Heads up there’s a prediction of a second ‘bumper’ midge hatching this year. I was eaten a few weeks ago and wasn’t that far north/west. I use ‘Smidge’ as my chemical of choice and highly recommend it. More details here;
Indeed Picaridin-based products are much friendlier to gear than DEET. In the states I use Sawyer brand. Also worth investigating is Thermacell, which I’ve used outdoors in Maine (where there is an audible hum from the mosquito population) for years. Of course, in a breezy/windy situation the ‘protection zone’ will be dissipated, but often the buggers don’t find you when it’s windy anyway.
Yeah with the midge when there’s a breeze they drop to the ground, as soon as it eases they rise again. The very devil of a thing.
2 people “liked” your report of a bumper midge season!
Masochists! I’ve packed the repellent and the headnet (and the bite cream for the inevitable midge that gets through my defences).
No flame-thrower ? Wimp!
Ooh, super, the second wave will be timed nicely for my trip to Mull.
I was on Skye yesterday activating GM/SI-020 and the midges were what drove me off the top. It rained on the way up for about three quarters of an hour then the sun came out and I had an hour and a half playing radio on the top. So I can’t really complain and the views were spectacular all around, it made the it worth the effort. I found it a tough ascent and very steep. I had hoped to go across the saddle to GM/SI-023 but didn’t have the legs for that and the steep descent. The breeze suddenly disappeared completely and it was time for a sharp exit !
Found on the website listed below.
“Several studies have estimated that for every 2 square metres of ground there will be half a million eggs, so across the known areas where Scotland’s midges have been found there could be up to 181 Trillion of them.”
Out And Abut Scotland
Good luck avoiding them
Further down it does suggest that the East coast is relatively free of midges. Although does that suggest the density in the west is much greater than the average.
Yup that’s about right
I only did so because I’ve currently no time to get up there. Besides, when I go up I will be taking my own secret weapon. Snow!
I have found a Scottish Midge Forecast here The Scottish Midge Forecast - Smidge which is worth checking.
We had a few buzzing about our garden last night. We’re eastern side of the Cairngorms. Highly unusual.
Scottish activation 1: midges 0
Plenty of normal (non-biting) flies, which might have been linked to the carpet of sheep dung I had to clear before I could sit down!
Thanks for the useful link Jimmy, I’ll remember that.
I had a few clegs bothering me on the ascents of GM/WS-178 and GM/SI-020 at the weekend. Their technique was to fly round to the downwind side of me and fly in aiming for my elbow on that side in the lee of the breeze.
Once I figured it out I could deal with them a bit better.
When it comes to Midges in Scotland, I hope for the best and prepare for the worst…
- Smidge and other repellants only go so far, worth using but it won’t solve the problem.
- Avon So-Soft helps prevent them from biting. No one is really sure why, but it does work. It doesn’t repel them as such (they will still fly around you and land on you) but for whatever reason they won’t bite. Make sure you don’t let it get cold overnight, as it separates into a solid and liquid and becomes unusable.
- Camp where you know there will be a breeze. Midges can’t fly in even a light breeze. I tend to stay close to the coast, as a breeze is more likely.
- Get a midge net for you head and carry lightweight/cool clothing so you can coverup even if it is warm. Not all netting is small enough for midges, even if mosquito rated. I use this model from Lifesystems. I like that the wide-brim hat that keeps the mesh from off your face, stopping it feeling claustrophobic. The hat is also good for keeping the sun off too.
- I’ve heard that buring citronella oil is also worthwhile, but I’ve had mixed results.
- Accept the fact that you are going to get bitten. I react to the bites, so I carry Anthisan to treat them.
Avon have changed the formula for the skin so soft and is now not as effective.
To be honest I never liked Skin so soft. It seemed to work by leaving an oily film on your body. I used it once when fishing and when my fly hit the water an oil slick seemed to appear around my fly. Obviously no fish caught. Smidge works for me but as someone else said there are times when only a headnet will do. I understand in some of the mosquito prevalent areas you can buy the full midge suit.