Top 3 Best No See Ums Repellents (2023 Review)

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Home > Product Reviews > Gnat Products > Top 3 Best No See Ums Repellents (2023 Review)

No see ums are tiny biting flies, so small you almost can’t see them and definitely too small to squash them if you could.

If you start getting big red welts, don’t automatically assume it’s bed bugs. It is probably no see ums.

Because they’re too small to hit with a fly swatter or smash with your finger, you’ll have to find some other way to protect yourself from these tiny bloodsuckers.

The best way to protect yourself from these flying insects is to use an insect repellent.

In this Pest Strategies review, we’ll show you how to get rid of no see ums. We’ll look at repellents that use active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, Permethrin, and IR3535. We’ll also look at natural repellents.

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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Repel Insect Repellent with 98.11% DEET

  • The active ingredient is 98.11% DEET
  • 60-year track record of success
  • Lasts for up to 10 hours

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

  • The active ingredient is 0.05% permethrin
  • Professional-grade insecticide
  • Kills insects as well as repelling them

AVON Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 SPF 30

  • The active ingredient is IR3535
  • Doubles as an SPF 30 sunscreen
  • Moisturizing lotion with aloe and Vitamin E

Table Of Contents

    What Are No See Ums Repellents?

    A no see um repellent is any product that has been pronounced by the CDC as reasonably effective in providing protection from mosquitoes, biting flies, biting midges, chiggers, gnats, black flies, and other biting, stinging insects.

    An effective repellent is one that has passed rigorous testing leading to known results for toxicity, mode of action, and environmental effects. Any product that hasn’t gone through that process isn’t a repellent, it’s a fake.

    How Do No See Ums Repellents Work?

    No see ums, mosquitoes, ticks, and other blood-sucking insects are attracted to body heat, skin odors, and the carbon dioxide we exhale.

    Repellents interfere with their senses, such as smell and taste, to disguise the human or animal host the insects are looking for.

    For this reason, repellents are somewhat misnamed. They don’t actually repel insects so much as they make their target invisible to their main senses. This distinction will make a difference in the way you use them.

    Are No See Ums Repellents Effective For Repelling No See Ums?

    If a repellent for no see ums is used properly, according to the instructions on the label, then yes, that repellent is highly effective.

    Used correctly, repellents can prevent 90 to 99% of insects from finding you once you’re protected.

    Read Also: How to Get Rid of No-See-Ums (Best Methods to Get Rid of Gnats)

    There’s no such thing as 100% effective protection. Furthermore, the protection offered by repellents decreases sharply in windy conditions.

    The wind blows away the protective chemicals and odors that confuse the insect’s senses. Anything more than a mild breeze will leave you increasingly vulnerable to insects that approach you from upwind.

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    How To Use a No See Ums Repellent

    • Most repellents are intended to be used directly on your skin. Hold the spray10-12 inches away from your skin and spray lightly on all the exposed skin. Then use your hands to rub it in and smooth it around.

    Don’t spray yourself or others in the face. Instead, spray the repellent into your hands then use your hands to rub it into your face and around your ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Be sure to work some into the hairline.

    You’ll need to spray some on the top of your head or work it in with your hands. Men who are bald or have short hair need to protect their heads. Women with long hair also need to spray on top as the insects could land and walk down inside the hair to bite.

    • Other repellents are only intended to be sprayed on clothes, tents, sleeping bags, deck furniture, camping gear, and the like. These are usually pesticides that can’t be sprayed on people.

    Hold the spray bottle 12-18 inches from the items you’ll be treating and spray lightly in a smooth motion, covering the whole item. Let the treated items dry before using them, especially clothes.

    Once the spray is dry, there won’t be any odor and it will be safe for you to touch, handle, and wear the treated items. The effects will last for several weeks, sometimes as much as six weeks before the items have to be retreated.

    Are No See Ums Repellents Safe Around My Pets and Children?

    As long as you stay within the age limitations for each of them, yes. There are different lower age limits for all repellents and they should be adhered to without exception.

    Small pets, regardless of age, should be treated cautiously. You’ll need to keep them from licking the repellent, which is difficult to prevent because it’s a natural behavior for them.

    Flea and tick collars would be better for pets than using spray repellents on them.

    How Do You Find the Best No See Ums Repellent?

    No see ums are true flies, order Diptera, just like mosquitoes. You need to look for mosquito repellents that use active ingredients that have been tested and found to be effective.

    For use on your skin, the main active ingredients to look for are;

    • DEET
    • Picaridin
    • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
    • IR3535

    If you’re looking for a repellent to spray on your clothes, tents, sleeping bags, and other equipment, Permethrin is the best active ingredient to look for.

    If you find any product that bills itself as a repellent for mosquitoes but doesn’t contain one of these five active ingredients, don’t waste your time or money.

    Best No See Ums Repellents Reviewed

    Related Articles

    Repel Insect Repellent with 98.11% DEET

    DEET has been in use since 1946 when the US Army developed it to protect soldiers in insect-infested areas.

    It’s been in public use since 1957, compiling a successful track record spanning more than 60 years. That’s hard to beat.

    This 4-ounce pump spray will last for up to 10 hours, protecting you against mosquito bites, no see um bites, and dozens of other insect bites.

    It won’t damage nylon, cotton, or wool but it may damage some synthetic fabrics, watch faces, and plastics.

    30% DEET is safe for children two months or older, while 98.11% DEET should only be used on children over the age of two-years-old. Finally, DEET has a distinctive odor.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Offer protection against a wide range of insects
    • Won’t damage nylon, cotton, or wool
    • Can be used on children over the age of two
    • May damage synthetic fabrics, watch faces, and plastics
    • Has a distinct odor to it
    Overall Rating

    Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

    Permethrin is a professional-grade insecticide, in a class known as synthetic pyrethroids, which are man-made versions of natural extracts from chrysanthemums.

    This product both repels no see ums (and others) as well as killing them.

    You spray this pesticide on your tents, clothes, and outdoor gear to repel insects.

    Once it’s dry, there is no odor and insects won’t come near while you’re wearing the clothes, sleeping in a protected tent, or sitting in a protected lawn chair.

    It will last for up to six weeks or six laundry cycles before it wears off. Do not spray this on your skin or your pets.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Lasts for six weeks or six laundry cycles
    • Safe to use on clothes, tents, and other outside equipment
    • No odor once it’s dry
    • Do not spray on people or pets

    AVON Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 SPF 30

    The active ingredient in this sunscreen lotion is IR3535. If offers you SPF 30 protection from sunburn and repels no see ums along with a wide variety of biting insects.

    It also doubles as a moisturizing lotion with aloe and Vitamin E.

    It is completely DEET-free with a gentle scent and no greasy feel when you rub it in. It’s safe and effective for the whole family, including children over the age of six months.

    It’s also water-resistant if you want to go swimming.

    It only lasts about two hours, so you’ll need to reapply it frequently, not to exceed nine applications in any 24-hour period. There are three 4-ounce bottles in each package.

    The Good And The Bad

    • DEET-free
    • It has a gentle scent
    • No greasy feel
    • Water-resistant
    • Don’t use it on children under six months
    • Needs to be reapplied every two hours
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