Do midges bite?
That is a commonly asked question. The answer is clear-cut but does require a bit of detailing to paint an overall picture.
Yes, midges do bite.
However, not all midges do. There are ‘biting’ and ‘non-biting’ midges. ‘Biting midges’ belong to the Ceratopogonidae family, while non-biting midges are of the Chironomidae family. These are close relatives with similar taxonomies but carry different appearances and reproductive habits.
WHY DO MIDGES BITE?
Like mosquitoes, only the female Culicoides biting midge bites, not out of want but out of necessity. She needs blood to fuel her reproductive chain, to bring forth other pestiferous baby Culicoides.
However, since not all midges bite or require blood, what do they eat? Carbohydrate is a necessary source, which sees them foraging for nectar and other sugary treats. Although modest, research revealed that mature Culicoides mississippiensis fed on the fructose of flowering yaupon holly plants back in 1995.
Do midges bite? Of course, they do. That leads to another important question: Who do Midges Bite?
WHO DO MIDGES BITE?
Biting midges have a variety of host preference. This depends on the Culicoides species. Some biting midges are aviphilic or bird-loving, while others are mammal-feeding. Within these generalized classifications, some Culicoides will lean toward a more specific group.
Culicoides impunctatus, for example, may prefer to forage on cattle, sheep, and deer for its bloodmeal. In some cases, biting midges may also prefer snacking on different parts of a mammal.
Culicoides will also steal a bloodmeal (or two) from humans. Watch out! Their bites pack a punch!
Biting midges larvae forage on algae at the boundary or outer surface of mud during the nights, but burrows deeper into the mud during daytime period to avoid being eaten by birds.
HOW TO STOP MIDGES FROM BITING?
Different conditions and locations will dictate how midge bites are prevented. A person strolling along the beach during peak biting sessions does not need to worry about screening their windows and doors with meshes. An effective personal midge repellent applied at intervals may suffice at keeping biting midges at bay, in most cases.
For more information on biting midge prevention, please consider exploring more information on midge control.
HELP MIDGE EDUCATION REACH A WIDER AUDIENCE
Culicoides is the most prevalent and distributed genus of the Ceratopogonidae family. They are everywhere, with exception to the polar regions, and are a concern for animals and humans. Some people show a mild reaction to them, while others are more extreme and may need to visit the hospital. We want to spread the word about midges, both biting and non-biting. With your help and support, we hope to reach a wider audience and educate people, by distributing information about the behavior, life cycle, habitat, and prevention interventions on how to get rid of biting midges.
To support our mission, we ask that you share our blog with those you think would benefit from this information. Like you, many people around the world struggle with biting midges. To date, over 40,000 searches are made using the term “biting midges” each month. That is a colossal number, although it in no way reflects the entire affected populace that needs help.Please take a moment to share this article on ‘Do Midges Bite?’ to your favorite social platform of choice.