What is a No-See-Um?

A No-see-um is a very small biting insect that is sometimes referred to as a biting midge, sand fly and punkie. The no-see-um is commonly found in wet, muddy environments.

The bite of a female no-see-um will often cause a small allergic response that will lead to itchy red welts on your skin; these welts can last for over a week and tend to be extremely itchy.

Similar to the mosquito the females will feed on blood from living things (for fertilization of eggs) and nectar from plants (for energy), while the male will exclusively feed on nectar.
             Picture of a No-see-Um

Can You See No-see-ums?

You Can See No-see-ums Yes, you can see no-see-ums! Even though their name implies that you cannot see them, you will notice a small black dot on your skin when they are biting you.

Even though this small black dot is visible, being able to see these insects is very challenging. For this reason you are more likely to locate a no-see-um from the sharp bite you will feel on your skin before seeing them fly around or land on you.

No-see-ums are also less cautious than mosquitoes and are much easier to kill. Most times you can simply take a single finger to the area that the no-see-um is biting you and squash them without it trying to evade you.

How Big are No-see-ums?

The size of no-see-ums varies depending on gender and age; but they will typically be between 1-4mm long! Some no-see-ums are smaller than the tip of your pencil!

Because of their size, they can easily fit through small openings that other biting insects cannot. But can no-see-ums fit through window screens?

The answer is yes, which is a scary thought! But thankfully no-see-ums prefer to stay outdoors and will shy away from entering into a confined space such as a home.

But what if you are out camping in the woods or backpacking in an open, outdoor area?

This is where No-see-um netting is extremely beneficial and will save you from countless bites. No-see-um netting is created so that even the smallest no-see-um will not be able to pass through, giving you the needed protection if you are in an outdoor area.
No-see-um Size
No-see-um Netting

Where do No-see-ums Like to Live?

Where No-see-ums Live No-see-ums can be found in many parts of the world, but the majority of the population lives in areas where temperatures consistently stay over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

More specifically in the United States this includes a large portion of the south eastern part of the country (see map in picture).

No-see-ums thrive in moist, humid locations and prefer to breed in areas that have muddy soil. Most often No-see-ums will be found near the edges of water such as ponds, lakes and muddy ditches.

What do No-see-ums Eat?

No-see-ums and mosquitoes have a lot of things in common; this is especially true when it comes to their diet! Just like the mosquito, only the females feed on blood. Even though females feed off of living things, they still need to consume nectar to provide for their energy needs. Male no-see-ums exclusively feed off of nectar from plants.

If you want to take advantage of their diet, a good way to control the no-see-um population in your area is to use garlic spray products that contain attractant. Both no-see-ums and mosquitoes cannot digest garlic oil and it ends up killing off a large portion of them in your area which will interrupt the breeding cycle and lead to a huge reduction in the number of these pests in your area.

For more information see: How to Get Rid of and Kill No-see-ums.
What No-See-ums Eat

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