Scottish midges

Midges - what are these wee beasties?

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 small midge

Where do you get Midges?


You can get them out walking or cycling, anywhere it's a bit damp and not in strong sunlight or too cold. Midgies can be quite fussy! But you can also get them in towns, or even at home. It's unusual to get them on a boat out sailing, midges don't travel over water.

People complain about getting eaten alive when hanging the washing out, and the same happens when watering plants, and a lawn sprinkler is deadly. High hedges give them shade, and keeping the grass short helps to keep them down, though you can get bit when cutting the grass as they come out of hiding. Try not to panic if you get midges about, and stay calm. They seem to sense your fear, and when you have your hands full so you can't fight them off. Perhaps in a panic we emit some pheromone they like, so stay cool. For just sitting outdoors we have citronella, lavender and bog myrtle Midge candles which are quite effective.

Tourists often leave the windows open in their B&B or self-catering cottage with the light on, and this is a mistake! Light attracts midges, so the tourists find walls, ceiling and themselves covered in midges - and bites. In a lot of B&Bs cleaners leave the window open to air the room, so before putting the light on remember to shut it. Midges don't like to fly higher than around 7 feet, so upstairs rooms get less, but still get midgies. For fun in a midgy area you can put a light in the window (with the windows shut!), and sit back and watch midges crawl all over the window trying to get in. They can't get you :-)

Many people think biting midges are a Scottish thing, but you get them anywhere that has peat or boggy ground, all over the UK. You get midges in Scandinavian countries, in the US, and probably all over the world, in parts of Canada (called the noseeum) they can be worse than here. We heard they were introduced into Scotland as larvae on the greatcoat of a lumberjack returning to Scotland after the Clearances. There seems to be nothing about these beasties in old books, so maybe it's true. Midges are supposed not to travel far from their breeding grounds and to be territorial, except to dine out on us. Even far from wet boggy ground though you can get bitten to bits, right in the middle of towns. Foreigners say people in England are always talking about the weather. In Scotland we're always talking about midges. Hmmm.

Midges are here - I need repellent!

If you want more facts, there's:
back to main page about midges
back to when do you get midges
what can you do about midges
what to do if you have a midge bite

 what a nasty bug

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