Midges, Muckleheads, or Muffleheads
It doesn’t matter what they are called, these mosquito look-alikes are an annoyance when lakeshore communities are swarmed by these harmless, non-biting insects. Midges are attracted to lights in the evening and cling to screens and windows. They are hatched from the lake when the water warms up in the spring and again when the lake cools down in the fall. The midges live for only five to ten days. Midges do have a positive purpose, however, as they provide food for fish and other aquatic animals.
Mayfly is the common name for delicate insects that emerge in large numbers from lakes, streams, and rivers, and are attracted to bright lights. They are between one-half and one inch in length and have a two- or three-pronged tail. As a flying adult, they cannot feed, but form male and female swarms that mate over water. After mating, the males die; the females live a few more hours, and deposit eggs in water to start the next generation. Mayflies are an important food source for trout, and fly fishing lures are often designed in their image.