_No-See-Um Bites Treatment And Prevention

No-See-Um Bites: Treatment And Prevention

Small flying insects called no-see-ums are incredibly challenging to spot. People refer to them as biting midges, punkies, sand flies, or biting gnats.

Their tiny size allows them to pass through mesh screens on windows and doors without being noticed.

Even when swarming around or landing on your skin, they can easily go unnoticed. However, their bites are unmistakable and can cause pain and itching.

Aside from being irritating, no-see-um bites can also pose health risks as they, like mosquitoes, can transmit diseases to humans.

Nevertheless, you can reduce the chance of infection and illness by properly treating the no-see-um bites using a combination of readily available medications and home remedies.:

What Is A No-See-Um?

No see-ums are tiny, blood-sucking insects that are barely discernible to the naked eye. Belonging to the family of biting flies, they differ significantly from their larger relatives, remaining elusive to our vision.

Although invisible, their bites are unmistakably noticeable. These bothersome creatures can deliver quite a sting, and akin to mosquitoes, only the females indulge in blood meals.

They are particularly drawn to warm climates and thrive in coastal regions abundant with water and marshy terrain.

Some refer to them as biting gnats, while others dub them biting midges, yet universally, they are recognized for their irritating presence. 

Related Post: Itchy Bumps On Skin Like Mosquito Bites But Aren’t

Below are some effective tips and treatment for dealing with these bites:

What Is A No-See-Um Bites? Treatment And Prevention

How To Get Rid Of No-See-Um Bites

Small insects, often referred to as no-see-ums, biting midges, and sand flies, can be found flying in open fields.

If you’re dealing with painful and itchy no-see-um bites, follow these steps to treat them:

1. Observe the bites closely.

They typically appear as small red dots or raised welts, causing pain, burning, or itching.

No-see-ums tend to target exposed skin, with the back of the neck and legs being particularly attractive to them. Look out for clusters of red dots, as getting only one bite is uncommon.

2. Wash the affected area.

Thoroughly wash the affected area with warm water and mild soap. Cleaning the bite as soon as you notice it will help reduce irritation from the insect’s saliva and lower the risk of infection.

3. Avoid scratching the bites.

Avoid scratching the bites, even though it might be tempting. Scratching can break the skin’s surface, creating an entry point for infections.

4. Apply ice or a cold compress.

For relief from pain and itching, apply ice or a cold compress to the itchy welts or spots for approximately 10 minutes.

This will numb the discomfort and reduce swelling.

5. Use over-the-counter products.

Over-the-counter products can help soothe the itchiness and redness. Consider using an anti-itch steroid or antihistamine cream to alleviate pain, swelling, and irritation.

Additionally, oral analgesics or allergy medications can help manage pain and minimize reactions.

6. Use a homemade remedy solution.

If you don’t have any topical treatments at hand, you can create a paste by combining baking soda with vinegar or witch hazel.

Applying this paste to the bites will help alleviate discomfort.

7. Seek immediate medical attention.

For more severe reactions to no-see-um bites, such as difficulty breathing, swallowing problems, or rashes, seek immediate medical attention.

Likewise, if you notice any signs of infection where the no-see-um bit you, consult a doctor.

Related Post: Chlorine For Mosquito Bites: What You Should Know 

Remember, prompt and proper care of no-see-um bites can go a long way in preventing further complications and ensuring a smoother recovery.

How To Prevent No-See-Um

When outside, you can take some of the same precautions for no-see-ums that you take for mosquitoes, including:

1. Remove or cover any stagnant water

No-see-ums, similar to mosquitoes, breed and lay eggs in stagnant water. It’s crucial to remove or prevent any sources of still water in and around your home.

Regularly check for items like buckets, flower pots, bird baths, and containers that might hold water and empty them consistently.

If you have pools or ponds, you can consider using a fountain or covering them when not in use to prevent the water from becoming stagnant.

2. Trim your grass, shrubs, and bushes regularly.

No-see-ums often take refuge in tall grasses and vegetation, patiently awaiting their next meal.

By regularly trimming your lawn and caring for the plants around your property, you limit their hiding spots.

This makes it more difficult for these tiny insects to find you and subject you to those bothersome bites.

3. Stay active and keep moving to avoid these slow-flying insects.

No-see-ums aren’t agile fliers; they move slowly and have limited mobility. By staying in motion while outdoors, you make it challenging for them to catch up to you.

Engaging in outdoor activities like hiking or jogging not only helps you stay fit and healthy but also reduces the likelihood of encountering these pests.

4. Use minimal outdoor lighting as they are attracted to lights.

Like many other flying insects, no-see-ums are attracted to light sources. To decrease their presence around your living spaces, keep outdoor lighting to a minimum, especially during evenings and nights.

If you require illumination, opt for yellow or amber-colored bulbs, as they are less appealing to these insects compared to regular white lights.

5. Use a mosquito misting system.

Another effective measure to control no-see-ums is installing a mosquito misting system. These systems release fine mists of insecticide at regular intervals, targeting flying insects on your property.

Particularly useful in areas where no-see-ums are common, this system provides an additional layer of protection against their irritating bites.

How to Distinguish No-See-Um Bites from Other Insect Bites

No-See-Ums, also known as biting midges and biting gnats, can be found both outdoors and indoors.

Treating no-see-um bites is similar to dealing with mosquito bites, as both insects feed on blood to support their egg production and development. However, there are ways to distinguish between these bites:

  1. Gnat and mosquito bites often look quite similar, causing inflamed, itchy, red bumps on the skin. No-see-um bites, however, may appear more clustered and smaller.
  2. The anatomy of each insect affects the appearance and sensation of their bites. Mosquitoes use their straw-like mouths to extract blood, often leaving a welt with a puncture wound. On the other hand, gnats and no-see-ums are “surgically” cut into the skin to create a tiny wound, which may last longer.
  3. Consider how long the bite lasts and how it changes over time. Mosquito bites can fade quickly and appear more random. No-see-um bites can evolve from small red dot clusters into raised welts that last for nearly two weeks.

Who to Call for Pest Control

Protect your family and property from biting insects by using effective pest control solutions from MosquitoNix®.

They offer misting systems and fogging treatments to keep unwanted insect visitors at bay. Contact them at (855) 808-2847 or online for a free estimate.

How Small Are No-See-Ums?

No-see-ums are incredibly tiny, measuring only about 0.03 inches in length, even smaller than fleas. Due to their minuscule size, they can easily pass through window and door screens, as well as lanai screens. These slow-moving insects often travel in groups.

Do No-See-Ums Bites Cause Pain?

No-see-um bites can be quite painful, and the surprising part is that you won’t even notice them biting you. Despite feeling a strong sting and attempting to swat the pest, it remains unseen due to its small size.

It may take hours or even days for large, red welts to appear on your skin as a result of these bites. People with allergies may experience intense itchiness.

How to Treat No-See-Um Bites

Treating no-see-um bites is relatively simple. Wash the affected area with soap and warm water, followed by applying rubbing alcohol. If there’s swelling, you can use ice packs.

Over-the-counter remedies like calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can help alleviate the itching, but try your best not to scratch.

Aloe vera is also effective for both itch relief and pain. If the condition worsens, it’s best to consult a doctor.

When Are No-See-Ums Active?

No-see-ums are most active during warm weather, particularly in the summertime. In certain regions of South Florida, they may be present year-round.

These tiny insects are most active during dawn and dusk, which are their peak biting times. They often gather near standing water sources, such as pools, as they breed in the moist soil that they adore.

Frequently Asked Questions About No-See-Ums

Do No-See-Ums Suck Blood?

Mostly, these tiny insects primarily feed on flower nectar, but female no-see-ums require blood to reproduce and develop eggs.

What Happens During The Blood-Sucking Process?

When a female no-see-um bites, she injects her saliva under the host’s skin, causing blood to pool and making it easier for the insect to feed.

When Are No-See-Ums Most Active?

No-see-ums are most active during dusk and dawn, so be cautious if you’re outside during these times to avoid getting bitten.

Do No-See-Ums Lay Eggs In Your Skin?

No, after biting, the female no-see-um seeks out a body of water, like a riverbank or pond, to lay her eggs.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of No-See-Ums?

To protect your family from no-see-um bites, reach out to MosquitoNix for effective options to eliminate these pests and ensure a comfortable environment.


  1. biting midges, no-see-ums, Culicoides spp.
  2. How To Get Rid Of No See Ums In Your House – Forbes Home
  3. Ceratopogonidae – Wikipedia 

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