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Miniscule Biting Black Insects

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I have miniscule black flying insects that are biting me. I have no pets but do have house plants. I have tried the vinegar, alcohol and water mixture and haven't been able to rid myself of them. Now I have horrible sores on my face, neck, back of my neck and in my hair.

Does anyone know what these are and how to handle them? I am going to try "Deet".

Thank you for any and all help.

Maggie from Arizona



Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By kwame.hayes02/04/2014

Hey Maggie, thanks for posting this because I know now I am not crazy. I went to the doctor and they said I just have dry scalp and told me to use head and shoulders. I used the whole bottle and thus I was still itching so I decided to pay a professional bug sprayer and realized that that was a waste of 400 dollars because he sprayed and said they may have been fleas or bed bugs.

So I got cat and dog flea killer and vacuumed my whole house and threw away mattresses and not surprisingly these little things kept coming back. My whole life changed it has been 3 years since this infestation it has effected my self esteem greatly because it is embarrassing and I feel crazy when no one believes me and then scratches their head... What is that about right lol? but youtube videos about bugs and you will be amazed that a ton of bugs exist.

This bug though is common in AZ because I got these buggers while at a friends house. I love AZ I been here for 5 years but wish these dang bugs where not apart of the great experience of Phoenix. I found it really funny though people be like "huh it must be lice if your head is itching". After I tell them this has been a huge problem that I have investigated for 3 years.

Well stay positive Maggie, and maybe one day we will find a solution or you can meet as bug buddies lol. Hope everything gets well your the both of us.

By hutch11/13/2013

I live in Goodyear, AZ these things almost chewed my legs off. Besides the exterminator I covered my AC registers with paint strainer bags and blew baking soda in my attic with a leaf blower. I think they are getting moisture from my air handler. Even when I took out the carpets they were getting in my shoes.

By Lain10/24/2012

There seems to be quite a few different bugs out there but I may be able to help someone out. I recently discovered microscopic bugs in my hair and bedding. These black winged biting insects and are so small that it took quite some time to see them, about the size of a pin prick. I could feel them wriggling in my ears and hair and small stinging bites on my neck and face, at bed time especially.

Tea tree oil helped but they kept coming back. I captured a few of them using some sticky tape and confirmed under magnification they were flying insects but couldn't identify. I took a fine toothed comb and used it all over my scalp quite firmly. They are so small I think they live in the scalp debris.
Shampooing your hair isn't enough because that doesn't remove all the surface material and in fact if not rinsed thoroughly can add to it.

You have to clean the scalp firmly for around 20 - 30 minutes a day with a fine tooth comb, then wash hair thoroughly using diluted tea tree oil, let it soak then wash and rinse again. Repeat this for seven days and don't miss any out.

During this period, remove all bed clothes, sheets etc and spray liberally with concentrated tea tree oil then wash in hot soapy water. Take a hot steam iron and slowly iron your mattress, top and four sides, and pillows, takes about half an hour to do a queen size bed. Make sure you go slowly to allow the heat to penetrate into the mattress but not so slowly you burn the material.

Spray the mattress with diluted tea tree oil, put on a mattress protector and spray again, put on sheets and spray again. Repeat this process every other day except spray your bed nightly. Anywhere you normally sit that has fabric and or cushioning, i.e computer chair, chair at work, lounge settee, car seat etc, spray every time before and after you use. After one week I was fine, however I now lint brush and spray my bed sheets every day.

By Bev from Hamilton,ON11/08/2011

Hi, I started this question a few months ago and finally I had to call in a pest control Co. who said they would come and inspect my drain in the basement, for no charge, as he was sure they were drain bugs. After going nuts since April or May, I agreed. Well, he inspected the drain and put a snake thing down, and he said they were drain bugs for sure, that come from sludge that gathers in the main drain.

Now $350.00 later, for 2 jugs of white liquid to put in the downstairs shower drain & the upstairs shower drain, every night before bed, and down the main drain in the basement once a week. The liquid is gone now, but the bugs are not. There are not as many now, mostly in the basement, but they are still here & still biting.

I am going to call them back and get my money back or a free jug(I hope). I forget the name of the stuff as my husband must have thrown them out. I had them until a couple of days ago.

I will let you know, after I talk to them. I am really going nuts! It is now Nov.08, so we are talking almost 6 months now. I'll let you know what they say & the name of the stuff. (We are back to bleach now)
Good Luck, Bev.

By DeeDee (Guest Post)10/14/2008

I received a plant from my mothers funeral. Shortly after I brought it home I started itching on my scalp, neck, and behind the ears. Sometimes it feels like a feather is barely touching my face or ears and I just have to scratch! This happens usually of an evening and the first thing when I wake up and I have broken out on my chest and upper arms!

I have noticed small flying black bugs around the house also. I have thrown out the plant and sprayed and washed and still have these problems. Its driving me crazy! Is there a medicine that I can take to repel them until I can rid them from my home? I'll do anything to get rid of this problem!

By Patty (Guest Post)10/05/2008

I have been fighting these black bugs for months now. I have bagged up clothes and bleached and sprayed alcohol on everything. I started using tea tree oil in my bath and shampoo. It sure has helped. They are driving me crazy. They were in all my drawers and closets in all my clothes. They are in our garage and outside. I noticed them in my bath drain a long time ago.

After I saw them everywhere, I cleaned the toilet and they were packed in between the water tank and the seat. I am glad to find out that I am not the only one with this problem. They do look like a clover, come to think about it. In the drains they look like flies or spiders. I might have more than one problem. I have sprayed enough Lysol and bleach to clean the world.

Sure hope they go away soon. I am noticing less as I keep cleaning each day. One thing I am sure of now, is that I have too much stuff in this house.

By Karen (Guest Post)09/28/2008

Thanks Eric, I too live in Illinois and was going nuts about these bugs. I think you found "our" culprit!

By Eric in IL (Guest Post)09/27/2008

I did more probing on the web and finally found a perfect match of the mysterious black biting bug(in my case). I originally thought it might have been the "Kissing" bug, but after looking at them under a microscope for several hours today, I found several photos after googling "Minute Pirate Bug" You can read more at

Good luck!

By (Guest Post)09/27/2008

I'm in central IL and have tons of these small black biting bugs. They appear during the warm part of the day, when there is little or no wind and dissapear when it cools down in the evening. I've got 3 of those critters under a microsope comparing them to pics on the internet. My best guess is that these are "Kissing" and/or "Conenose" bugs.


By crystal (Guest Post)09/26/2008

I am noticing the tiny BITING black bugs only outside in the evening time and they bite like crazy and if you smash them, then just are gone. They will get on your clothes, but only bite the flesh, don't go through the clothes.


By Lindsay (Guest Post)09/26/2008

Hi, I was at a soccer game when the black bugs showed up. They were everywhere. We tried bug spray but someone said they were amune to it. A million bug bites later my dad found out that they might be repelled in something in baby wipes. Hope my story and insite helps.

By Karie and Ciara (Guest Post)09/23/2008

When we are outside there are these little black bugs that resembles fleas but we don't think they are fleas. They fly and BITE! And we cant seem to get them to go away. We practically pour bug spray on ourselves and they won't go away. What should we do?

By Marky Marc (Guest Post)09/16/2008

I live in Scottsdale - Frank Lloyd Wright & Loop 101. I am having problems with the same insects.

I can't go outside without being bitten - and the weather's finally getting nice.

Lets put our heads together and get to the bottom of this. If someone finds a way to get rid of these flying pests, could you please come back and post how you did it?

Has anyone tried citronella candles? I'm gonna buy some tonight.

By Joanna (Guest Post)09/08/2008

PS - I am in Phoenix, AZ

By Joanna (Guest Post)09/08/2008

Rosamaria, I am having exactly the same problem! I just spent the whole weekend washing (in hot water), drying (in high heat), then dry-cleaning (in the dryer w/special dry-cleaning sheets) all my clothes, applied pesticide throughout the entire house, then fumigated with a flea killer, thinking maybe they were fleas, and they are still biting me. Please, if you or anyone else knows what these are or how to get rid of them, clue me in. Thanks! PS, I'm in Phoenix, AZ.

By Joey (Guest Post)08/13/2008

Do your "miniscule black bugs" fly? I have had an invasion of what we in NM call "No See ums" (gnats) in my house. They bite and leave red marks and the bites itch like crazy for a day or two. I am thinking they came in some potting soil because I'd just repotted a few plants prior to the invasion.

By (Guest Post)07/05/2008

Actually, these are Conenose or "kissing" bugs. Their bites are significantly more itchy than other bites and potentially dangerous if you have an allergic reaction (like how some people do to bee stings). They are unfotunate but sommon in Arizona. They are around spring through summer and bite mostly at bedtime, you'll find evidence of them near your bedding.

By John (Guest Post)05/31/2008

I hope this information isn't useless because I don't know what access you might have to the product.
I'm in Australia and after enduring these insects for a year I found a reference to their being fungus based and I now use Tea Tree Oil Spray (which is anti-fungal)on them.
The effect is miraculous as they move about as if drunk and then drop to the floor.
You might like to use this link
Hope this helps!

By (Guest Post)12/03/2007

I was getting bites on my arms and then my husband was getting them. So we decicded best idea was to rip up the carpet which we did., We had the floors polyurethaned and threw out the sofa and loveseat. We have our mattress in a vinyl zip cover. We washed out bedding in hot water but are still getting bites ? Help its driving me crazy in NY any clues on this for me to rid the house of this. We used Raid flea spray plus some mother stuff still not ok HELP

By rosamaria - (Guest Post)05/27/2007

hi all,
I have been bitten for a very long time and recently I have seen them they are tiny black bugs, they make my skin extremely itchy, and raised but after about 30 minutes it goes away like I was never bitten. They used to bite only my arms and legs and only at night...but now they bite anywhere, and thoughout the day. They are not black flies from outdoors...they do not hang around sinks, or water. they seem to follow me and live in fabrics. I am at my wits end...have lived in several different environments, and I cannot seem to be able to get rid of them. I shower every day and wash my clothes on a regular it is not an issue of cleanliness...they are not bed bugs, or fleas. I need help with these bites and how to get rid of them?""

By Ruthann (Guest Post)05/31/2005

Maggie, A group of friends and I were up on the rim N W of Strawberry. We were camping and the Black Flying Incests were out in full force. The majority of our group of 20 + people were bitten everywhere. The bites itch severely and are approx. dime size when they swell up. Some of us have so many of them thatthat it has made us sick. My Daughter in law called and said they were called Mighty Mites. One girl went to the hospital because she got bitten in the ear. I have so many bites on the side of my neck and ear that the gland below my left ear swelled. Bug repellent did nothing and we used a lot of it. It has been 4 days and I am still itching and my scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back and arms look a mess.""

By PegEb (Guest Post)05/26/2005

These insects you refer to are clover mites, (they show up mostly in my bathroom around the sink and toilet) and I get them every year around May, June - I called a pest control company and was told to use the diazanon or spectracide. It seems they work pretty well - you have to use it several times through the couple months.

By Maggie Morgan [2]01/23/2005

Have tried the soap bath for my plants and it didn't really stop the miniscule black bugs....
But, am working on the other and put the bleach in all drains - bathtub, kitchen sink, vanity sink.
Arizona (where I live) has outlawed diazinon...learned this when I went to the Hardware store. But got some insecticidal soap spray and am still battling them but now I am down to just a few.

Will let you know how I am doing and thank everyone for their posts.

By Jennifer [9]01/17/2005

I'm not exactly sure about the bugs. But I do know if you are concerned about plant bugs, give them a soap bath. just add a few drops of hand soap/dish soap to it before filling with water. Water plants as usual. Remember it's winter, you not need to water as often. Another tip, when was the last time you changed the soil? Is your plant outgrowing its pot? Plants need an uplift just as we do. Take a better look to see if it needs TLC.

By Sandy (Guest Post)01/17/2005

They could be coming out of the soil in your plants. Some soil (even sealed) has these annoying bugs already in them. I can't remember what they are called but I will try to get more information on them for you. Another thing you might want to look at is your drains. We have this problem in my job. The pipes get so filled with "junk" that these little drain flies start breeding in your pipes. They kind of have fuzzy bodies and they definately bite. You can try to mix bleach with warm water and pour it down the drain. If this is your problem, the bleach should help. Good Luck!

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