midges toronto

Midges are once again tormenting people in Toronto

Participants of the bi-annual bug orgy everybody hates have descended upon Toronto once again in recent days to breed, multiply and fly into the mouths of unsuspecting cyclists.

That's right, the midges are back — and this time, they mean business (kidding! They don't, I just thought that sounded cool.)

Reports of the tiny chironomids, which form clouds along Toronto's waterfront for a few days every spring and fall — sometimes more than once per season — are circulating on Twitter right now as people go out for exercise only to find themselves swarmed by buggies.

"The clouds of midges swarming Guildwood are really turning the daily walk into a bother," tweeted one Scarborough resident on Friday.

"If my body washes up on the shores of Lake Ontario, please know— It was the midges," wrote another on Saturday.

Gross as their presence may be, the midges may actually encourage some of those who've been flouting social distancing orders to stay at home.

If a deadly virus isn't enough to scare someone into compliance, maybe a deadly virus and the thought of bugs in their hair will.

Some residents have been surprised to see the midge clouds in light of Toronto's recent weather, which has been volatile with several brief but intense periods of snow.

"Is That Snow or Midges? A Toronto Story," joked one local on Twitter last week.

"Apocalyptic April forecast calls for sun, cloud, snow, swarms of midges and a general air of malaise," wrote another. "Same as any other April in Toronto, really."

For those who are just discovering midges right now by way of a bug-covered lakeside balcony or a random insect in your contact lens, don't fret too much: Midge attacks usually only last for a few days at a time.

You can avoid (at least some of) them by leaving the lights outside your house off at night, keeping your windows closed and staying away from waterfront trails — the latter measure of which you should already be taking to comply with the aforementioned emergency orders.

Once their mass mating session is done, the non-biting bugs disperse or die, leaving behind huge piles of midge corpses on windowsills, balconies and the like.

Lead photo by

Darcy O'Quinn


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Employee at IKEA store in Toronto confirmed to have COVID-19

Toronto has had enough with anti-mask protesters as COVID numbers rise

Ontario residents enraged after more than 1K people pack Wasaga Beach for car rally

Free WiFi now available on all GO buses and some trains

Ontario reports 700 new cases of COVID-19 in largest one-day jump to date

Toronto school shut down for a week amid COVID-19 outbreak

The 35 most iconic buildings in Toronto by neighbourhood

These ghost streets in Toronto show parts of the city lost to history