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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.  Where do gnats live?  These insects are found in every continent of the world.  Learn about what gnats are attracted to and the livespan of gnats.


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




Interesting Facts

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


Do gnats bite?  Non-biting midges or gnats do not possess the mouth parts that allow mosquitoes to bite a mammal and obtain some of its blood.


Certain species of non-biting midges can lay up to 10,000 eggs in an egg mass.


After hatching, larvae drop to the bottom of the body of water to feed on the algae and organic matter found there.  This location makes it difficult to control non-biting midges, unlike mosquitoes whose larvae remains at the surface area of the pond, lake, etc.


The Non-Biting Midge is not considered to be a vector of disease, although it can be responsible for allergic afflictions.


Non-Biting Midges are in the same Order, Diptera, as Mosquitoes, although their families are different.  Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicidae while Non-Biting Midges belong to the family Chironomidae.


In some places along the Mississippi River, non-biting midges have been known to attach themselves to houses and other buildings by the thousands, entirely enveloping the buildings.


Roads along lakes or rivers in some locations can be so fully swathed in non-biting midges that they become quite slick, occasionally leading to accidents.


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






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