They know where to find you. And you can't escape.
These tiny menaces aren't enemy micro-drones. They're a more old-fashioned assailant.
They're the small biting insects that you see outside all summer, but never knew had a name. They have, in fact, a few: no-see-ems, biting midges or punkies.
According to Penn State Entomologist Greg Hoover, the insects have a few "unspeakable names" as well.
And these bugs are everywhere this summer.
"It could be because of an abundance of moisture this spring," Hoover said.
Northern states from Washington to Maine and down to Mississippi all received more rain than average this spring.
No-see-ems breed in ponds, wetlands and near flowing water like streams. They'll also breed in any stagnant water in your yard.
No-see-ems will bite you when you're digging in the garden or sitting out on your boat. Even at home, a screen door won't give respite from the bugs. At between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch, biting midges fly right through the holes in the screen.
Like the mosquito, the female biting midge feeds on blood. Though no-see-ems are tiny bugs, their victims say the itch from bites is just as bad as mosquito bites.
"The pain is quite extreme when you look at their size," Hoover said.
The folk remedy cure is painting over the bite with nail polish. A more effective technique is rubbing on some antihistamine cream.
But, like most insects, biting midges have their good points. Their rain forest relatives pollinate the cacao plant. The insects are something that we "equate with causing us pain," Hoover said. "But we don't have chocolate without pollination."
Unsettled weather for the extended Labor Day weekend will be across the Southeast, Upper Midwest, northern Rockies and the Four Corners.
The combination of moisture from Erika and a non-tropical system will drench areas from Florida to the South Carolina coast through the middle of the week.
A stormy weather pattern will prevail through September across much of southern South America.
A rapid shutdown of tropical activity and an end to hurricane season in early September is not likely this year, despite a strong El Nino.
Tropical Depression 14-E is several hundred miles southwest of Mexico and is expected to strengthen slowly into a tropical storm.
Heat will be erased by an autumnlike air mass across parts of northern Europe.
Mecca, CA (1950)
126 degrees - highest ever for U.S. in Sept.
East Coast (1775)
Matecumbe Key, FL (1935)
Labor Day Hurricane hit Florida. Pressure at Matecumbe Key dipped to 26.35"/892.3 mb. Most intense hurricane ever to hit the U.S. with 200-mph wind. Tide of 15 feet; 408 dead.