September 15th, 2019
___ As hot temperatures decline, no-see-ums presence also begin to decline.
“‘No-See-Ums’ are tiny flies, also known as ‘punkies,’ or collectively referred to as ‘biting midges,'” says Dr. Gregory Zolnerowich, Professor and Curator at the Department of Entomology, Kansas State University-Manhattan. They are a type of fly that belongs in the family Ceratapogonidae,* he says. “They feed on nectar or the blood of large insects, but many species feed on the blood of vertebrates like birds and mammals, including humans.
“Their bite is irritating or painful, and their small size is the reason for their name — you may feel the bite but not see the insect.”
They are prevalent during warm weather, between spring and fall, he says, and especially during extra hot days and humid weather.
The first frost is supposed to kill them. Come next spring, Depending on the weather, No-See-Ums will return by next April or May.
Have you ever felt a sudden sharp pain from a no-see-um bite?
*(By the by, Ceratapogonidae is pronounced [sare-AH-toh-pogo-nih-dee] Say that five times fast!)
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