Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Now You See-um

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The Bag Lady is being driven slowly and quietly insane by the little bugs that are known as no-see-ums around these parts. They seem especially bad this year, so much so that the Bag Lady has been forced to close her windows. They are so tiny, they can come in through the screens.

The Bag Lady has a little trouble with her eyes to begin with. She sometimes sees little spots and has "floaters", so these little bugs really annoy her. She's never sure if they are real. (Okay, that sounded a little strange. But you must be accustomed to the Bag Lady being a little strange by now - if you aren't, you obviously haven't been hanging around her blog long enough!)

They commit suicide on light bulbs, and fall all over her stove. Creeps her out. How many of them have been consumed because they blended in and looked like pepper? Hmmm??

And they make her itch. She has no idea if they actually bite, but that doesn't stop her from itching. Little buggers.

What useful purpose do they serve? How many of them would it take to make a meal for a bird? Perhaps they are a delicacy to birds. They are only in season for a short part of the year, so maybe they are a bird's lobster. Perhaps the birds are all clarifying butter and adding garlic and calling to one another, "Hey, it's no-see-um season! C'mon over. Bring some mountain ash berries*." Which could be why all the no-see-ums are so eager to get through the screen into the Bag Lady's house. They are trying to escape being the delicacy-du-jour at the next chickadee soiree.

Or not.

Edited to add: *After mountain ash berries freeze, they become intoxicating - birds, usually cedar waxwings, will eat them and get drunk!

22 comments:

Miz said...

noseeums :)

Ive never heard them called that!

gnats up in herre---or are we talking about different things?

and when will we chat about the unrelenting heat which is forcing HUGE TREE COCKROACHES to seek refuge indoors...

you know, so Ive "heard" from "friends" ---that kind of gross stuff would NOT happen in my domicile!

messymimi said...

These are tiny biting flies, or midges, I think. I've also heard them called no-see-ums because they are so small.

Like mosquitoes, the females bite to get blood protein for their eggs.

I have no idea what to do about them, besides wear insect repellent, but who wants to do that indoors?

There is also some talk of using the yellow light bulbs that don't attract bugs, but again, that works on the patio, or outdoors. Indoors, it would make me crazier than I already am.

Marianne said...

Can you make a fruit fly trap or do they only like blood? Wear Avon Skin So Soft? Garlic? Have Miz send you some of those Texas bugs of hers to eat yours?

: )

kcinnova said...

You are not strange. No-see-ums are enough to drive anyone crazy!

Leah J. Utas said...

Ah the joys of the season. I'm not fond of no-see-ums either. Haven't noticed any here, but I have eye floaties too so maybe I'm just confused.

the Bag Lady said...

I suppose my reference to the mountain ash berries was too obscure - nobody said anything! (after mountain ash berries freeze, the birds eat them and become intoxicated.... but I should have just said "bring the beer", shouldn't I?)

Miz - yes, gnats is probably the correct name - little tiny bugs - fly in a sort of zig-zaggy pattern. Annoying as hell.

Messymimi - so they DO bite! It isn't my imagination!

Marianne - the worst thing about them is the flitting around in front of my face, but perhaps the Avon or garlic would keep them from biting! Carla can keep those big ol' bugs! *shudder*

kcinnova - I'm glad you understand the crazy part....

dfLeah - perhaps they aren't as bad in your area.

Geosomin said...

"How many of them have been consumed because they blended in and looked like pepper? Hmmm??"

Ew.

My friend from south africa calls them noo noos...apparently slang for cute little things. I don't find them cute. They just bite and make me feel like a loonie because they can't be seen by anyone else? They've been bad when it's hot and sunny here too. Off does keep them away tho...not that you want to wear it indoors all the time :)

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - they are nasty little critters... and have been really bad the last couple days around here!

Kelly M. said...

I also heard you can put imitation vanilla extract on your skin and that deters bugs. Apparently they hate the smell.

the Bag Lady said...

Kelly M - hmmm, I might have to try that - I think I have an old bottle of imitation vanilla floating around... Thanks!!

Sagan said...

Ewwwww. :)

My kitchen has been infested with fruit flies. I can't figure out where they're breeding. It frightens me.

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - do you have any potted plants in the house/kitchen? That's usually where they live. Or if you leave fruit out on the counter....

Gena said...

Bag Lady, I'll see your tiny bugs and raise you a ton of wolf spiders. At Mom's this summer, none of the doors or windows seal really well in the old house, so wolf spiders get in all the time. I had to check my bedding every night to make sure I wasn't sleeping with some. I'd find one about every other day in either the bed, the shower, or just walking around in my bedroom. Dis-gust-ing!

Also, I have little floaters in my eyes too. Soooo annoying, but I'm told there isn't much to be done about them.

the Bag Lady said...

Gena - eeekkkkk - I do NOT like spiders. And wolf spiders are huge, aren't they? (are they poisonous, too? We don't have them here. At least, not that I'm aware of...)

Yeah, I've heard there's nothing to be done for the eye-floaters, so I've learned to live with them.
But the noseeums are an added annoyance.

POD said...

I don't think you can officially call them no see ums if you can see um.

The Fifth Sparrow said...

We have no-see-ums here too. I think they are 80% mouth, 20% bug. 100% annoying.

Funny about the suicide on light bulbs. Do they leave tiny little notes? "My wife left me for a mosquito... my children were eaten by a drunken cedar waxwing... I can't go on... Goodbye Cruel World!"

I live in the smog haze that you can see over our fair city as you approach from the outskirts. No bugs. No fresh air or even oxygen, but no bugs.

the Bag Lady said...

POD - technically, I guess you're right....

Sparrow - is THAT what that note said? My eyesight isn't what it used to be, and the writing was so teensy....
:)

Aleta said...

Oohhh, we get no-see-ums bugs too and I can't stand them. I like it when my cat starts bouncing around and pouncing on them. At least he can see them and attack them!

I had to laugh about the no-see-ums being pepper flakes. Hehe.

solarity said...

I am very grateful that the worst in the invisible bug line around here are gnats. They do fly Right Up Your Nose, but they don't bite. At least not me.

The insects that are tiny enough to come in through my screens are greenish, and they die all over my stove top at night--when the stove isn't on and neither is the light. I try to wake up enough to remember to brush them off before I put the kettle on to boil and cook some of them.

Let us know the results of the imitation vanilla experiment.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

the Bag Lady said...

Aleta - you may well laugh, but I have a hard time telling the difference! :)

Solarity - you're lucky that your little bugs don't bite. These little buggers do. Grrr.

Hilary said...

Try dabbing a bit of POM behind your ears. ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - LOL!