Chironomidae are benthic organisms (larvae and pupae) living in muddy sediments of slow-flowing and standing waters. They are part of the benthos and are the main food for fish. They contribute to self-purification of water bodies.
The larvae of Chironomidae live in benthic mud and are capable of living at depths of up to 300 meters. The larvae feed on detritus. They are harmless to humans. The larvae are used as food for fish.