No-see-ums, also known as sand flies or biting midges, may be tiny little insects but they pose a BIG problem here in Greater Charleston. They’re more than annoying — their bites can be itchy, painful, and have the potential to get a couple inches in diameter. Some people even develop allergic reactions to no-see-um bites and need medical attention. You may also know them as sand flies, biting midgies or midgies.
These tiny troublemakers are very much like mosquitoes, and have the same four-stage life cycle as mosquitoes. The females need a blood meal for the development of her eggs. Once she has the blood meal, she will lay her eggs on water or another moist surface. The eggs of a no-see-um are a whitish shade at first but eventually darken.
After an egg hatches, a white worm-like larva appears and will begin eating organic matter. It will stay in the larva state for about 28 days before moving into the pupal state. But once in a pupal state, it only takes 1-2 days before becoming an adult no-see-um. After eating, the adult no-see-um will mate and the cycle continues.
You’ve probably noticed that these little biters are usually active at dawn and dusk, especially during the middle to the end of summer, and if you’ve got swarms of them in your yard, it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the outdoors.
Female no-see-ums will lay their eggs in a wide range of locations. Breeding grounds of no-see-ums include lakes, ponds, tree holes, moist soil, and even in plants that are able to retain pockets of water. No-see-ums breeding grounds along near bodies of water are in wet sand, which is where females often lay their eggs. (Hence earning the name “sand flies.")
After mating with a male usually in the midst of a large swarm, the female no-see-um can lay 400 or more eggs at one time. This breeding can take place 5-7 times during her adult life.
With as quickly as these insects progress through their life cycle, it’s easy to see why there can be tremendous populations of no-see-ums swarming around a particular region, including Greater Charleston.
If you’re having an outdoor event in an area known for its no-see-ums, our special event treatment that we use for mosquitoes will also work for no-see-ums because we do apply the treatment a day or so before your event.
If you have a problem with no-see-ums in your yard, the only solution that will eliminate these little bugs and keep them from coming back is one of our automatic misting systems. Misting systems are programmed to disperse our treatment up to four times a day for 30 seconds at at time, or at the push of a button on the remote control app on your smart phone. (Yes, there’s an app for that.)
Contact Mosquito Squad of Greater Charleston at 843-574-8919 for a free consultation if no-see-ums are a problem in your yard. Or, drop us a line via the contact form on our home page and we’ll reach out to you. No matter how we get in touch, Mosquito Squad looks forward to helping you!
Add a mosquito misting system to your Charleston home to eliminate not only mosquitoes but also no-see-ums and ticks.