Go away little midge! Why these flies keep bugging us

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Midge flies—they’re annoying and they’re everywhere, on doorways, on balconies 27 floors up. They get into homes and offices to bug you.

“This is the worst year I’ve ever seen them,” said Marilyn Whitley. “We have them every year. I see them on the balcony, but nothing like it is right now.”

“Very annoying,” said Robert Guarino. “There are literally hundreds of them at the doorway.”

Why is it so bad now? An expert points us toward the water.

“The problem is that we have a lot of muck in those ponds because it’s linked to the excessive amount of nutrients and the lack of vegetation on the side,” said Serge Thomas, associate professor of ecology and environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. “So all of those will be a feast to those midge larvae.”

Thomas says our warmer-than-usual weather means our water has plenty of nutrients, attracting more midge flies. So if you live or work near water, now you know.

“Just a nuisance… and there are thousands of them, so it’s just a problem,” Whitley said.

“This is a manifestation of which nutrients and water being polluted,” Thomas said. “That would be the ultimate goal to start to have great, clear water.”

Thomas predicts midge flies will be around annoying people until that happens.

So what can we do to get rid of midge flies? Thomas recommends we change our outside lights to LED bulbs and make sure there is no standing water around. There’s always bug repellent, but Thomas says those also affect the cleanliness of our water, which brings those flies here in the first place.

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