You want to get rid of no see ums, the common and annoying biting fly that causes irritating, painful, and itchy bites. They are a significant nuisance, and aside from this, you do not want them to possibly transmit harmful diseases or cause allergies or other medical conditions from biting you.
Unfortunately, due to their persistence, large numbers, and small size, you are at a loss on how you may be able to fend these insects off. So how do you get rid of no see ums?
Get rid of no see ums through the following: carbon dioxide traps; soap and vinegar traps, fine window mesh; sugar and yeast traps; lowering temperature and humidity; additional clothing; avoiding places with no see ums; using chemical and natural repellents; using fans, and removing stagnant water.
Now that you know the various means by which you can get rid of no see ums both indoors and outdoors, you want to find out what are the most effective options, what methods are hard to implement, and what are the various factors that make these methods work. These are the things that we will discuss in the following sections.
14 Ways to Get Rid of No See Ums
No see ums are smaller in size compared to mosquitoes, and to eliminate them successfully, you may need an approach that varies from some of the usual means of dealing with mosquitoes and other insect pests.
There have been various methods developed through the years, and some of these are more effective than others in warding off and repelling no see ums.
In this section, we will enumerate and discuss the various ways that have been devised to get rid of no see ums.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Trap
No see ums use the same technique used by mosquitoes to track people, which is to follow their exhaled air, particularly the exhaled carbon dioxide gas or CO2.
The characteristics of an effective carbon dioxide trap have that precise combination of moisture, heat, and an attractant – that is, CO2 – that is able to lure no see ums.
The insects will fly closer to the trap because of their attraction to CO2, after which they will be sucked by the trap’s vacuum. The small insects are helpless against the force of the vacuum, and they will be trapped into a net. This will rapidly cause dehydration, which will usually kill them in as little as 24 hours.
DIY Dry Ice Trap
Dry ice is composed of solid CO2.
As it is exposed to the air at room temperature, it melts and releases the CO2 gas into the air, which attracts the no see ums. As the pests come into contact with the dry ice, they get instantly killed.
When handling dry ice, it is important to remember to use gloves. When setting the trap, make sure it is inaccessible to pets and children.
Dry ice is available at Costco, Walmart, and many gas stations.
DIY Soap and Vinegar Trap
This trap has the advantage of being quite safe and non-toxic as well as being very easy to make. You can simply put vinegar in a bowl and add some soap.
Insects are attracted to vinegar’s aroma, while the soap’s viscosity serves as the trap that prevents them from escaping and kills them.
DIY Sugar and Yeast Trap
With this DIY trap, you need a 2-liter plastic soda bottle which you will cut in half. At the bottom half, put yeast, one cup of water, and two tablespoons of sugar. Stir it into a mixture.
Afterward, put the top half in a reversed position with the open nozzle facing down over the bottom half, and bind the two halves with tape.
The trap works by producing CO2 through the reaction of the sugar water with the yeast. The gas attracts the insects into the bottle, from which they cannot escape.
Sawyer Premium Repellent with 20 Percent Picaridin
You can also supplement your protective clothing by using repellent products on the remaining exposed skin that you cannot cover.
Chemical insect repellents such as DEET and others may have varying capacities to ward off no see ums.
To increase the likelihood of using an effective product, it is best to choose a repellent that explicitly states that it is effective against no see ums. It is also best to follow the instructions on proper application in order to ensure maximum benefit from the product.
Take note that no see ums are sometimes called punkies, sand flies, gnats, biting midges, moose flies, and other common names in different states. These various names may be reflected on the product description. Some of the recommended repellents are enumerated below.
Sawyer Premium Repellent has 20% Picaridin as its active ingredient. It is considered more effective than DEET, and in addition, it is also considered safer for your family.
Repel Lemon Plant-Based Eucalyptus Repellent
This repellent has the Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (or OLE) as its active ingredient. It does not contain the harmful DEET ingredient but has the same effect as 20 percent DEET.
This will help you enjoy the outdoors despite the presence of no see ums in the environment. It can repel insects for a maximum of six hours. An additional benefit of this product is its refreshing and cool scent, with none of the annoying chemical smells of other insect sprays.
This product also repels mosquitoes which are the transmitters of dangerous viral diseases such as Chikungunya, dengue, West Nile, and Zika.
One advantage of OLE is the effective protection it provides without the greasiness or stickiness feeling on your skin. This repellent has all-natural components.
Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent
This product is applicable to use on clothes, gear and tents. It contains permethrin which kills insect pests as effectively as 100% DEET.
It has a special controlled release feature, and it encapsulates the DEET within a slow-dissolving protein that releases the active ingredient gradually so that it lasts for as long as 11 hours.
The permethrin component is retained for up to six washings or six weeks, and will not damage or stain clothes, plastics, fabrics, outdoor gear, or finished surfaces.
It can be applied to tents, clothes, sleeping bags, and outdoor camping gear. This product can kill over 55 types of insects upon contact. It is also odorless once it dries. It is the ultimate insect barrier that works like protective armor on your skin and your gear.
Avon Moisturizing Repellent Lotion Skin-So-Soft SPF30 Bug Guard Plus
This product has IR3535 as its active ingredient, and at the same time, it also serves as a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 30, containing Vitamin E, aloe, and moisturizer.
It is safe for use by your entire family. The SPF 30 can help prevent skin sunburn. It does not contain PABA, and has a non-greasy formulation that replenishes skin moisture and makes it smooth and soft.
To protect against insects, it may need to be reapplied after every two hours or as soon as the effectiveness wanes. Its protective sunscreen function may disappear upon drying the skin with a towel and after swimming and sweating for 80 minutes. Remember never to apply this product more than nine times per day.
Small-Meshed Screen Barriers
No see ums are much smaller than many insects such as mosquitoes, so that normal window and door screens in the US, which measure 16 Standard Mesh, are not small enough to keep out no see ums. Their size is comparable to the point of a pencil that is finely sharpened.
In order to successfully keep out no see ums from your home, it is necessary to install screens that have a smaller mesh size and tighter weaving.
Lower Temperature and Humidity
You can discourage the presence of no see ums in your home by turning up your air conditioning unit to lower the temperature. These pests thrive only in warm or hot conditions, and they cannot stand conditions of low temperature and humidity.
You can prevent the majority of bites by protecting yourself with well-chosen clothing materials that cover your body and reduce exposed areas of your skin for the insects to bite on. With their very small size, no see ums are incapable of biting or piercing through even light clothing.
Such protective pieces of clothing can include hats that feature fine netting; long/high socks; long-sleeved upper clothing; long pants; and the like.
Avoiding No See Um Areas
It is helpful to research the area for the presence of no see ums when considering buying a home or property. When choosing a vacation destination, it is also useful to do similar research. Do this prior to committing to buying that home or going to that vacation location.
Consult maps, websites, and local information regarding the possibility of the location supporting a no see um population, or if it is a place that is a suitable habitat for them. If it is, you should think twice before buying the property or spending your vacation there. Or if it is a really good vacation destination, at least prepare yourself and bring suitable repellents and extra protective clothes prior to the trip.
You may use insecticides to kill no see ums.
However, it has been determined by extensive research that insecticide spraying, misting, or fogging, even on a large scale, is not an effective means of eliminating them in the long term.
Adult no see ums who are exposed to the insecticide spray may die, but there are pupae waiting to come out as new adults, as well as other stages of their life cycle which have not been killed.
Soon enough, their annoying will again be felt, often for as short as just a few days.
What is the Best Repellent for No See Ums
The best repellent against no see ums have been identified by reviews as the 20% Picaridin Repellent by Sawyer Products. This is due to its long-lasting 8-hour repelling action against no see ums, chiggers, and flies.
This product is effective for a maximum of 12 hours against ticks and mosquitoes as well. It is safe for your entire family, with an active ingredient of 20% Picaridin. It is comfortable to use, quick-drying, and non-greasy. It helps prevent infection from Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, West Nile virus, dengue virus, and Zika virus.
It does not damage synthetic coatings and plastics and can be safely applied on clothing, watches, backpacks, sunglasses, firearm finishes, fishing lines, and other materials.
It can provide maximum protection if it is paired with the Sawyer Permethrin insect and tick repellent spray when used on gear and clothing.
What Temperature Kills No See Ums?
The temperature level of 62 to 70ºF is ideal for killing no see ums. In addition, humidity levels below 40% also contribute to killing these pests. No see ums are active at higher temperatures, which is why they are mostly seen during summer. They cannot tolerate colder temperatures and low humidity.
Turning up your air conditioning settings to a colder temperature level, in combination with turning off the humidifier and keeping humidity at a low level of less than 40%, will instantly make your home’s environmental conditions hostile to no see ums.
This will either make them scramble to escape your home to look for more ideal conditions or otherwise die.
In a hot climate, such as the state of Florida, you may turn down your air conditioning temperature level during your sleeping hours at night, and return it to its normal level by morning. This will help you be free from the bites of no see ums as you rest.
You may observe that even after 24 hours, you will still have no presence of no see ums to pester you. However, if you want to ensure a no see um-free home the next day, you may repeat the process for several more nights.
This is due to the fact that no see um eggs hatch after a few days up to one week, and you may kill off this new generation of pests if you keep your home hostile to them for the same period of time.
This has been found to be successful in eliminating no see ums.
This method also has the advantage of having no chemical insecticides that are harmful to your family’s health.
The downside to this method is that you will have to use a comforter and more blankets to sleep easily. Another disadvantage is a higher electric bill. However, the extra expense is worth it.
How Do You Get Rid of No See Ums Naturally?
You can get rid of no see ums naturally by using air conditioners and fans; installing mesh with tiny holes and tight weave to windows; protecting your skin with added clothing; soaking cloths in pine oil and putting it around the home, and eliminating stagnant water around your property.
Using insecticide or repellent spray made of chemicals may help eliminate no see ums in the home, but this is a health hazard for your family and pets. There are more natural means by which you can eliminate them effectively.
We enumerate the natural methods of getting rid of no see ums below.
Fine Mesh Screens
No see ums are much smaller than other insects, so that they are not deterred by normal window screens. Mosquito nets are useless against them as well. You need a mesh with a tight weave and tinier holes to keep them out.
As a more affordable option, you may use material used in bridal veils to fix to the windows.
Air Conditioners and Fans
The moving air generated by your fans is more than enough to deter the flight of no see ums, because they are not strong fliers. In addition, using air conditioners to keep the ambient temperature from 62-70 degrees Fahrenheit (or 18-21 degrees Celsius) will make your home hostile to these insects.
Additional clothes are useful for preventing bites especially in cases of large no see um infestations. You may use long-sleeved and lightweight clothing that is able to protect your arms and legs.
Pine Oil Rags
You may put some rags that are soaked with pine oil around your house, particularly above garage doors, windows, and doorways. You can also pin them on your window screens to discourage the pests from entering your home.
Remove Stagnant Water
Stagnant water is used by no see ums and other insect pests as breeding grounds. You can help get rid of no see ums by removing containers such as pots and other materials that hold water, as well as fixing areas around your property that are waterlogged. You need to improve drainage in these areas.
In this manner, you will eliminate suitable areas for egg-laying by female no see ums.
Do no see ums also bite your dog?
No see ums also bite mammals other than humans. If you ever notice small bites on your dog, there is a possibility that a no see um bit it.
Can you repel no see ums with your diet?
It is claimed that ingesting certain foodstuffs makes you less attractive to insect pests. These food items include the following:
- Tomatoes, which are high in thiamine, the smell of which insects apparently hate;
- Onions, which contain allicin that repel insects;
- Bananas, claimed to repel insects due to their 3-octanol content;
- Vegemite and marmite, which are also high in thiamin;
- Citrus fruits, due to their nootkatone content;
- Apple cider vinegar, the effectiveness of which is still unconfirmed;
- Garlic, which also contains allicin;
- Alcohol, because it reduces sweating and lactic acid secretion, and because it increases thiamine levels;
- Legumes and beans, which are rich in thiamine;
- Hot peppers, which contain capsaicin whose smell insects cannot tolerate.
This article is part of What Are No See Ums Attracted To and What Repels Them? series.
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