The midge invasion has begun along Lake Erie

CLEVELAND - They're back. Our favorite spring-time pest, the midge, has returned.

You know it's early May when you start seeing people along the lakeshore swatting in front of their faces and trying not to swallow one of the thousands of midges that hatch this time of the year.

They are a little late this season, primarily because of a cooler than average April. But now, they're here to stay, at least for a few weeks. Usually, midges will stay within a few miles of the lakeshore, and shouldn't migrate much farther south. They mate in swarms, and can appear to resemble smoke from a distance.

Midges are annoying, but harmless. They shouldn't be confused with Canadian soldiers and mayflies. Those are different.

Midges have very short life spans. Usually adults only live a few days. Their main mission is to mate and reproduce.

There are thousands of types of midge species and midges even live in Antarctica. Along the Lake Erie shoreline, we have around 10 species. Midges will be around for a few weeks, leave for the summer, and then return in the fall.

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