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What’s a Walkers Nightmare? The Dreaded Scottish Midge!

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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.

Midge Facts:

  • 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:

Biting Midges  Severe Reaction To Midge Bites 2
Midge bites on leg Severe reaction to midge bites

 

See the Midge Protection Range

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Written by Carolyn
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