The Midges Are Coming Out

Finally, the weather is getting warm in Wisconsin. The temperatures are going up into the 70s after a chilly spring. Unfortunately, the midges are coming out. Midges are small insects, also known as lake flies, that fly around people’s heads and buzz. They are not mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, they do not have mouths. Midges do not sting or bite.

The life cycle of midges includes searching for mates, reproducing, laying eggs and dying off. Usually, the lifespan of a midge ranges from roughly 3 to 7 days.

Midges generally annoy people, though they are liked in some situations. For example, anglers like them because they can be used to construct fishing ties. Also, various animals such as bats, birds, fish and ducks eat them. Creatures consume midges, their larvae and their eggs. Midges make up the most frequently occurring insects in aquatic systems.

Right when warm weather first comes, male midges fly around in swarms. Female midges fly into those swarms and the genders mate with each other. After mating, females lay their eggs in Lake Michigan, among other places. The eggs fall down to the bottom of the lake, where they develop during the year. As they go through their larval stage, the young midges go up through the water and come out as adult insects.

Midge populations are currently at their highest, though their numbers will eventually go down within the next week or two. McKinley Marina, in Milwaukee, has seen especially large amounts of midges. Greenbay and Lake Winnebago are places that usually get large midge inundations every year. In these places, the midge populations surge so high that you can hear a hum coming from the bodies of water.

If you find yourself walking into an annoying cloud of these little insects, just be thankful that they are around because it means that various animals are being fed.