27 Nov 2018
Let’s start with how to avoid them:
- Wear long, loose-fitting clothing.
- Use a repellant spray. There are several to choose from and many can be purchased from local shops on the Island (Jerry’s, Bailey’s, Ace Hardware). Some say that Avon’s Skin So Soft will do the trick as well. If you are using a spray containing DEET, be careful not to mix it with your sunscreen. Together, they can be absorbed faster into your skin and have damaging effects.
- While sitting on your lanai, use a citronella candle. Switch off any lights near you as they can be attracted to it.
- Turn on your fan while sitting outside. A fan on a medium to high level can help prevent them from landing on your skin.
- If you find them in your home, turn down your air conditioning a few degrees for a few hours. They cannot survive in the cold.
So, you have been bitten by No-See-Ums. What do you do now?
We have put together a few tips on how to treat and relieve the itchiness:
- Wash the affected area with soap and water. This will help reduce the chances of infection. It will also ensure that there are no traces of saliva left on the area.
- Water and ice packs can help reduce swelling and some itching. Apply heavy pressure against the skin so that the pain and itching is lessened.
- An antihistamine should alleviate some of the itch and swelling. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist before going this route.
- Apply Aloe Vera directly to the bite for relief.
- Hydrocortisone/Calamine lotion-the application of both of these will help with the itching sensation.
- And remember-Try not to scratch!!! Scratching an affected area will only increase the chances of complication, such as infection.
No-See-Um bites can also lead to symptoms such as swelling, breathing problems, fever, redness, swollen glands, and other more serious symptoms. If you are facing such symptoms, then it is better that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Lastly, we will leave you with an interesting fact:
No-See-Um’s and Gall Midges are the only insects that help in the pollination of the cocoa tree. The cocoa tree is the primary source for chocolate. So, you see they are a very necessary evil.