Zinga's blog

Zinga's Blog

No See Um Screens

If you’ve ever been bitten by a no see um, then you know how pesky these insects are. With a maximum length of only 0.03 inches long, it is very difficult to actually “see um” much less guard against them when trying to enjoy your outdoor space. If you live in a climate that attracts no see ums, there are 47 different species of no see ums in Florida alone, you know how notoriously difficult it can be to protect yourself against them without resorting to harsh chemicals. In order to make the best choice for your home, lets take a look at what no see ums are and what you can do to protect yourself against these irritating insects.

What are no see ums? Are sand flies and no see ums the same?

No see ums, also known as biting midges or sand flies, are extremely hard to see, fly-like insects that are a part of the Ceratopogonidae family. Female no see ums are blood suckers that feed on mammals. They inflict painful bites that can cause a burning sensation accompanied by a small red welt. You typically won’t realize you have been bitten by a no see um hours until later when you discover a hot, itchy red bite.

No see um bites typically hurt much worse than those of a mosquitoes, or other common biting pests, because they have saw like teeth that rip into your flesh when they are feeding. Allergic reactions with no see um bites are common and usually result in welts and blisters, but can be as dramatic as difficult breathing, wheezing, rashes, and difficulty swallowing.

How can I protect myself against no see ums?

There are several methods to protect yourself against no see ums including sprays, chemicals, and screens. Not all methods result in the same level of protection, however, and some methods need to be utilized more often which can become cost ineffective over time.

  1. Chemical sprays and treatments, including topical on your body, can help guard against no see um bites but is not the most effective option. Chemical sprays need to be applied often and liberally. This option includes exposing yourself and your environment to harsh chemicals with little result.
  2. Avoiding areas where no see ums gather is another recommended way to avoid getting bitten, but is unrealistic if you live in an area where no see ums also live.
  3. No see um screens are the most effective way of protecting you and your home from exposure to these insects.

What Are No See Um Screens?

No see um screens, due to their finer mesh and tighter weave are naturally stronger than standard screens and will offer a bit more resistance to pets, children, and even moderate winds. In addition to the benefit of screening out No-See-Ums, the denser mesh also “sheens” off more rain, keeping your space a bit more dry.

Are Screens Effective At Stopping No See Ums?

With a tighter mesh specifically designed to protect against no see ums, screens have been proven to be up to 99% effective at safeguarding your outside space against no see um infiltration.

Can no see ums get through screens?

When looking for a screen to guard against no see ums, it is important that you choose a screen product that has been specified for this explicit purpose. No see um screens have a tighter weave and higher mesh count than standard screens that ensures no see ums won’t be able to make it through. A mesh openness of 59% or less per square inch, helps the screen succeed in keeping the smallest of insects from crawling through, and is therefore necessary for stopping no see ums from intruding on your space.

Choosing the Best Insect Screen for your Pool or Patio Enclosure

No-see-ums usually bite during the hours of dusk and dawn and rarely bite during daytime hours. These also happen to be the times that most people utilize their outdoor spaces. Whether you’re enjoying your morning coffee on your patio, or entertaining friends by the pool in your covered lanai, it’s important to find the best screen to keep no see ums at bay.

No see um screens are specifically designed with a dense weave and finer mesh to make certain the tiny pests can’t wriggle through. The screen is also constructed with an irregular weave to aid in keeping no see ums out.

Additionally, other factors may be important to you when selecting a screen for your pool or patio enclosure. Some things to consider are adding daytime privacy around your pool area in addition to insect protection. You may want to add a screen door to the entrance of your home so you can leave doors open to enjoy a nice breeze, or consider motorization to help manage and control your screens.

No-See-Um Screens and Standard Bug Screen Comparison

Standard screens have larger openings and a looser mesh weave. With a mesh of 18 x 16 or 14 they can be effective at protecting against larger pests such as houseflies and mosquitoes, but they are less effective when up against no see ums.

No see um screens have a mesh of 20 x 20 that is woven with an irregular weave pattern and thus excels at keeping out even the tiniest of bugs, including no see ums.