Vicious Midges in Scottish Highlands?

Old Feb 14th, 2001, 01:23 PM
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Vicious Midges in Scottish Highlands?

We are planning to spend about a week in the Northwestern Highlands area in Scotland (Gairloch and Isle of Skye areas) in July. I have been reading about tiny but blood-thirsty biting Midges that are said to be abundant in there during the Summer months, especially at dawn and dusk. (From the way they have been described, they sound like the "no-see-ems" in Florida).

Anyone have any experience or advice on how to minimize problems? What's the best repellant?

Old Feb 14th, 2001, 01:53 PM
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Wearing clothes deters the little sods!

There are huge numbers of repellents on the market. Autan does fine; but [email protected] swears by Jungle Formula.

Yo are going to an area affected at the time of year they are coming into their own. But they're not in the same league as no-see-ums. Irritating(very b***** irritating)but not life or health threatening
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Midges are little insects about the size of a mosquito, only they don't bite, and pose no health hazard that I know of. The exist essentially all over the world, including Anarctica, and anyplace there is water and mud. We have encountered them basically everywhere in the US, the Loire Valley, the Po Valley, Florence, etc.
They hatch out of the mud, spend a little time in the water working their way to the surface, where they sprout wings and swarm around in the air during morning and late afternoon, mating. The female then drops her eggs on the water surface, the adults all die, and the eggs sink to the bottom and start all over again. Fini!
Apparantly they exist to provide food to other creatures. You can stand in the middle of the swarm (if you want), they probably won't even land on you, and as I said, they don't bite or sting.
No-see-ums are completely different. See how much you learn on this travel board?
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 04:25 PM
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Er, Ranger, it's a different species (Culicoides impunctatus) from the non-biting midges found all over. There are numerous incarnations of irritating midges, including a girl I knew... never mind.

The Scottish ones do too bite, and, for Sheila, a midge v. no-see-ums contest would be a close thing in terms of irritation. I think the nod goes to the no-see-ums, which I believe fly at supersonic speed and use a kamikaze approach to skin penetration.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 03:11 AM
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The most irritating Scottish midge is Midge Ure.
Jungle formula has the same active ingredient as most major brands (para-toluimide I think) but is 15-20 times more concentrated.
In a confined area (eg tent) smouldering pyretherum coils work very well.A slight wind will keep them off, very fine netting is effective, at dusk go to the shore for the breeze.
They don't bite you in your bed like mosquitos.I've only once seen people being bitten indoors (bar of the Bridge of Orchy hotel, very unusual.)
Some people aren't much affected by them, some suffer badly.
I have "sweet blood" : they go for me, my skin comes up in lumps.For me, Autan only slows them down slightly, Jungle formula stops them but is fierce stuff - keep well away from lips & eyes - coils are reliable for camping but leave you smelling smoky in the morning.

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