What attracts no see ums to an area and how to repel them

What attracts no see ums to an area and how to repel them

May 08, 2023

No-see-ums, black flies or biting midges, these tiny little suckers are hard to spot but they have a painful bite that will let you know when they are around.

Only female no-see-ums bite and they do so because they require the protein rich blood meal to develop her eggs. Male no-see-ums are strictly vegan, but they can still be annoying if they are buzzing about in your space.

What attracts no-see-ums?

If you live in a warm, humid area that is close to a body of water or swamp, you are more likely to experience a problem with no-see-ums. These bugs are attracted to these areas for breeding purposes, which means that they are extra desperate for a blood snack and will swarm in an instant and ruin any outdoor event.

In addition to the outdoor environment, there are other attractants that will alert no-see-ums to your presence and the promise of a tasty, protein rich snack:

  • Carbon Dioxide. When you exhale, you release a quantity of carbon dioxide into the air around you. That release is what alerts no-see-ums that there is a blood meal nearby.
  • Your body emits a lot of body heat, and this is released into the environment around you. No-see-ums can sense this heat and will gravitate towards you in search for a meal.
  • Body odor. Perspiration and body odor are scents that no-see-ums call pick up on and will call them to you, just like the ring of a dinner bell.
  • There is evidence that no-see-ums also enjoy the smell of that new perfume and will happily follow the scent until they get a chance to bite.

No-see-um bites

Female no-see-ums bite because they require a blood meal to develop eggs. Bites show on your skin as little red dots, usually in a cluster. They swell and can become tender. No-see-um bites often last several weeks and are relentlessly itchy for at least 3 days after getting bit.

How to repel no-see-ums

No-see-ums are easily attracted to you and your family by your breath, body heat, body odor and perfumes. Luckily, there are also common ways you can repel no-see-ums and keep from getting bitten.

  • Essential oils. No-see-ums do not like camphor, eucalyptus, mint or lemon essential oils. Sprays, candles and lotions made from these essential oils work as a deterrent to keep away no-see-ums.
  • Insect repellent sprays. There are many different types of repellent sprays that work with no-see-ums. Be sure to follow directions carefully and confirm the safety of a product before using on any babies or small children.
  • Lotions with picaridin. These lotions work to repel no-see-ums and can work for up to 14 hours.
  • Devices that emit allethrin. These devices also work to repel no-see-ums and can be used in yard or patio.
  • Trust MosquitoNix® to protect your outdoor spaces. Contact us today to treat your yard for no-see-ums and protect you and your family from getting bitten.

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