Biting Midge

Our remedy for biting midge control

There are several species of midges in our geographic area. Not all of them are biting midges. For information about swarms of midges, check out our Midge Pest Library page.

The biting midge has similar piercing mouthparts as the mosquito. Our mosquito prevention service works great for other outdoor biting pests as well. Stay protected against tiny biting flies, like the biting midge, while spending time outdoors. Insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or oil of Eucalyptus Lemon are highly recommended.

How to Identify a Biting Midge


Biting midges are very tiny flies with distinct patterned wings, ranging from 1-3 mm in size. They have piercing, spiny mouth parts that will lacerate skin and cause irritation. Biting midges appear gray or reddish brown when filled with blood.

Other Facts

The biting midge is known to be a biting pest that can spread diseases and harm humans, livestock, pets, and wildlife.

  • Also called “no-see-ums” and “punkies”
  • Their bites can cause mosquito bite-like reactions or small red marks on the skin
  • Tend to bite at certain times of the day, when the sun is going down
  • Insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are highly recommended to protect yourself from getting bitten by one of these biting pests since they are public health risks
  • In backyards and on farms, control methods similar to an application for mosquito control may take place to protect yourself, your pets and where applicable, livestock from potential disease threats.

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Biting Midge FAQs in Northfield, IL

What Do Biting Midges Look Like?

A biting midge is an incredibly common type of fly belonging to the Ceratopogonidae family. It can be found all across the country, especially in the Midwest. As a mature adult, it is very tiny, typically less than 1/8″ long, or roughly the same length as the thickness of two quarters stacked on top of each other. Biting midges have a non-segmented thorax and mouth parts designed to pierce skin. They are often referred to as “no-see-ums.”

What’s the Life Cycle of the Biting Midge?

The biting midge’s life cycle consists of four different stages:

  • Egg – The female biting midge lays eggs on the surface of a body of water, falling to the bottom. Each egg sac contains thousands of biting midges. It can take up to a week for the eggs to hatch.
  • Larva – Once the eggs hatch, they bury themselves underground and eat the organic matter for nutrients. The larval stage can last up to a year, depending on the climate.
  • Pupa – The pupa stage allows the larva to develop the characteristics of the adult biting midge. This process is usually completed in two to three days.
  • Adult – Adult biting midges emerge in the spring or early summer.

What Do Biting Midges Eat?

Male biting midges feed on nectar from flowers. Female biting midges require blood meals for egg production. Their mouthparts are adept at penetrating the skin of humans, cows, horses, dogs, and other types of mammals.

What Do Biting Midge Bites Look Like?

Biting midge bites often appear as small, red, itchy bumps on the skin. They are typically present wherever the skin has been exposed to the outside elements. Those who have been bitten may feel a variety of sensations around the site, including irritation, pain, and itchiness. Individuals allergic to the bites may experience a more severe reaction.

Do Biting Midges Carry Diseases?

Biting midges are more an annoyance than a threat. They have not been known to transmit diseases to humans. However, they are capable of transmitting diseases to certain livestock. If you live on a farm, biting midge pest control is essential for maintaining the health of your animals.

Are There Any Health Concerns About a Bite From a Biting Midge?

Some people with a low pain tolerance or those who are allergic to biting midge bites may experience more severe symptoms. If that’s the case, seeking the necessary medical treatment for your bites is essential.

How Can I Protect Myself Against Biting Midges?

The simplest way to prevent biting midges from ruining your outdoor summer fun is through prevention. Here are ways you can protect yourself and your family from biting midges:

  • Eliminate Breeding Areas – Biting midges lay their eggs in water. So, removing any standing water around your home can help control the population.
  • Turn Off Lights – Biting midges are attracted to light sources. Make sure to turn off your lights during dusk and dawn.
  • Cover Up – Biting midges aren’t strong enough to pierce through clothing to reach the skin. Covering up can help prevent bites.
  • Bug Spray – Use EPA-approved insect repellent on your body and over your clothes. Products with DEET, Picaridin and oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are all approved and effective active ingredients.
  • Call a Professional – Rose Pest Solutions has experience treating biding midges, and we’re confident we can help you, too.

Are There Any Ways to Treat for Biting Midges?

Yes. Professional mosquito services are quite effective on biting midges. You can contact our skilled professionals for biting midge prevention.

When Are Biting Midges Most Active?

Biting midges are most active during dusk and dawn, making them incredibly irritating when trying to enjoy dinner outdoors. However, in the right conditions, including calm and warm overcast days, they may be active throughout the entire day. Protecting yourself from biting midges on days when they are most active is essential to prevent irritation.

Not Your Insect?

Here are some of the other biting insects found in the Midwest.

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