Ever find yourself slapping at invisible bugs during a picnic or BBQ? Chances are you've crossed paths with no-see-ums with no success.

These little biters can ruin a perfect day because even though you can barely see them, their bites make their presence felt. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, these bugs are out earlier than usual this year.

Size Really Doesn’t Matter

They measure less than 3mm in length which is smaller than the tip of a pencil! The good news is they travel in swarms, kind of like a buzzing black cloud. The better news? They fly at a slow pace, giving you a fighting (or slapping) chance to get away from their bites.

Where and When?

No-see-ums love warm, humid spots filled with sunlight and they can set up camp just about anywhere. Are you wondering when they'll make their grand appearance? It depends on where you live.

Map Check

A map of the U.S. shows that these critters tend to hang out in the southeastern U.S. and Gulf Coast for most of the year. The tropical weather in places like Florida keeps them active all year long, making it a perfect spot for these tiny terrors. Before you think you're off the hook, think again because they love coming to New York in the summer because it gets nice and humid here.

Nesting Grounds

They lay their eggs in moist soil, sand, or marshes. They like still or slow-moving water, so keep an eye out around ponds, lakes, and rivers. They also like areas that have been recently disturbed like construction sites or freshly plowed ground.

When Do They Party?

Mid-to-late summer is when these little guys like to party in the Empire State. June and July is the peak of no-see-um season, and it usually peaks in the early mornings and late evenings.

However, this year, these bugs are out earlier than usual. Does this mean we are going to have a very hot and humid summer? By the way, it’s the ladies who do the biting, because they need the protein from your blood to reproduce.  

Fighting Back Against the No-See-Um Onslaught

So how can you protect yourself from being an all-you-can-eat buffet for these pests? It's a good idea to have bug repellent handy, wear long sleeves and pants, and look for shelter in screened-in areas. Keep your outdoor spaces clear from standing water because these bugs love to lay their eggs there.

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