Now that the weather is getting nicer people are spending more and more time outdoors. However, the warm weather also brings along pesky insects that will drive you crazy while trying to enjoy the outdoors. Other than Mosquitoes there is one insect type that most people are very familiar with and have been annoyed by… No See Ums! Most of the time people notice them because they are swarming around the persons head during outside activities.
About No See Ums
No See Ums are also known as biting midges, biting gnats, punkies, or sand flies. They are much like mosquitoes in appearance and that the females feed on blood meals for egg fertilization. The only real difference is their size, No See Ums are much smaller. Even though they are smaller than mosquitoes their bites tend to leave behind a longer lasting red welt or bump that is has a greater itch. And because of their small size you normally don’t realize you have even been bit until it is too late.
One other similarity that no see ums have to mosquitoes is that they are attracted to CO2. This is how they target their victims. Humans put out CO2 when they exhale hence humans attract these insects by just breathing.
How to Eliminate the Number of No See Ums in your Outdoor Area
So the million dollar question is “How do you prevent being bitten by the No See Ums?” The answer is to protect yourself and also eliminate as many as possible from the outdoor area that you frequent the most. Eliminating them completely is near to impossible the whole point is to cut the numbers down as much as possible. The process for this is very similar to the process for mosquito control.
To begin start by removing all possible no see um breeding grounds. Such breeding grounds include tree holes, low spots in the ground, ponds, flower pots, and any other objects that will hold standing water. No see ums lay their eggs in the shallow still water. The breeding grounds can differ from one species to the next and also depends on location. But removing all possible sources to the best of your ability will help cut down on no see ums tremendously. Lavacides have shown to not be very effective in killing the no see um larvae.
Placing a mosquito trap on your property will help by interrupting the life cycle of the no see ums the same way that it works for mosquitoes. Most traps are effective by using propane to let off CO2 which is what attracts the insect to the trap. The no see ums are then sucked into the trap by the vacuum and will be held in the holding tank until they dehydrate and die. The trap will continue to work until it runs out of propane or the holding tank needs to be emptied. The amount of maintaining that you will have to do with a trap will depend on how heavily populated your property is with no see ums and also how long you run the trap.
The use of a misting system will help to alleviate the nuisance of no see ums in an outdoor area that you plan to be occupying. This step is most effective when used a short time before you will be frequenting the area or if the misting system has a timer to allow periodic spraying. The mist drives the insects away from the area so when used in combination with a mosquito trap it is very effective. It will push any stragglers that where not already drawn to the mosquito trap to the out skirts of the area where the traps are waiting to take action.
The next step that you can implement is adding an insect zapper near the area you plan to occupy. This will help to draw any remaining no see ums away from biting you and towards the zapper. Having an insect zapper will also help with any other pesky insects that could be of a nuisance to you. The only thing that you will have to do to maintain the zapper is clean it out from time to time. Most insect zappers will require an electrical outlet so they are not as portable as other options. Smaller zappers may require batteries that will need to be changed out when they die.
Give yourself extra protection by using personal insect repellents. Sprays that contain DEET can be effective but it is believed that they can be dangerous to your health when repeatedly used. We recommend the ThermaCell Personal Repellent Appliance. They are portable and will go with you whether you are sitting on the patio or working in your garden.