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Summary: Midges, often mistaken for mosquitoes, are nuisance pests for people who live near bodies of water. Some midge fly species bite while others do not.

The months of April, May, and June bring large swarms of midges which are gnat-like insects sometimes confused with mosquitoes. Midges are usually found near lakes, ponds or streams and appear to float over the water in clouds.

The adult midge becomes active after sunset when it flies to night lights on structures. Piles of dead midges may accumulate on porches and decks. It's not unheard of to discover drifts measuring eight to twelve inches deep ***image5***consisting of dead midges giving off a dead fish stench.

The Midge fly is attracted to freshly painted surfaces mistaking the shine of the paint for the surface of water. Midges will cluster on screens and window sills and can be found hanging onto drapes or other fabrics. Their small size allows them entry via air conditioning units, window screens and the smallest cracks around doors. Once inside, they die in a short period, often on window sills where they are attracted to the outside light.

There are no terrific control measures for midges. And, because they can fly as far as a quarter mile from their breeding sites, finding and treating a specific breeding site would be like finding a needle in a very large haystack. At the very best you can eliminate any stagnant standing water from bird baths, flower pots, hollow tree stumps, clogged gutters or water-holding low spots near your home.  Outside lighting attracts them so turn off outdoor lights until about forty-five minutes after sundown. Most of their activity will be done by then. You might also want to think about replacing outdoor lights with yellow, orange or red bulbs which are colors least attractive to flying insects.

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