Cochranites have been busy swatting away teeny, tiny bugs for weeks.

It has a lot of us wondering what is going on and what exactly are these bugs?

Aphids, gnats, midges, no-see-ums? 

Ken Fry, Instructor for the School of Life Science & Horticulture at Olds College says it's not unusual to see an influx in these small bugs this time of year.

"This happens every fall regardless of whether it's been a good summer or a bad summer, but more commonly with a wet summer, and we had a reasonably wet summer this year. Aphids, these are small insects, very common, many, many different species and this is the time that they mate."

"So they go on these mating flights number one, and number two is they often will be dispersing from their summer house, so they've been feeding on annuals and low shrubs and things like that, and now they're flying off to what we call their over-wintering house. So that's typically a woody perennial, more commonly known as a tree."

A lot of trail users noticed swarms of small insects by the river on Saturday but the swarms weren't as evident at higher elevations.

Fry says "If you're right by the river that can be a different animal all-together. I've seen a number of horticultural mating swarms and these are non-biting midges. They're related to mosquitoes but they don't blood-feed, they feed on nectar."                

The biggest questions a lot of us are asking right now, is how long will these bugs stick around for?

"They're fairly short-lived these swarms. Just a couple of weeks depending on the temperature. We've had some pretty warm temperatures and so that means they age more rampantly because they're cold blooded and they're very, very dependent on what the external temperature's are. So when it's cooler, consistently cool, they would persist a little bit longer, but a good-hard frost will get rid of them all."

For the moment, Cochranites will have to put up with the bugs while we get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. 

Aphids Bugs stuck on arms, faces & hair