The midges are coming

First of the 2021 midges
First of the 2021 midges(Pete Marek)
Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 9:18 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The first few have already sprung from Lake Erie.

Downtown Cleveland resident Pete Marek spotted this one on his window.

The first of the 2021 midges
The first of the 2021 midges(Pete Marek)

Members of 19 News’ staff have seen them dotting the windows of the studios.

Midges typically arrive in droves by the final week of May, or very early in June.

There are always a few, however, that come out a bit earlier.

Those who have lived along the shores of Lake Erie long enough will tell you that the ones we’re seeing right now are just the first few to emerge.

While they can be an alarming sight, midges are harmless to humans.

Their emergence is an indicator of a healthy Lake Erie.

They come out en masse when lake temperatures reach the low 60s, and they fade away about two weeks after they swarm.

In just a few short weeks, there will be so many of them that they may even show up on the radar.

[Swarms of midges on Cleveland’s lakeshore are so dense they’re showing up on weather radar]

Given our recent stretch of cooler-than-average weather, conditions won’t be favorable for a large swarm until late May, or even early June.

So, how does one spot a midge?

They have a skinny, partially clear body with four long legs, and two long antennae that may look fuzzy.

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