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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/tiny tan/skin colored insectsc crawling on my skin


Megan wrote at 2008-06-09 19:53:01
Kelly, OMG I know exactly what you are talking about....I see them outside of my work, when we take breaks we walk out back and I am always the one that sees these little bugs....Sometimes if you look real close at your skin, you can see the bud running really fast up my arm, then they BITE too.  They look like the exact color of my skin and I do feel them bite.  Sometimes I cant even see it but feel the bite.  I was wondering what these bugs were too...Nice to see I am not crazy and that someone else sees them too!

Diabolic wrote at 2010-06-11 14:22:54
I have looked everywhere on the web, trying to find out what these bugs are. I can say that they are definitely not thrips. No offense to the expert. These bugs are exactly as the user above describes. I live in Texas, and i have not noticed these bugs until the last year or two ago, and they only seem to appear when your outside. I have rarely found someone who has witnessed these bugs, but a few people i know have seen them, so im not going crazy. These nasty little tan colored, almost non visible bugs do bite, but like she mentioned, they do not leave marks or anything. I wouldn't consider them to be dangerous or anything, more of a nuisance if anything. I just want to know exactly what they are, and no information out there exists on them. Every possible answer an "expert" has to say seems to be way off detail. Maybe this is a new species of bug, i sware i havn noticed them until the last year or two like i said. If i could give my personal opinion, they are probably plant feeders, they probably fly, and they are probably non vicious. Just to clarify my details of this unknown insect, they are - tanish skin colored, no variation in color that i have seen. They are so small you cannot make out any detail on them, and it doesn't help they are exactly the same color as my skin. I only notice them when i feel a tiny pinch or bite. I then look closely and then i see a tiny tiny bug crawl quit quickly. When i go to grab the bug, it smashes on the tip of my fingers because of there size, since they are so small you cant touch them without them dieing. Any way, i hope to discover what these things are. Good Luck

peony wrote at 2011-04-10 23:49:56
I too have had this problem when I go outside when it is warm out. Usually a hot time of year. It is amazing the pinch or stick that these little bugs can have considering they are sooo tiny. I feel the bite lets say on my arm, so I raise my arm close enough so I can see if anything is crawling. Sure enough there is the tiniest little fleck moving. Unless I get one of these guys under a microscope I don't think I could describe it any better than a tiny skinny fleck that is slightly darker than skin tone. The bites stop once I am indoors. Today it happened when I was out by a pool sitting under blooming legustriums. I thought maybe they were aphids. My skin us sensitive anyway and they are relentless little things!

peony wrote at 2011-04-10 23:56:51
I too have encountered these bugs! The same description, the same bite. Sometimes I have to stare at my arm to wait to see them crawling. They pinch and do not leave marks but am surprised at the amoung of itching they cause due to their size. They are skinny and small, tannish colored slightly darker than my skin. Smashes insantly when I pick them up. I was thinking aphids but I do not know my insects so I could be way off base. I too live in TX. I was sitting under blooming legustriums in 90 degree heat if this helps.

jackie wrote at 2011-04-26 21:20:09
I have the same problem we put up our above ground pool this past weekend and after it was fill on Sunday we got these same bugs! They are every where on the floats my sons pool balls on the liner anywhere the water isn't touching! We have to wipe them off the ladder to get into the pool and they are right back as soon as we wanna get out! I can get a picture of them if it would help them identify this bug because I want them gone!  

Jackie-W wrote at 2011-06-07 15:38:48
I find that it's not just in my swimming pool as I'm laying on the floats, but these little, tiny tannish skin colored insects-bugs, also get on me when I'm laying out in a chair that is covered with a towel and none of my body is touching the grass.  I've been having a problem with them for several years.  It's like everyone says you really can't see them till you feel them bite or pinch you. My uncle once called them "no nots" because you couldn't see them.  If anyone finds a name and any info that would be great.

bscincy wrote at 2011-06-09 13:26:09
I live in Ohio also, just south of Dayton and have the same thing in my back yard.

Mountaineers wrote at 2011-06-28 15:25:55
In Northwest Georgia we have these same tiny biting bugs, just as the previous posts generally describe them. They are worst on our screened porch, evidently coming up between the decking boards. Terminix sprayed our porch furniture since we usually get bitten after we sit down and are stationary. We cannot use the porch till we solve this. We are surprised no one in ytwo years has posted a name for these bugs or - more importantly - shared a pest control solution. Have we stumped the chump?  Anybody know a solution? Help - please.  

Woob wrote at 2011-07-10 15:21:15
I think I found the answer ladies. They are called thrips and there are a million species of them. The ones closest to what have been attacking us in our yard are onion thrips. We live in KY. We have been here 2 1/2 years and have never had this problem. THey are on all our plants and killing them. They are biting us and are exactly how you have described. We no longer enjoy going outside. I believe they came in the mulch we got this year. They are awful and impossible to describe to people because you can barely see them.  

Jenn from NY wrote at 2011-07-10 23:48:42
Oh my goodness! These little things are so annoying! They are everywhere in the yard and they pinch! Noone knows what they are? I've been living in the North my whole life and have never seen these bugs. I hate to bring my 6 month old in the yard now because if i am annoyed and they hurt me at least i can do something about it-she can't. Plus, I find them crawling through her hair sometimes when we're out there. They are nasty and I want them gone. Someone find out what they are!

Sara wrote at 2012-03-12 14:54:32
I am searching like crazy to find out what these things are!! I am just so relieved to see others know what I'm talking about!! Yesterday while at the beach in Florida i was very itchy and looked and saw my towel was covered in them. Then I saw them on my arms and bathing suit. I have also seen them while I was on the beach in southern California and in New Jersey. Each time I was sitting in a plastic outdoor chair and it was very humid. I have asked others only to find people think you are hallucinating. I finally was able to show my husband and he was shocked and said he'd never would have seen them because they are so tiny. They are the color of tanned skin and are as skinny as a hair...but short. They remind me of a much smaller inch worm. I don't know if they bite but the little pings of itchiness imply they do. I truly hope someone can find out what they are and how to avoid them.  

Holdee68 wrote at 2012-05-01 19:23:39
Live in Texas-  have endured these little buggers all my life.   My grandparents and mother have always called them tree lice.   They are tiny tiny but they sting. You get hit by a swarm of them, on a humid day and they will drive you insane!  

youssef wrote at 2012-05-10 02:25:03
yes i have saw this bugs too it very hard to see them because they are very small i do not know waht is this kind of bugs are they dungros  

berryhille wrote at 2012-05-19 00:39:06
I would really like to know what they are i was wondering if i was going crazy. It was making me feel almost nasty cause i wasnt sure what they were.  

Wild Willy wrote at 2012-05-22 04:44:54
We too just put up a new above ground pool and the bugs were everywhere. The same thing happened 3 years ago with our old pool. I bought Seven dust 5 and sprinkled it on the sides and 3 feet out around the entire pool. I wiped them out then and done the same thing again. I have yet seen or heard of anything better. Maybe there is but all I know the dust done the trick.

kris wrote at 2012-06-12 16:32:49
I too have an issue with these same bugs. They only seem to  be around in warm weather and when outside. The pinch is all that lets you know they are on you and they are so tiny you can hardly see them cause they blend in with your skin tone.I did however notice one on me recently when inside!! If anyone discovers what they are or how to get ride of them I would love an answer.

Lynnardo wrote at 2012-06-15 21:14:21
I have seen these tiny, super thin little wormlike bugs/insects/anthropods (whatever) for years and years and years and have never been able to get an answer out of anyone as to what they are.  Obviously, there isn't an expert on this forum who has an answer, either.  I see all these messages about the SAME thing, but NO answers.  I do not think these are thrips, as I have looked at them carefully.  They do not fly, but get blown around.  They Never have flown away from my skin.  They only crawl...pretty fast.  I wish I could catch one on some tape, but I can never stay still enough to do this, as the little bite makes you just smack it.  I will try harder to catch one, so I can get an expert to examine it under a microscope.  Anyhow, I feel for ALL of you.  These organic creatures are certainly a nuisance!  Does Anyone have any other insight as to what these creatures are called?

Rosie wrote at 2012-07-06 17:16:43
They are called, no see ums, we have them in florida and for the first year (in 6 years) they swarmed and are dead in the it..they are around water especially.  

heather wrote at 2012-07-21 21:35:59
I'm in southeastern Ohio and have had the same issues with these tiny things the past 2 years. Y

They only seem to bite me outside, not my daughter or fiancÚ. I wish I could find out what they are and what I can do to get rid of them.

Steven Vega wrote at 2012-09-20 05:02:55
I believe they are called no see ums, tiny flesh colored insects.  No-see-ums are small biting flies that appear during the summer months. These tiny biting insects are barely visible to the naked eye, but their bites can be very painful and annoying. Also known as biting midges or punkies, these minute insects are probably familiar to outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners, farmers, and ranchers. Each year, I get several calls from residents that think they have flea bites or chiggers, but after speaking to them, we usually find they have been bitten by no-see-ums.

Literature references indicate that no-see-um species found in Arizona and the southwest are of the genus Culicoides (family Ceratopogonidae). Adult no-see-ums are less than 1/16-inch long (see photo above, click to enlarge), can easily pass through normal window screens, and resemble a smaller, more compact version of the mosquito. They are most active in early mornings and evenings of mid to late summer. Mouth parts are well developed with elongated mandibles adapted for blood sucking. Both males and females feed on flower nectar but only the female feeds on blood. She must consume blood for her eggs to mature and become viable.

For more info go to

Lucia P wrote at 2012-09-22 13:09:13
I little help here, yesterday I started seeing them, and they were walking on my phone screen, and I saw my wooden desk, and when I picked up my phone, they crawled on me (2 or 3) but now I always feel they're always on me. I can't sleep and it's getting bad. I feel itchy al the time now. What do I do?

Colleen wrote at 2012-10-26 21:30:07
OK, at least I'm not the only person that has noticed these. Everytime they bite me I look and see this minuscule little tan speck. I've never noticed them fly but they definitely do hurt. I thought I was going crazy, and people thought I was hallucinating and on drugs! I don't believe spraying bug spray on yourself works, as I have tried it and still been bitten...

Jasmine wrote at 2013-01-08 15:42:24
I had these problem for years aswell and its only when your outside or if there's air,I seem them and there very tiny I think I even seen them go into skin aswell i don't know what these is I see them like once a year maybe twice.. I live in Texas and I been going crazy wanting to know what they are called to tell my doctor..

N2Happy wrote at 2013-01-27 18:34:38
These bugs have been around north Georgia for years.  We call them "wheat bugs or wheaties" because of their color. I cannot recall ever being bitten by them but I'm sure that I have.

Ivette wrote at 2013-01-29 21:34:24
I seen these things since 07 I live in Texas I'm 20 years old and the first time I saw them I was outside I think they go into your skin aswell,you can't catch it cuz they'd so tiny but they bite and it hurts..I only seen them in my arms..ehst is it and I'd there treatment??

lrmorris0810 wrote at 2013-06-06 16:44:21
I have been bitten by the same thing and I am at this very minute sitting at my desk at work. I live in Indiana and went to Menards yesterday to buy sand for my sons sandbox. Shortly after returning from Menards I startin itching on my back and legs so I went to the bathroom and noticed I had these little crawling specks all over my white shirt and my khaki pants and crawling on my belly, legs and arms. And the bites hurt. No matter how hard I tried to pick the little boogers off I couldn't get them all. They just kept reappearing. I showered last night and this morning and was fine until I got back to work this morning and started itching again. These teeny tiny bugs are still crawling on me. I've even felt them in my hair biting me! I do not want these things on my children or infesting my home! HELP!!! What are these?!?! I want to go to Menards and complain but I want to know what they are first. I've never had this problem before!!!

Ward wrote at 2013-06-06 18:36:24
I have had this same problem with these tiny little insects,

I don't live around any water and I don't own a pool. I also

Feel them at the ball fields where my children play ball. Not

Sure what they are but wish someone could figure it out and

Let us no what we can do to get rid of them!!

sashabella wrote at 2013-07-13 02:54:19
I live in Ky and I know exactly what ya'll are talking about. We call them grass fleas not sure if that's what they are really called but that's what we have always called them. They are very very tiny, skin colored and hurt like the dickens when they bite although they never leave a mark unless you are allergic to their bites in which case they can leave small raised bumps. Anyways your fighting a losing battle but to help with the problems try sprinkling 7 dust around your yard, this also kills regular fleas and ticks. Hope it helps ya'll. Just remember there's no real cure for killing these things out.  

annoyed wrote at 2015-05-13 23:03:09
I have seen them too. They fit the description if house dust mites, were thrive on humidity and eat dead skin, and other dried proteins.

Hecate83 wrote at 2015-05-31 23:58:16
You are NOT crazy! Lol! You are not one of those "crazy people who think bugs are living inside them"! I grew up on a farm in Northeast Pa and my grandparents calked them "SAND FLEAS". Yes, they are super small and skin-colored. Yes, they do produce a tiny little "bite". Mostly on extremities...legs if you are wearing shorts..arms if you arent wearing long sleeves. Some years we couldnt sit outside for too long...all the tiny little bites would drive us nuts and we would be forced to retire to the house. Some years there werent any at all. Im sure SOME Entomologist out there knows EXACTLY what we are describing...but they seems to be so small and unimportant that there isnt really any "literature" on them. Im thinking maybe MITES or APHIDS??? Well...either way...just know ur not crazy! These "NO SEE UMS" are super annoying but maybe the climate in ur area next year wont bring them out.

kelsey wrote at 2015-07-16 22:17:19
I lI've in south eastern massachusetts and I have recently have seen these on my skin when I'm outside.  Their bites hurt and they give you the feeling like they're still crawling all over you which is worse than the bite in my opinion.  Anyone know how to get rid of them or keep them off you.

Kj wrote at 2015-07-29 13:23:58
Bug spray with deet seems to keep them off. I have several crape myrtles in my yard and they seem to love these trees. I spray my entire yard with Bayer bug killer that connects to the hose. I spray everything, trees , grass, garden and anything flying in the air. It says it should last for 3 months but not on these bugs here in NJ. I spray every month June thru August cause I can't even go in my back yard without being attacked by these no see ums. But the spray does cut it down a bit.

KentuckyGirl wrote at 2015-09-12 00:47:44
I have a MAJOR issue with these things! I live in Kentucky and every summer I get ate up by them!! And it sucks because I never see them until they bite me, which hurts like hell! Feels like a needle prick or something. I will be outside surrounded by people and somehow I am the only one who gets bit by them.. Everyone else thinks I'm crazy!! It is super awesome to see other people actually know what I am talking about!!

Cassyplus4 wrote at 2016-06-02 17:51:10       I have been searching as well for what these annoying things are they have been on my front porch only and they have only Brent here this year so my guess is it's from the bushes we have out front because they are not out back which we don't have bushes out in the back but I'm not sure hut hopefully this link will take you where it took me but the bad part about it is it still doesn't tell you how to get rid of the little buggers and yes they are only outside I only have a problem with them on the front porch and that's it but now that I know the real name of them in going to see what I can do to get rid of them because j can't even sit on the porch for 5 minutes to smoke a cigarette they're really annoying and their bites hurt like hell! Hope this helped you!

New Jersey guy wrote at 2016-08-15 15:50:07
I was sitting outside at night on my wooden deck next to my above ground pool talking on the phone when I felt what I thought were mosquito bites. I went inside and found myself still slapping my leg thinking a mosquito followed me in. Upon close inspection I found a very small skin colored flat crawling creature that I couldn't grab! It had many tiny legs (more than 3 each side.) Best analogy: Take an oval shaped gray rolly-polly - make it flat, skin colored, and reduce to about 1/4 size. What is this thing?! & Where do they come from? I hope to catch one with some tape.  

In7purple wrote at 2016-09-10 20:09:38
Omg I'm in southern California and I see them too... makes my skin crawl. And I notice they come out more near heat, humid, and summer to fall climate... ahhh glad I'm not the only one  

New Jersey guy wrote at 2017-02-13 00:51:15
I have looked up and saw pictures of "no see ums", "wheat bugs", "tree lice", "thrips",and "sand fleas" and NONE of these pictures look anything like what bit me and what the rest of us all are talking about. Also read what Ivette wrote on 2013-1-29 above. She is right on - they can go into your skin, but then they die there.  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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