What Are No-See-Ums?
No-see-ums, also referred to as biting midges, are a part of the Ceratopogonidae family of flies and include more than 4,000 species globally. The salt marshes and warm climate of the Lowcountry provide the perfect habitat for various species of no-see-ums to thrive. These tiny bugs are known to cause irritating and painful bites and are often difficult to spot, hence the name. Similar to mosquitoes, females are the only no-see-ums that bite.
The Life Cycle of No-See-Ums
A no-see-um has four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. To produce eggs, female no-see-ums need blood. Once an adult female no-see-um has fed on the blood of a human, typically during the times of dawn or dusk, they are able to lay their eggs in moist settings such as damp soil, swamps, or salt marshes. These settings are crucial since larvae require moisture for development. The larva stage can last two weeks to one year long depending on the environment in which they are developing. Following the larva stage, the pupa stage lasts about two to three days. Adult no-see-ums can live for two to seven weeks.
Where Are No-See-Ums Found?
No-see-ums are typically found in warm-weather climates and near formations of water. This includes streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, and other slow or still moving cavities of water. No-see-ums can be found in many parts of North America but are commonly found in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the Texas Gulf Coast, and the San Francisco Bay area. No-see-ums require moist substrates to lay their eggs and for the development of larvae, therefore regions with accommodating climate can serve as a great place for no-see-ums.
If you have noticed a bite on your skin but couldn’t find the culprit, you probably have no-see-ums and it may be time for quarterly pest control. Making sure to address any sitting water, including emptying trash bins and buckets that may have collected rainwater or other liquids, on your property is one way to help reduce your no-see-ums problem. However, the best solution to your no-see-um problem is a yard treatment. Contact Palmetto Exterminators to speak with a professional and schedule your quarterly pest control today!