Lake Erie has warmed up, and it's time for the annual midge-fest in Cleveland!
The midges are back in Cleveland and If you walk outside today, chances are you will see and maybe even feel them on you.
The month of June has begun and it marks a special holiday in the Cleveland calendar: Midge-hatching season.
You heard it right: The tiny, flying mosquito-like insects are back in Northeast Ohio, as they are destined to do every year around this time, and they are as irritating as ever.
The flying bugs which scale up to half an inch long will be swarming neighborhoods and be flying straight into the mouths of residents. Locals know for a fact that once Lake Erie has warmed up to 60 or more degrees, midges will rule nearby cities for the next 5-10 days.
They are already traveling in swarms large enough to show up on weather radars in Cleveland.
However, the midges are not in the least harmful to human beings and do not lust after human blood, but walking into a storm can definitely mean getting some of them in your hair and mouth. Fortunately, most of them are gone within 10 days - the typical lifespan of these bugs.
Looking at the upside, a healthy population of midges means plenty of food for the animals that depend on insects for food. Plus, they do not carry any diseases.
Few facts regarding midges were shared with Cleveland 19 by the assistant director of science, curator, and head of Invertebrate Zoology for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Dr. Gavin Svenson.
1. Midges are small flies related to mosquitoes and crane flies.
2. They spend most of their lives as worm-like larvae on the bottom of [Lake Erie].
3. Adults are thought to not feed, but evidence suggests that they will eat nectar and pollen to extend their lives.
4. They live as adults for a short time and gather in large swarms to find a mate and reproduce.
The swarm looked rather paranormal in motion when captured on the weather radar, showed JD Rudd from WEWS-TV.
Okay, NE Ohio... I need your help! This isn't rain. It's gotta be something biological... birds, bugs. I'm thinking midges! What are you seeing?! pic.twitter.com/jbrlDc3Sl3— ⚡JD Rudd - News5 ☈ (@jdrudd) June 4, 2018
The midges hit Progressive Field the hardest, owing to their proclivity towards bright lights.
Jason Nicholas, the chief meteorologist at Cleveland 19 News, tweeted out an image of the massive swarm over Cleveland:
Midges. Are. Back. pic.twitter.com/solrUiZwgD— Jason Nicholas (@JasonNweather) June 4, 2018
Dan DeRoos, a reporter with Cleveland 19 shared an image of a huge swarm of midges hovering over the city.
The bugs flew into the mouth of Homa Bash, a reporter with WEWS News in Cleveland, while she was attempting to record a segment.
tried really hard to keep my mouth shut during today’s live shots so I didn’t have to eat any more midges than necessary. pic.twitter.com/Fyg9q13uby— Homa Bash (@HomaBashWEWS) June 5, 2018
A meteorologist at WKYC TV, Michael Estime, tweeted that his station was tracking the midges:
We're tracking a SWARM of MIDGES on RADAR! Yikes! pic.twitter.com/IB7E0lATR7— Michael Estime (@MichaelEstimeWX) June 4, 2018
Back in 2007, the ALDS series between the Indians and the Yankees saw Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain calling upon coaches and trainers to the mound to help him deal with the pests.
However, Fausto Carmona, the Indians pitcher, was unperturbed by the midge storm over his head. He would go on to strike out Alex Rodriguez later in the top of the 9th to win Game 2 of the series. That year, the Indians went on to win the series.