Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Fly/Moth?


Hello, I've been seeing this guy repeatedly (one or two a day) in our basement (Germany), usually on the wall/ceiling. I never see two together. We've never had them before and I keep thinking there must be an infestation somewhere.

It's approx 3mm long and 1mm wide and doesn't seem able to fly despite wings.

Any help appreciated!

Thanks in advance.


Thank you for including the image with your question.

I am not at all familiar with European insects, but the creature in your image is clearly a female non-biting midge (a kind of fly) in the family Chironomidae.

They typically have an aquatic existence as larvae, so unless your basement is flooded, I'm not sure why they would show up there.  Here's a website related to North American species that might be at least somewhat helpful:


Indeed, this is a very diverse family of flies, so it is difficult to generalize.  They pose no health risk, don't damage property, and are at most a nuisance.

I would suggest installing a dehumidifier in the basement, or otherwise drying out that part of the house as thoroughly as possible. Midges do not do well in arid situations.

Hope that helps!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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