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."
Earlier this week, a strengthening nor'easter battered New England, causing widespread damage across the region while storms continued to drench and blast the coastal Northwest.
Conditions will improve across the Northeast on Friday as this week's nor'easter shifts away from the region.
A siege of Pacific storms will continue to drench and blast the coastal Northwest into next week and will be joined by Ana.
After many locations over the Plains feel like late summer this weekend, the record-challenging warmth will expand to the Northeast next week.
The disturbance responsible for drenching South Florida downpours will swing toward Bermuda this weekend, while the former Tropical Depression 9 lurks in the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
The NFL returns to London this weekend amid a mild stretch of weather.
Tornado sweeps through Sunset Crater National monument. 600-700 trees destroyed. The twister was 150 yards wide at times.
New England (1785)
Four day rains put Merrimac River in NH and MA to greatest flood height ever known -- extensive bridge and mill damage.
Mid-Atlantic Coast (1878)
Hurricane did extensive damage in NC, VA, MD, NJ and PA. "Philadelphia's worst" -- 84 mph wind gust at Cape May, NJ; 28.82" pressure at Annapolis, MD.