Have you ever spent time relaxing at the beach, hanging out by the pool, or hiking your favorite nature trail, only to end up covered in tiny, itchy welts? You were vigilant about repellant, and you made sure to go during the day so the mosquitoes would be less active...so, how did you end up covered in, what seem to be, mosquito bites?
Well, they might not actually be mosquito bites at all. Instead, you could have been attacked by the dreaded little monsters known as "noseeums,” appropriately named thanks to their stealthy bite. Here in the state of Florida, these annoying insects are also called sand flies, midgies, punkies, and biting midges. Noseeums are 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 (including pool areas or your favorite creekside park) 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 a trusted insect repellent. Natural repellents are an option for those who prefer those methods, 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. Keep the nails of little ones trimmed short and try to distract them from scratching to avoid infection.
While there is no guaranteed way to eliminate noseeums, many experts believe that mosquito treatments can limit them, and help lessen the problem of being bitten while in your yard. The direct spray treatments offered by Country Boy Pest Control are one of the best chances at keeping noseeums away from your yard, along with mosquitoes. What's more, our expert team of technicians can help you spot "hot spots" in your yard that could potentially make your noseeum problem worse, and instruct you on how to remove/alter it so you're less likely to harbor infestations of these nasty critters around your home.
Don't let bug bites ruin your summer. Call Country Boy!