The Outer Banks is a beautiful place to enjoy a vacation, but anytime you find yourself near the ocean, you’re inevitably stepping into ecosystems where an impressive number of insects thrive as well. In the Outer Banks, midges are one of the most common insects noticed by locals and visitors. They are vitally important to the landscape—being food for fish, spiders, and birds alike—and tend to increase the local spider population. The following is an Outer Banks guide to keep in mind when it comes to managing midges in the Outer Banks.

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Outer Banks Guide to Understanding Midges

While the name might imply a single type of insect, midges are actually made up of hundreds of species—all of which are small, winged, and tend to travel in swarms. There are both biting and non-biting varieties of midges. Like mosquitos, female biting midges will feed on mammals of all types to aid in egg production, leaving behind a red, scratchy bite mark. Unlike mosquitos, midges don’t come with the threat of transferring any type of illness or disease.

No, midges aren’t dangerous, but can be annoying if you don’t know what they are or how to manage them, especially when seen in swarms. Midges are very attracted to bright lights as well as carbon dioxide and body heat given off by mammals.

Tips and Tricks for Decreasing Midge Annoyance During Your Getaway

Midges make up an important part of the beautiful Outer Banks ecosystem travelers know and love. While their disappearance would be devastating to the terrain, there are a few things visitors can do to reduce their annoyance factor. Start by spraying yourself down with some quality bug repellent whenever you have plans to be outdoors. Additionally, make sure to plan outside excursions for the afternoon as midges are most prevalent late at night and in the early morning hours. Avoid turning lights on indoors in the early morning and late evening hours to prevent attracting midges, but if you must, pulling the shades tightly is going to help keep them at bay. Keep exterior pool, porch, and deck lights off as well when not needed or in use. If midges enter your vacation home, don’t swat at them, as that simply smears them on the walls making an ugly mess. Typically, they like high ceilings and will die and drop to the ground within 24 hours and can be easily vacuumed up.

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The Outer Banks is a great place to experience year-round. No matter when your travel plans bring you this way, the team at Shoreline OBX has a rental to fit your every need. Reach out today to learn more!