Updated: May 28, 2023

Midges are small flying insects that are commonly found in wet and humid environments. They are often mistaken for mosquitoes due to their similar appearance, but midges are smaller and have a shorter lifespan. Despite their size, midges can be a nuisance to humans and animals alike. So, do midges attack, bite or sting? Let’s find out.

What are Midges?

Midges belong to the family of flies known as Chironomidae. They are also known as non-biting midges or lake flies because they do not feed on blood like mosquitoes. Midges are typically 1-3mm in length and have long, thin legs and wings that resemble those of a mosquito. They can be found near water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and rivers because their larvae live in aquatic environments.

Do Midges Attack Humans?

Midges do not attack humans. They are harmless insects that fly around in swarms. Some species of midges are attracted to light and can be seen hovering around streetlights at night. These insects are a nuisance because they can fly into your face or get caught in your hair. However, they do not pose any threat to humans.

Do Midges Bite?

Midges do not bite humans either. As mentioned earlier, midges do not feed on blood like mosquitoes. Instead, they feed on nectar and other sweet substances found in plants. However, some species of midges have been known to bite animals such as livestock and pets. These bites are not harmful but can cause irritation and discomfort.

Do Midges Sting?

Midges do not sting humans either. Unlike bees and wasps, midges do not have a stinger or venom sacs. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction to midge bites, which can cause redness, swelling, and itching. This is more common in people who are allergic to insect bites and stings.

How to Protect Yourself from Midges

Although midges do not pose a threat to humans, they can be a nuisance, especially when they are present in large numbers. Here are some ways to protect yourself from midges:

  1. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when you are in an area with midges.
  2. Use insect repellent that contains DEET or other approved ingredients to repel midges.
  3. Avoid being outside during peak midge activity times, which are usually early morning and evening.
  4. Install screens on windows and doors to prevent midges from entering your home.
  5. Use a fan to create a breeze, which can help keep midges away.


In conclusion, midges are harmless insects that do not attack, bite, or sting humans. Although they can be a nuisance, they do not pose any threat to our health. If you are in an area with midges, take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from their annoyance. Wear protective clothing, use insect repellent, and avoid being outside during peak activity times. By following these tips, you can enjoy the outdoors without being bothered by these tiny flying insects.