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Identify a biting pest and how to get rid of it

Hope someone out there can help. From mid July to mid September our garden is invaded by invisible (so small you cannot see them) biting insects of some kind. They bite in all the most sensitive of places and through your clothes not just on exposed skin. You don’t feel the bites until maybe a day later when they become unbearably itchy and remain so for a week or more. To give you some idea of the extent of the problem, in 30 mins of being in the garden I received 27 bites. We can’t let the children play in the garden all through the summer holidays so it’s become a big problem for us. We live just outside a small town in North Wales and are surrounded by fields and a few houses but our immediate neighbours don’t seem to have the same problem. Much internet searching has thrown up ‘Harvest Mites’ as a possibility but no advice on what to do about them. 
Eternally grateful to anyone who can shed some light on this


  • B3B3 Posts: 26,536
    I don't know about your insects but avon skin so soft stops mosquitoes and gnats from biting you. You put it on yourself - not your plants😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    My first thought too 're Avon or perhaps

  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,206
    Hello Susan.  Anything containing citronella could help.  Oil of citronella can be found at the chemist's.  Just a dab on the pulse areas.  Also Tiger Balm will relieve the itchiness.  Good luck.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,991
    Avon Skin so Soft is sold everywhere up here as a midge repellent.
    Avon refuse to market it as that though - so just look for it under moisturisers or similar.

    I'd get it now if I was you -before midge season starts up here, although as we aren't allowed to hillwalk just now, there might be plenty available  ;)
    I'm fortunate that they have to be seriously bad before they bother me, but it's been a well known product for a long time here for keeping insects away, and when you're in a damp, wooded environment, the Scottish midge is a ferocious and terrorsome creature  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,876
    I use the spray oil at night through the summer as gnats bite and we love the window wide open. It does work.
    At the moment you can order from Avon directly, post free over 15.00 or there will be an agent in your area and an email contact address on the site. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Wash in whatever my son uses. I worked with him for the day on Monday, got eaten alive, covered in gnat bites right now. He wasn't bitten once. I think he uses original source shower gel.
  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    My husband always maintained that his sweat would deter any attacker whilst mine would positively attract them :)  He was a lovely man and always felt bad that I suffered more than he did.

    I'm not passing any judgement on your son btw @GemmaJF just an anecdote!
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,499
    In a Which review of mosquito repellents a few years ago Avon So Soft came 21st out of 22 products tested. In last place, I think, was shouting ‘Go Away’. The product definitely works for some people but, Susan, if you’re not one of them go for more traditional solutions.
    Rutland, England
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