Noseeums are a small blood sucking gnat which are prevalent along coastal territories and regions with a lot of water, dampness and marshland. Also known as Punkies, Black Gnats and No Seeums, these annoying tiny flies are very persistent and prolific. This article will highlight some basic biology about noseeums and then offer treatment options so you can help to minimize the discomfort and unpleasantness experienced when noseeums are active in your yard.

Related articles:        BITING FLIES     DEER FLY        FLEAS        GNATS        HORSE FLIES        MIDGES        MOSQUITOES       THRIPS





Noseeums are small – usually less than 1/8 inch long – but pack a lot of bite for their size. Only females bite but since she needs several blood meals before she lays eggs, they seem to linger longer than other flying pests like mosquitoes when they feed.

There are many species of noseeum which are found primarily along coastal water ways where marshland and swamps provide the damp, wet environment in which they like to live. However, activity has been found throughout the mainland and tends to be quite strong during the summer and fall. It is believed that populations have migrated to previously uninfested regions via plants, dirt and pots.

Since noseeums can breed successfully in something as little as the soil of a small house plant in a pot, it has been concluded that they have easily been introduced to virtually any part of the United States. There are simply too many ways for them to find these remote areas and though certain conditions need to exist outside for them to live successfully, it is not uncommon for whole populations to find reproductive sites in the home. For this reason noseeums present a unique dilemma making them hard to control.

Noseeums will hatch in the spring emerging as both larva and adults. Adults will immediately look for a good blood meal; larva will spend their time in the wet damp soil growing through several stages. This growth could take as little as a month or more then six months depending on both region and species.

Females need blood to start her egg laying and she will seek this food from birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and just about anything which is moving. Closely related to Moth or Drain Flies, Noseeums have a fairly delicate body type. They are easy to kill, not particularly strong and they’re susceptible to many predators. However, what the noseeum lacks in physical presence it more then makes up for in sheer numbers.



Noseeums are persistent and annoying. Their bite will cause all types of reactions which range from small swollen bumps to rashes. They are vectors of several diseases including Carrions Disease and Leishmania. For this reason noseeums are feared and rightfully so. Though the likelihood of getting a disease from them is small, the discomfort and pain their bite generates is more then any reasonable person likes to withstand. This is why noseeums are feared more then most any flying biting pest where they are present.

Noseeums are also referred to as no-seeums, punkies, sand flies, biting midges and more. The no-seeum name has been acquired over time because of all the biting stinging pests, noseeums are amongst the smallest. However, they are commonly misidentified and many times blamed for bites or stings when nothing else has been found.

Here is a short list of such pests which could be biting or stinging.

Flying pests have a much larger range and can attack from greater distances much quicker. With noseeums, it is not uncommon to be attacked as soon as you go outside. This is especially true from mid afternoon until dark.

Her is a short list of flying pests that could behave the same way.

Of all the other pests you might have besides no-seeums, thrips might be the most aggravating and common which are found biting people. Unlike most biting insects, thrips are not interested in blood. For this reason they are not targeting people due to CO2 or Octenol, two common gases people exhale which biting flies, mosquitoes and noseeums find attractive. Instead, thrips are attracted to wet, moist and damp surfaces like that of a sweating person. They thrive in mulch, flower beds and other damp areas where Noseeums can live as well. However, the treatments for either pest will vary. For this reason it is important that you know just which one you have. Only this knowledge will enable you to make the right decisions regarding which line of products to use and where to apply them

The next section of this article will detail products and treatments that can be used when combating noseeums. First, we will review repellents that can be used on people and premises; next we will detail treatment options which can be done to turf and adjoining property where activity is present.



Since noseeums are attracted to people for much the same reasons that mosquitoes are attracted to people, there are several repellents which can be used to help keep them away from people and property. Some can be applied to the turf, others are applied to people. The following is a compilation of products which have proven to help repel noseeums on and around the yard.

If you are planning a party or some outdoor activity, the use of NOSEEUM REPELLENT is a good product to apply about 12 hours prior to the event. It works by releasing a slight odor barely detectable by people but one which b;as don’t like. Used a lot for repelling mosquitoes, this product won’t hurt children or pets and will last a week or two depending on local weather patterns.

Use 1/2 lb per 500 sq/ft; this 5 lb jar can cover up to 5,000 sq/ft. Treatments will last at least 1-2 weeks; longer in arid regions or during a drought.

Mosquito Repellent






Designed to help protect small areas like decks and patios, linalool candles will help keep biting pests like noseeums, mosquitoes and gnats away from people sitting outside in the yard. Made with essential plant oils, these candles will effectively “block” you from biting pests like no-seeums. The burning process will release a nice odor to people which is citrus smelling. In the process the linalool will permeate the area making biting pests like mosquitoes and no-seeums not able to locate targets. The FREE STANDING CANDLES come in both 6″ and 8″ lengths. The JAR CANDLES come in two sizes; 2.5 oz and 15 oz. Excellent for decks and patios, these candles can be brought on camping trips and picnics too.

The 6″ candle will burn 40-50 hours; the 8″ will burn 50-60 hours.

Conceal Candle




If you prefer a “self contained” design, get the jar version. The 2.5 oz will burn 10-14 hours; the 15 oz should last 60-75 hours.

Conceal Jar Candle






Another great device for use out on decks, patios or just out in the yard are NOSEEUM BLOCKERS. These are unique repellers which work by “hiding” people so noseeums are not able to effectively find you. It releases a scent which works by confusing noseeums and in turn, they loose their ability to use their olfactory senses properly. By not being able to “smell” people, they are not able to track them down.

Noseeums track people by detecting two gases we release called Octenol and CO2. These gases are exhaled when we breathe. As we sit outside exhaling, these gases will permeate out and flow with the local air current. They can be detected by noseeums as well as mosquitoes for over 100 yards. Once these biting pests get on the trail, they will follow it back to it’s source eagerly searching for a blood meal.

By placing these Blockers out slightly downwind from where you are sitting, noseeums won’t be able to do any tracking. Your exhales are basically being masked so you can sit outside invisible to the local biting insects like noseeums. It is important to understand that any noseeums which are close to where you first go outside will immediately be drawn to you since they are reacting to your visible stimulus and not your exhales. Once this first wave of activity ceases the Blockers will serve to keep new ones away.

To properly deploy these devices, you’ll need to set one on either side of where you’re sitting outside so expect to use at least two for the average deck or patio. Be sure to turn them on at least 10 minutes before you go outside. These units run on 2 double (AA) batteries and refills will generally last 30-45 days.

Mosquito Blocker




Expect to change out BLOCKER REFILLS every 30-45 days.

Mosquito Blocker Refills






Another effective repellent are BUG BANDS. Ideally suited for children, these bands are light, barely noticeable and will confuse biting flies and mosquitoes so they are not able to find you when out in the yard. Though one will work well on either wrist, consider keeping one on an ankle if you’re wearing shorts.

These come in green, pink and “glow in the dark”. Keep them sealed up in a plastic zip lock bag when not in use; expect to get at least 40 hours of effective repellency once taken afield.

Bug Band Adult





For exposed skin, nothing works better than 100% DEET. This is as strong as it gets; Deet has been proven to effectively repel all kinds of insects and it lasts a long time. Typically one application in the morning will last all day unless you’re sweating a lot or go swimming.

This 2 oz jar is easy to use and long lasting.

Deet 100%




DEET LOTION is another form that might be better suited for children. It rubs in easily and uses a lower % of active but because its a lotion, applications can last a whole day too like the 100% liquid form.

Deet Lotion




Clothing should be treated with PERMETHRIN AEROSOL. This is another odorless active biting insects don’t like. Noseeums, mosquitoes, gnats and more will avoid where its found and combined with Deet, the two can provide the best personal protection available from biting pests. You can use this on inanimate objects since it will last longer then just deet – usually several days.

Odorless and easy to apply, use it on shoes, pants, shorts, shirts, hats and any piece of clothing taken afield. Treatments should be renewed daily – especially if you’re out in direct sunlight.

Permethrin Aerosol






If you suffer from extreme reactions to noseeum bites, apply STING RELIEF SWABS to the affected area. The soothing gel offers immediate relief from the itch and reduces swelling. Each “tube” contains enough material to treat several bites and they’re all self contained making them ideally suited for bringing afield.

Sting Relief Swabs




For bites a day or two old, apply GENES SOOTHING CREAM to the damaged skin for faster heal times. Use daily, Genes cream will take away all the discomfort and promote healthy skin again.

Soothing Cream







In general, its best to fog or mist when trying to control noseeums. But if your yard is 5,000 sq/ft or less, you can get decent control using a liquid.

Since noseeums like to live where it is moist, damp and shady, there are many locations on anyones property which can serve as both a nesting and breeding ground for this pest. Unlike mosquitoes, noseeums don’t need standing water to reproduce. All they need is moisture. And though you may be subject to getting new ones from surrounding areas like marshes, swamps and shorelines of rivers and oceans, keeping their populations down on your land will really help keep them from being an nuisance when you go outside because their range is actually quite small.

The good news is that they’re easy to kill and they don’t like to fly far to find food. But you should try to create as large of a “noseeum free” zone as possible around the home by thoroughly spraying with CYONARA RTS. This odorless concentrate hooks to your garden hose and can treat up to 20,000 sq/ft. Since noseeums will be hatching daily, expect to treat twice a week for the first two weeks until you get control of the problem around the home. Once under control, treating every 7-10 days will usually keep them from returning.

Cyonara RTS




For more economy, get BIFEN XTS. This concentrate works like the Cyonara but one quart will cover up to 4 acres making it more economical to use.

Use 1 oz in 5 gallons of water for every 5,000 sq/ft and like the Cyonara, expect to treat twice a week for the first couple of weeks until the problem is under control. After that, treating once every 7-10 days will usually keep things maintained.





Use a good HOSE END SPRAYER to make the application. For this one, you’ll need 1 oz of the Bifen in the sprayer and then you’ll need to fill it with water up to the 5 gallon line. Next, hook it to your hose and use all the material inside to treat up to 5,000 sq/ft of turf, plants, etc.







If you prefer to use an organic spray, go with MOSQUITO KILLER RTS Like the Cyonara RTS, this material comes with it’s own sprayer. Just hook it to your garden hose and you’re ready to go.

Packed in 32 oz jugs, this container is enough to treat up to 2,500 sq/ft and should be used once a week.


Mosquito & Tick Killer RTS




A more cost effective option is the concentrated ESSENTRIA IC. Made with food grade essential oils, this material should be mixed at the rate of 2 oz per gallon of water; for 5,000 sq/ft you’ll need 10 oz and our HOSE END SPRAYER above filled with the chemical and water up to the 5 gallon line.







For noseeums in the home, you have two treatments which work well.

The “manual” option is PT-565 XLO. This product uses pyrethrum as the active ingredient and will kill noseeums quickly. Spray it for 5-10 seconds in any room with activity and you’ll see immediate relief. It is easy to use and treatments will provide several hours of control. But since noseeums will be hatching daily and since there is no way to kill developing stages, you will probably need to use it many times a day. But it is safe for use this way and won’t pose a hazard to people or pets.

PT 565 XLO





For a more “permanent” way to control the problem inside, install AEROSOL MACHINES with CLEAR ZONE refills. These machines go off every 15 minutes by default and will be releasing a small 1 second blast of the same pyrethrin found in the PT-565. Safe enough to be deployed in kitchens, bedrooms, etc., they’ll do the work for you so you don’t have to worry about missing a treatment.

Use one machine for every 400 sq/ft of area and set them on a shelf at least 5-6 feet up. They can also be mounted on the wall.

Aerosol Dispenser




Each machine will require one can of Clear Zone which will last 30 days when run continuously.







For yards 5,000 sq/ft or more, fogging or mist blowing will prove to be the best way to treat. This method is actually quite easy to do and overall, will save you a lot of time. More importantly, you’ll do a much better job and use about 1/10th as much chemical compared to spraying.

For small areas, go with the MINI FOGGER. This unit has a 32 oz holding tank and is strong enough to shoot the mist 15-20 feet.

Fogmaster 5330




For 10,000 sq/ft or more, get either the FM6309 or the FM6208. These machines are able to pump a lot of chemical over a large area in a short amount of time.

The FM6309 has fixed rate of chemical flow which is generally okay. But the FM6208 has a dial setting allowing you to turn it to low, medium or high. This is handy for when you need to make delicate applications but its also good for cleaning out the unit prior to storage. Simply turn the chemical control switch to “off” and let the fogger use up what’s in it’s system and you can then store it for a few days without worrying about the insides getting clogged.

Good for 10,000 sq/ft for up to an acre, the FM6309 has a 1 gallon tank and can pump out 1 gallon per 10 minutes.





If you need volume control (low, medium and high), go with the FM6208. It too can pump out 9-10 oz per minute and has a 1 gallon holding tank.

Fogmaster 6208 Trijet




For some users, being able to “cut the cord” is important. So if you’d like a completely portable unit, get the BACKPACK MIST BLOWER. This device has a 3.5 gallon tank and is powered be gas. Perfect for 1 acre or more, this unit can blow a mist 50+ feet and plenty powerful to handle most any job. Simply fill up the tank, make sure you have enough gas and you can go wherever the noseeums may be hiding! Great for property where being free from electric cords is necessary or if you have a lot of areas to treat on a regular basis but need to move from one point to another as you treat.

Solo Mistblower Backpack




If you have several acres to treat, consider getting a truck mounted machine like the MINI-LITE ULV. This machine can create ultra small particles so you use even less chemical compared to the machines above. It weighs about 29 lbs and can be mounted on any ATV or small pick up truck for large scale noseeum control maintenance.







For even less chemical consumption and more efficient treatments, consider one of the following thermal foggers. These devices use DEODORIZED OIL instead of water in their tank mix but the ultra small particle sizes they project will stay suspended longer than water based sprays and work best when you need to cover several acres.

For 3-5 acre lots, the SUPER HAWK will do the job. It features electric start, a 1.2 gallon tank and weighs just 16.5 lbs.





For 5-10 acre lots, the GOLDEN EAGLE is better suited. It features electric start, a 1 gallon tank and weighs 19 lbs.





For 10 acres or more, the BLACKHAWK TRUCK MOUNTED thermal fogger is well suited. It can be powered on by batteries or even wired into the truck’s battery for convenient remote on/off control. It can hold 3 gallons of mixed chemical and weighs in at 73 lbs.






Once you decide on which fogger will fits your need, you’ll need chemical. We have found a trio of three products work best for noseeums. In fact this trio works great for mosquitoes, biting flies, horse flies, gnats, deer flies and more.

These chemicals can be used in either water or oil so they can be used in the cold mist blowers or the hot thermal foggers too.

The first product needed is our 6% PYRETHRIN. This active is extracted from the chrysanthemum plant and is extremely effective on flying pests. It works fast and is generally suggested for getting control of the initial problem so expect to use it for 2-4 weeks. The only limitation of this active is its short life; it only remains active for 30-60 minutes and then its gone.

Add 1 oz per gallon of water or oil.





The next active needed is a super concentrated permethrin. We’ve found TENGARD works well with the Pyrethrin. Permethrin is man’s attempt at copying the naturally occurring pyrethrin and though we were able to create a product that can last 1-2 weeks when applied outside, it doesn’t offer a quick knockdown like the pyrethrin which is why you’ll need both.

Add 1 oz per gallon of water or oil and expect use this active every time you treat.






The third active you’ll want in the mix is NYLAR. This special material is a “growth regulator” which means it intercepts or blocks the development of certain insects like noseeums, gnats, midges, mosquitoes and black flies. In the long run, using Nylar will effectively be able to stop the noseeums from reproducing. It will also last long so new ones entering the area won’t be able to lay eggs that will prosper.

The 10% NYGUARD will readily mix with the Pyrethrin and Permethrin and you’ll need to add 1/2 oz per gallon of mixed solution. You’ll only need to use this twice a month since it lasts longer than the other two actives.







The three actives above can all be mixed with water when using any of the cold mist blowers. But for thermal foggers, you’ll need DEODORIZED OIL.







For sensitive areas around water ways, ESSENTRIA IC is a federally exempt concentrate made from essential plant oils that’s both safe and effective for a range of pests including noseeums. This mixture will work just like a combination of pyrethrin and permethrin and though it doesn’t contain an egg killing agent, using it ever 7-14 days will get the job done without presenting a hazard to people, animals or aquatic life.

Mix 4-8 oz per gallon of water or gallon of oil for use in both cold and thermal foggers.






In summary, noseeums can be a tough pest once active around your yard. To help keep them off people who are active outside, use any of the repellents we have featured above. If you want to control local populations which are breeding on or near where you are living, use some Permethrin. Fogging with any of the machines we feature is better suited for large areas since it will get coverage faster and more thoroughly. Remember to treat throughout the active season and you should be able to keep this persistent and problematic pest under control.


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Comments on NOSEEUM CONTROL Leave a Comment

April 1, 2012

muriel maxfield @ 6:52 am #


How about dogs? Do they get bit? Mine seems to be itching so much but do not find bites.

April 14, 2012

sidney @ 6:26 pm #


I live in Florida on east coast, not on the ocean, and have a problem with no see um in my home. What can I use to get rid of them and to keep them away?

April 15, 2012

Donald @ 12:02 pm #


Great information! Thanks for your help!

David Brown @ 9:19 pm #


I live on the west coast right on the water 15 ft. We have a roof deck that the no seeums are swarming us. Is there a safe spray that could be used at the ground level that would kill them? Would propane bug traps work?

April 16, 2012
April 21, 2012

Colleen Espersen @ 11:08 am #


What about indoors? Our dogs have brought some biting insect indoors. What can I use inside that won’t harm dogs or kids?

May 11, 2012

james derry @ 4:06 pm #


We are building a house that is in an area that suffers a lot from No seeums (and other bugs). I found your article very helpful, thank you.

I was contemplating buying one or two gas machines that issue heat, CO2, light etc that attracts the bugs and then kills them inside the machine. I gather it takes some time to break the reproduction cycle but once you are on top of it, I believe they are effective. What is your opinion on these machines?

I am interested in the commercial fogger too as we have a lot size of about 2.5 acres but we have the rain forest (we are in Panama, Central America) right next door which clearly is a breeding ground too, so we would fog there too.

Your advice will be gladly received.

June 19, 2012

Kimberly @ 11:43 am #


Thank you so much for the info on this site… we have used pesticides on our yard because every time I go outside I get ate up by these little reddish orange flying bugs …I am the usual target and taking a few baths a day to kill the ones that were in my hair, etc. I have never seen these bugs before but then again it has been 2 years since we treated the yard last….I am so frustrated with these no-see-ums they love to bite me and definitely bite more than once…they love our pool too! I am going to try the products that were suggested thx again; greatly appreciate the information!

August 1, 2012

Stefanie @ 4:05 pm #


Thank you for your informative article! They are driving me nuts!!

August 7, 2012

Scarla Armstrong @ 8:30 pm #


Thank you so much for the information! I live on a pond.. very moist area and the no seeums are terrible..I can just step out the door and I am eaten alive! My home is on approximately 1/4 to 1/2 acre of land…Backed up to the pond with trees, vines and just a swampy area…. I am thinking about trying the Vegetables Plus Permethrin… Would you agree or should I try something else? My goal is to get rid of them! They are such a painful nuisance! Keeping outdoor activities at a minimum! Oh.. and would planting eucalyptus or anything else help? Please help! I welcome any advice!

August 9, 2012

Chuck @ 7:27 pm #


I have a 1 acre property on the beach in the caribbean. No see ums are a problem when the wind is calm. I am considering getting a Solo gas powered sprayer and using a combination of Pyrethrum and Cyonara 9.7 to get both a quick kill and a week or more of staying power. Is this a good combination or do you have a better recommendation.

August 10, 2012
August 21, 2012

marc @ 7:45 pm #


I am reading all of your info on various biting bugs etc. but now am more confused as to what is biting me. I live in central texas where its been really dry and hot and every time I go outside I get bit by bugs that I am not seeing. What do you think they are and what would be the best way to treat my property? Its a very small lot and no excess water standing anywhere. Please help. I’m tired of getting bit. Thanks.

August 24, 2012

Barbara @ 4:26 pm #


I live on 5+ acres in central NH. It is very swampy all around my property. In the spring there is often standing water in the pasture. In addition to the Noseeums there are these small black bugs that swarm around my horses. Mid summer is the worst the horses stay inside the run in shed to escape the bugs and while working with horses the bugs swarm around people but do not seem to bite. They are vey annoying. Is this a type of noseeum is there any thing I can do to eliminate the problem that is safe for the horse people and other pets?

August 25, 2012
October 9, 2012

timothy gamble @ 2:31 pm #


Please tell me what to use in my home to kill off gnats or no-see-ums. It must be pet friendly for I have pets!

January 15, 2013

Abraham Kalderon @ 10:10 am #


Hello, I live in the center of the noseeums area and would like you to recommend an automatic fumigation system to control these little monsters. I would like to control 5 acres. I also have sand flies in an area of 10 acres that is a problem. If you want to torture somebody, this is the perfect place!

April 10, 2013

Micah @ 12:53 pm #


I have 5 acres that I need to treat for a variety of “No Seeums”. My concern is that we have 5 horses, 5 goats that graze on the areas that these annoying creatures are in. I am looking at using a fogger or mister, but I need to know what product to put in it that is safe for the animals to graze on after application. I am currently treating for an insane overproduction of stinging needle and other various weeds that have taken over the place since the last owner departed. Thank you.

June 18, 2013

Steve Scaggs @ 6:37 pm #


I have a restaurant in South Florida on the intracoastal waterway that has a large mangrove area across the waterway. The noseeums are a problem usually around 5pm-8pm while customers are dining. How would you suggest resolving this problem? We can’t spray the mangroves unfortunately. Part of the restaurant is over the water on pilings.

November 21, 2013

JoAnn @ 12:44 pm #


We are in an RV park in a very beachy area for the winter. For the month we’ve been here the noseeums have been awful. They love me but not my husband. I have not been able to go outside. Which product would you suggest to use around our rv site? Is there something we could treat the screens with? Thanks for any help.

November 23, 2013
May 23, 2014

mike mallette @ 10:03 am #


I have noseeums all over the side of my house. What can I spray on there to keep them away?

October 15, 2015

vkrn @ 3:05 am #

Noseeums have somehow found their way into our high rise apartment unit which is nowhere near any damp locations. Our living room is cluttered and I am guessing the insects are nesting there. But there is no dampness. How are they surviving? Are the females reproducing in the dry cluttered indoor environment because they are getting regular blood meals by biting me? I have seen one flying when it happened to be illuminated indirectly so I am sure it is a no see um. Is it best to use a fogger or a spray? They always bite when I am sitting on the living area sofa but I know they aren’t bedbugs because the bites happen on the neck, collarbone, legs, feet, arms…

November 5, 2015

vkrn @ 12:38 am #


You guys are awesome. I finally found my way back to your website to look for your answer. You are the only ones in the whole wide Internet who have provided a thorough explanation for the misery we have been experiencing. I am buying your products for sure!

January 2, 2016

Deb @ 1:59 pm #

Just moved to condo east coast of Florida, along intracoastal waterway. First time we were down here, no problems–that was in June. Now, in December/January, I am being eaten alive by no seeums. The condo association just planted turf all around the units, and it is watered every morning. Could this be contributing to the increase of bugs? I can’t even be out on our porch anymore. I have read the above article, and am a little overwhelmed (but happy) about the options you offer. Please give me some advice about what to use both inside the home and outside. Our little bit of turf is small, no where near a 1/4 acre. I would like to use something that doesn’t require constant application. In the home, I am thinking about your automatic sprayers. Thank you for any advice you can offer, and I really appreciate your website! After searching dozens of sites online, yours came up and I thought, FINALLY! Someone with answers! Thank you!

January 3, 2016

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