Insects that appear to be mosquitoes are swarming around neighborhoods and are called blind mosquitoes. You may find it surprising, though, that not only are they not blind, they aren’t even mosquitoes, but are members of the fly family. Unlike mosquitoes, blind mosquito females don’t bite nor do they carry diseases. However, their sheer numbers make them a real nuisance pest.
Commonly you’ll find them swarming around your head - especially at dusk or dawn and some may inadvertently enter your nose or mouth. Conversations may come to a screeching halt while trying to avoid ingesting one if you are walking, jogging or biking with other people. Many people are irritated that the insects stain paint on their homes and cars. Individuals with allergies may find their condition is aggravated by these bugs.
These pesky creatures are especially attracted to light colors, so they may be found in higher concentrations on homes that are lighter in color. Also, they’re very attracted to lights at night so they can be found near windows and around entrance doors making them a real nuisance when you step outside. They only live for three to five days before flying to a water source to deposit their eggs. Egg masses will then sink to the bottom of the water then hatch into larvae that feed on the organic matter at the bottom of whatever body of water they have found.
The most effective way to control blind mosquitoes is to reduce fertilizers and organic debris that gets into ponds. A no-treat buffer can be planted in the area between your lawn and the pond to reduce the instances of fertilizers and grass clippings going into surrounding water bodies. Another option is to use copper algaecides to control the food source at the bottom of the pond.
Another management strategy is to use light traps to kill or divert midges away from homes. At night, turn off outside lights and close curtains or blinds, so they are not attracted to your house. If you want to use an outside light at the entrance, try switching to a yellow light, which is less attractive to insects.
For more information on these insects, visit www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in825. As always, the crew at Professional Waterfront Cleanup is avaliable to help you rid your waterfront of harmful insects, contact us for more information.