Midges Overwhelming Lake Mývatn - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Midges Overwhelming Lake Mývatn

Published June 13, 2016

Photos by
Maroesjka Lavigne

The swarming, biting pests after which the lake is named have become so numerous that they have even driven fishers from the area.

Visitors to the picturesque northern Icelandic lake in the summertime will not at all be surprised to learn the midge, after which the lake is named, is present there in great numbers. RÚV reports, however, that midges have now reached numbers that have even become unbearable for Icelanders.

A reporter who visited the area reported spotting “clouds” of midges hanging over the lake while driving on Route 1 just south of Mývatn. The reporter described the sound of driving through a cloud of midges as being akin to “raindrops hitting your windshield, only the drops are little flies.”

A great many of these midges are of the biting variety, necessitating the use of long clothing, hats, and possibly head netting. Even with these measures, area fishers of the nearby Laxá River have all but completely vacated the area.

Warmer temperatures in Iceland, but especially in the north and east, are directly linked to the increased midge population around the lake. If you do travel north, remember that even the biting midges are pretty much harmless, as annoying as they can be.

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