You most likely won’t see ’em, but you will definitely feel their bite! No see ums are tiny insects, also known as biting midges that enjoy biting humans from sunset to sunrise. They are extremely irritating pests and are best controlled using similar methods as you would in the case of a mosquito infestation.
These pests are found throughout the United States in areas including but not limited to Arizona. They like to frequent swampy areas, as well as the edges of ponds and streams, to lay their eggs. However, many adult species will travel long distances in their search for flower nectar or blood, their two main sources of food.
They often appear during the early morning and late evening during summertime. They are most active during this period, particularly female no see ums, who feed ravenously in order to produce successful batches of mature eggs.
Identification – Physical Characteristics of No See Ums
No see ums are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Adult no see ums have black bodies and wings, and measure about 1/16-inch long. This makes it easy for them to pass through the average door or window screen used by homeowners. They also have elongated mouth parts called mandibles which they use to pierce their victims and feed on blood.
The eggs and worm-like larvae are even smaller than their adult counterparts, as one would expect. This makes it very difficult to spot them when an infestation occurs.
When it comes to no see ums, they would be very obscure creatures had it not been for their bite. Like female mosquitoes, female no see ums feed on human blood to aid in the maturation of their eggs. The bite of a female no see um can cause extreme irritation to the skin, resulting in red welts or water-filled, itchy blisters.
Those with sensitive skins or allergic reaction to no see um bites are in for an even more painful treat in the form of longer lasting pain and itchy legions. For this reason, never underestimate a no see um’s bite.
Removal or Preventative Procedures
No see ums are some of the most irritating biting pests. Thankfully, there are many procedures available to both remove and prevent these pests from infesting your home.
- Use repellants, preferably those containing DEET
- Wear long-sleeve clothing and long pants
- Reduce outdoor excursions during early morning or evening hours when no see ums are most
- Install no see um screens on door and windows
- Keep fans running throughout the nighttime to prevent bites
- Use no see um netting outdoors
In store or Chemical
Insecticides, especially those containing approved ingredients such as permethrin, can be effective in no see um pest control efforts. Permethrin is a synthetic chemical which affects the nervous system of these biting midges, resulting in muscle spasms, paralysis and death.
Insecticides for the control of no see ums can be purchased both online and in gardening stores. They are also accessible via pest control professionals who are usually equipped with other tools that will help you combat widespread infestation.