9 Effective Ways to Get Rid of No See Ums Naturally 

No See Um (Ceratopogonidae). Biting flies, females are blood-sucking insects.
© Maximillian cabinet/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jennifer Geer

Published: April 9, 2024

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What bite is worse than a mosquito bite and comes from a tiny insect you can barely see? That would be a bite from the Ceratopogonidae, a family of flies with a bite that’s itchier than a mosquito and lasts longer. Commonly known as no see ums, biting midges, sand fleas, or biting gnats, these pesky bugs live all around the globe, except in the polar regions. No see ums come out at dusk and dawn, and they love warm and humid climates. If you’d like to get rid of these annoying insects without the use of harsh chemicals, we’ve rounded up a list of nine effective ways to get rid of no see ums naturally. 

1. Citronella

Citronella anti-mosquito candles on white rustic background

This essential oil derived from lemongrass is effective at getting rid of no see ums naturally.

©Ana Belen Garcia Sanchez/Shutterstock.com

The strong scent of citronella repels a variety of insects, including no see ums, ticks, mosquitos, and flies. Its aroma confuses the insects, making it harder for them to find their victims. Citronella comes in the form of candles, a repellant you apply to your skin, torches, and plants.

2. Eucalyptus Oil

Woman pouring eucalyptus essential oil into bowl on wooden table

Eucalyptus oil is made from the tree’s leaves and is used for a variety of purposes.

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Many insects, including no see ums, do not like the pungent smell of eucalyptus oil. An essential oil derived from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, the pungent smell can be an effective deterrent to pests. Furthermore, research has shown eucalyptus oil is an environmentally safe substance to use for pest control. The Farmers Almanac suggests making your own DIY bug spray by adding 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to two ounces of water and two ounces of vinegar. Use this homemade spray in your yard or on your skin to keep no see ums away.

3. Keep Doors and Windows Closed or Use No See Um Mesh Screens

You can buy no see um screens at home improvement stores or online.

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Unfortunately, no see ums can squeeze through regular window screens. If no see ums are a problem inside your house, look for screens that are specially made to keep these tiny pests out. These window screens are tightly woven fiberglass that can keep the bugs out while letting air in.

4. Keep Your A/C Running and Your Dehumidifier On

Happy young calm woman relaxing on sofa, breathing fresh air, satisfied with comfortable indoors temperature. enjoying spending hot summer time in cooled living room, front full length view.

This is an expensive, yet effective way to deter no see ums from coming into your home.

©fizkes/Shutterstock.com

No see ums are attracted to warmth. Keep your house cool by cranking up your A/C. Chances are, the tiny midges won’t be enticed to come inside your cool home. You can also keep moisture down by running a dehumidifier. These annoying pests love damp environments.

5. Use CO2 Traps

trap for insects like mosquitoes and flies in the southern resort

CO2 traps can entice mosquitos and no see ums.

©Ammatar/Shutterstock.com

Biting pests, such as mosquitoes and no see ums find their victims by following when people and animals breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2). A CO2 trap emits carbon dioxide, tricking the pests into thinking they have found a breathing person to bite.

6. Encourage Natural Predators to Your Yard

On a green leaf two blue dragonflies are located for the purpose of self sufficiency for procreation

Dragonflies love to feast on annoying insects such as mosquitoes, gnats, and no see ums.

©Vladimir Turkenich/Shutterstock.com

An effective way to get rid of no see ums naturally is encouraging beneficial insects and animals to your yard. These predators, such as dragonflies, frogs, birds, and bats will eat no see ums, keeping them under control in your yard. You can encourage these beneficial creatures by adding bird feeders, bird baths, establishing a pond, or hanging up a bat box.

7. Get Rid of Standing Water in Your Yard

Stagnant water is a breeding ground for biting insects.

©FrankHH/Shutterstock.com

This tip will help keep mosquitoes away as well as no see ums. Be sure you do not have stagnant water in your yard. Check vases, buckets, or areas where water can puddle. No see ums breed in water and thanks to their small size, can have a rather large colony living inside a tiny puddle of water.

8. Keep Porch Lights Off

No see ums are attracted to light.

©Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

Similar to mosquitoes, no see ums are attracted to light. If you have porch lights on at night, or light streaming through windows from inside, these pesky intruders will hover around your home. Keep your outside lights off and draw your blinds at night so the biting gnats won’t be attracted to your house. You can also invest in outdoor light bulbs that are less likely to attract insects, such as LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is highly effective in keeping annoying insects away.

©iStock.com/white bear studio

Coming in last, but certainly not least, are the amazing powers of coconut oil. It’s not just anecdotal, research has shown that repellents made from coconut oil are more effective at repelling insects than DEET. One product in particular has been raved about online. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Lotion is said to keep biting no see ums and mosquitoes at bay. You can make a DIY version by following this simple recipe. Add 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to one-quarter cup of coconut oil to a spray bottle. Shake it up, and use it generously to keep the bugs at bay.


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About the Author

Jennifer Geer is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on animals, news topics, travel, and weather. Jennifer holds a Master's Degree from the University of Tulsa, and she has been researching and writing about news topics and animals for over four years. A resident of Illinois, Jennifer enjoys hiking, gardening, and caring for her three pugs.

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