no see ums?

Back in NH in the summertime, we have some little pests called no see ums - tiny bugs so small you can't see them, hence the name. They bite and leave itchy spots for a while. Screens won't keep them out.

I've been in Sjds for 3 weeks, and for about the past week or so, I've been getting small bites on my legs and arms, but for the life of me, I don't see anything flying around, and there's nothing I can see on my skin. But there are little welts that itch for a while and then diminish.

Anyone got any ideas? No socially unacceptable bugs here, by the way.

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If you are using something with a really high percentage of DEET trying applying it to your clothes (Socks Shirt collar Sleeves etc.) instead of your skin. You can always replace socks or a shirt.

Baby Oil

These sound like the same bugs I dealt with in Honduras along the Caribbean. There most beach bars would have bottles of baby oil sitting out for their customers to use; just coat your feet and legs up to about your knees. The sand sticks, but not much worse than usual.

There were disagreements over why this worked, but it definitely worked. No bites.


Multiple studies have shown that DEET is actually safe (not linked to either cancer or birth defects), and FDA classifies it as "Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen" (see, e.g., this fact sheet). I avoided it for years too, after seeing how it could melt plastic, but I've gone over to the "dark side" now. I'd rather take my chances with DEET than get dengue again, or malaria, or leishmaniasis, or anything else!

I use 15-25% OFF in the rainforest and it works great for me. Avon Skin-so-Soft and similar products actually *attract* congos (the big, black biting flies) so I stay the heck away from that stuff.


Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans

Good advice.

Spray some of the stronger versions of OFF (Deep Woods) on a few old assorted household objects and see the damage it can cause. It will lift certain paints right off. I read somewhere that the percentage of DEET has to be about 25% or more for it to be effective. If anyone can find them, Citronella plants around the deck or patio will help. Crush a few leaves to release the lemon scented oil.


They help but look goofy. I wear them around the house and my family say its my cruise ship outfit. These little biters like to hide under and around tables and chairs. Maybe they are so small even the slightest wind bothers them. Keep you feet and legs in the open, even sitting side saddle at a restaurant table can make a difference. At home, spray under the table tops and chairs. I agree, Off and the like doesn't seem to work on these. The effect doesn't seem to last long but it it's a very different bite to a Mozzy.

I think you nailed it

It seems to happen when I sit on the wicker/cushioned couch here, so I was worried perhaps there was some colony of 'things' lurking in the cushions. I also get the bites on the backs of my arms when sitting on wicker chairs outside. I'll try the spray route and see if it works.

I did get bit something horrible by sand flies on Guanaja Island years ago, and swore I'd never live anywhere where they were. One of the worst experiences of my life! Thankfully these bites aren't anything like those, as they are so fleeting.

As to socks - all I have are polar fleece from my last day in NH, fleeing the cold. No socks! No socks! *-)

and thanks all for your suggestions.

little gnats...

we had the same thing in WA. At the farm they seem to fly low and bite my feet and ankles a lot,

Horrible little creatures,

catnip oil/Citronella will keep them away but needs frequent reapplication, DEET works too.

There is a finer netting for 'no see ums';

-Doug ©

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate

sand fleas or sand flies

sand fleas or sand flies tiny gnats They are in Key West and they are in Corn Island. I have seen tourists with open sores as if they ran through a hive of fire ants. Others just get a red dot on their legs (me). The Avon "skin so soft" has worked well for me as will any other bug spray. It depends on your sensitivity. Bring bug spray (natural or DEET). They come out at night and in "sandy" environments.

little beggars....

I got bit today while mixing up a batch of brownies. I wish I could see them so I'd know my enemy's face. I brought some Cutter's skin wipes with me, and applied that this morning, but they are still getting me. Off to the mercado for some Big Gun stuff, I guess, along with baking soda and brown mm good!

"Brownies" eh?

Good plan.

From "No Se Um" to "No Feel Um" (and an all natural remedy too.)


I've already been asked about the ingredients - all natural ones, but nonherbal. Come down to the Farmer's Market tomorrow and check them out. On to cookies now. Alllll natural.

ps. saw only OFF in the mercado. Guess I'll just keep scratching. jeje