Monday July 21, 2014
Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to the Scottish midge. Midges are little blood-sucking insects that can cause very itchy red marks and bumps to the skin. Keen walkers will know that the midge can cause a dampener on an otherwise idyllic holiday.
- The tiny Highland midge, Culicoides Impuctatus, is found most in the north and west of Scotland
- Midges are common between the months of May – early September
- They are tiny at only about one millimetre long
- Only the females bite as they need a meal of blood to feed their eggs
- Midges can detect carbon dioxide from your breath
- When a midge has bitten it releases a chemical signal that attracts other midges!
- Midges are known as meanbh-chuileag in Gaelic, meaning “tiny fly”
How to Avoid Midges?
- Walking in the early mornings or late evenings is not a good idea, as this is when the midges are most active.
- Midges like shaded, cool, still and damp conditions – so stopping near a lake or going into a wooded area is best avoided where possible. Where there is a breeze you will be safest
- Always take a spray midge repellent with you on walks.
- Wear light-coloured clothing as midges are more attracted to dark clothing.
- The less skin that is exposed the better, so try to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers.
- If planning to stop for long periods of time or to go fishing, a midge jacket with integrated hood is your best bet for full protection.
- At night don’t leave doors or windows open with the lights on - this is a mistake that you will only make once!
- Midge head nets offer great protection, can be worn with or without a hat and can be adjusted easily using the toggles for a close fit.
If you are lucky enough to be not so tasty to midges, we still wouldn’t chance leaving without a gentle Saltidin repellent and bug bite relief! Who knows, this year you could be back on their menu!....Or else you could end up with a leg covered in bites like this:
|Midge bites on leg||Severe reaction to midge bites|