The Highland Midge

The Highland Midge

This is a section all about the Highland Midge and with the Help of our Friends at Smidge we have the ultimate guide for anyone visiting and dreading this wee Pesky Beastie

For those who have recently arrived in Scotland - as opposed to residents who know these blood-sucking terrors all too well - the midgie (or midge) is a small biting insect that swarms across the Scottish countryside especially the West Coast delivering sharp nips to anyone bold enough to venture into their territory on a warm day

Midges begin to emerge during May. These are typically the non-biting boys. When the biting females arrive in early June the season truly kicks off and the season normally last till the end of SeptemberThe Midge is a distant relative of the mosquito but whereas its larger cousin will take your blood in one easy transaction midges like to come back for more and will cluster around you on a hot day bothering you with dozens of tiny irritating bitesThere are five species of midges in Scotland who bite humans. In the Highlands almost all midge attacks on humans are carried out by a species of midge called Culicoides Impunctatus - the Highland MidgeHighland midges are are very small with a wingspan of about 1.4 mm. They have characteristic dark flecks on the wings. Not that you will see the flecks as you will be busy seeing them off or at least trying to either that or you'll be heading for cover fast

You’ll be an all-you-can-eat buffet for their miniature scissor-like jaws if you foolishly venture out in ‘midge weather’ without insect repellent

But fear not the Scots are as inventive as they are hardy. After years of scientific research Dr Alison Blackwell one of the world’s leading midge experts has found the answer and put it in a bottleSmidge is the UK’s No. 1 midge repellent. It also works on mosquitoes so what you don’t use up the mountains you can throw in your suitcaseLuckily it is only the female midge that bites. They emerge with enough fat reserves to mature their first batch of eggs but need a blood meal to give subsequent batches enough nutrients to grow. The Males suck on plant nectar and are no trouble at all. Don't worry you will only be aware of the Females

You’ll hear people in Scotland talking about ‘Midgey weather’. Midges thrive on still humid conditions. They certainly don't like the breezy weatherThe Highland Midge is most active in low-light conditions i.e dawn and dusk or when cloud cover significantly reduces the intensity of the sunlightMidges tend to feed for about 3-4 minutes and you’re unlikely to feel a thing. Until afterwardsIf you are bitten the best thing to relieve midge bites is anti-histamine cream.  And if you can bear it try not to scratch

Here is a Great Wee Chart for information and the No1 product to keep the pesky blighters away….Click to see the Product Range

At the Smidge Website you have all the information at hand for everything you need to know about the Wee MidgeThey give great info and probably all the info you needYou can buy their tried and tested products to help protect you from the Worst a Midge can bite at youAnd on the Smidge site they even have a daily forecast but this one won't tell you how the weather is doing but it will tell you to expect  a Midge or 2 million

And to end our Post here is a great Video from the BBC which includes the great Alison Blackwell