midges toronto 2024

Swarms of annoying midges are taking over Toronto

Spring is in the air in Toronto as warm air descends on the city, patios are filling up, Justin Timberlake memes are circulating and dark clouds of swarming midges are taking over the town for their first biannual mating frenzy of 2024.

People out enjoying the city's waterfront in recent days have likely encountered these undulating black clouds of non-mosquito Nematoceran Diptera.

The midges are currently engaged in their first of two yearly mating seasons, which is a really forgiving way of saying "countless writhing mid-air orgies of tangled wings and legs."

Midges descend on Toronto every spring and fall for this in-air breeding frenzy, concentrated in the densest, nastiest clouds in areas close to Lake Ontario.

While totally harmless to humans and quite beneficial for the ecosystem, locals know all too well about how these wriggling masses of arthropods will find their way into your mouth, nose, hair, food, and basically, anywhere else you'd really rather not have bugs invading.

Like clockwork, the midges arrived right on time for their expected mid-April frenzy, and locals have been taking to social media to comment on the very annoying insects becoming accidental sources of protein for pedestrians and cyclists.

For anyone who can't stand this spring tradition, the good news is that midges don't stick around for long.

Once their mating frenzy ends, these bugs will disperse and die off, though this is often followed by equally disgusting mounds of dead bugs on balconies, porches, and other places you'd rather not have piles of lifeless insects.

If you'd rather keep your outdoor spaces from becoming midge graveyards, experts suggest leaving outdoor lighting off overnight.

Lead photo by

Darcy O'Quinn


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