Biting midge are small, biting flies (1-2mm long) that are difficult to see. They breed in natural coastal habitats with peak breeding season between spring and autumn. Biting midge larvae can be found breeding in the mud/wet soils in tidal zones. Biting midges contribute to biodiversity and are a food source for many aquatic organisms.
Redland City is home to five main species of coastal biting midge. These are C. marmoratus, C. longior, C. molestus s.s., C. ornatus, C. molestus #5. While they are a concern for the community, biting midges do not currently transmit any known diseases to humans in Australia.
While Council is aware that biting midge is a nuisance to residents, the chemicals required to treat biting midge are not approved for use in natural environments in the Moreton Bay Marine Park where biting midge breed. If these chemicals were used, insects and other creatures important to our ecosystem, would be harmed.
Council has a Marine Parks Permit from the State Government, Department of Environment and Science (DES), which permits the use of only two types of chemicals within the Moreton Bay Marine Park area. These chemicals are (S) Methoprene and Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI) and while both of these chemical are harmful to mosquitoes they do not impact any other insects or organisms, including biting midge.
Managing biting midge
Residents are encouraged to take steps to protect themselves and their homes from biting midge, particularly during peak breeding season where elevated numbers may be experienced.
If biting midge are a problem in your area, protect yourself by:
- avoiding outdoors during dawn and dusk, where possible
- use insect repellents
- wear clothing that is long, loose-fitting and light in colour
Around the home, residents can manage biting midge by:
- treating normal flyscreens with UV stable insecticide surface spray
- maintain fine-mesh flyscreens on windows and doors of your house
- use insect spray, mosquito coils or plug-in insecticide burners
- increase air flow inside your dwelling by using fans or other air circulation devices
- keep vegetation surrounding the house to a minimum to reduce insect-harbouring areas and increase air flow around the house.
For additional information on managing biting midge please view the Biting Midge Information Sheet – Medical Entomology Summary [PDF, 0.5MB].
While Council is currently unable to treat for biting midge or larvae with chemical sprays, we do partner with industry research bodies such as the Mosquito Arbovirus Research Committee and other Local Governments across South East Queensland to keep up to date with the latest research, initiatives and industry practices.
For more information on biting midge please view Council’s video below or contact us on 07 3829 8999.