What Attracts No-See-Ums?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

April 3, 2024

Have you ever experienced a serene evening by the water, or maybe you were out at a ball game, when suddenly you find yourself under attack by tiny, invisible assailants that are leaving your appendages covered in itchy welts! You can’t see them, but you have all the proof right there on your body. Ah, yes -- no-see-ums. Miniscule, yet mighty pests that can absolutely ruin a fun or relaxing outdoor experience. Here’s what you need to know to help deter them.

Before we can prevent them, we have to understand them. No-see-ums, also known as biting midges, belong to the Ceratopogonidae family. Despite their microscopic size – adult flies are usually 1/8 th to 1/4 th inch in length – they do pack a punch. They are usually prevalent in moist, coastal regions, marshes, and areas with stagnant water.

What Attracts No-See-Ums?

Several factors can make certain individuals more appealing to no-see-ums than others.

  • Carbon Dioxide: Like many blood-sucking insects, no-see-ums are attracted to the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans and animals. Higher concentrations of CO2 signal the presence of potential hosts, drawing them closer.
  • Skin Odor: Perspiration and body odor can act as attractants for no-see-ums.
  • Dark Clothing: Dark-colored clothing absorbs more heat, making individuals wearing such attire more appealing to no-see-ums.
  • Floral Scents: Certain floral scents can attract no-see-ums. Avoid using heavily scented lotions, perfumes, or shampoos when venturing into areas prone to these pests.

Ways to Deter No-See-Ums:

Below are some tips to deter these pesky insects:

  • Use Insect Repellents: Applying insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can help deter no-see-ums.
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Choose light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to minimize attractiveness to no-see-ums. Additionally, consider wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks to reduce skin exposure.
  • Install Screens: Keep doors and windows fitted with fine mesh screens to prevent no-see-ums from entering your home or outdoor living spaces.
  • Eliminate Breeding Sites: Reduce standing water around your property to deprive no-see-ums of breeding grounds. Make sure you’re emptying containers/kiddie pools, cleaning gutters, and refreshing bird baths regularly to prevent water accumulation.

No-see-ums may be small, but their presence can be painful and put a damper on your time outdoors. From using insect repellents to eliminating breeding sites, proactive steps can help you stay one step ahead of these unseen nuisances, ensuring a more pleasant outdoor experience for you and your loved ones. If you’re still dealing with these annoying pests even after implementing these tips, contact your local Mosquito Squad to find out what services are available in your area for effective no-see-um control.