midges toronto 2018

Toronto's most annoying pests are back

Patio season is here, woohoo! Grab some friends, grab a drink, grab a table in the sun...and then move to a different table where maybe the bugs aren't so bad.

Cover that drink when you move, though, because the bugs are so bad and they're just dying to swim in your soda or beer.

Now, spend the evening whining to friends about how it's not fair that these tiny jerkholes won't stop mating in your hair when it just got warm enough to be outside without a parka on.

Welcome to spring in Ontario, where the closer you are to a body of water, the closer you are to getting flies in your eyes.

Midge season (part 2) peaked in perfect harmony with the first day of truly warm weather in Toronto this year, much to the chagrin of literally anyone who went outside or opened a window last night.

As you likely well know, millions of tiny chironomids come to the city every spring and fall to form hovering insect sex swarms, just a few feet above the ground.

They don't bite, but they do love artificial light, which makes using your phone at night a treat if you want to play love shack to an actual bug orgy.

"The reason we get huge clouds of these midges is that you can get...four thousand larvae in a metre square," said David Sugarman, an Ontario Science Centre scientist, a few years back. "Which means you could get thousands of adults emerging practically at the same time."


Downtown high-rise dwellers, especially those who live by the lake, often complain of giant dead bug clumps on their balconies during and after midge season.

Same goes for establishments with outdoor lights, such as every bar and restaurant patio in Toronto after the sun goes down.

Fortunately, midges don't stick around for very long after having sex. The tiny bugs should be dead and gone within a few weeks, at which point we'll start to see other horrid pests emerge from the Great Lakes to touch our stuff.

Until then, keep your mouth closed when running or cycling near the lake.

Midges don't taste like anything, but it'll be hard to get the image of conjoined, mating bugs out of your head when you know they're in your stomach.

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto to get more winter weather ahead of the holidays than usual this year

Spadina Fort York MP Kevin Vuong responds to controversy amid calls for him to step down

Toronto cops who allegedly assaulted Black TTC rider say he was the one being racist

Toronto to get walloped with a deluge of rain possibly totalling up to 75 mm

Ontario vaccine receipt website not working on first day of new passport system

Doug Ford's daughter just went on another anti-vax rant on social media

A harvest moon lit up Toronto skies this week and the photos are breathtaking

How to download your vaccine passport in Ontario