These flying insects look very similar to mosquitoes and are usually found near bodies of water. There are several different varieties of midges, and some are more dangerous than others. Some can bite and spread disease, while others are just minor annoyances. Midges have earned the nickname “fuzzy bills” because of the bushy antennae on males.
While they are tiny, they have quite the bite when they suck blood from humans, mammals, reptiles, and other insects. This may cause itching and welts that may last a few days. Some species can also transmit disease.
During the spring and summer months, you may notice large swarms of these insects buzzing around your property, particularly if you live close to large bodies of water. Midges are mating during the months of April, May, and June, and are most active after sunset. Prime mating conditions are warm, humid environments with temperatures of at least 75 degrees. They will also most likely be seen flying around any light sources.
Females midges will lay a large quantity of eggs near open water or in vegetation. After 72 hours, the eggs will hatch and the larvae will drop into the water, feeding on organic matter as scavengers. The larvae stage will last about four weeks, turning into pupae, a stage that will last around 48 hours. They will then rise to the surface of the water like mosquitoes and begin their short life span. Midges do not eat, and will only last between five and ten days. They are an important food source for freshwater fish and other aquatic animals.
Biting Midges are found near ocean environments, rivers, or lakes. Their larvae can be found either in a water source or in moist sand, marshes, or other wet areas and act as scavengers when they feed.
Types of Midges
Non-Biting Midge Identification
Non-Biting Midges are small, fragile insects that look like mosquitoes and measure anywhere between 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 of an inch long. They are usually black, orange, brown, or gray with scaled wings. The larvae of this group are small, white cylinders. They are sometimes referred to as “bloodworms” because of the hemoglobin in their blood.
Biting Midge Identification
Biting Midges, also referred to as “Punkies” or “No-See-Ums,” are less than 1⁄4 of an inch long and bear a resemblance to gnats. Their wings are narrow and can be either clear or spotted. Larvae of Biting Midges are small, white, and worm like. You’ll find these hiding in sand, mud, decaying vegetation.
Midges In The House & The Yard
Midges populate marshy areas. Any marsh or pools of water around your home can be susceptible to a midge infestation. They can also mistake things like fresh paint for the shimmer of water and might be attracted to newly painted portions of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions About No See Ums
How do you control a midges infestation?
It is very difficult to control the presence of midges if a large body of water is closeby. If possible, locate where midges are breeding. This may be a pool of standing water on your property or another area where water collects like bird baths or fish ponds. Midges will fly a quarter of a mile from their breeding grounds, so identifying this may be hard to do.
If it is possible, remove outside light sources to discourage the presence of midges. You may also want to replace white light bulbs with bulbs that are tinted pink, yellow, or orange, as these colors are least attractive to not only midges, but a variety of other insects.
Biting Midges will actually not stray very far from their breeding grounds, so if they are present in your yard, just moving a few feet away will be all you need.
If midges of either variety become a problem, however, insecticides may be used. These should only be applied by licensed professionals.
Benefits of Professional Midge Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a midge problem. Finding and treating the midges can be challenging, especially if they are hidden in the building. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the midges infestation.