How to get rid of pests inside and outside of your house

No See Ums, Knats

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Knat picture


No-See-Ums are also known as Biting Midges, Punkies, or Knats.  These tiny, biting flies are only 1/25 to 1/10, small enough to pass through screens.  You may not see them, but you will notice their hot, painful, stinging bite.  The cutting mouthparts of no see ums slice your skin and their salvia keeps your blood from clotting until no see ums finish sucking blood.  Welts and lesions from the no see ums bite may last for days.  They can become unbearable at dawn and dusk, especially from mid to late summer.  They are attracted to light and will rest on the outside of buildings and enter homes through the slightest crack.  Sometimes no see ums fly into peoples eyes, ears, and mouth.  Swarms of no see ums produce a high-pitched whine from the thousands of tiny beating wings.

These no-see-ums resemble mosquitoes, but the body is stouter, the proboscis is shorter, the legs are rather short, and the two hairy wings are shorter and broader.  They have a small brown head.  The males have a plume-like antenna.  They breathe by means of blood gills after the manner of fish.

Eggs are laid in water or in moist decaying organic matter, and hatch in about three days.  The eggs are often held together in masses or in strings by a gelatinous secretion.  Larvae are cylindrical and thin-skinned, with a distinct head.  Larvae eat decaying plant matter.  Most species develop in the standing water along the margins of ponds, ditches or lakes, and in rot holes of trees.  Larvae mature in about four weeks, float to the surface, pupate, and adults are released to the waters surface.  No-see-ums are important food for fresh-water fishes.

How to get rid of no see ums

Use these non-chemical controls as much as possible:

      Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts and long pants.

      Avoid use of outdoor lighting, especially during early evening hours or use yellow lights for outdoor lighting.

      Eliminate breeding sites.  Empty receptacles that contain stagnant water.

      Move about.  No-see-ums fly near their breeding site.

If chemical controls are necessary, follow the manufacturers instructions.

      Apply an insect repellant.

      Use residual insecticides around your windows and doors.

> Be sure window and door screens are sealed tightly.