No See Ums

No See Ums

You usually don’t see them coming, which has earned these pesky bugs the nickname of “no see ums”.  They are minute pirate bugs and can actually be a helpful insect when they aren’t biting you.  This insect is a top predator for corn earworm eggs, which makes them an ally to grain farmers.  They will also feast on prey in gardens, lawns, and greenhouses.

Despite their small size, these insects can give a powerful bite! The minute pirate bug feeds a lot on eggs of other insects. In order to feed, they puncture them with a long beak that is moistened with a bit of saliva. They will then suck out the fluids. It is not a blood sucker, but it bites potential prey to see if it is an insect or an egg. The fluid on the beak is what causes the reaction we feel. The stinging sensation is not caused by acid or urine.

10/15/2019