In your perfectly manicured lawn and beautiful garden hide tiny black bugs that leave behind itchy, and at times, painful bites.
In this guide, you’ll find out seven tiny black bugs in grass that bite.
These little black biting bug can hide both in the grass lawn and in the shrubs.
You’ll find out at what time of the year these biting bugs are active. And why and when they bite.
That’s not all.
You’ll find out tips on protecting yourself from these bug bites and actionable hacks that you can use right now to get rid of them.
Let’s dive in.
7 Tiny Black Bugs In Grass That Leave Big And Itchy Bites
- Minute-Pirate Bugs
- Chiggers (These are not black)
All these bugs leave bites that create red rashes, welts, itching, and sometimes, swelling.
So, what are the conditions in your yard and turf grass that are harboring these bugs? And what to do about them?
Let’s find it out by getting deep into each of these bugs.
Gnats are mosquito look-alikes that are active in grass lawns and tall grasses especially after rains or during the summer.
Gnats, also called as no-see-ums because of their small size, are tiny black flying bugs in grass that bite.
Their bites cause irritating red bumps on the skin that cause intense itching.
Gnats swarm over the grass lawns and overgrown bushes during the dusk when they’re most active.
So, if you’re outdoors in your yard during the evening hours and your yard has thick green vegetation then gnats can bite you.
Gnats can bite you anywhere. Access to bare skin is enough for them to bite.
But most of the time, gnats bite on the neck, forearms, and on the back.
As these bugs swarm, so you can get multiple bites from multiple gnats at once. The bite marks can appear in clusters.
But where do gnats come from?
Gnats live and breed in damp soil beds and in decaying organic matter like foliage, mulch beds, and compost piles.
Trash bins in your yard, with trash lying in it for days are also a breeding ground for gnats.
The gnats lay their eggs in the soil. The larvae from the eggs feed on the roots of tiny seedlings, fungi in the soil, and the decaying organic matter.
Humidity and overwatering of the outdoors are the reasons that draws these gnats to your lawn and garden.
That’s the reason you’ll find these tiny black flying bugs that bite hovering over tall grasses and overgrown bushes around damp areas.
The lights from your home attract gnats. And they can fly inside your home through the open doors and windows.
Another way of introducing gnats inside your home is by bringing plant and flower pots whose soil has gnats.
Once inside your home, gnats will bite you. And they can even get inside the damp places in your home like kitchen and bathroom.
How To Get Rid Of Gnats In Lawn And Tall Grass
Fortunately, getting rid of gnats in your yard and garden isn’t rocket science.
The most essential part of keeping these small biting flying bugs away is the control of dampness in your yard and garden.
And you can do that by not overwatering the soil, by fixing water leakages in your yard, and by eliminating stagnant water.
Maintaining cleanliness comes next. Do not let organic debris to pile up in the yard or garden.
Organic debris are both food and hiding places for gnats and for many home invading pests like roaches and termites.
Ensure that you empty the trash bins regularly. Do not let trash and food wastes pile up in the trash bins both inside and outside of your home.
Decaying trash attracts cockroaches, gnats, and flies. House flies lay their eggs in the rotting trash which leads to the surfacing of maggots.
Trim the grass of your lawn often and do not let bushes and shrubs to overgrow.
Replace the mulch bed that has already seen through it’s lifespan. Mulch beds are also a culprit of inviting many types of bugs, including termites.
It’s essential that you use the right mulch bed that repels bugs and has a longer lifespan.
Finally, using a plant-friendly insecticide spray on the soil beds outdoors and on the lawn will eliminate the larvae of gnats in the grass and the soil.
Alternatively, spraying a mixture of white vinegar and water also does the work equally well.
Fleas – The Blood Sucking Tiny Black Bug In Tall Grasses
Fleas are tiny black or brownish-black blood sucking bugs that live in tall grasses and dense vegetation.
Fleas are a nightmare, not just for your pets but for you too.
Your pets can easily introduce fleas to your home. And the worst, to your bed, especially when your pet spends considerable amount of time in your bed and couch.
Outdoors, fleas live and dwell in the damp areas where there are tall grasses. When your pets walk through those tall grasses, they can latch onto your pet.
And that’s what their plan. To wait patiently for a host to latch onto so that they can get their blood meals.
But that’s not all.
Fleas can also latch onto your clothing. And this is a common occurrence when you’re in an outdoor activity at a place where fleas can live.
It’s quite common to get fleas when you go camping or hiking in places near lakes and water streams, especially when the weather is humid.
Pets also get fleas in the same way. When your pet walks through dense vegetation with fleas in it, the fleas will hook themselves on your pet’s fur.
But you and your pet will not get fleas from your grass lawn. It’s because that’s not an ideal habitat for fleas.
Fleas prefer tall grasses. And they might be right there right now in your yard.
If your yard has tall grasses or dense bushes, and you live in the South where weather is pretty hot and humid, then from your yard, flea infestation can even spread to your basement and garage!
Flea bites are intensely itchy. A single flea can bite you in multiple places on your body, so their bites appear in clusters.
If fleas are inside your home, then it can be hard to detect them because of their tiny size. And they hide at places where they can get their blood meals.
So, chances of fleas in your bed and couch are high.
There are many home products that might be there right now at your home that can eliminate fleas.
You can follow the methods to get rid of gnats in your yard. They also work when it comes to getting rid of fleas.
But if there are pets in your home then check your home for fleas.
Pets, and certain wildlife like raccoons and squirrels can also introduce fleas to your home.
Ticks – The Potentially Disease Spread Tiny Bug In Tall Grass
Fleas are the not only ones that take shelter in tall grasses. Ticks are also one of them.
But the good thing is ticks are not common in lawns and turfgrass.
Ticks too lurk in the tall grasses and thick bushes in damp areas. And they latch onto you, and on your pets, when you walk through the grasses.
Ticks are tiny bugs on dogs that are not fleas. They can cause on serious harm to your dogs and cats if they could latch onto their fur.
Dogs get ticks by making a contact with a tick-infected dog or when it spends time in tall grasses and dense vegetation with ticks in them.
Most of the time, ticks will latch onto your clothing. From there they’ll move onto your skin to deliver a bite.
Tick bites can cause diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever. But not all species of ticks cause these diseases.
Deer ticks are the ones that cause Lyme disease. Deer ticks are black-legged ticks with splashes of browns on them.
Deer ticks are tiny black biting bugs are common in the Eastern and Northeastern US.
They live in the grassy places, woods, fields, and you’ll find them near the secluded and rural homes.
Ticks bite by inserting their head into your skin. It looks like that half of the ticks’ body inside your skin.
When the ticks had their blood meals, they look inflated. That inflated tick is known as engorged tick.
Both fleas and ticks are primarily parasites on mammals. But they bite humans only when their primary hosts are not around.
To prevent tick bites, it’s always recommended to wear a bug repellent spray while outdoors. And wearing clothes that covers your entire lower body and forearms also keep these biting bugs away.
If you’re sitting near tall grasses or walking through them, ensure that the clothing covers most of your body.
Apply a bug repellent cream or spray on your neck to keep bugs from landing and biting on your neck.
If you live outside of the city, in the woods, or in rural areas, trim down every tall grass inside your property.
Don’t let them overgrow as they can become the perfect living place for ticks and for fleas too.
And most importantly, control dampness in your property by not letting water to stagnate and by fixing water leakages.
Ants In Grass
Ants love grass. And they can be even in your lawn.
There are many species of ants that live and make nests in the grass and soil, including the menacing red fire ants.
But when it comes to black ants in grass that can bite, they’re the carpenter ants and pavement ants.
Carpenter ants are wood boring ants and they’re common in yards where there’s a lot of wood piles.
These ants also live in the foliage and mulch and from there they quickly move onto the grass.
Carpenter ants are the most invasive ants in homes.
When they’re in your grass lawn, it’s only a matter of time that they’ll sneak inside your home and cause an infestation.
Similarly, pavement ants too are home invading ants that make to build their nests underneath pavements and crawl spaces in your home.
Before they move into your home, they’ll nest outdoors. And that’s the time when they’ll infest your grass lawn.
But more than black ants, it’s the types of red ants that make their nests and colonies in turf grass and lawns.
And these red ants are the ones that leave a painful, burning, and itchy bites behind.
Two of these red ants are the red fire ants and the army ants which are pretty common in the lawns and yards of Southern US.
The red fire ants bite in swarms. You can get simultaneous bites by multiple red fire ants especially when you try to destroy their nests.
And so does the army ants.
Army ants aren’t typically red. They’re dark brown with black abdomen which make them appear as a blackish ant when you observe them.
And these army ants are destructive ants for grass lawns. A large group of army ants will eat and destroy major portions of your perfectly manicured grass lawns.
Army ants can damage small flowering and ornamental plants too.
Ants like field ants and farming ants are also grass damaging ants.
There are many ant sprays that are available to eliminate ants in grass. But it’s always the wise choice to hire a pest control professional to get rid of ants in your yard, lawn, and in your home.
To eliminate ants, you need to eliminate their nests. And to locate their nests you’d need experienced hands which a pro pest controller bring.
Mosquitoes in grass lawns are common and you know it when the bite you while you’re having a good time with your friends and family in your yard.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. But they don’t need a large amount of stagnant water to lay their eggs.
Overwatering your lawn and yard creates enough pockets of stagnant water that mosquitoes use to lay their eggs.
On top of that, if there are tall grasses and dense shrubs in your yard, then it’s a perfect situation for mosquitoes to make your property their home.
Like gnats, mosquitoes will swarm in large numbers during evening hours over your grass lawn and yard.
And if you’ve got a pond or swimming pool in your property then things can get worse.
In summers mosquitoes can be a big problem in your grass lawn and in areas where you’ve got significant landscaping.
To get rid of mosquitoes in your grass lawn, here are the three things that you can do –
- Do not overwater your grass lawn, yard, and garden. Overwatering is the main culprit behind mosquitoes breeding in your grass lawn. Ensure that you water your lawn with the right amount of water, no less and no more.
- Mow your grass lawn often. That reduces the chances of water getting stuck in the grass blades. Also, get rid of dense bushes that are in your property.
- Spray an insecticide spray containing Gamma-Cyhalothrin and Lambda-Cyhalothrin in your lawn and landscapes. Both are proven mosquito killers. Spectracide and Clutter are reliable lawn sprays for mosquitoes containing those chemicals.
Plus, you’d also need to ensure that there are not potholes with water, tires lying around with in them, and if there’s a catch basin in your property, it’s well covered and clean.
If you’ve got a swimming pool, then ensure that there are no mosquito larvae and eggs in the swimming pool.
The rule of thumb to follow is – do not let stagnant water sit in your yard for days.
Minute Pirate Bugs In Grass
Minute pirate bugs, also known as insidious flower bugs, are not typically grass bugs.
But these tiny black flying bugs can be both in grass lawns and tall grasses starting from the spring till the end of summer.
Minute pirate bugs target growing flower plants that produce nectar and pollens.
These bugs as beneficial bugs because it hunts down many plant damaging pests like spider mites, aphids, and thrips.
Minute pirate bugs black (with white spots), oval with visible wing pads. They’re tiny and they grow only up to 1/5th of an inch in size.
But the bites of minute pirate bugs exceed their tiny size. They’ll land on your bare skin and insert their beak into your skin leaving a painful bite behind.
The bite marks resemble mosquito bites. But unlike mosquitoes, these bugs do not feed on your blood or inject their saliva.
The best part is that minute pirate bugs don’t swarm. So, these bugs won’t overwhelm you in huge numbers like the mosquitoes do while you’re at your lawn.
But the bites from these bugs will take you as a surprise as one of them will appear from nowhere and will leave an itchy painful bite.
Their bites cause red welts on the skin and the bite wound itches too.
Experts believe that light color clothing attracts them to humans.
So, while you’re working in your lawn or garden, ensure that you don’t wear light colored clothing and your clothing covers your hands and legs. You can also wear a bug-repellent cream.
Sprays and insecticide don’t work on them.
These bugs disappear by themselves when temperatures start to cool down starting from the fall months.
Chiggers – The Most Common Bug In Grass That Bite (But They’re Red Bugs)
We had to include chiggers in the list of tiny biting bugs in grass. It’s because these bugs are the most common biters.
Chiggers habitats are damp grassy fields and that includes your grass lawn too.
But there’s a catch. Chiggers that bite are not adult chiggers. They’re the larvae of the adult chiggers.
Chiggers’ larvae, or the baby chiggers, are red, yellow, orange and they’re microscopic biting bugs measuring up to only 0.3 mm in length.
The chiggers’ larvae don’t fly. They crawl small distances and usually they’ll stay in chunks in groups on your grass lawn or the plants leaves.
They’ll latch onto anything that passes by. And the worst part is that when their numbers increase, chiggers can also sneak inside your home.
Chigger bites are common starting from late spring to early fall. To be more specific, they feed on you. That’d be a better phrase to use than to say they bite you.
Chiggers feed on the dry and dead skin on your body. And that’s the time you get chigger bites.
When chiggers get access to your skin, they’ll use their jaws to make tiny holes on the skin. Then they’ll inject their saliva that liquifies your skin which they eat.
Chiggers can stay attached to your skin for days and continuously feeding on your skin.
The most common areas on your bed where chiggers bite is around the waist and lower legs.
They’re more prone to bite in those areas of your body where your clothing is tight like on your waist and ankles.
Chigger bites appear as red bumps in clusters or like a hive of rashes. The bites are intensely itchy, and the itching can last for several days.
But thankfully, chigger bites don’t cause any diseases apart from intense itching.
The best way to deal with chigger bites and to soothe the itching is to see a doctor asap.
Constantly itching and scratching on the bitten wound can make the skin to break which may lead to infection as well.
However, if you’re experiencing chigger bites your first job is to take a shower with hot water and clean your body with a soap. That’ll wash off any chiggers latching onto your skin.
Here are the 7 tiny black bugs in grass that bite. One of them isn’t black, it’s red.
- Minute-Pirate Bugs
- Chiggers (These are not black)
In this guide you’ve found out what these bugs are and in what conditions can they bite you.
One of the common reasons for these bugs to show up in your grass lawns and in your yard is excessive moisture caused by overwatering.
Lack of drainage system causing water to get stagnant or water gathering in potholes, tires, and trash bins make your yard and grass lawns a perfect place for these bugs to breed.
These bugs also live in the tall grasses and overgrown bushes.
So, to control them it’s essential that you don’t overwater your yard and lawn and you also trim overgrown grasses and shrubs.
You can invite some predators of these bugs, like dragonflies, praying mantis, and frogs. They’re all harmless to your yard and lawn and they’ll also significantly reduce their population.
You can get bites from these bugs while you’re outdoors too. The bites take place when you walk through dense vegetation.
These bugs will latch onto your clothing and on gaining access to your skin, they’ll leave behind itchy bites with red lumps.
To prevent bug bites while outdoors always wear protective clothing covering your below-the-waist portion and your arms.
Wear full-sleeve shirts and pants that you can tuck inside your socks.
Wear insect repellent that has DEET. Natural sprays made from citronella, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils are also effective in keeping these bugs away.
To know more about biting bugs in homes, read our posts on –
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.