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."
A new moon will allow for the perfect background for the Orionid Meteor Shower, set to peak on Tuesday Oct. 21 and into the morning of Oct. 22.
Cars were swallowed by rushing floodwaters that diced through streets in the Canary Islands, Spain, over the weekend.
Storms, including Ana, are lining up over the northern Pacific, en route to the northwestern United States and British Columbia.
Attention in the tropics will turn to the swath from southeastern Mexico to Cuba and Florida, where a new tropical system may form late this week.
After impacting Bermuda and Newfoundland, Gonzalo will bring rain and damaging wind gusts to Europe early this week.
A storm will spin up along the New England coast at midweek and will take on characteristics of a nor'easter with drenching wind-swept rain and coastal flooding in some locations.
Tallahassee, FL (1989)
30 degrees, tied October record low.
State College, PA (1995)
3.65" of rain.
Raleigh-Durham, NC (2000)
No precipitation since September 26th, a record long dry spell. (The month ended with only a trace of rain.)