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How do I get Rid of No See Ums?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 16, 2024
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No see ums, also known as midges or punkies, are tiny biting insects that are best avoided by using insect repellent that contains DEET or picardin, wearing protective clothing, and using very fine mesh screens indoors. The small size of no see ums can render standard protections against insect infestation ineffective, so it is important for people who live or stay in areas affected by them to use protective screens and clothing designed to protect against these biting insects. For extra protection, insecticide can be applied to screens.

Many people are confused about the identity of no see ums because these insects are very small, though they can be seen with the naked eye. They tend to be found around bodies of water, so individuals who live in those areas should take special precautions against them. Standard insect repellents that contain picardin or DEET are typically effective at helping to these tiny insects from infesting and attacking. Be sure to regularly reapply insect repellent during the day and evening, particularly after swimming or engaging in exercise that causes you to perspire heavily. Be cautious about combining insect repellent that contain DEET with sunscreens, as DEET may interfere with the efficacy of the sunscreen. If you are going to be in the sun and must use a DEET-based insect repellent, be sure to use additional forms of sun protection, such as a hat with a wide brim and clothing that can cover your skin.

Many traditional window and door screens do not provide sufficient protection against no see ums. This is because these insects are very tiny and can easily slip through the type of mesh screen typically used in screen doors, windows, and tent screens. It is possible to buy very fine mesh screen that can keep no see ums out of homes and tenants. Special clothing also exists that can keep the insects from contact with your skin.

These insects can leave behind a painful bite that may look like a welt or blister. These bites can itch and in some cases may be long lasting, as some people may be very sensitive the stings. While the no see um is not thought to spread the West Nile Virus, some individuals have developed a rare but potentially deadly and disfiguring disease known as leishmaniasis after suffering no see um bites.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By anon1001815 — On Jun 30, 2019

Peppermint oil. Half a bottle to bath water. Good luck!

By anon995940 — On Jun 13, 2016

Spray Bayer Advanced Home Pest Control in the blue bottle to get rid of them in your home. I used three different pest control companies over the years to get rid of my spiders and roaches. They all told me I would never get rid of them because my house is on a concrete slab. I dropped each of them and finally found this Bayer. It took awhile for me to get them completely cleared out but hallelujah; no more bugs! If it kills roaches it will kill anything! I've never had the noseeums but they sound like a real nightmare! Good luck everyone.

By anon960457 — On Jul 10, 2014

How can I get rid of No see ums? I can hear them in my bed room and they bite me when I sleep. I have tried every thing. I am running out of money because of these bugs. I do not know what to do anymore. Can someone tell me what to do?

By anon953135 — On May 24, 2014

A friend in Florida who deals with this recommended Calgon Morning Glory fragrance, body spray, body lotion, and they have a body wash. I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet, but it seems to be what the locals use.

By anon948658 — On May 01, 2014

@anon308063: I understand exactly what you are dealing with. I live in NC and I have the same problem in my home. These insects bite through layers of clothing,I have tried Backwoods Off, Cutters, RAID, all types of natural oils such as lemon, citronella, peppermint, catnip, and nothing seem to work. I have even used bug foggers and bombed my entire home three days in a row, to no avail, nothing seems to stop them. I am seriously considering moving. Hope someone can help!

By anon308063 — On Dec 08, 2012

I have been getting bitten constantly all summer and now even after two light frosts. The culprits are not skin colored but white and look like dry skin or dandruff but when you try to brush off what appears to be dry skin you find that the thing is really stuck and the bite hurts and it is very hard to get it out or off. I have all kinds of scars from trying to get them out and itching. I began getting only bitten outside as I sat on my patio but now after three months. They are in my carpet and bed.

What are they and how do I kill them and also keep them off me? They go through layers of clothes even though the outer layer is sprayed with a spray for bedbugs (and other pests that contains Deltamethrin. What can I use to kill them and what can I use safely on myself and my dog?

By anon181925 — On May 31, 2011

I live in Maryland and this year we have wicked little no see ums. they are a tannish, almost the color of the skin, but my neighbor and i were getting eaten up by what we thought were just mosquitoes but never saw them actually hitting us.

then i was sitting on my porch yesterday and something bit me and i didn't swat it like you would normally do as a natural reaction. I looked down and there were the corporate no see ums! So i looked them up online and found out that this is what we were getting munched on by. They pack a heck of a bite and the itch after is very annoying.

So just a warning to all marylanders: watch out for the wicked unseen bug that makes its mark and is never seen or heard. I have found that by wearing skin so soft by avon helps and i think that if they get any worse this year a lot of people won't be able to enjoy sitting on their decks or patios unless we all wear trench coats.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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