What Attracts No See Ums? A Complete Guide to Get Rid of Them
Enjoying the summer outdoors is always interrupted by annoying flies and other insects. While mosquitos are active all year round, there are tiny but annoying insects that join them on the quest to ruin everyone’s summer.
We’re talking about those pesky no see ums. While a lot of people know about flies and mosquitos, little are those who know about those super tiny insects.
So, what attracts no see ums? And how to get rid of them?
In the following article, we’ll walk you through a complete guide that walks you through everything you need to know about no see ums, so you can enjoy a better summer and avoid the problems they can cause!
What Are No See Ums?
No see ums, also known as “biting midges”, “biting gnats”, and “punkies”, are a species of flying insects that belong to the family Ceratopogonidae. They’re scientifically known as “Culicoides spp.”
The insect family includes more than 4,000 to 5,000 species, and they’re found almost everywhere on the globe, apart from north and sound poles.
However, in Florida alone, there are about 47 species of no see ums. These flies have an extremely small yellowish or greyish body with a wingspan of 1 to 3 mm in length.
No see ums bite humans for blood. However, since they’re extremely small, they may appear as a speck of dust, dirt, or black lint.
So, when a person is attacked by a midge, they can technically see them. But since it’s quite challenging to notice them while biting, they’re known as “no see ums”.
In Australia, no see ums are known as “sandflies”, which is a nomenclature error because there are actual species of insects that are called sandflies and they’re not the same as no see um despite having similarities in terms of size.
What Attracts No See Ums to Your House
For ages, people have been curious about what attracts no see ums to humans. Since they suck blood, some cultures believe that they’re attracted to the scent of blood.
Others believe that no see ums have receptors that detect the odor that mammals (including humans) produce from their bodies.
While science isn’t fully definitive on that part, it’s noticed that the receptors on no see ums are surprisingly attracted to carbon dioxide gas that we breathe out!
In addition to carbon dioxide production, other postulations believe that lactic acid also has a role in attracting no see ums.
Some pest control experts believe that body heat and other genetic factors, such as blood type, can also have an impact on the potential attraction level of the no see um.
However, it was noticed that body odors itself as well as perfumes used might not have a remarkable role on whether a no see um will bite you or not.
No see ums are also noticed to become more active and present in higher numbers where moisture is abundant. That’s why they’re more likely to attack houses with sprinkler systems installed.
How Long Can a No See Ums Last Indoors?
No see ums have a short life span of 2 to 7 weeks depending on the environment they’re in.
However, due to the lack of spots for them to lay their eggs, they don’t usually last for long inside a building.
Of course, you can make this process even quicker by using insect repellants around the house. Such as citronella and eucalyptus oils and candles.
Are No See Ums Dangerous?
No see ums can be a huge nuisance. But luckily, they’re highly unlikely to transmit diseases through their bodies as mosquitos do.
Of course, their bites can cause some allergic reactions and a burning sensation. The effects range from small reddish swelling all the way to extremely itchy swelling.
However, their impact on human health is minimal when compared to their effect on other animals.
How to Differentiate Between a Mosquito and a No See Um?
As you no know, no see ums, similar to mosquitos, feed on blood meals from piercing their mouthparts into human skin.
However, no see ums aren’t mosquitos. Mosquitos have an average size of about 1 cm (0.4 inches).
This means that they’re about 13 times bigger than a no sees um. In fact, no see ums are even smaller than fleas.
While screens on windows and doors won’t let mosquitos in, no see ums can pass through them like it isn’t there!
Unlike mosquitos, no see ums are only active during summer and mainly throughout early morning and evening. However, similar to mosquitos, only a female no see um have the ability to bite.
How to Get Rid of No See Ums
Now that you know more about no see ums, it’s time to know the best methods that can work with them.
Here are some of the ways to get rid of no see ums as well as their efficacy level with no see ums.
1. Carbon Dioxide Zapper Traps
As you already know, no see ums are mainly attracted to the carbon dioxide gas we breathe out.
For that reason, using zappers that lure no see ums in by releasing carbon dioxide gas seems to be one of the most ideal methods.
We recommend DynaTrap DT150 Ultralight Insect Trap because it’s highly portable and easy to use. It’s also silent and relatively affordable.
2. Installing an Ultra Small Screen on Windows and Doors
Since they’re so small that they can pass through window and door screens. They’re usually eliminated using more chemical and biological methods rather than physical ones.
However, you can also check for special head screens with a super fine mesh that will prevent no see ums from biting you.
It might not be the ideal method for eliminating them. If you can find one of these, you’ll be able to walk freely outdoors without worrying about no see ums.
3. Turning the Air Conditioning On
Since no see ums are more active in summer. Their bodies aren’t meant to tolerate cold temperatures and low humidity settings.
If you have air conditioning this can easily make your house an unfavorable spot for no see ums to survive. Which prompts them to escape and look somewhere else for a spot to lay its eggs and bite for blood.
4. Using Insect Repellants
If you sense the presence of no see ums around your house, a simple way to prevent them from biting you is the application of insect repellent sprays. In that case, we recommend going for OFF Botanicals Mosquito and Insect Repellent IV Spray.
What makes it a great recommendation is that unlike many chemical insect repellents on the market, this one is safe for use on children because it’s made from organic ingredients, so you can ensure its safety as well as efficacy.
How to Treat No See Um Bites
While no see um bites aren’t particularly dangerous, they’re still annoying and extremely scratchy sometimes.
A single bite usually lasts for up to 14 days with some redness. However, scratching the welt is often the reason it becomes worse. Moreover, it can even cause infections in some cases.
Most bites are treated simply by applying an anti-itch cream to the area to relieve the itchy sensations as well as wipes to disinfect it.
However, if the redness or the swelling becomes unbearable, or you’ve developed a strong reaction to the bite, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Do No See Ums Lay Eggs in Your Skin?
One of the most common myths that circulate around people is that no see ums are so little that they can lay eggs under the skin.
While such a myth might send shivers down your spine. You’ll be relieved to know that this is a false myth and isn’t the case at all.
As previously mentioned, no see ums needs to lay eggs in moist areas for the larva to develop. They lay them in what’s known as a “lace”.
When a mosquito draws in some blood from the host, it gets enough nutrients to lay the eggs. However, the female no see um needs somewhere with plenty of water to lay the eggs nearby, such as a marsh, a riverbank, or a still pond.
In other words, it needs an actual body of water and not just moisture. The human skin is far from an ideal spot for no see ums to lay their eggs.
Wrap Up – What Attracts No See Ums
With that said, you now have a complete guide that provides you with all the information you need about no see ums or biting midges.
As you can see, they’re attracted to our houses due to many factors that you can’t easily prevent, such as breathing.
However, there’s a wide variety of methods that you can use to get rid of those extremely tiny creatures.
It’s a fast, affordable, and efficient way that wards them off without being toxic and bad for your health.