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Aquatic Midges aka Blind Mosquitos Larvae and Adults
7 Jun 2018
Although an annual occurrence, some members of the community have noticed the larvae and adult phases of “blind mosquitos” aka aquatic midges. To answer some questions about these insects, HAWL has found these facts:
- Blind mosquitos are one of the most common organisms in both natural and artificial water systems, including residential and recreational lakes. They are a part of lakefront living. This is confirmed after consulting with our lake management contractor.
- These insects, in all phases, do not bite, suck blood or carry diseases.Adults can become annoying when they hatch in large numbers during the summertime. The “hatch” can run over some time rather than being synchronized in one event. The adults do not feed during their adult existence and consequently only live for 3 to 5 days. The entire life cycle can be completed in 2 weeks.
- Methods to control populations are primarily aimed at much smaller water bodies like wastewater, sewage, settling, and rainwater retention ponds. Use of algaecides or insect growth regulators are not feasible on our lake.
- Insect eating fish such as bluegill or red ear sunfish can aid in control of both larvae and adult blind mosquitos. These fish have been stocked in very large numbers several times over the past 18 months.
- Another method to control the blind mosquito population is to reduce the nutrient load in the lake. This method is contradictory to the lake management plan that is in place and working. We have added fertilizer to the lake on a regular basis to improve the water quality in our lake. It promotes algae blooms that act to both reduce light to noxious lake plants and establish the beginning of the food chain for a healthier fish population. Exceptional water quality is the goal.
- For homeowners who are interested in possible blind mosquito control on their property, there are few options:
- Use of insecticides against adults should be expected to achieve only temporary control during heavy emergence periods because treated areas are rapidly repopulated by blind mosquitos flying in from outside the treatment zone. Be sure to apply these materials so water sources are not contaminated.
- Place a light trap on their property. A “light trap” can be used in an unoccupied corner of the yard to attract blind mosquitos away from the home. This can be accomplished using any bright light. The best way to trap the blind mosquitos is to shine the light on a lightly colored wall or surface, such as a white fence. Keeping window blinds closed and porch lights off should help reduce the number of adults attracted to residences.
- “Bug Zappers” will attract and kill large numbers of blind mosquitos. It is doubtful that a single zapper could kill a sufficient number of blind mosquitos to appreciably reduce nuisance populations.
- There are products online that purport to control blind mosquitos, but there is no evidence that they are any more effective than the previous three items.
- As stated in the June 2018 Echoes “Fishing Corner”, the Lake Quality Committee has sampled our lake water monthly for the past 30 years to ensure that our lake is not “polluted”. The sampling has been done to determine if water exceeded Mississippi standards for recreational waters. Sampling shows that these standards are not exceeded except during heavy rain events which may cause the sample at the inlet to exceed limit. The excess usually dissipates after a day or so. The lake is not and has never been polluted.
Hide-A-Way Lake Club, Inc. * 601-798-1484 * Fax 601-798-0604
P.O. Box 1011 * Picayune, MS 39466