Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This little jewel has made my life miserable the last couple of days!
Itch......no! Stop itching as it only makes it worse! My poor head, neck and chin areas are in so much pain you would not believe it. If you were to feel my head it is LUMPY. EWE.............
So.......here is the story on this little blood sucker!
No-see-ums or noseeums are a nickname for biting midges. The terms 'biting midge' and 'no-see-um' are synonymous. The word 'no-see-um' is a fitting nickname for the biting midge, as biting midges are so small and very difficult to spot.
The biting midge is the smallest blood-sucking insect on the earth and is about .04 inches (1 millimeter) long. It has two wings and does not have any scales on its wings or body. Like mosquitoes, biting midges have veins on their wings; however, the vein pattern is different. And like mosquitoes, only the females bite. Biting midges are most commonly found along seashores, rivers, and lakes.
( Hmmmm.....The Virgin River is in my back yard!)
Female biting midges may lay their eggs in water, mud, leaves, under tree bark, in soil, or other moist surfaces. Females may lay 30-100 eggs at a time. The biting midge larvae are bright red in color and live in the water until the fully mature and are able to fly. This growth and maturing process can take anywhere from three to ten weeks.
The female biting midges attack humans and feed on blood. The male biting midges do not bite and feed on nectar and vegetation. However, the females may also feed on vegetation and nectar. Biting midges appear in early spring and late autumn. Biting midges attack in great swarms and due to their intense biting, may cause extreme discomfort.
"DISCOMFORT"..........THAT IS USING THE TERM LOOSLEY!
A biting midge will go after any exposed skin. Within a few hours after a bite, you will start to feel acute itching at the spot of the bite. The irritation can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on your sensitivity to the bites. As with all bug bites, don't scratch! Scratching the bite will only serve to increase your irritation and may cause infection if you scratch too much!
Everyone here in Zion Canyon is having the same effect. You ought to see all of us at work now. Red, puffy and scratching!