Aeration Reduces Aquatic Midge Fly Habitat
Posted on July 9, 2020
Hibbs Grove, a residential housing development located in Cooper City, FL experienced an ongoing outbreak of swarming non-biting midge flies. These swarms prevented them from enjoying their lakefront property. The 6.5 acre lake has an average center depth of 22 feet. Shaped like the capital letter “E”, it is located in the middle of the development.
Midge fly larvae have a unique ability to survive in the presence of very low oxygen. But, most fish and other insects need a lot of oxygen. This means midge larvae are often free of competition for space and food, allowing them to dominate the bottom sediment. Thousands of adult midge flies per square meter of surface area can erupt on a nightly basis for several weeks. These swarms can cause a variety of health, safety and annoyance problems for those who reside in the area.
Plan of Action to Monitor and Control Midge Flies
To combat their swarming midge fly problem, one of our Florida Dealer surveyed the lake and installed a Vertex aeration system. The system increased the lake’s bottom dissolved oxygen levels and create an overall healthier body of water. The Vertex aeration system provided diffused air effectively circulating the entire water column 0.76 times per day.
Midge Fly Survey
- Tests on three sediment samples from the lake each month
- One grab of the sediment from each station within the lake using a bottom dredge
- Larvae counts and the totals for each individual sample
Midge Flies Habitat Eliminated with Aeration
The initial sampling data indicated an extreme infestation of midge larvae averaging 6,794 larvae/ m². This is more than six times the recognized nuisance level. After installation of the aeration system, oxygen levels increased. The accumulated organic bottom muck began to decompose. This eliminated the habitat and food source that the midge larvae depended on. The number of larvae that emerged as adult flies dramatically decreased. The oxygen rich environment brought back the fish and other aquatic insects that eat the midge larvae. Both the increased predation and competition contributed to the decrease in midge fly numbers.
- The midge fly larvae population decreased 90 percent, from 6,794 larvae to just 660 larvae per square meter
- Natural predators, including dragonflies and beetles increased
- Oxygen levels will remain elevated and continue breaking down the bottom muck over time
- Midge predators and competitive species will keep the midge fly population in check.
Get Help for Your Pest Problems Today
Vertex Aquatic Solutions, founded in 1977, is the professionals’ choice for research based scientific consulting services, aeration systems, floating fountains, bubble curtains and biological products to enhance water quality in lakes, ponds, canals, marinas and reservoirs. As respected leaders in the lake management industry the Vertex team of aquatic biologists, limnologists, fisheries scientists and engineers work together to deliver science-based, environmentally sound solutions to complex waterbody issues. Our products and services are delivered through an international network of qualified, experienced waterbody professionals who provide local support, service and pond management expertise to customers.
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