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How to get rid of biting midges

Updated March 23, 2017

When you want to get outside and enjoy a summer's evening, you could find you yourself in the midst of biting midges. Midges are small, two-winged flies that often bite skin. The only way to completely rid yourself of them is to stay in a concealed area, but there are also some ways that can help you get rid of biting midges when you are outside. Biting midges are generally not associated with the spread of disease, but their biting can be painful and can leave marks that become irritated and itchy for days after, so you want to do your best to get rid of them.

Put on clothing layers that will cover exposed skin, such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, socks and a hat. You can double up on layers, but if it's hot, you may only be able to bear one layer of clothing.

Put strong insect repellent containing DEET on your protective clothing layers and on the brim of your hat. DEET is a common ingredient used in insect repellent, but it can be toxic if put on exposed skin that is irritated or cut. Do not put the strong repellent directly on skin. If you have exposed areas of skin, such as your hands, ankles or neck, use an insect repellent that is strong, but does not contain DEET.

Get into shelter whenever possible. You can close the netting in a tent or get into a car if either is available during your time outside. If biting midges become too unbearable, try to avoid areas and times of year that are particularly known for infestation.

Install fly screens on your home doors and windows to prevent midges from entering your home when your doors and windows are open in the summer. Do your best to keep the screens closed.

Burn bug-repellent candles if you are sitting in an exposed area outside of your home. You will still want to cover up your skin with clothing layers and repellent, but burning a candle will help to keep fewer midges from surrounding the area where you are.

Things You'll Need

  • Covering clothing layers
  • Insect repellent with DEET
  • Door and window screens
  • Midge-repelling candles
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About the Author

Kim Fuller has been writing food and lifestyle features since 2007. She now lives in Vail, Colo., after spending one year traveling Europe. Fuller is a regular contributor to Gaiam Life, an online fitness and wellness publication. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado in Boulder.