Recently we have had a large number of calls with customers who live on small acreage lots, explaining to us that they have been experiencing massive mosquito issues around their outdoor living areas and even in their house. The strange thing was……. No one was being bitten, these insects were just being a pest!
A little further investigation revealed that these insects, that are a dead ringer for a mosquito, are actually a species of Chironomidae -non-biting midge.
Along with the local Gov mosquito control organisations, we have all been aware that this insect comes and goes at different times of year, and also its very close resemblance to a mozzie. This year, with the dry weather possibly having something to do with it, we have seen a larger than usually occurrence.
Adult non-biting midge often emerge simultaneously, in huge numbers. Emergence is usually short in duration, lasting no more than a month. These insects are highly attracted to lights and can be found in large numbers on fly screens, on eves and places out of the wind close to light sources. The adult form of this group exists only to breed; they do not really feed, though may occasionally take nectar or decomposing droppings from other insects or reptiles. They mostly live on their own body mass, losing weight through their short life span.
Larval stages of the Chironomidae can be found in almost any aquatic or semiaquatic habitat, including tree holes, bromeliads, rotting vegetation, soil, and in sewage and artificial containers flowing or still water, buried in mud or enclosed in tubes.
It is so dry at the moment, greywater over flow puddles and septic tanks are prime examples of breeding sites.
Although they don’t bite, these little buggers will hold in tight around your home and residual control is quite ineffective.
Whilst they are only around for short intense periods, the best bet is to get some air moving and have screen doors closed to prevent them from getting inside your home.
Next time you think you might be experiencing a mozzie plaque have a close look… you may be witnessing a trickster at work!