Midges are a pest that no one want’s around their house.
Not only can they bite you but they can ruin the outdoors with large swarms and they are hard to handle once infestations grow too large.
If you think you have midges around your home, you’re in luck. In this post, I will go over how to identify and get rid of midges once and for all.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Midges?
Midges are a species of a small fly. They are often confused with mosquitoes but they are not in the same family.
There are several species of midges that all vary in their characteristics and features. These include:
- Net winged midges
- Gall midges
- Biting midges
- Non-biting midges
How To Identify a Midge?
There are over 1,000 species of midge in North American alone. Identifying what they look like can be difficult because it can vary.
There are some key characteristics you can look out for to help you identify midges from mosquitos.
Midges are smaller than mosquitos. Their wings don’t have any hairs while mosquitos wings have hairs.
They are also longer and narrower than mosquitos.
Midges have two forward facing legs and one backward facing set of legs. Midges have one pair of forward facing legs and two pairs of backward facing legs.
Midges also don’t have proboscis or pinchers to bite like mosquitos.
Mosquitos have long wings that exceed their body while midge wings are shorter than their body.
What Are Midges Attracted To?
Male and female midges are attracted to two different things.
Female midges are attracted to humans. In particular, they are attracted to three things that humans emit:
- Body Heat
- Human Scent
Females use these three signals to track humans and bite them.
Males are attracted to pollen and nectar. Midges survive off of nectar and pollen.
How To Get Rid of Midges
1. Kill The Larva
The first thing you can do to get rid of midges around your home is to eliminate the larva. By killing the larva or making the areas around your home uninhabitable by midge larva.
Midges typically lay their eggs on the surface of water or on the margins of water where there is Moisture.
If there is no moisture present, midges will avoid laying their eggs there because they will eventually die. The reason for this is that midges typically need water or Moisture to survive.
Most midge species require water, but some species can survive off of damp soil or moist and rotting organic matter.
The best way to get rid of larvae or prevent them from surviving is by treating any standing water you have around your home.
This includes ponds, fountains, birdbaths, or other potential bodies of water.
The easiest way to get rid of the larva is to use an insecticide. The most effective insecticides against midge larva are IGR’s.
IGR’s are growth regulators that prevent the eggs from developing. There are insecticides explicitly designed for water and others that you can use on moisture surfaces such as grass or soil.
Some potential insecticides that you can include are:
Treating the water with an insecticide is feasible when you can identify water sources that could be locations where midges would breed.
If you live next to large water bodies or can’t identify the sources of water, then killing the larva isn’t a viable option.
2. Eliminate Moisture
While midges are commonly found near water sources, several species can survive and lay their eggs in moist soil or decaying organic matter.
This is why you must eliminate any moisture issues around your home.
Common things that can cause moisture issues around your home include:
- Leaky pipes
- Broken sprinklers
- Ungraded yards
- Broken downspouts or gutters
Inspect your home for any moisture issues and address them immediately. Typically addressing these issues is a quick fix.
This means that poor drainage areas that are causing overly moist areas around your home can sustain midges.
The best way to eliminate mud or areas of excess Moisture is to remove the top layer of soil. Then replace this area with gravel or fresh soil.
This will help reduce moisture in the immediate areas without much effort. For a long-term solution, you must recognize the source of the Moisture.
Whether it’s a leaking pipe or improper drainage, the problem’s source must be addressed, or the Moisture will continue to return.
3. Seal Entry Points
If there are midges inside your home, it’s likely because there are easy entry points somewhere around your home.
To keep midges from coming indoors, you need to seal all entry points around your home. There are several steps you need to take to ensure all entry points are covered.
- Cover cracks and crevices
- Weatherproof your windows and doors
- Replace all screens
Cover Cracks and Crevices
The best way to seal cracks and crevices outside your home is using caulk. Caulk will allow you to seal cracks quickly and provide a though seal that midges can’t enter.
Inspect the interior and exterior of your home to make sure that there are no potential entry points.
If the cracks or crevices around your home are large, you can use a wire mesh with caulk to help seal the crack more effectively without using an excessive amount of caulk.
Weatherproof your home
Another way you can keep midges out of your home is to weatherproof your home.
You can weatherproof your home by doing two things.
First, install door sweeps on all your doors. This will prevent midges from getting in through under your doors.
Second, use weatherstripping foam to create a seal around all your doors and windows. This is a great way to keep midges out of your home.
Install or Replace all Screens
Replacing and installing new screens on all your windows and doors is important to preventing midges inside your home.
Even screens with small tears or damage can allow midges to enter your home.
It’s also important to replace or add screens to any vents. This includes any attic and crawlspace vents. These are common entry points that midges use to enter your home.
The standard mesh screens that come with most homes are not fine enough. These mesh screens are typically big enough that midges can fly directly into your home.
This leaves your home extremely vulnerable if there an infestation. The best way to avoid this issue is by installing and replacing all screens around your home.
The standard mesh size is 18. To keep midges out, you need a mesh size of 35. To ensure that you keep midges out, you want to at least half your mesh openings size.
4. Eliminate Stagnant Water
Stagnant water is very attractive to midges. In fact, if you have midges around your house and there are sources of stagnant water, it’s very likely that you will find midge larvae in the stagnant water.
Eliminating stagnant water is a great way to eliminate the possibility of midges breeding and expand the population in or around your home.
Some common places you might find stagnant water include:
- Pet water bowls
- Potted Plants
- Gutters and downspouts
- Corrugates pipes or drains
- Other clutter around your home or outside your home
- Sheds or patios
Add Movement To Water
Unfortunately, there are instances where you can’t eliminate stagnant water. In these situations, you need to add movement to the water.
You can add water to stagnant water by using an aeration system, water fountains, or filtration systems.
By using aeration or water fountains, you can eliminate stagnant water and prevent midges from laying their eggs.
5. Use Mosquito Traps
Mosquito traps don’t just work on mosquitos. They work on any flying insects that are attracted to lights, heat, or co2.
Midges, like many other insects are attracted to light and the heat. This is why mosquito traps are highly effective.
When the midge gets too close to the trap, it will get sucked in by the
Some common attractants are scents, heat, and carbon dioxide. For instance, most of these traps lure mosquitoes by mimicking the CO2 we produce when exhaling.
But as they enter through the tight wire or mesh grid, they are either zapped or trapped.
Some mosquito traps use an electric grid to zap mosquitoes upon contact.
6. Use Repellent Sprays
Repellent sprays are another useful treatment that you can use to get rid of no-see-ums. The repellent spray will keep no-see-ums away, but it won’t kill them.
The downside of using repellent sprays is that you need to apply the insecticide on all the surfaces outside your home, including the walls, grass, and plants.
For the repellent to work, they must land on the surface. This will then cause them to leave.
If there are gaps in coverage, the midges can tend to group themselves around these lapses in coverage.
These repellent sprays are not always a safe alternative, especially if you have children or pets that frequent outside your home.
When applying repellent sprays, it’s best to use a pressurized sprayer and apply it to your home’s surrounding area.
7. Apply Chemical Insecticide
Another popular option for getting rid of no-see-ums is to apply chemical insecticide around your home.
This is commonly done using foggers. This requires you to fog all surfaces that midges come in contact with. These insecticides are only effective if you spray midges directly or come in contact with a surface with insecticide.
This is typically done around the entire house on every surface.
Applying chemical insecticides is effective in the short term. They will reduce the population, and the mosquito population will likely be reduced for several weeks.
But, fogging does not attack the source of the problem. Once mosquitos begin to mature, the population will return to your home.
When applying chemical insecticides, be sure to use proper protective equipment and follow the application instructions.
8. Reduce Light Sources
Midges are attracted to light. One way to prevent them from living outside your home is by reducing the number of light fixtures you use.
Rather than leaving light fixtures on all night, you can use motion-activated lights.
These will give you the light you need only when you need it. These will not attract as many midges as keeping your porch light or fence light on all night.
As an alternative, you can also consider switching the type of light bulbs you use.
LED lights and sodium lights are less attractive to midges than other types of lightbulbs.
High-pressure sodium lights are considered an outdated technology. While LED lights are advanced, they do tend to attract more insects than sodium lights.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ
Are Chigger and Midges The Same?
No, midges and chiggers are different. Midges are a biting fly, while chiggers are a species of mite.
They are mistaken for one another because of how similar their bites look.
Both midges and chiggers bite in clusters and leave red, swollen welts.
When are Midges Most Active?
Midges are most active during the warm months of the year. Males typically emerge during early May.
Female activity increases during June and July.
The warm weather produces conditions that are ideal for midges.
During early summer there sufficient water sources available for midges to survive.
Are biting Midegs Dangerous?
Biting midges are not dangerous in the same way mosquitoes are.
Midges don’t transmit any diseases with their bites. The main danger that midges cause are uncomfortable and painful bites.
These bites typically go away within several days to a few weeks.
In certain cases, allergic reactions can cause worse reactions to biting midges.
In either situation, midges bites are not serious and will subside with time.
How To Stop Midges From Biting You?
One of the most common ways to prevent mosquitoes from biting you is by applying chemical repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or PMD.
DEET is one of the most effective ways to repel mosquitos and most flying insects.
DEET does have its drawbacks.
It does have a strong odor. DEET can also damage some plastics and other synthetic materials.
PMD is a natural oil extracted from the eucalyptus plant.
It’s a natural alternative to DEET repellant.
Researchers found that repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil are just as effective and long-lasting as products containing DEET.
Wear Light Colored Clothing
Mosquitoes are attracted to black, deep blue, and red. To keep yourself from being a target, stick to light colors.
Wear Loose, Long Sleeve Shirts, And Long Pants
Mosquitoes target exposed skin. To keep them away, cover as much of your skin as possible. You’ll also want to wear thicker fabrics when you can. Looser clothing is also better than one that fits tightly on your body.
Do No-See-Ums Lay Their Eggs On People?
No, no-see-ums don’t lay eggs on people. For no-see-um eggs to survive they require a source of consistent moisture.
Skin does not provide sufficient moisture or protection for their eggs to survive.
Midge eggs are excreted from the abdomen, they are not inserted using their mouth. They have no way of injecting eggs into human skin.