The scenario: you've spent a relaxing day at the beach, and you settle down in bed for the night only to notice that you are itchy and covered in little welts. Funny thing is, the beach was breezy, and you never noticed a single mosquito. So, how did you end up covered in, what seem to be, mosquito bites?
What if they aren't mosquito bites?
Here in the state of Florida, there is a tiny insect that has earned itself the nickname "noseeum", solely because it manages to remain unseen the majority of the time. Also, called sand flies, midgies, punkies, and biting midges throughout North America, these tiny critters related to the gnat are a huge annoyance and leave their mark on anyone who dares brave their territory.
Biting midges are common in areas that are moist and swampy, much like mosquitoes, but are much harder to see, prevent, and get rid of. Both the males and females feed off of nectar, but only the females go after blood to gain needed proteins for their eggs. Unfortunately for us humans, our blood is usually the drink of choice and once the noseeums bite, their saliva left behind will leave you itching for days.
The worst part? There is actually very little you can do to prevent these creatures, other than take all precautions that you would for typical mosquitoes. To give yourself a fighting chance at warding them off, make sure you empty any standing water around your home (birdbaths, flower pots, etc.) and keep screens on your doors and windows repaired and closed at all times. If you will be spending a significant amount of time outdoors, wear clothing that covers exposed skin, and use insect repellent. DEET is the best way to repel them, but also the most harmful to us humans, so use it sparingly if you choose to go this route. Natural repellents are also an option, but aren't proven incredibly effective against noseeums.
Once bitten, treat noseeum bites just like you would a typical mosquito welt. Don't scratch, and watch for any sign of allergic reaction or infection. To ease itching and/or swelling, topical steroid creams or an oral antihistamine are your best bet, and will give you some relief during the days following the bite. Most sand fly bites heal up and go away within a few days, but the itching can last up to a couple of weeks.
While there is no guaranteed way to eliminate noeseeums, many experts believe that mosquito treatments can limit them, and help lessen the problem of being bitten while in your yard. Country Boy offers Mistaway systems that help eradicate the mosquito problems on and around your property, and will likely help if you are struggling with sand flies too! We can come out to your home since we serve the greater Polk County area, and give you an estimate on the spot. We will have you enjoying your time outdoors once again in no time.
Don't let noseeums ruin your summer. Country Boy can help!