Biting midges

Biting midges (or sand flies) are a common nuisance along certain coastal areas of south east Queensland. They are most active between September and April particularly in suburbs close to mangroves and intertidal zones (including canals, rivers, and estuaries). Biting midges are not known to spread disease.



Midges are difficult to control due to their habitat and life-cycle. Unlike mosquito management, there is no available chemical treatment for the larvae as insecticides are not to be used on or adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas such as tidal or mangrove ecosystems. Therefore council is unable to undertake insecticide treatments in these locations but will provide information on preventative measures for residents to protect themselves when experiencing nuisance levels when outside.  

A short-term insecticide application for adult midges around your house can be effective but needs repeated applications. Chemical treatments should only be carried out by a licensed Pest Management Technician.

Tips to protect from biting midges

  • Use repellent containing DEET when outside. Always read the label and follow safety directions.

  • Wear long sleeve shirts and trousers. Light colours are best.

  • Limit time outside at dusk and dawn.

  • Increase light and air movement around dark and damp areas. Do this both inside and outside the home. Midge activity greatly reduces in wind speeds over 6-8 km/hour.

  • Spray screens with residual products. Always read the label and follow safety directions.

  • Closely mow lawns and keep vegetation sparse around your house.

  • Remove water sources around the house. This includes containers, pot plants or items holding water.