Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Life – What Are No-See-Ums and How Can They Be Controlled?
If you’ve ever experienced painful, itchy and enflamed bites on your extremities, particularly on the ankles and wrists, they are likely caused by the bites of a tiny insect that is common to coastal and marsh areas of the Florida Gulf coast. If this has happened to you, then you were likely being fed upon, for your blood, by female no-see-ums. Often misidentified as mosquitoes, no-see-ums, are very small and inflict painful bites, which linger and heal very slowly. People who are new to SWFL, learn very quickly about these vicious and irritating pests. Longtime residents are quite familiar with no-see-ums typically provide a quick education to newcomers, who may be confused about the invisible pests that are chewing on their wrists and ankles.
No-see-ums, as they are referred to in SWFL, are Ceratopogonidae, a family of flies, which includes 4,000 species. These tiny biting flies are also known as midges, biting midges, punkies, sand flies, sand fleas, sand gnats, biting gnats, flying teeth, noseeums, no see ums, no see ems and, of course, no-see-ums. These small biting flies are one of the most despised local insects in Florida, especially the southwest Florida Gulf Coast. There are 600 known species of biting flies in the United States and over 50 of those are found in Florida.
No-see-ums are sometimes difficult to control and unlike mosquitoes, no-see-ums are able to lay their eggs in a wider variety outdoor locations. Mosquitoes require standing water for their breeding cycle and standing water is fairly easy to detect, eliminate or treat. No-see-um females lay up to 200 eggs, at a time, in a variety of outdoor locations. They typically prefer to lay their eggs in moist soil, mud and rotting vegetation. No-see-um larvae require a food source, so the eggs are deposited where a source of nutrition can be found, in warm, moist environments.
Female no-see-ums bite humans and other warm-blooded animals to get blood proteins necessary to develop their eggs, for reproduction. No-see-ums use their scissor-like mouths to open skin and secrete an anti-coagulant, which allows them to efficiently take a blood meal from their host victims. This anti-coagulant secretion is what causes no-see-um bites to be particularly painful, inflicting the stinging and subsequent itching associated with their bites.
Mosquito Hunters of Fort Myers & Cape Coral has developed safe and effective treatments for removing no-see-ums from all types of properties. Contact us to learn more about how we can solve no-see-um problems and make the outdoor spaces of your property or event more comfortable again. Call us at (239) 984-1269 today!Back