Lake Flies in the Area

In the past week, the Lake Mendota area experienced an especially heavy hatching of lake flies. You may have noticed them around buildings and sometimes inside our buildings. Lake flies are harmless to humans. They do not sting, bite or carry diseases. They are a nuisance that unfortunately is impossible to avoid when living close to a lake. Lake flies hatch some time in May depending on weather conditions, and this year, we are in the first week of a major hatch that could be present for 2 or 3 more weeks. Weather, particularly wind, will play an important role in how heavy the swarm will be in any particular area. Lake flies are very weak fliers, so wind direction and wind intensity are critical factors when they emerge that determine where you will see them.

Lakes flies will find their way into buildings through any opening available, often following residents into a building while the door is open. There are a few things you can do to help minimize the number of lake flies in your building:

  • When entering your apartment, please be quick, leaving the door open a minimum amount of time.
  • Keep your lights off if you aren’t in your room. Lake flies are attracted to bright lights.
  • When in your room, minimize the use of bright lights when you can.
  • Essential oils are considered natural repellents that may help (set near windows is most effective).

There is no way to completely avoid lake flies inside our buildings, but we can reduce the amount that will enter. If you are experiencing any extreme issues with lake flies, or any other maintenance issues, submit a maintenance request.