The sight of a swarm of insects around a body of water is enough to make anyone pause. After all, mosquitos are known for giving irritating bites that carry the risk of transmitting disease. While you could easily encounter a mosquito at lakes and ponds, there are other flying insects that are attracted to water. Midges are popular in many aquatic areas, and knowing the difference between them and mosquitos helps you know how to react when you see bugs flying around your favorite place to fish or play golf.
What Does a Midge Look Like?
When someone asks what is the difference between midges and mosquitos, they are usually asking what a midge looks like. Midges are two-winged insects that look a lot like mosquitos unless you get close enough to get a good look at their bodies. Upon close inspection, a midge’s wings lack scales. They also sit up straight by putting their thorax down on the surface of grass and other resting areas.
Do Midges Bite?
Some species of midges do bite. Similar to mosquitos, their bites can cause allergic reactions that include itchiness and redness of the skin. These bites can sometimes get infected if you scratch them and accidentally introduce bacteria to the wound. Midges that bite can transmit diseases that are more likely to affect cattle such as African horse sickness.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between the Two?
There are several other distinct differences between mosquitos and midges. A mosquito’s wings are longer than their body and have scales that look like fine fringe. Mosquitos tend to fly faster than midges, and you are less likely to see them form a visible swarm. Midges play a role in the environment by helping to break down organic matter. Mosquitos serve as more of a nuisance and potential danger. While they do serve as food for some animals, they can also transmit dangerous diseases to humans such as malaria and yellow fever.
What Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Midges and Mosquitos?
Midges and mosquitos breed in bodies of water, and the best way to lower their populations is to disturb their breeding process. Fountains and other water features can help to keep the lake or pond from becoming stagnant and creating a safer place for insects to breed. Lake management companies in Florida can use special treatments to eliminate the larva of mosquitos and midges. Bat boxes and other methods used to attract natural predators to areas that mosquitos and midges inhabit are another option for helping to keep them under control. Many aquatic property owners prefer using multiple methods for the best results.
Whether they bite or not, flying insects are unsightly and annoying. Even the sight of them could deter people from enjoying lakes and ponds at golf courses and other outdoor venues. While it might be impossible to completely eliminate midges and mosquitos from aquatic areas, lake prevention and maintenance methods are effective for keeping outdoor recreational spaces free from unwanted pests.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.