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Midges and biting midges (also known as sand flies, no-see-ums, and punkies and often confused with gnats) can become big nuisances inside and outside. Midges pose just mere annoyance, but biting midges cause bites that are disproportionate to their very tiny size. This page will give you the tools you need to identify and control midges in your home or around your property.
See also: Insect Killer
Midge flies are often confused with mosquitoes because of their appearance and similar habitats, but what are midges? They are small insects that are commonly found near water sources like lakes or rivers. Non-biting midges (chironomidae midges) can be 1/16 to 1/2 inch long. Biting midges are much smaller (only up to 1/8 of an inch long).
Both types of midges lay eggs in standing water, damp or wet mud, lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams, and marshes. Non-biting midges will swarm in large numbers at sundown and their humming can be heard a few feet away. Adult non-biting midges are attracted to light, which is why they can be found near homes and find their way inside. Biting midges swarm at sunup and sundown.
Biting midges (noseeums), or ceratopogonidae midges, can be extremely annoying because of their very small size and painful bite. The female midge needs blood meals for reproduction. They have small cutting teeth that allow blood to pool so the midge can ingest it. These noseeum bites feel similar to mosquito bites.
Biting midges do generally not enter structures, but midges are small enough to get through 16 mesh screens. Getting mesh screens with a higher number can keep these and other very tiny insects out of your home. Since non-biting midges are attracted to lights, draw your shades at night and wait as long as possible to turn on exterior lights to keep them away from your home. It is nearly impossible to affect the habitat of these pests, and pesticides are not recommended to control these pests in water or mud.
Our experts recommend using a pyrethrin spray such as 565 Plus or Microcare to get rid of the adult midges in or around your home. Spraying a product such as Talstar P on window screens, doors, bushes, and plants around your home can act as midge repellant to keep midges away. Citronella candles or oils can act as a midge repellant, but aren’t as effective when used alone.
Information via University of Missouri Extension, University of Florida IFAS Extension, Experts at Do My Own Pest Control.