Resident says midges have decreased

MIDGET FREE CUPPA: Janet Profit sits outside having a cuppa, the first time in months, now there are fewer midgets.

Janet Profit had been battling a midge problem on her property for 11 years.

Now, the Bromley resident says she feels “fan-bloody-tastic” to be midge-free.

Mrs Profit told Pegasus Post in February midges were plaguing her Shortland St section near the Bromley wastewater treatment plant’s oxidation ponds.

It was common for her dog to come in covered in midges and she couldn’t eat outside without getting a mouthful of them.

She said she had been going back and forth with the city council for more than a
decade to try and fix the problem, but nothing had worked until now.

“When we had those 29, 30 and 32 deg C days, we thought, here we go . . . there not next door, because I’ve checked with the neighbour and she leaves the light on at night time.”

“The thing is, they’ve actually disappeared.”

City council three waters and waste operations manager Adam Twose told the Coastal-Burwood Community Board at a meeting last week, midge numbers had decreased by 36 per cent around the Bromley oxidation ponds compared to the midge season last year.

Mrs Profit said although this was hard to believe, she had seen these results first-hand in the last few months since summer.

She said this was “fan-bloody-tastic. If that’s working, keep going.”

“Where they’ve gone, I wouldn’t know.”

The reduction was a result of the city council changing the technique used to kill midges around the oxidation ponds.

Mr Twose said midge dredging, which involved mechanically dragging chains across the pond floor where the midge lay their larvae, had been much more effective than the strategy used the season before, trying to kill midges using chemicals.

He said dredging meant midges were killed before they were born.

Mrs Profit said she was happy for now, but would have to wait until summer to see if midges would return to her property.

“Maybe now it is working, but the thing is, how long is it going to work for?”

Although there was work still be done before midges were completely wiped out, Mr Twose said signs were positive for the next midge season.

“I am confident we will see a better improvement next year,” said Mr Twose.

The city council has budgeted $300,000 a year between 2018 and 2028 to go towards midge control around its wastewater oxidation ponds.