Dealing with No-seeums is not a fun thing.
What is a No-seeum you ask? They are tiny flying bloodsucking insects. They are less than 1/8th of an inch long fully grown, which is why they are called No-seeums, because you generally can’t see them. They are found primarily along costal waterways where marshland and swamps provide the damp, wet environment they like to live and reproduce in.
The No-seeum, also known as Biting Midges, has over 4000 species worldwide. There are over 47 in Florida alone. They are all similar in size, behavior and habitat, so it is difficult to know which species is biting you. They have a very short life span (2-6 weeks) so it is difficult to control them with commercially available sprays without daily application which would have negative impacts on the environment.
Similar to mosquitos, the female No-seeums need the proteins from blood to make eggs. While they don’t take much blood, many people may have an allergic reaction to the anti-coagulant they use to prevent blood from clotting and clogging up their beaks. The reaction to the anti-coagulant is what causes the painful, itchy welts they leave behind. Over time many people build up a tolerance to No-seeum bites and they are no longer bothered by them.
Some of the things you can do to avoid getting bit are to wear long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks. While this is not ideal for Florida’s climate, many people opt for a spray or lotion containing the chemical DEET which also deters mosquitos. For those of you who do not like chemicals, you can also use Skin-So-Soft or Baby Oil which traps the Noseeums, preventing them from biting in the first place. The CDC also recommends using oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is said to be almost as effective as DEET.
The bad news about No-Seeums is they are here to stay.
The good news is there are things you can do to help when dealing with No-seeums. The easiest way to control No-seeums (and mosquitos) is with a slight breeze. Since they are week when it comes to flying, using a ceiling fan or any other type of household fan to create a light breeze is enough to keep the tiny pests from being able to get aloft. There are also a few other options for running these pests off, including different types of yard sprays, and candles that are made with essential plant oils.
I hope this helps if you are dealing with No-seeums!