Mysterious Insect Bites Caused by No-See-Ums

Reporter:  Shannon Samson

Web Producer:  Amber Griswold

The nights haven't been chilly enough to kill off biting insects, which are still out for blood, and mosquitos aren't the only biting bugs to worry about
The phone has been ringing quite a bit lately at the Purdue University Extension Office with people asking questions about mysterious bug bites.  To find the answers, Larry Caplan consulted with Purdue Entomologists.

Larry Capla, Extension Horticulture educator, explained, "T he best we can come up with, is that we are being attacked by small biting midges or sometimes they're called no-see-ums because they're so small, you don't see them before they've bitten you."

It's hard to get samples of these midges because they're so small. But they're large in numbers, presumably due to adequate rain this summer. And because they're flying insects, they like to bite people on their upper bodies.
Caplan said the bites are most likely to appear as a definite bug bite in the middle with a halo effect around it. 
Family Physician John Honnigford says the bugs aren't known to carry disease. The biggest threat is getting a skin infection from scratching too much. He recommends using an ice pack.
Just because it doesn't feel like summer anymore doesn't mean it's time to put away the bug spray. Just like with mosquitos, anything made with deet should do the trick.