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

Glimpses of the Past

From lots at Trout Lake going on sale in 1893 to Williamson Lake Park going under the auspices of the City of Revelstoke in 1998

Avalanche control this morning in Rogers Pass

The Trans-Canada Highway will be closed in both directions between 10 a.m.… Continue reading

Startup Revelstoke to launch during Technology Summit

Startup Revelstoke aims to transform regional economy from resource-based to technology and design

Thirteen athletes to represent Revelstoke at BC Winter Games

Will compete in alpine skiing, nordic skiing and judo

Revelstoke based startup to bring RFID technology to 360 degree cameras

Sniper Action Photo operates 30 photo installations in Canada, the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean

VIDEO: How are avalanches triggered?

Transportation BC explains tools they use to set off remote slides

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Albas disappointed by Alberta ban of B.C. wine

MP has worked to remove barriers to the sale of wine and other alcohol products between provinces

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double murder of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

Foster parents needed in Shuswap

Current foster parents retiring, moving on, leaving a gap

Sports coach makes “great strides” in counselling

Peace bond settles charges of assault causing bodily harm in Princeton BC

Most Read