Updated: May 19, 2023

Midges are tiny flying insects that belong to the family of Chironomidae. These insects are commonly found in freshwater environments, and they are an essential part of the ecosystem, serving as a food source for fish and other aquatic animals. However, midges can be quite annoying to humans, especially when they swarm in large numbers.

If you’ve ever been near a lake or river during the summer months, chances are you’ve encountered midges. But have you ever wondered where these insects live and hide when they’re not buzzing around your head? In this article, we’ll explore the different habitats and hiding places of midges.

Freshwater Habitats

As mentioned earlier, midges are primarily found in freshwater habitats such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. These insects lay their eggs in the water, and the larvae live and feed on organic matter at the bottom of the water body. The pupae stage is also spent in the water before emerging as adults.

The type of freshwater habitat where midges prefer to live depends on the species. For example, some species prefer slow-moving water with a lot of vegetation, while others thrive in fast-flowing rivers. Some species can even tolerate polluted water.


Midges love vegetation, particularly tall grasses and reeds that grow near the water’s edge. These plants provide a perfect spot for midges to rest and hide from predators such as birds and dragonflies. They also offer shelter from harsh weather conditions such as wind and rain.

In addition to resting on vegetation, midges also feed on the sugary nectar produced by some plants. This is especially true for female midges, who require extra energy to lay their eggs.


Some species of midges prefer to live in damp soil or mud near freshwater habitats. They burrow into the soil or mud to lay their eggs, and the larvae feed on organic matter in the soil. These midges are often found near the water’s edge, where the soil is moist and rich in nutrients.

Artificial Structures

Midges are also known to inhabit artificial structures such as bridges, dams, and buildings near freshwater habitats. These structures provide a sheltered spot for midges to rest and hide from predators. They also offer an ideal breeding ground for some species of midges, particularly those that can tolerate polluted water.

Weather Conditions

Midges tend to be more active during certain weather conditions. They prefer warm and humid weather, especially during the summer months. They’re also more active during dawn and dusk when the temperature is cooler.

Midges are also attracted to light, which is why you’ll often find them swarming around streetlights and other sources of light at night. This behavior is known as positive phototaxis.


In summary, midges are tiny flying insects that primarily inhabit freshwater habitats such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. They also love vegetation, damp soil, and artificial structures near water bodies. Midges tend to be more active during warm and humid weather conditions and are attracted to light sources at night.

While midges can be annoying to humans when they swarm in large numbers, they play an important role in the ecosystem as a food source for fish and other aquatic animals. Understanding where midges live and hide can help you avoid them or take steps to control their population if necessary.