Midge swarms take over city bike paths - Metro US

Midge swarms take over city bike paths

Small mosquito-like insect seeks same. Interests include snacking on detritus, clogging the teeth of cyclists and mating en masse in public places.

The warm weather has coaxed more than humans out of their winter lairs. The city has been inundated by hordes of non-biting midges, which are actually copulating mid-air.

“The swarming that you are seeing is actually a reproductive swarm,” said Sabrina Hall, an entomologist with the Royal Botanical Gardens.

“I try to keep my mouth closed,” said Yvonne Bambrick, executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union.

“Once you notice the bugs are out you tend to try and breathe through your nose a bit more.”

She suggested keeping your head down, glasses on and even wearing a bandana over your mouth if you’re looking to avoid an unwanted mouthful of protein. Adult midges, part of the chironomidae family, live for only a few weeks, so the mating dance is understandably frantic.

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