With all the media coverage and concern regarding mosquito-borne diseases including the Zika and West Nile viruses, among others, Michiganders are rightfully concerned about protecting their families and themselves from these potentially harmful pests.

There is a harmless pest, however, that frequents Michigan in the summer that is often confused with the mosquito since it looks and acts similar. What pest is this? Meet the non-biting midge.  You may encounter non-biting but highly annoying adult midges flying in swarms or “clouds”; or see them resting on fences, walls, under eaves and in protected areas such as porches and entryways.

Midges nest in tubular holes constructed of dead leaves or particles of sand or clay fastened together with viscous threads, in moist soil, lakes and slow moving rivers.  Adult midges live about seven days depending on the species and weather conditions after they emerge from the water. The massive swarms or “clouds” is where the females and males mate, and it is at this time that midges serve as a valuable food source for birds and bats.

The massive swarming behavior of the midge can create a nuisance for Michigan residents at home and on the road. The mating swarms typically form over a prominent point or conspicuous, usually light-colored object.

Swarming locations can include automobiles, a piece of lawn or porch furniture, or even a human. If you encounter a swarm while driving, midges will quickly grease up windshields and headlights, and send you off to the carwash ASAP!

How can you avoid these pesky but non-threatening pests? The best defense against midges is to wear light-colored clothing when outdoors and use an registered insect repellent if you plan on any outdoor activities including hiking, running or boating. If possible, avoid outdoor areas at times when peak biting activity is occurring – usually at dusk.

Midges and other summer flying insects are also drawn to light and you may want to reconsider replacing your sodium vapor exterior bulbs with yellow fluorescent or LED light bulbs to reduce flying insect activity around your home.

To make sure midges, mosquitoes and other flying insects stay on the outside looking in, homeowners should be sure to keep window and door screens in good repair. Repairing tears and holes in screens – no matter how small – will keep annoying flying insects out of your home.

If you have a problem with or have questions about flying insects around your home call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@http://griffinpest.com/.

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