Biting midges in Florida are nothing new. What makes midges attracted to you?
Much like their mosquito counterparts, biting Florida midges are very attracted to the carbon monoxide we emit with every breath. Florida is a very favorable environment for midges to live and breed, and live and breed. Rinse, repeat. And while biting midges can find you by detecting carbon monoxide from more than two football fields away, that’s not the only reason they’re attracted to you!
Biting Florida Midges Prefer Certain Colors and More
Not only are midges attracted to dark colors, but they are also attracted to moving targets. Little insect assassins they are. Their call to arms? Detection of carbon monoxide and then zeroing in on black, navy, and other dark colors of clothing. Midges liken humans walking around outdoors in dark clothing to their animal kingdom prey, such as deer and livestock.
As with mosquitoes, midges are attracted to dark moving objects. By wearing dark colors you run the risk of looking like their preferred prey of deer, cattle and horses and run a greater risk of becoming their target. When outdoors, bright colors and white are therefore definitely the best choice. Unexpectedly, a study recently carried out by Hungarian and Swedish researchers suggests that maybe striped shirts are an even better way to go. They found that the coat of a zebra (black and white) attracted even fewer flying insects than all-white coats, while brown coats attracted the most. Stripes act as a sort of camouflage by making it more difficult to single out organisms from their surroundings. The thinner the stripes are the better. Did anyone say “seersucker?”
In Addition To Midge Control Sprays, How Else Can I Become Less Attractive to Midges?
- Cover Up: Wear light colored breathable clothing when it’s hot outside.
- Wear A Hat or Head Net: Midges are especially attracted to our head area, often focusing on our nostrils, ears, eyelids, cranium, or neck.
- Avoid Wet Areas: Midges love moisture, doing most of their breeding and subsequent feeding in terrain that’s boggy, marshy, or near a still water source.
- Avoid Still Days: When it comes to weather, your best bet is to wait until there’s a bit of wind or strong sunshine, both of which can help to limit midge swarms.
- Take Cover at Dusk and Dawn: Midges do their hunting all day long, but usually ramp up feeding in the hour or so after sunrise and around sunset.
- Avoid Secluded Areas: Like sinister bad guys in dark alleys, midges tend to favor secluded, shaded spots.
- Stop Smelling So Good: Deodorants, perfume, aftershave, and fabric softeners are just a few scented items that alert midges to your presence and put you at the top of their feasting menu.
How Should I Treat Midge Bites?
Despite taking every precaution possible, you may still incur midge bites – especially when you inadvertently find yourself surrounded by a swarm of them. If your midge bites are itchy or cause swelling, apply hydrocortisone or antihistamine cream around the bite area. If these don’t help, you can also use an oral antihistamine such as Benadryl to ease the itching. If you’d prefer a more natural remedy, some treatments that might do the trick include ammonia, tea tree oil, calamine lotion, and aloe vera. Whatever you do, avoid scratching the bite, as this can spread the bacteria causing the infection and will increase the release of histamine in the wound, which only makes them even itchier.
Biting Midges in Florida Can Be Controlled and Eliminated
Midge protection measures can only take us so far. We can’t always wear light colors. We can’t go outdoors and stand still. We can’t always avoid shade. Nor can we make our beautiful Florida weather less attractive to biting midges. So, you ask, what can we do? Call Mosquito Squad of Northeast Florida for proven effective midge control.
With periodic midge control sprays from Mosquito Squad, you can help put an end to this midge madness. In addition, if you plan on hosting an outdoor gathering around dusk or dawn, our Midge Control Special Event Spray is where the smart money is.
Give your guests the comfort and peace of mind that they won’t be on the party menu being pestered by annoying midges.
If your midge control problem is a serious one and a frequent occurrence, our automatic misting system will allow you to set it and forget it. Our midge control system automatically delivers a 30-second mist 2 to 4 times a day. That mist takes down midges, plus other annoying bugs such as mosquitoes, flies and ticks. Our midge treatment system is as inconspicuous as it is effective. Strategically placed nozzles are connected by unobtrusive tubing to a central reservoir. An automatic timer controls the mist, but you can override it to mist or not mist whenever you choose to. It’s a win/win for consistent midge control.
Call on Mosquito Squad of Northeast Florida for effective midge control. Get in touch with us at (904) 844-0816.