Effects of Bites From Noseeums
Noseeum bites can be incredibly painful. One expert has compared noseeum bites to a sudden jab from a fat needle. Does this sound familiar? The description is especially surprising given that these pesky little gnats are only about 1 mm in size. Some adult biting midges boast a diet that includes blood; but unlike with the mosquito, male and female noseeums may crave and draw blood. You might be asking yourself: How can such a tiny little punkie, which I can hardly even see (hence, “noseeum”) inflict such a big, painful, and annoying bite?
It all has to do with the structure of a biting midge’s mouth. Noseeums bite with a long proboscis (a kind of tube-like feature) that contains hardened “blades.” These blades protrude from the tip of the proboscis, and can easily break open human skin.
No-see-um bites can cause an itching or burning sensation on the skin. Some bite victims may also notice welts from midgie bites that can last for days. Some species of noseeums even transmit diseases …
There are over 4,000 species of noseeums (a.k.a. biting midges, punkies, midgies, no-see-ums, etc.) in the world. In some areas of the U.S., they are quite common. Florida alone is home to 47 species of noseeums.
Biting midges, a.k.a. no-see-ums, may be found along the shores of lakes and rivers. Their small size, and the difficulty involved in detecting their presence, is how they got the name “no-see-ums.”
Adults are grey in color, and their eyes are black. When noseeums start to bite, you will know it. The biting parts of no-see-ums protrude both forward and downwards. Although they are tiny insects, their bites can be very painful, and may catch you by surprise.