Biting midges, sometimes known as gnats or 'no-see-ums', are small (1-3 mm) black flies that normally feed on nectar but females need a protein blood feed to produce eggs and cause painful, itchy bites.
In New Zealand there are several species of biting midge in the Ceratopogonidae family. They are small black, 'humped back', flies often seen in swirling swarms in evening sunshine. They should not be confused with the New Zealand non-biting midge of lake fly. Eggs are laid on the surface of water where they sink o the bottom and hatch as larvae, feeding in the mud. The adults will emerge in 2-7 weeks.
Biting midges are rarely a problem indoors but can be an unpleasant nuisance outdoors in gardens. They are more often a problem in wild places when walking or camping.
Good insect repellents can help prevent bites where biting midges or sandflies are present.
The numbers of biting midges around your home can be controlled by:
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