What Attracts No-see-Ums to an Area and How to Repel Them


No-see-ums may be tough to see, but they can pack a wicked bite. What are no-see-ums? “No-see-um,” also written noseeum, is a common name given to tiny little bloodsucking insects you rarely notice until you have a burning sensation and a small red welt where it bit you. No-see-ums include biting midges, sandflies, sand gnats, and punkies. Just under three millimeters in length, they can ruin a picnic and drive people indoors on the most beautiful day. So, let’s explore how to get rid of no-see-ums.

What Are No-See-Ums Attracted To?

No-see-ums can find their way inside your home and get right in your face. If one bites you, it will inject saliva that can cause irritation, pain, and itchiness, along with annoying red bumps. For some, these bites are merely irritating, but for others, they can cause painful, long-lasting lesions.

To learn how to get rid of no-see-ums, we first need to know what they are attracted to and the habitat they rely on. Like mosquitoes, no-see-ums thrive in warm, humid conditions outdoors, particularly near a body of water. No-see-ums are generally attracted to wet areas. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water; they love all of it.

Some other common attractants for no-see-ums include:

  • Carbon dioxide: This is part of why no-see-ums seem to appear out of nowhere the moment you step outdoors. Every time you exhale, you release carbon dioxide, which is one of the primary things that attracts no-see-ums.
  • Heat (including body heat): No-see-ums are also attracted to heat, and your body emits plenty of that.
  • Body odor: There’s also evidence that odors attract no-see-ums and that one of the most attractive smells is body odor and perspiration.
  • Perfumes: There’s also some evidence that perfumes attract no-see-ums.
    Now that we’ve covered the possible things attracting the little suckers to you, let’s dive into how to get rid of no-see-ums.

What Do No-See-Ums Hate?

So, what are the best no-see-um repellents? Here are some of the things the little biters hate:

  • Essential oils: Camphor, eucalyptus, lemon, and mint oils are not appealing to no-see-ums and can be used in natural repellent mixtures on your body or diffused in your home to keep the biters away.
  • Insect-repellent sprays: These repel no-see-ums and disguise your natural body odor. Try spraying this around doors and windows to dissuade no-see-ums from entering your home. Sprays that contain permethrin, which is also effective against other insects, are the best no-see-um repellent sprays.
  • Insect-repellent lotions: The best no-see-um repellent lotions contain picaridin, which repels no-see-ums for between eight and 14 hours.
  • Insect-repellent devices: Devices that emit allethrin can help repel no-see-ums from your yard or patio.

What Do No-See-Um Bites Look Like?

Similar to mosquitoes, it’s the female no-see-ums that do the biting. No-see-um bites look like clusters of little red dots on your skin. While they can stay small, they often swell, enlarging to one to two inches in diameter, and can become painful and tender. If you don’t know how to get rid of no-see-ums, you may get plenty of opportunities to identify their bites.

For some, these bites last several weeks. In general, most no-see-um bites will itch for at least three or four days, though larger or more tender bumps can cause discomfort for quite a bit longer.

To treat no-see-um bites, wash the area with soap and water and then rub with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. You can also apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotions to soothe the pain and itchiness. If it’s very uncomfortable, apply ice a few times per day until the discomfort goes away. Obviously, it’s better to avoid the bites. So, let’s see how to get rid of no-see-ums.

How to Get Rid of No-See-Ums

If painful and itchy bites are driving you to learn how to get rid of no-see-ums, there are several steps you can take. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Reduce Moisture: No-see-ums, like most pests, need water for survival, especially during the hot summer months when they are most active. Fix any dripping faucets or leaking sprinklers on your property and be vigilant about eliminating any standing water after it rains.

Eliminate Breeding Grounds: As mentioned, one of the most important ways to get rid of no-see-ums is to eliminate any standing water on your property. Like mosquitoes, no-see-ums require still water, as it is best for breeding. They will lay their eggs in any standing water, such as a lake or pond, and also in water trapped in a bucket, in your gutters, in a tire swing, or in a birdbath. Routinely survey your property, dumping out any standing water, even small amounts.

Use Repellents: The best no-see-um repellants include lotions with picaridin, sprays containing permethrin, and allethrin-emitting devices also work well to keep no-see-ums away.

Trap Them: Figuring out how to get rid of no-see-ums can bring you to high-tech solutions. You can purchase no-see-um traps that attract the biters with carbon dioxide and UV light and then eliminate them with a vacuum or adhesive. For a DIY version, pour some apple cider vinegar into a small bowl or jar. Add a few drops of dish soap. Set it near the insects. The no-see-ums are attracted to the vinegar, but the soap traps and drowns them.

Need Help with No-See-Ums and Other Pests?

One of the best ways to get rid of no-see-ums is through professional pest control services from your local Mosquito Joe®. We offer traditional and eco-friendly barrier sprays that effectively help keep pests like no-see-ums and other biters away for up to 30 days.

All our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™ and the Mosquito Joe guarantee, which ensures your satisfaction. Let’s make the outdoors fun again!

To learn more or to get started, request a free quote today.

No-See-Um FAQ

Are no-see-um bites worse than mosquito bites?

No-see-um bites are smaller than mosquito bites and far more painful. Unlike mosquitoes, no-see-ums have tiny, saw-like teeth. And like a mosquito bite, a no-see-um bite is also very itchy. Even if you are not allergic to the no-see-um bite, the welt may take up to two weeks to go away.

Can no-see-ums bite through clothes?

Biting midges, also known as no-see-ums, are vicious little insects that can bite right through your clothes. While dressing in loose clothing that covers you to the ankles, wrists, and neck can be effective against mosquito bites, no-see-ums can and will bite through clothing. That’s why learning how to get rid of no-see-ums is so critical.

Can no-see-ums infest your house?

While no-see-um infestations are much more likely outdoors, they can infest your home, particularly in water-rich spots like the bathroom, kitchen, or around leaky faucets. Be sure to fix any leaky faucets. Because the little biters are so small, they can find ways in, even through intact window screens. The best way to keep them out of your home is to keep them out of your yard.

Do no-see-ums lay eggs in your skin?

No-see-ums do not lay eggs on your skin, but the females do drink your blood to nourish the eggs they will lay, ensuring another generation of tiny biters.

What is the season for no-see-ums?

Like mosquitoes, no-see-ums thrive in the warm, humid months of summer. They are most active in June and July across the country. But they remain problematic year-round along the Gulf Coast and can reappear whenever the weather is warm.


Do Ticks Breed on Dogs?

Ticks might not only carry diseases that may affect you and your pet, but they can also breed on your dog. A tick on your pet can eventually lead to an infestation on your furry friend and in your home. By being vigilant and interrupting the mating cycle, you can help keep your dog happy and healthy.

How Do Ticks Breed?

Ticks can breed quickly and are sometimes hard to spot, making tick infestations such a common problem in tick-prone areas. It can start with your dog when they venture outside or during a walk in a grassy or wooded area. Though the breeding process can vary by tick species, these general steps can take from weeks to months, depending on conditions in your area:

  1. The ticks wait on blades of grass or other plants for a passing host. They can’t jump, so they attach to a host when the animal (usually a small animal such as a rodent) brushes by wherever they’re lying in wait.
  2. The tick feeds on this initial host, sometimes for several days, before dropping to the ground.
  3. The tick molts, becoming a nymph, then lies waiting for a second host. They prefer smaller hosts such as rabbits or raccoons at this stage. They’ll feed, drop to the ground, and molt again, becoming adult ticks.
  4. The tick will wait for a third host. At this stage, they prefer large hosts such as deer and dogs. If they attach to your dog, they will feed, breed if possible, and can even lay eggs on your dog that will hatch into larvae. Those larvae will feed on your dog, and the cycle will begin again.

How Do Dogs Get Ticks?

Some things attract or harbor ticks, and it’s worth keeping them in mind. If you can eliminate these things from your yard, you can reduce the chance that you’ll have a tick problem.

  • Tall grass and overgrown plants: These can harbor ticks and give them easy access to your dog and the rest of your family.
  • Leaf piles: Since these areas are also prime spots for ticks to hide and breed, keeping them clear can reduce the number of spots ticks like to gather.
  • Animal and Bird Feeders: Ticks are often found in areas because they can attach themselves to the rodents who eventually come to eat the birdseed or other feed. They wait for an animal to come by and attach to them while they feed.

Of course, you can’t eliminate every plant in your yard, and rodents are a fact of life in many areas. But getting rid of these more obvious hiding places is a good start.

Related Topic: How to Check Dog for Ticks

What Do Ticks Do to Dogs?

Aside from breeding on your dog, ticks also feed on your dog’s blood, which creates a new set of concerns:

  • Too many ticks feeding on your dog can weaken the dog, causing lethargy and general discomfort.
  • Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can also infect your family.
  • The breeding cycle can continue, causing a worse infestation over time.

Knowing what to do if your dog has a tick will help mitigate these issues. Checking the dog over regularly, especially along their back, legs, and hind end, is a good idea and will help you spot ticks before they cause too much irritation. Remove them using tweezers and pluck them out as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Be careful when using a tweezer to remove ticks; make sure you completely remove the tick from your dog and that you’re not leaving the tick’s head or part of its body behind. You can also purchase flea and tick repellent sprays to protect your dog.

Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs?

If not found and removed right away, ticks that breed on your dog will sometimes lay eggs on them as well. The larvae that hatch from those eggs have a very convenient feeding source: your dog’s blood. This can affect your dog’s health, and that of your family, in a variety of ways. The easiest way to reduce the risks that come with ticks is to prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first place. While this isn’t easy, it is possible with the help of your neighborhood Mosquito Joe.

Related Topic: How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Protect Your Dog and Family from Ticks

As ticks continue to extend their habitat across the U.S., the potential for tick and mosquito-borne diseases has also grown. One of the best ways to deal with this potential threat is to take preventative steps to protect your family and your pets. Your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe can help. We offer traditional and natural barrier sprays that effectively help keep pests, like ticks and mosquitoes away, for up to thirty days. To learn more or to get started, call us at 1-855-275-2563 or schedule an appointment online today.


Dealing with Bugs at An Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings can be a wonderful experience shared with family, friends, and plenty of natural beauty. But along with that beauty can come a fair number of complications, including unwelcome guests: bugs. No one wants their special day to turn into a flurry of swatting or slapping away bugs. The experts at Mosquito Joe have some advice that can help make your special outdoor event memorable for all the right reasons.

How To Get Rid of Bugs for Outdoor Wedding

While you could end up with any number of party-crashing bugs, there are a few that are more likely to show up at an outdoor wedding. Some of the most common pests include:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Flies
  • Ants
  • Yellowjackets

There are several things you can do to make your wedding less attractive to these pesky party crashers. If possible, have your wedding in the spring or fall. Summer is the peak of insect season and a time when many insects are the most active. Make sure there’s no standing water since this can also attract a variety of insects. Keep shrubs and trees neatly trimmed, and be sure to rake up any plant debris that might be a haven for insects

You’ll also want to consider the time of day. Dusk is the worst time to hold an outdoor event because that is when many insects are on the hunt for a meal. If you can, an afternoon or late-morning wedding is ideal. This should help you avoid spending most of the ceremony swatting at mosquitoes.

However, if you prefer to have your wedding in the spring or summer during dusk or early evening hours, then you’ll need to do some pre-planning to keep your guests from becoming a meal. One way to keep you and your guests comfortable is to contact your local Mosquito Joe. They can help keep bugs away and your guests itch-free on your big day.

Also, if all or part of your event takes place on a lawn, make sure it has been mowed to the lowest possible length. This will reduce hiding spots for insects. Here are some other insect repellent alternatives you might want to consider.

Related Topic: Wedding Season = Mosquito Season

What’s the Best Insect Repellent for an Outdoor Wedding?

Insect repellents can be a useful tool for keeping you and your guests comfortable during your special event. Candles, sprays, and other products can prove effective at keeping insects away. So, it is a good idea to have them available, just in case.

  • Citronella candles are a good, easy-to-use option for mosquito control at an outdoor wedding. Lit citronella candles or torches arranged around the event space can help keep insects such as mosquitoes away. To create a barrier around the perimeter of your wedding event, consider spacing citronella candles about three feet apart. Although effective, this can be a somewhat unpleasant alternative for you and your guests because citronella candles do give off a very distinct odor.
  • Insect repellent spray can also be effective but is not always ideal. Although you can have cans or bottles available, some guests may be reluctant to use them because most leave a residue and have an odor that can linger for some time.
  • If you know the site you selected is particularly prone to insects, having the area treated in advance will help discourage pests. As mentioned, treatments like those available from Mosquito Joe are effective for up to 30 days. You can choose a natural barrier treatment that uses garlic or a botanical option derived from natural plant oils to keep pests away from your event.

Outdoor Wedding Mosquito Prevention

Aside from candles, torches, and barrier treatments, there are also some natural options you might want to consider to keep mosquitoes and other pests away from your wedding.

  • Essential oils such as citronella and eucalyptus are known for their insect-repellent qualities. Consider placing diffusers in the area, using incense made from these botanicals, or buying lotions or sprays that you and your guests can apply.
  • Grow citronella, mint, and marigolds. These plants naturally repel insects, including mosquitoes, and can be grown in containers and placed around your venue.
  • Consider a screened pavilion or tent. If none of these options appeal to you, consider renting a screened pavilion or tent for your ceremony. The only drawback is that it might not be easy to find one that’s large enough, and a tent or screened pavilion can detract from the natural beauty of your outdoor event (which defeats the purpose).

Keep Uninvited Pests Away

An outdoor wedding can be a very special, beautiful, and memorable event. However, if insects arrive, it could be memorable for all the wrong reasons. No one wants something as special as their wedding spoiled by insects. If you’re looking for an effective way to keep insects from crashing your wedding, contact your local Mosquito Joe.

Our traditional and natural barrier sprays effectively keep pests away for up to thirty days. If you’re planning an outdoor event, make Mosquito Joe a part of your planning. This way the only guests that show up are the ones you invited. To learn more, or to get started, call us at 1-855-275-2563 or schedule an appointment online today.