No-see-ums are notoriously hard to spot. Because they’re so tiny, you might not notice when these flying insects swarm around you or land on your skin. But after they bite, you’ll definitely know they were there. The bite marks left by no-see-ums are painful and itchy, and because you often don’t notice no-see-ums until it’s too late, it can be tough to prevent these bites from happening.
If you’re suffering from painful, itchy no-see-um bites, use these steps to treat them:
- Notice your symptoms. Initially, the bite will leave a small red dot. However, that dot may expand to 1 to 2 inches in diameter and become a slightly raised welt. The welt will be itchy and mildly painful and can last for about two weeks.
- Look for more bites. Usually, no-see-ums travel in large groups and bite multiple times, so it’s possible that you may actually have lots of bites. Look for clusters of red dots on your skin or developing welts. No-see-ums frequently bite legs, hands and the back of the neck, but the bites can occur on any exposed skin.
- Wash the bite area. Use warm water and a mild antibacterial soap to wash any areas where you’ve been bitten by no-see-ums. It’s best to do this as soon as your notice the bites. By washing, you eliminate any residual saliva from the no-see-ums left on your skin, which can reduce irritation. In addition, this step helps to reduce the risk of infection.
- Try not to scratch your welts. Though it can be very difficult to avoid scratching the welts left behind by no-see-ums, it’s important for preventing infection. Excessive scratching can open the welt and make you more susceptible to infection. Try not to scratch and consider trimming and cleaning your nails frequently while the welts are present.
- Find relief from pain and itchiness. If the bites are particularly itchy and painful, consider pressing a clean washcloth soaked with very cold water against the bite area for about 10 minutes at time. If swelling is also an issue, you can press an ice pack, a bag of frozen veggies or ice cubes wrapped in a clean washcloth for 10- to 15-minute intervals as well.
- Apply hot water. This technique involves heating water (but not boiling) to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water is hot, dip the tip of a cotton swab in the water and apply it to the bite. The bite will sting a bit for a few seconds, but ultimately the itching should subside. Be very careful not to heat the water too high and to only apply the swab directly on the bite.
- Soothe with over-the-counter products. You can visit your local drugstore to find a variety of remedies to relieve your itchiness, pain and swelling from no-see-um bites. Analgesic creams can be used to reduce pain, and you can take an antihistamine to relieve itching. A cortisone cream is another remedy for itching and swelling from this insect bites. For rashes or skin irritation, use a zinc cream. Follow the directions on the package when using any over-the-counter products.
- See a doctor for any severe symptoms. If you experience an allergic reaction (wheezing, rashes, difficulty swallowing, etc.), excessive pain, discomfort or skin irritation from your no-see-um bites, consult a doctor immediately. You should also see a doctor if you note any signs of infection (such as fever, headache, swollen glands, nausea or the bite becoming especially tender or filled with pus) or disease (skin sores, anemia, fever, cough, lethargy, diarrhea or weight loss).
Use these tips to make sure your no-see-um bites are treated effectively. To prevent more bites in the future, be sure to contact MosquitoNix® to learn more about our affordable and safe pest control services.