Midge Info

For our purposes: blind mosquitos = midges= phantom midges= ghost midges

They do not bite. 

They fly and are whitish-gray in color.

It is impossible to completely control blind mosquitoes and partial control is often too expensive or too complicated to be practical. The use of insecticides on adult midges is only a short-term fix and can even be counter-productive if it also kills the natural predators of midges such as spiders.

Blind mosquitoes can be more populous in polluted water. Waste from food-processing plants, septic tanks, sewage treatment plants, and leaching of fertilizers from lawns and agriculture around lakes provide the nutrients needed to produce the food that allows freshwater midges to thrive. As pollution continues to increase, so do blind mosquito populations.

University of Florida IFAS researchers (UF/IFAS) has developed a Freshwater Aquatic Midge Integrated Pest Management Plan to aid in controlling the blind mosquito problem in stormwater ponds and man-made stormwater lakes.

The plan to help reduce the population of these pests has four steps:

  1. Controlling algae count by treating private or man-made ponds with algaecides
  2. Using insectivorous fish to biologically control blind mosquito populations
  3. Implementing light traps to trap and kill midges
  4. Using insect growth regulators (IGRs) to prevent larvae from developing into the adult stage, in private or man-made ponds

Because light attracts blind mosquitos, reducing the use of unnecessary home lighting at night will help prevent blind mosquitoes.

A “light trap” can be used in an unoccupied corner of the yard to attract blind mosquitos away from the home. This can be accomplished using any bright light. The best way to trap the midges is to shine the light on a lightly colored wall or surface, such as a white fence. The light should come on at dusk and stay on an hour past sunset.

For the best results:

  • Convert all outdoor lighting that shines on the house (like porch lights) to motion-activated lights and keep the brightness lower than the light trap (if in use). Motion activated lighting should reduce the attractiveness of your home to the midges, who tend to gather near lighted areas.
  • Prevent additional nutrients being added to ponds and lakes by reducing fertilizer use in the landscape, creating a 10-foot no-maintenance zone (also known as a buffer strip) of un-mown, un-fertilized landscaping, and keeping grass clippings out of the water. Learn more, by reading about Florida-Friendly Landscaping, here: https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/ffl/protecting-waterfront.html 

More Recommendations, by water type

For natural lakefronts and areas where planting is allowed: consider planting aquatic plants that improve the waterfront such as pickerelweed, soft rush, duck potatoand others. Aquatic plants can help remove excess nutrients that midge larvae feed on from the submerged sediments in which they live. This process, although slow, will also help to improve overall lake health and wildlife habitat.