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Al Mobidoon

Biting Midges Blood Sucking Pests

What are Biting Midges?

Ceratopogonidae, or biting midges, are a family of small flies (1–4 mm long) in the order Diptera. They are also known as no-see-ums, midges, sand flies, punkies, and sandflies. They are closely related to the Chironomidae, Simuliidae (or black flies), and Thaumaleidae.Biting midges constitute a major world-wide pest problem and are listed among the most annoying insects to humans. Generally only the females have biting mouthparts and it is the female midge that requires a blood meal to provide protein to develop her eggs. The males do not bite, and survive by feeding on pollens and plant juices. Biting midges are attracted to human habitation and rest on screens, fences and vegetation while waiting to take a blood meal. As the biting midge is small and easily blown about by prevailing winds, they prefer dull still days with high humidity when seeking a meal.

Preventive measures

Take these steps to make your green areas less inviting to gnats (Biting Midges):

  • Keep your garden free of mold, fungus, and rotting plant debris. Pay particular attention to shady areas with poor air circulation. Put your compost pile as far from premises as you can, cover your trash cans, and keep fallen debris cleaned up.
  • Amend your garden soil to improve drainage.Occasionally rake or turn your mulch to allow sodden, moldy layers to dry out.
  • Avoid overwatering, and allow enough time between watering for the top layer of soil to dry out.
  • Water in the morning to avoid overnight fungal growth.
  • Make sure you have no standing water in gutters, drainage areas, or low spots.
  • If your garden still has naturally damp areas, you can top dress the soil with an inch (or less) of sand, to discourage gnats looking for moist soil.
  • Use sodium light bulbs in outdoor areas to reduce attraction at night.


Citronella, vanilla, pine oil, are commonly used to repel gnats. You can also use fans on your porch to keep the air moving and discourage hovering swarms. There are also a number of repellent sprays, lanterns, and granules on the market that claim to repel gnats with varying degrees of effectiveness or toxicity.

Chemical controls:

Foggers, sprays, and insecticides designed for flying insects will work with gnats, although they’re not particularly effective in preventing future infestations. Prevention is more effective, and less toxic, than chemical controls.