Little Black “Pirate” Bugs: Just Wave the White Flag

As if 2020 has not brought enough headaches, tiny black biting bugs have invaded our fun outdoor activities. Whether you are raking leaves, picking out your pumpkin at the local patch or going for a walk, these biting bugs are quite the nuisance.

These little insect bites are quite a bit more painful than their size—the winged bugs are only about 1/8-inch long. Unfortunately it is futile to resist their invasion. Sprays and fogs do not work to prevent or dispel them. They are small enough to infiltrate most window screens. In addition, they fly into the nose, ears and mouth causing further discomfort.

Here are some tips to minimize your exposure:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and opt for dark colors.
  • On decks or patios, use fans to keep a strong breeze circulating.
  • Work outdoors after sunset, when overcast, or when it is cooler outside.

Once bitten, thoroughly wash the skin around the bite or use cold compresses and over-the-counter anti-itch creams. Some people have reduced itchiness by using home remedies including apple-cider vinegar applications and essential oils.

The only good news? The little marauders are generally seasonal in nature and will disappear as the temperature lowers. Bring on a frost, please.

If you have a severe reaction to the bites, please visit a Memorial ExpressCare location or start a telehealth appointment using the Memorial App.