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Window screens not keeping tiny bugs (gnats?) out anymore

teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,401Super Moderator Senior Member
edited June 2011 in Parent Cafe
Our house is almost 12 years old and in the last couple of years, we've had more and more issues with tiny little bugs, which I assume are gnats, sneaking through tiny gaps between the screen and the window frame.

Some of our screens needed repair so I took them to the hardware store and they replaced the fabric, but since putting the screens back up a few days ago, we've had nightmare amounts of these bugs getting in when we have the windows open. Happened again tonight; at least they are attracted to the light, so I can usually turn off all the lights in one room except one, and they will all migrate to the ceiling above that light. Then I get them with the vacuum cleaner.

D2 has been vacuuming bugs up from her ceiling on and off for over an hour now, even though we closed the windows and turned the AC back on (we really don't need it, but we just absolutely cannot keep the windows open anymore at night).

I've been waiting for what seems like forever for summer-like weather so I could open the house up, and now I'm shut in again because of these bugs.

Anyone have any suggestions?
Post edited by teriwtt on
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Replies to: Window screens not keeping tiny bugs (gnats?) out anymore

  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    I don't have a solution but I'm certainly interested in any potential answers. We get small flying insects in from time to time - just a very small nuisance and I was wondering if there's a simple answer such as attaching a finer screen or using a second screen that fits under the raised windowsill.

    We have central air so we can just leave the windows shut all the time but I prefer to open them up when it is cooler in the evening and night.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    Sounds like no-see-ums. You need better screening to keep them out. You need a finer mesh. They are coming right through the screen. The cheaper the screen "fabric", the larger the holes. They likely replaced the screen with the cheapest screen fabric and they are flying right through the screening
  • EPTREPTR Posts: 3,605Registered User Senior Member
    When they replaced the screen did they use a different mesh with larger holes? If it is suddenly worse, i would suspect the new screens. I have trouble with them, too. I don't think they are Noseeums because those bite. They are small Gnats. I wonder if their is something that you can spray on your screens to make repel the little guys.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Just went to the Anderson Windows site and they sell micro-fine stainless steel wire mesh screens (they're four times as much as the conventional screens). Anyone have any experience with the upgraded stuff?
  • travelnuttravelnut Posts: 747Registered User Member
    BCEagle- Yes, at our house we upgraded to the Anderson screens in a sun room. They were billed as letting significantly more light in, which was what got me interested. Side benefit- much fewer of the tiny bugs getting through and setting up camp between screen and window. It does make a difference, though of course, occasionally a bug will come in. The exterior window sills seem to stay cleaner with the upgrade also. I am very happy with the screens. They may be a bit more durable than the other ones, but time will tell. That said, I have yet to spring for the entire house to have the new ones.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    EPTR, in my part of the country, no-see-ums don't bite! Maybe what we call no-see-ums are gnats. We call the tiny biting ones sand flies. Regardless, you can rescreen with screen fabric with smaller openings. They do not have to be Anderson. Google screening. You can read about it. There must be 10-12 different types of screening, maybe more.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for your comments. I'll have to go measure what we have and order a few. We have different types of windows in other parts of the house that are ancient and I don't know if we can find replacements for those.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    A screener can come to your house, use your existing screen frames, and rescreen with a variety of screening fabrics. They can order frames that need replacing.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Never heard of that service before.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,401Super Moderator Senior Member
    I had them replace the fabric with the exact same kind of fabric that we already had on them. I think our issue has more to do with the screen frames just not fitting as well anymore. The windows are made by Casco.
  • coolweathercoolweather Posts: 3,170Registered User Senior Member
    Lol. When seeing the title I thought you said Microsoft Windows did something good for security.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,401Super Moderator Senior Member
    coolweather... no kidding!

    When I googled window screener and bugs, I got several mentions of Windows computer issues!
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    In Florida there are multiple screening companies in any given location. They come out and can do it on the spot. There is also Home Depot. The fabric, the rubber tubing and that special tool are all for sale. IT LOOKS EASY when someone else does it. Me, I pay someone.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,401Super Moderator Senior Member
    sunnyflorida - Yea, I actually bought some mesh at Home Depot and they showed me how, but then I found out I could take it to Ace Hardware and they could do it for me. Which is what I did (about eight screens). But I put them back in about five days ago, and it did not take care of the problem, so I think it's an issue of the screen frame no longer fitting the window frame as well; in fact, I can see tiny gaps.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    I should call around to see if hw stores do that around here.

    Could you use a little thin weather seal around the outside frame to get the screen to sit flush?
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