What Are the Tiny Blue Fuzzy Insects Swarming Missoula?
These annoying little blue buggers will not hesitate to fly up your nose, get stuck in your hair, and gleefully enter your mouth when you're enjoying a snack outdoors. There were so many swarming the Griz game over the weekend, at one point I was convinced I had lice. Then I thought I'd finally snapped because I could feel them, but not see them. And although we experience them most Septembers in Missoula, we forget about them from year to year, much like our winter driving.
These bothersome "flies" are actually blue ash aphids. If you're moving fast enough, say, on a Segway, bike, or skateboard, you don't really notice them until they're stuck in your teeth, or if you're really lucky, your eye or nostril. But if you're just standing around chatting, they're pretty annoying. Here's the thing though, these aphids are actually around most of the year, but really only swarm for a few days in September when their wings appear, along with the autumn season. And what are they doing out there in packs like gangs out to get you? They're mating. I bet a couple of aphid lovers have flown into your mouth. Awesome.
Aphids are specific to their host tree and aren't harmful if ingested. They'll be gone soon enough, hang in there.