gnats too in your garden. If you don’t want these monsters to enter your home, make sure that you have mesh screens on all your doors and windows so that these gnats do not find a pathway to your home.
Foggers can also be another way of treating no see ums. Sprays, foggers can be a bit uncomforting but can be effective in killing these insects.
6 Switch off the lights
The female no see ums sees lights as a source of attraction so as a preventive measure you can switch off the lights so that the no see ums do not trace their path to your house.
7 Use fans at full speed
Putting on your fans at full speed is another preventive measure that you can use to keep these gnats away from you. Especially during night time, make sure that you have switched on your fan with full speed.
8 Citronella candles
The no see ums can create a nuisance for you if you are sitting out in your lawn thus you can also use the remedy of lighting up a citronella candle in your garden to keep these gnats away.
9 UV luring
You might have seen the zappers which have UV lighting installed inside it for attracting the bugs, right? You can use the same device to get rid of these no see ums as well. The UV lights draw them towards the device and the electric system installed in the device electrocutes the no see ums and ills them. You can install these zappers indoors as well as outdoors so that the no see ums do not pester you at your home. The zappers will not only keep the no see ums away from your house but will also help you to safeguard your home from other insects such as mosquitoes, bugs, moths, flies, gnats, etc.
10 Repellent sprays
Another way of keeping the no see ums away is by using insect repellents. These repellents consist of extracts of eucalyptus; citronella and other extracts of plants thus can be effective for keeping these insects away. These repellents are DEET based are not harmful to humans as it is less toxic and does not cause any symptoms of irritation or any other damage to the humans when sprayed.
11 Carbon Dioxide luring
Another way of removing these insects from your residence is by using the carbon dioxide hack. This way the insects are attracted towards the carbon dioxide lure and are then killed. This carbon dioxide lure is one of the effective traps that one can use to get rid of these tiny monsters.
Yes, you can take all the possible measures to control the infestation of the no see ums at your home but as a preventive measure, you can go in for proper clothing to save yourself from being bitten by the no see ums. These midges can get inside your clothes, bite you and suck your blood, so do not wear much lose clothing so that these insects do not have room for entering inside your clothes. Wear long-sleeved clothes and denims so that these insects don’t get a chance to bite you.
13 Air conditioners
The no see ums, cannot adapt themselves to low level of temperatures; thus you can lower down the AC temperature of your house to keep these gnats away. Yes, there may be an increase in the monthly electricity bill, but at the cost of your health, you can afford it to stay away from the bite of the no see ums.
Insecticides are another effective way of keeping these insects away from invading your home. Sprays can be a useful tool for killing these insects and cutting down on their population.
15 Professional therapy
If your house is infested with no see ums and you are not able to attain a hundred percent success in driving these gnats away from your home, then you can also call for the professionals from a pest control company. Calling the professionals is a smart way of letting your work to the hands of experts who have all the probable ways of freeing your home and garden area from these gnats. They exactly know the habits of these no see ums and can help you out to keep away from these pests. Yes, they are inevitably going to charge you for their work but will definitely free you from these pests and will let you sleep at peace without fearing an attack from the no see ums.