Written by: David Cottrell, District Manager and Botanist
I recently met with a client who recounted a story of a lakefront cookout that was plagued by thousands of swarming insects. The culprits were midge flies and they created a terrible nuisance as neighbors tried to enjoy a beautiful evening together in Northeast Florida. The midges covered all surfaces, including—to the horror of the hosts—the freshly melted cheese adorning their juicy grilled burgers… pizza anyone? The client has a lot of fun with this story now, but the sad reality was that the beautiful setting which attracted them to their fantastic neighborhood was ruined during midge season. Unfortunately, in some parts of the country like Florida, midge fly infestations can last for the majority of the year!
There are two common groups of midges that cause headaches for many waterfront residents. One is often referred to as the bloodworm midge and the other as the phantom or ghost midge. Both groups get their name from their appearance in the larval stage of their lifecycle. While it’s reassuring to know that midges do not bite or spread disease like mosquitoes, they can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of outdoor spaces; they create a mess to clean up, mar painted surfaces, and may even cause problems for asthma sufferers.