What Will Kill Midges Naturally?
As the name suggests, midges are a type of fly that tends to be a nuisance around homes and gardens. They can be extremely annoying to those that are sensitive and can cause a significant amount of itching when they bite. Fortunately, there are a number of things that will kill midges naturally and help reduce the problem.
The first step to controlling midges is to get rid of their breeding grounds. This means draining standing water and removing any accumulated moisture that may be around the home or garden. It is especially important to do this before and during the winter, when midges are hibernating in the muck that accumulates at the bottom of standing water such as bird-baths, decorative ponds and swimming pools.
This will also reduce the number of midge larvae that are produced and will help prevent the emergence of adult flies. The addition of certain fish species to ponds that are prone to growing large numbers of weeds or algae, can act as a natural control for midge larvae. However, it is important to have a qualified person evaluate the correct species and quantity of fish to add to a particular pond to avoid having an adverse impact on the water quality.
Other methods to control midges include the use of insecticides that target their larvae, such as the insect growth regulator methoprene (Altosid(r)), the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Teknar(r), Vectobac(r)), or the organophosphate temephos (Abate(r)). In addition, some natural predators such as dragonflies and bats are effective at consuming adult midges, so you can attract them by building shelters for these animals and placing vegetation that they like to eat in their vicinity.
Another way to limit the number of midges is to close windows and doors during dusk and dawn, when they are most active. This will prevent them from entering the house and causing itching inside. If possible, curtains should be closed as well. During heavy midge emergence periods, it can be helpful to have porch lights on a timer or to have them tinted with yellow sodium vapor instead of white light to keep midges away from the entrances of the home.
Another method to repel midges is to grow plants that they dislike, such as basil and other members of the mint family, which are easy to find at most nurseries. These plants can be planted near entry points such as windows and they will help to deter midges by smelling the bad smell that the plant emits. This is a great alternative to using synthetic chemicals that can be dangerous to children, pets and the environment. In addition, CO2 traps can be purchased at specialty hardware stores and placed in the yard or around the home to catch and kill midges naturally. This is a good alternative to bait traps, which only work on biting midges and do not target the larvae that feed on plants.