Midges – Some Things We’ve Learned

It may not feel like it but spring is here which means the midges won’t be far behind…

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Hiding behind the impressive and long Latin name Cuculiodes Impunctatus is a tiny but extremely annoying insect. The midge. Punching way above its weight (.5 microgram) and wingspan (1.4mm) when it comes to biting power, these pesky bugs have been out in droves nibbling on us while we’ve been out in droves enjoying a desperately awaited decent summer. Here are some interesting facts that you may – or may not – want to know about them.

Only female midges bite. They need to extract protein from our blood to help develop their eggs. Some species of midge can lay their first batch of eggs without feeding, but need blood to lay any further batches.

 

While mosquitoes pierce the skin with mouthparts that resemble a syringe which can suck up blood. By contrast, midges’ mouthparts work like a pair of scissors. Their saliva stops the blood in the wound from clotting. They then roll their mouth into a feeding tube and suck up the pool of blood that forms.

Researchers estimate that up to 40,000 midges can land on an unprotected person in an hour.

Midges are attracted to dark colours to rest on so wearing white or light-coloured clothing may help fend them off. Is that an acceptable reason for wearing white lycra we ask ourselves?! Head nets are also an option – but remember, they have to be designed for midges; the holes in mosquito netting are too big and allow midges through.

 

Midges are attracted to their victims by carbon dioxide emissions – bad news for those of us huffing and puffing about on the hills. They can detect it in your breath from up to 200m away. Even the tiniest of changes can be detected. Body heat and other body smells can also make you more or less attractive.

 

Prevention – Use MBOX Mosquito Trap

How do QM mosquito traps attract and kill midges? Midges are as same as mosquitoes that are first attracted to a trap by smell. They can smell CO2 around 100 feet from a trap and start to fly towards the source. Next Octenol and Lactic Acid start to be perceived around 50 feet. As the insect continues toward the source, the color, lights and apparent movement in some mosquito traps add more attractants. Mosquitoes can only see about 30 feet.

Finally, as they get within around 3 feet, the mosquitoes are further attracted by the heat and moisture from the CO2 release (if present). They are sucked into the trap by a fan into a container. These are mosquito killer machines from which they cannot escape.

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Why is QM mosquito trap better than the other? The shape, size, color and height of the mosquito machine can make a huge difference. So does the amount of CO2, octenol and/or lactic acid released. Some frequencies of lights work better than others. The way the fans are designed to draw them in makes a big difference. Finally, placement of the devices is very important. A good trap in the wrong location will not be effective. MBOX uses a new and highly effective method to catch mosquitoes. First we have to understand that only female mosquitoes need blood (protein) in order to lay eggs. Female mosquitoes track their victim through CO2 up to a range of 50meters, combined with the sense of smell of H2O, female mosquitoes are very effective in tracking their victim.

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