The midget; may play a role in Schmallenberg virus
The midget is an insect that spreads the disease bluetongue, among other things. However, the mosquito relative is now also associated with the Schmallenberg virus. The midge is said to play a role in this disease that causes disease and malformation in unborn animals of various livestock. What does a knut look like and what does it do?
What is a midge?
A midget is a very small biting fly. The animal does not measure more than a maximum of 4 millimeters, but is often only 1 millimeter in size. Anyone who has been stung by a midge will get an enormous swelling in that place. Then it starts to burn and itch. Anyone who is hypersensitive to the bite of the midget or the bite of any mosquito can get a red thick spot where he has been stung. This then changes into a bladder that is filled with fluid.
How does a midget multiply?
The midget reproduces in two ways. Mating takes place in swarms, but also one on one. When the female is fertilized, she will first look for blood, because that is where she gets her food. If she then has enough energy, the eggs are deposited in the water. This can be all kinds of water, from streams, rivers and ditches to ordinary water in a flower pot or in another cavity. They also like mud very much to nest in. The eggs are dropped into the water by the females or they are deposited on plants or floating algae. Not long after, after 3 to 11 days, the larvae hatch from the egg. Then follows a period as a larva, which lasts 7 months. The midget also survives the winter as a larva. Then comes the phase that they turn into a doll. In that case, they hang on the water surface for 2 to 5 days and then just like mosquitoes take breath by drawing in air. Once they are a full-fledged midget and can fly, the reproductive process just starts all over again.
Knut: not only negative but also positive
The midge transmits diseases, that is a fact. But they also transfer pollen and thus ensure that humans and animals have food.
Why does a mosquito bite?
If the midge females have to lay eggs, they really start looking for blood. By the way, mosquitoes do that too. And it is precisely because they sting, and therefore always sting in different animals and people, that they transmit diseases. These are then caused by:
- Parasitic worms
- Viruses (including Bluetongue and possibly the Schmallenberg virus).
When is the greatest chance of a knuten bite?
Midges don’t like the sun and prefer to stay in the shade. In that shadow and at the end of the day when there is almost no wind (because they don’t like that too much) they like to aim their pillars at people and animals and constantly attack them and then sting. Covering the body properly can help, as can keep moving. An ordinary screen does not keep them out because they are so small that they can pass through. Only very fine mosquito netting is the way to keep them out.
Combating the midges is very difficult
Really fighting the midge without harming the environment is actually not possible. It is only possible with poison, but that in turn has effects for the rest of nature. Wet nature zones, as they are increasingly becoming mandatory, will ensure that more and more tinkering. They make it easier for mosquitoes to reproduce. The fear is therefore that pests may develop in such wet areas. Anyone who has midges in their environment or home is best advised to call in an expert pest controller. They can be recognized by the NVPB logo.