Tiny insects buzzing around the house can be disturbing. Hence, preventing them from coming in at all is essential, and eliminating the existing ones also needs to be considered. Some kinds of these flying nuisances may spread diseases, but some others are quite harmless regarding our health risks. Inside and outside the house, midges—known also as gnats—is one of the most common disturbing flying pests. Biting or non-biting, this flying pest may cause disturbance and hence, needs to be removed wisely.
Midges are quite harmless insects for both humans and other animals. Non-biting midges are often found around the house, and the only know harm they cause is the disturbing buzzing sound which can be a nuisance when these flying insects fly around the eyes and head in swarms. Midges—biting and non-biting—are found not to spread any disease like flies do. Similarly, biting midges—known as sand flies, are also not disease carriers, although they do bite and cause the skin to swell and itch. Some people who are allergic to the bites might find that this bite may cause severe skin problems. Other than that, midges are quite harmless.
Around the house, sand flies reside breed in wet soil and commonly hide between thick bushes, while waiting for their blood meal. However, midges cannot be completely eradicated, since they may travel for miles, seeking for the blood meal. Hence, prevention methods should be considered more than existing-infestation treatments.
How to kill midges
- Midge spray
Midges can be easily killed by spraying insect repellent containing DEET, which is commonly found in mosquito repellent spray. When used indoor, apply the spray moderately, as it may leave a toxic residue which stays for a long period.
- Sticky traps
Sticky traps used for flies are also helpful for killing midges. Put it in the places when midges are foraging indoor to trap and eventually kill them.
- Electric insect killer
An electric insect killer is usually an electrical ultra-violet light with killing grid connected to a high-voltage electricity. This device can be found in local hardware stores and attract, thus kill mosquitos, moths, flies, and midges. Put it in susceptible places, but keep the device away from pets and children.
- Electric zapper
An electric zapper can be a more portable choice for killing midges buzzing around you in the patio, for instance. The working principle is similar to the electric killer, although the devices might have a different level of voltage.
Midge repellent and control
Repelling midges is quite simple, although may not eliminate the swarms completely. There are natural ingredients which can be used to repel the flying pest. These repellents are natural, low cost, and do not leave toxic residue behind. Hence, they are harmless to humans, cattle, and house pets.
- Midge-repelling plants
Some plants are strong-smelled and thus, are not favored by tiny insects, including midges. Growing these plants around the areas susceptible to midges might minimize the possibility of their infestation. Lemon thyme, lavender, catnip, basil, citronella, marigold, and rosemary are some of the plants you might want to consider if you have sand fly infestation around the house.
- Midge-repelling natural spray
Natural sprays created from herbs can also be a healthier and effective midge repellent. To make the spray, you will need:
- 2 tablespoon lemon grass oil
- 5 tablespoon citronella oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 250 ml water
- A sprayer bottle
Fill the spray bottle with water and olive oil and shake well. Add the citronella and lemon grass oil into the mixture and re-shake. This spray can be sprayed directly to the foraging midges or applied to the skin as a topical treatment to repel midges.
- Outdoor midge-repellent
If you need an outdoor midge repellent which can deter the insects while you are having a barbecue outside, you might favor a mason jar midge repellent. You will need:
- A mason jar with lid
- A cotton string
- Liquid citronella
Poke a hole in the Mason jar lid with a hammer and nail. Afterward, put the string into the hole, so that it reaches the Mason jar bottom. Pour in liquid citronella into the jar, put the stringed lid back on, and let it still for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid. Put the jars around the backyard and light them to repel any infesting sand flies.