midges toronto

Toronto again under attack by swarms of tiny insects

Toronto is once again under siege by swarms of insects looking to mate before they perish later this fall. Those who live near that water will find the clouds of these chironomids (a.k.a. midges) particularly thick and bothersome, though they can also be found in other areas.

The city typically experiences two of these midge attacks a year, though the number can be as high as four. So far, the concentration hasn't been as bad as last year, but it's also earlier that they've been spotted.

There was a huge collection of these suckers buzzing around in the early morning sunlight outside my window this morning, which is about four kilometres north of the lakeshore. People living in lake-facing condos have it much worse, as they've unwittingly bought front row seats to this massive mating ritual.

The tiny insects don't bite like mosquitos, but based on their small size, they tend to be able to infiltrate areas other bugs are kept out of. And because they fly in such close proximity to one another, leaving a window or door open for even a few minutes can result in your light fixtures being covered by the creatures.

The appearance of the midges is typically short-lived but it would appear it's on the upswing right now and will get worse before it gets better. Your best bet to avoid inviting them into your apartment/condo is to leave a light source on the balcony, which will draw them there rather than inside.

Oh, and failing that, make sure to keep your mouth shut.

Have you encountered the midges yet? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by D O'Quinn photo in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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