If you reside close to a fenland, a beach, a riverside, or a lake, you probably would have encountered some little blighters, otherwise known as midges.
These buzzing creatures leave an irritating collection of bites on your skin when they bite you.
This blog post reveals why midges keep returning to your garden and how you can get rid of them in simple steps.
But first, let’s have a basic knowledge of what midges are.
Midges are tiny flies that grow near swampy areas. They are mostly found near ponds or naturally occurring lakes.
These creatures enjoy hovering around food, diving into your drinks, and making buzz sounds around your ears and nose.
Midges love gardens, and gardeners see that all the time, especially during summer, midges come in numbers to make their way into our home.
If you’ve found these creatures around your environment, continue reading to discover what attracts them and how to repel them.
What Brings Midges To Your Garden?
1. Flower Nectar:
A garden is characterized by the colorful flowers it has.
But with flowers come insects, especially midges.
Midges are highly attracted to flowers.
They primarily feed on flower nectar; therefore, you will always find your flower bed surrounded by buzzing midges.
Also, midges are fond of pleasing fragrances.
That is another reason why you will always find midges everywhere around flowers.
2. Plant Juice:
Many plants in your garden breed a juice called fermented plant juice.
It helps the crops absorb all the healthy nutrients before they grow ripe and are harvested.
Like all other insects, midges love high-sugar juices. Male midges love plant juice because of its sugar content.
That’s one prime reason for a lot of midges in your garden.
3. Human Blood:
Midges are attracted to body heat.
Although there are various species of these tiny flies, only the females of some species bite.
They need the protein from blood to reproduce.
To satisfy their needs, they feed on the fresh blood of warm-blooded mammals, including humans, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and pet animals.
Some midges feed in the daytime, others at dusk and into the night.
Although midge bites can be infectious, their bites only lead to allergies, rashes, and itching.
To combat this problem, you can use insect-killing sprays or insect repellents lurking around your garden.
4. Breeding Sites:
Midges lay eggs in massive proportions and need moisture to lay them.
They lay eggs in any body of water, lakes, pools, or even a bowl of water you might keep for your pet cat outside.
These eggs stay in water for a couple of days until they grow into larvae and pupae and emerge as adults.
Midges are, therefore, often found around wet areas.
Any surface that forms a conjunction with water and soil best serves them.
So, one easy way to get rid of midges is to ensure you leave no water pooled around your garden.
Even if you feed your cats, be extra vigilant to empty and remove the water bowls soon after.
Spare tires, tubs, bowls, and other places that store water, can invite midges over, which can lead to a bigger problem.
5. Light Attraction:
This must have brought to your mind all the flashbacks of a bunch of moths/ midges circling outdoor lights.
Some species of midges bite and feed during the day, while others feed at dusk and into the night.
In the dark, light serves as a beacon for many insects.
More precisely, midges have positive phototaxis and are thus attracted to light.
All those outdoor lights placed higher than the ground level would have midges flying around.
The easiest way around this can be to keep the outdoor lights turned off when unnecessary.
However, in the other case round, you can use insect repelling coils or sprays around light spots to keep them away.
How To Keep Midges Away From Your Garden and Prevent Bites
The secret to keeping midges at bay is to avoid those things that bring them in.
But it’s not always easy because you can’t pluck out all the flowers and fruits from your garden to deter midges.
Or should you not visit your garden at all to avoid midges biting?
While that’s not entirely possible, we have outlined some tips to help you keep midges away from your garden.
Practice good hygiene
Midges are also attracted to the smell of body heat and
Keeping yourself neat and cool always will prevent them from coming toward you.
You can also use air conditioners to keep these creatures from gaining access to your buildings.
Always avoid pungent smells and cover your bins to keep your house midge-free. Do not leave food waste in the sink. Ensure your kitchen is well tidied
Use Screens on Your Doors and Windows
This is a superb way to stop midges from making their way into your home.
Ensure that your doors and windows are tightly woven, as midges are fond of flying through tiny holes.
Keeping your doors and windows sealed would prevent them from entering your home while you stay inside.
Set a Midge Trap
Setting up CO2 solutions and traps is an easy and excellent way to keep midges at bay.
Mix apple cedar vinegar with a few drops of washing liquids.
Midges are attracted to this solution’s smell but are trapped when they land on it.
Do not forget to empty and clean the bowl. You can repeat this process until you can no longer find midges within your environment.
Minimize contact with the biting midges
The female midges (biting midges) appear after the first spring rains.
One way to avoid contact with these creatures is to put on clothes that cover your skin while in the garden.
You may also want to limit outdoor activities to when they are the least present.
Additionally, you can also use excellent and safe mosquito repellents.
If you’ve had a midge bite, the following simple steps will help ease the discomfort:
1. Clean the affected area with mild soap and water and dry with a clean towel.
2. To relieve the itch, repeatedly apply a clean washcloth dipped in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
3. To reduce swelling and the itch, ice the area with a cold pack or ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth.
4. Consider taking an over-the-counter antihistamine.
5. Use antiseptic creams if you have bleeding from scratching the bites.
6. See a doctor if the pain or swelling persists after a few days.
Avoid Standing Water
Midges love stagnant water because that is where they lay eggs.
To avoid a midge infestation, empty pet water bowls, paddling pools, and more when not in use.
Midges can appear in your garden because of the flower nectar, plant juice, or light.
But before you jump on to precautions, make sure you know the prime reason for encountering too many midges.
There are plenty of ways to get rid of or control midge in your area; however, the most effective way to keep midges at bay is to avoid those things that bring them in.
Following the tips listed in this post will help you have a ‘midge-free’ garden, and there will be no more irritating bites on your skin.