Lake Flies (Black Flies, Midges)

Lake Fly - Devil's Lake State Park

Each spring the shoreline of Devil’s Lake is invaded for 3 to 4 weeks by great clouds of lake flies (Chironimidae), also known as a non-biting midge. No, they don’t bite, but the do get into your clothing, face & hair if you happen to be out walking along the lake. Driving along the South Shore Rd., with an open window, can soon have your car filling with flying midges. The annual life-cycle event is hard to predict, but coincides with early season warm weather each year, usually in April or early May. Considering that the flies only have a couple short weeks to live, it’s hard to begrudge them the use of the lake for such a short time. Almost as soon as they appear, the will die off and become food for the park’s other insects, reptiles and birds. In no time, they will be gone without a trace… until next year!

Did you know? If you look really closely, you can pick out the males from the females by their wide feathery antenna.