Midges on our sites

We’re aware that customers who live close to some of our sites may see swarming midges (known as chironomids) in or around their properties.

Are these midges a health hazard?

  • Although the swarming of these insects, sometimes in considerable density, can be a nuisance, they are NOT harmful or hazardous to health.
  • These midges have no mouth parts and are unable to bite or sting.
  • They do not spread disease.

Why can’t Thames Water get rid of them?

  • It is illegal to apply insecticide where there is a risk it could drift into other properties.
  • Even if we were allowed to use insecticides, it would be impossible to completely eradicate the midges as they occur naturally near areas of open water.
  • Midges are an essential part of the food chain, being vital food for birds and other wildlife on and around our sites, so eliminating them entirely could have a serious impact on wildlife.

What are midges?

  • Midges are flying insects that vary in size depending on the type of species.
  • There are many different species that emerge at different times of the year mainly between March and October.
  • The adult stage lasts for only about one week during which time they swarm as part of the mating process.

Feel free to contact us regarding midges, this will help us identify the areas worst affected.