Large swarms of flies appear near Lake Michigan

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 13:19:47-04

Some people call them mayflies, lake flies or just large flies.  But they are really just known as midges.

From late spring into early summer, midges emerge from Lake Michigan and swarm around ready to reproduce and seek strong mates.

"The female will look for stronger males in that swarm and then they will couple so that it's not only for reproductive purposes but it's for strengthening the species," said Don Quintenz of Schiltz Audubon Nature Center.

As the water temperature of Lake Michigan becomes warmer, it triggers midges that have been in the lake for up to six months to come out and reproduce.  

The midges are often found near healthy water sources and have natural predators like fish and birds.

"Often when you see swallows coming kinda back and forth through the air in one little area of the sky there is a very high level swarm of insects up there," said Quintenz.

Although these large flies swarm and appear by the thousand they are harmless. So the next time you see these large bugs it's best not to kill them because they don't live long and can not bite.