A Florida tourist received several small bites which formed tiny red welts that itched constantly. When he shared his problem with locals, they told him about a tiny, predatory insect, smaller than a baby mosquito, called a “no-see-um.”
“Well, what do they look like?” he asked. He walked right into that one. “Don’t know!” everyone replied, laughing. “No-SEE-Um!”
How to Treat No-See-Um Bites
Tiny no-see-um bites often become exaggeratedly large. Bite sites are red splotches on the skin and they can grow into welts up to 2″ in diameter. Their bites are very painful and the lesions are unattractive and extremely itchy.
“Don’t scratch” is the rule to follow. Pain management includes topical steroids while oral histamines can reduce the itchiness. Oral antibiotics should be given if no-see-um bites are widespread and become inflamed.
7 Common Methods to Kill No-See-Ums
Like mosquitos, no-see-ums have the power to wreck outdoor get-togethers and sports, morning coffee on the patio, and sundowners. Unlike mosquitos, no-see-ums are nimble, fast fliers. Your flyswatter won’t work here.
Here are 7 common methods to get rid of no-see-ums, and MosquitoMagnet® shares their effectiveness:
- Avoiding no-see-um-producing areas – Barely effective
- Body-covering clothing – Effective
- CO2 mosquito traps – Highly Effective
- DEET repellents – Barely effective, but explore DEETs labeled for use against no-see-ums and be sure to follow application directions
- Indoor air conditioning – Effective
- Mesh window screens (extra small) – Effective (Some people sew bridal veil mesh on top of “regular” screens to get the same results.)
- Yard or large-scale insect sprays, mists, and fogs – Not effective; eliminates adults that are soon replaced by newly pupated no-see-ums
How the CO2 Mosquito Traps Work (And They Do Work)
CO2 mosquito traps are great at ridding areas of mosquitos and no-see-ums, too. The traps give off an attractive smell that entices the insects. As they fly closer, a vacuum sucks them into a net. They can’t escape; they then dehydrate and die.
How to Prevent No-See-Um Bites
An ounce of prevention… Once you’ve suffered from no-see-um bites, avoiding them becomes a serious business. You can’t exactly carry CO2 traps around with you everywhere you go, so you need to wear insect repellent.
Here is one Floridian’s opinion of the top 6 insect repellents for 2019:
- Repel 94101 40-Percent DEET Max
- Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin Aerosol
- No No-See-Um Natural 2oz (2 pack)
- Repel 94100 Sportsmen 30% Deet Wipes
- Sawyer Premium 30% DEET No-See-Ums Repellent
- Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural
Know the Enemy
If you are one of those poor souls that emit more carbon dioxide than most – and if you’re not an entomologist – it’s difficult to see what value no-see-ums add to the universe. George R. Martin said, “The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome,” and that certainly applies to no-see-ums.