The Q&A Archives: pest control

Question: We have TEENIE, TINY, almost microscopic black insects. They fly, & swim (we find them in the pool skimmer, & we've been bit by them in the pool!) Their bite is worse than any mosquito hoped to be. We've read on poison labels, the names

Answer: I'm afraid you have quite a problem on your hands. Biting midges can be a nuisance to campers, fishermen, hunters, hikers, gardeners, and others who spend time outdoors during early morning and evenings, and even during the daytime on still, cloudy days. They will readily bite humans; the bites are irritating, painful, and can cause long-lasting painful lesions for some people. Males and females feed on nectar, but the females require blood for their eggs to mature. The females will blood-feed primarily around dawn and dusk; however, there are some species that prefer to feed during the day. Larvae require water, air and food and are not strictly aquatic or terrestrial. They cannot develop without moisture. The larvae are present in and around shores of streams and ponds, in muddy substrates, and feed on small organisms. The chemicals registered for homeowner use aren't really strong enough to eliminate the pests so I can only suggest you contact your county health department and talk to someone familiar with the mosquito abatement process in your county. I think they can offer some help. In the meantime, protect yourselves with
repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) which are typically used as mosquito repellents are also labeled for use against no-see-ums and can be applied prior to exposure to the biting midges.

Best wishes with your abatement project!

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