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What Are those Cleveland Bugs?


What Are those Cleveland Bugs?

Midges on a Cleveland Car

(© Andreas Tille/cc license) What Are those Cleveland Bugs?

Yankees Battling the Midges in 2007

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Question: What Are those Cleveland Bugs?

Answer: Each spring and fall, Cleveland's lakefront communities are invaded by small, harmless, mosquito-like insects called midges. They only stay about five-ten days, but the swarms can be startling to visitors and newcomers.

The small, 1/8 to 1/2" long insects are properly called chironomus plumorsus and commonly, but erroneously, called Canadian soldiers. They spawn in the lake when Lake Erie warms to around 60 degrees and then again in the fall when the lake cools. They have a life span of around five to ten days.

Midges are beneficial as they provide food for a variety of freshwater fish and other aquatic creatures. The little insects also helped the Cleveland Indians to win the 2007 ALCS series when a swarm unnerved Yankees pitcher, Joba Chamberlin.

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