Swarms of small black flies have been filling the air and bugging people in the Shuswap.-image credit: Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

Masses of midges and aphids are causing a stir

A swarm of little black bugs are buzzing around the B.C. Interior this year

It’s all about sex and feasting!

The swarms of small flies flitting about annoyingly are most likely midges if they’re black and in swarms, or aphids otherwise.

Former provincial entomologist and operator of his own company IPM2Go, Hugh Phillip says fall is when the flies are ensuring future generations.

“There are so many of them at this time of year,” he says, pointing out the swarms are likely comprised of male and female midges, who have just emerged from local streams. “When the mating is over, they head for creeks or ponds, lay their eggs on the surface of the water and once they’ve laid their eggs, they die.”

It’s also the time of year for the winged aphids to mate, following which females lay their eggs on woody ornamentals, Phillip says.

He says a lot of native species are cyclical and this might be a very good year for the harmless but pesky flies.

And the bounty has another upside for some species.

“It’s good food for bats and birds and orb spiders, who build those typical webs between branches, as well as other spiders that are building on hedges and cedars,” Phillip says, noting with wonder only an entomologist would display that he found a perfect funnel spider web in his backyard shed. “There are lots of baby spiders and this will help them make it through the winter.”

For those who who do not share a love of bugs, the first hard frost is likely to usher them out.

Just Posted

From darkroom to jewellery studio

Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre welcomes new space for artists

What’s on for Welcome Week

Series of events are designed to welcome newcomers to Revelstoke

‘We want to find ways for people to thrive,’ says life coach

New free talk during Welcome Week will offer strategies to feel at home in Revelstoke

Last Stand explores plight of Mountain Caribou

Film runs away from easy answers, says associate producer

Revelstoke silversmith receives thank-you letter from 24 Sussex Drive

Arleigh Garratt’s snowflake earrings were gifted to Sophie Grégoire Trudeau during July visit

Video: Shuswap stars shine for Larch Hills

Competitors dance to the tune of $30,000 for the chalet expansion

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read