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Midge - Biting Insect Library


Non-Biting Midges, commonly called simply “gnats,” are often mistaken for mosquitoes by their appearance.  They fly in great swarms for the purpose of mating.  Midges are found in every continent of the world.  Learn about what gnats are attracted to below.


On occasion, swarms of midges have been so thick they looked like clouds of smoke from afar.





What are midges?  Non-Biting Midges, commonly called simply “gnats,” are often mistaken for mosquitoes by their appearance.  Like “buffalo gnats,” adults have a hump-shaped back and are usually black, gray, or brown in color.  The larvae are considered an essential part of the food chain in ponds, streams and lakes.


The lifespan of gnats or midges is fairly short.  Eggs, which are transparent in color, are laid in large groupings over water and hatch within 3 days.  The emerging larvae are white, red, or green and look like small worms with a dark head.  These larvae drop to the bottom to feed on algae and other tiny organic matter. 


Approximately four weeks later, the larvae are ready to pupate.  Once it begins pupating, it will take 48 hours for the midge to emerge as an adult.  Adults will survive for 5 to 10 days with the sole activity of mating to produce eggs of the next generation.


These populous insects do not bite, but they can be an annoyance just by their sheer numbers in a location.  Midges are nighttime fliers, usually appearing just after the sun disappears behind the horizon.  These insects can produce a loud humming sound which can be heard fairly far away.


What are gnats attracted to?  Non-biting midges, or gnats, are often drawn to lights and can be found swarming around outdoor lighting in the summer.






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