If you have visited Sanibel in the past you know about no-see-ums! They are tiny biting bugs that live near water. They are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye, hence their name! No-see-ums are common in many areas of Florida and any tropical body of land where there is water nearby.
The most common question we get from our guests is how they can prevent no-see-um bites. Below are some tips and tricks we like to share to help mitigate bites.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks/shoes when enjoying the beach at dawn and dusk. No-see-ums are at their worst when the sun is down, especially if there is no breeze.
- The chemical DEET, in a concentration of at least 30 percent helps. If you prefer a more natural approach, you can try Skin So Soft (or any baby oil) as the no-see-ums can’t penetrate the oil barrier. Bailey’s and other shops on Sanibel sell other options that work well for some people so be sure to shop locally while here.
- When coming in from the beach, be sure to immediately place your beach towels in the washer, especially if you had them laying in the sand. No-see-ums love to hitch a ride inside whenever possible!
- Moving air is the best defense against these pesky critters. Natural breeze or air movement created by fans will do wonders to keep the bugs from landing and biting.
- Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a “season” for no-see-ums. Since our weather is almost always warm, no-see-um’s are always a potential. It’s best to come prepared with lightweight clothing and the bug spray of your choice to avoid bites as best as possible.
Interestingly, some people are lucky and don’t attract the no-see-ums whereas they love others. If you are one of the unfortunate ones, be sure to follow the above tips for a worry-free vacation!
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