What Are No-See-Ums? And How to Get Rid of Them
Also known as biting midges or sandflies, no-see-ums are a family of small flies that resemble gnats and mostly feed on plant nectar. If their name didn’t give it away, they’re often impossible to see, as they're usually no more than 1–3 mm in size (about the size of the point of a pencil!). In fact, most people don’t realize they’ve encountered these bugs until they start to itch. You see, just like mosquitoes, female no-see-ums bite and drink blood, which they require to lay eggs.
But here’s the bad news: no-see-um bites tend to be more painful, more irritating, and more numerous than mosquito bites, which is largely due to the saw-like mouth parts they use to rip into your skin. In other words, you don’t want these bugs anywhere near you, your family, lawn, or pets—and we’re here to help you make that happen. Read on for simple, family-safe strategies for getting rid of these little monsters and preventing their awful bites.
HOW TO KILL & REPEL NO-SEE-UMS WITHOUT HARSH CHEMICALS1. PREVENTION
Like with any pest, prevention is unquestionably the best form of no-see-um control, and the easiest way to avoid painful bites. Because of their similar life cycles and environmental needs, preventing no-see-ums looks a lot like basic mosquito prevention. That is to say, it’s all about reducing unnecessary moisture, breeding sites, and common hiding spots. Here are some basic guidelines to follow.
- Maintaining a clean, organized, and trim yard is essential. No-see-ums are attracted to spaces with clutter and dense vegetation, including brush, bushes, and tall grass. Start by removing all non-essential clutter from your yard, especially items that collect moisture like unused equipment, planters, tree stumps, etc. Then, mow and trim shrubbery weekly or more as needed.
- If your lawn includes water features like bird baths, decorative ponds, or fountains, you’ll need to closely monitor these items during spring and summer, cleaning and repairing as necessary. Even better, seriously consider draining these features during peak no-see-um season (Mar.–Sept.).
- To prevent breeding, repair or replace leaky or otherwise faulty drains, pipes, hoses, sprinklers, and faucets ASAP
- Limiting sources of light just outside your home can significantly reduce no-see-um populations. For best results, keep your blinds closed at night and keep your outside lights off during spring and summer. We also suggest trading your traditional light bulbs for those that do not attract bugs, such as yellow compact fluorescent lights (CFL), sodium vapor bulbs, or halogen options.
2. PREVENT NO-SEE-UM BITES
Nobody wants a body covered in red, swollen, itchy bumps. Thankfully, preventing no-see-um bites with Cedarcide is simple and takes just a few seconds.
Before hiking, camping, lawn work, dog walks, and other activities that could expose you to no-see-ums, apply Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray to you, your family, and pets. Then simply reapply every 5-7 hours or after getting wet. Not only is Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray non-toxic and safe for your family and pets, it can be used all throughout your home to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitoes, and mites. It’s also a very popular alternative to traditional chemical-based flea & tick products.
3. RID YOUR LAWN OF NO-SEE-UMS
With the family-safe Lawn + Garden Kit, you can get the bite-free yard you and your family deserve. Best of all, it’s super easy to use and kills and repels all sorts of biting and destructive bugs, not just no-see-ums.
For best results, spray your entire lawn, including shrubbery and bases of trees, with PCO Choice (which is included with the Lawn + Garden Kit). Pay special attention to dense vegetation like bushes, as this is where no-see-ums tend to hide and breed. Then simply spray again in about two weeks and move on to monthly applications after that.
If you’re not currently struggling with no-see-ums and you’re just looking for prevention, you can start with monthly applications right from the beginning. If you live in a warmer region such as the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!
For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in those areas where you and your family spend the most time, like patios, balconies, BBQs, etc. (Cedar Granules are also included in the Lawn + Garden Kit).