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Keeping No-See-Ums from Biting

Category Gnats
No see ums are very small gnats that travel in swarms and deliver an irritating bite. They are also known as midges or sandflies. This is a guide about keeping no see ums from biting.


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By Guest (Guest Post)7 found this helpful
September 23, 2014

I live in south Florida and recently moved out of a beach front condo into a house inland. The noseeums in my new area have been merciless. The entire town is infested with them. It rains frequently in southern Florida during spring, summer, and fall months and the humidity is high. This, along with the many canals and lakes, creates a perfect environment for noseeums. After trying just about everything in these forums to battle these unseen critters biting me in my home, I finally got some good advice from a friend.


Before I share that, let me explain what didn't work. Deet or any other repellents do not work on these critters. Insecticide sprays are of little effect. Dryer sheets help a little but are still not effective repellents. Fogging doesn't work because they are flying insects that easily come through screens and under doors or cracks in windows so the house gets re-infested in no time. Tenting is the same. Exterminators told me they cannot treat against flying insects. Lawn service doesn't help again because they are flying insects. Zappers don't work as I bought many of them for inside the house. Glue pads work to trap some of them but also do not work to clear them from the house. Soap and apple cider vinegar also traps a few of them but does not get them out of the house. Steaming them is futile like a few UN workers trying to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; they just move back in as soon as an area is treated. Borax may have limited effect but makes a big mess out of your house and electronics.

I have tried all of the above treatments without any relief. Forget all of them because none of them work and they will cost you a ton of money, grief, and disappointment.

Yesterday, a friend mentioned one thing I have not yet tried and is, by far, the easiest and cheapest method. This worked immediately and the following day; the time of this writing. I wanted to share this with as many people as I can to help prevent others the torture I have gone through since buying this house.

Turn the air conditioning down in your house to 62 degrees. Turn off any humidifiers or make sure humidistats are below 40%. If your air conditioning system can't achieve this low temperature then rent or buy some supplemental units or replace the system with a new one. If you go for a new unit, make sure your A/C company knows you want the temperature that low. If they say it can't be done, get someone else because they don't know what they are talking about. I'm an engineer by trade and know there are many efficient systems with tiered cooling capacities and even multi-level fans. These are great if you like to entertain a lot of people in your home like I do. It will be cheaper replace your entire system in the long run than going through many of the processes above including tenting a house.

I turned my thermostat down to 62 degrees yesterday around 3 PM and went out shopping and to dinner. I returned around 10 PM and the house was just reaching 63 degrees. I turned the thermostat back up to normal around 8 AM. For the first time in months, I slept without one noseeum joining me in bed and biting me all night. I did have to drag out several blankets and a comforter to sleep in these chilly conditions. It is still upwards of 90 degrees in Florida and this is a drastic drop in temperature. It is now around 24 hours later and the house is still noseeum free. I can't wait to thank this friend of mine. I plan on freezing out the house again tonight for good measure.

Female noseeums bite and then lay eggs. These may hatch several days to a week later so I will be sure to repeat this step several times. The higher air conditioning cost will be well worth the money. I only wish I had discovered this before spending a fortune on other useless methods and contaminating my living space and skin with pesticides and chemicals.

I hope this method helps others like it has me. It is so nice to sit in my house without being bitten for the first time in months.

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you for posting these pictures. They look exactly like the welts I have all over my body as well and yes, they get me under my clothes and underware as well. They eat me alive while I watch tv, sleep, just sitting around inside. Keeping a very clean house makes no difference either. I have still not found a solution, but the cold winter was just lovely as I didn't have any issues till the weather went into the 60's last week and we had one small rainfall and now they are attacking relentlessly. I never had this problem till 2009 and I live in the exact same house since 2004. And you are right, they make you anxious and make you feel crazy, cause no one else is being bitten but you. :O Ahhhhhhhhhh I wonder about the comment that mentioned orange oil. It made me think that when I moved here I used an orange oil wood polish on my furniture weekly and didn't have any bites, but the smell was so strong when my grandson came to stay with me I stopped using the wood polish cause it smelled so toxic for a toddler and lasted days. That is the same year I started getting these weird bites and welts all over my body. Hmmmmmm. I think I will give the orange oil a try, my grandson is bigger now and doesn't live here anymore anyway. Good luck to everyone who is being eaten. If I find something that works, I shall return to share with you. :)

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1 found this helpful
February 8, 2017

I was at my wit's end, allergic to the bites of no-see-ums. I was driven to tears. I am the only one in my house affected by these bugs. I finally found a remedy. I use a mixture of the original Listerine (gold type), witch hazel and tea tree oil. I sprayed all exposed areas of my body and even sprayed my bed and sheets, as I was especially being tortured at night.

Mix 1 cup of Listerine with 1 cup of witch hazel and 3 drops of tea tree oil. I use a small spray bottle to apply the solution every couple hours and have found this to be the first time I have had any relief. I am ecstatic with the results, as previous uses of topical repellents and insecticides gave minimal relief. They also seem to be affected by cooler temperatures.

I hope this helps. I know I couldn't handle one day more.

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February 13, 20170 found this helpful

The way I am tormented by gnats, this recipe is well worth a try. I have saved the page. Thanks for posting.

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0 found this helpful
September 29, 2014

We winter over in Florida and I used to live there on an island. That is the worst in Florida for mosquitoes, as well as noseeums. Massive swarms in the summer! Use sandalwood incense and oils.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 16, 20130 found this helpful

I recently retired and I'm spending the winters in Florida. I have a bad allergic reaction to the (no see ums bites). I get bitten all over my legs, it's unbearable. I heard that B12 helps to prevent bites. Does anyone have any input?

By Elsa

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October 18, 20130 found this helpful

I get lots of bites and I put Scotch Tape over them. It stops the itch immediately. I leave it on for at least a day. I have never gotten an infection. A nurse friend of mine says it is a great idea.

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October 20, 20130 found this helpful

Wipe yourself with a dryer sheet ( bounce preferred) prior to walking out. It works great and serves as bug repellent minus the smell and grease etc. I hope it helps :-)

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March 23, 20160 found this helpful

I've been taking B 12 for over a year-- they still bite me!!

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June 5, 20160 found this helpful

I was planting a flower bed in Florida and they were terrible. I rubbed a few drops of Manuka Oil (found on Amazon) all over my exposed skin and continued plant. They completely disappeared. I plan to try some drops of Manuka Oil in water in a spray bottle to see if this too would work. I was desperate at the time and just put it full strength on my skin. I'm hoping the spray bottle will work as well, since Manuka is pricey.

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June 8, 20160 found this helpful

I take b12 and they still love me.

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October 15, 20160 found this helpful

I live on my boat in Fl. and the marina is surrounded by mangroves, witch they love. I found that regular hand sanatizer works after getting bitten. Put it on very liberally. It works for me.

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March 25, 20171 found this helpful

I'm from Florida and always knew them as sand fleas. I didn't hear the word no see ums until I moved to SC and believe me, they introduced themselves to me pretty quick. One bite and I have quarter size welps on me. They are worse than mosquitoes, at least I can swat them!

My daughter has been playing soccer for the last 6 years. It has taken 4 years to learn what works for me and that is skin so soft with rubbing alcohol (half and half). I spray it on exposed areas, it gets on my clothes. I recommend it to everyone, it's cheap and those who try it agree.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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