East Cooper Termite and Pest Solutions has been getting calls about this pesky fly. East Cooper residents have seen them in large numbers around the house, in the house, and on the house. We got in touch with South Carolina’s expert on flies ….here’s what he said.
The photo is a male, non-biting midge. Midges are a type of small fly. They are very common and can occur in very large numbers this time of year, usually in the evening. They are often attracted to light. They breed in aquatic areas such as ponds or may live in soil that remains moist. The larvae found in ponds or even birdbaths are often red in color.
Many midges do not bite or are a serious pest. Because of their small size, midges can enter some screen and cracks around windows and doors. Keeping windows and doors shut and sealed when midge swarms are present can help reduce the numbers found in structures. Keeping lights off at night will also help in not attracting midges to the home. Finding moist breeding sites and removing or drying them if possible will provide long term control. For example, replacing water in bird baths at least once a week should remove developing midge larvae. In addition, make sure your clients do not have a lot of moist soil around indoor plants that could serve as a breeding location. They should repot plants or reduce soil moisture levels if potted plants appear to be a factor.
Midges around porches can be killed by most insecticide sprays containing pyrethroids and labeled for flying insect control. However, control will only be temporary if the sources of the midge problems are not found or corrected. In some areas with aquatic habitats that cannot be treated, midges around homes and especially around lights in the summer months can continue.
Eric P. Benson CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
Professor Emeritus & Extension Entomologist
Plant and Environmental Sciences