Midges in Scotland are one of the first things many tourists mention when on holiday in Scotland. These little beasties can have many people waving their arms in the air or running for safety indoors.
But what do we know about the Scottish Midge
There are 35 species of midges in Scotland and not all of them bite, in fact only 5 species will actually bite you. The highland midge is the little culprit that gets many of us running around in circles and it will bite you to take blood to enable them to lay eggs and this is why it is actually only the female Midge that bites.
The midge will actually only come out during the day if there is cloud cover because they are actually sensitive to light, this is the reason why you will generally see them under the shade of a tree, they hate windy conditions and very dry weather and prefer cooler and damp areas, you will find them mostly in woods and forests but can be found almost anywhere. They are in abundance only during the Scottish summer months and you are most likely to find them early morning or late in the afternoon so try and avoid these times for your picnics.
What Can I Do To Avoid Midges
The midges seem to prefer dark clothing rather than light colours, If you do have to go among the midges try and cover your exposed skin or wear a midge head net, you can also purchase many repellents to protect yourself from Midges, a good tip is to use Skin So Soft by Avon this has been recommended to me by many people and actually works.
One thing we have to remember about the Midge is that it plays a major part in Scotland’s ecosystem and provides food for many animals including birds and bats. So please remember these little beasties are a valuable part of Scotland and have been around for hundreds of years, without this little creature Scotland could be a much lesser place to visit, and what would Scotland be without its little friend, you tell me?
My Top 5 Tips To Avoid Midges
- Keep walking; midges tend to hover in one place in the shade
- Sit in the sunlight and avoid shaded areas
- Stay in the breeze Midges like still air
- Wear Avon skin so soft (secret weapon worn by many workers in Scotland)
- Avoid early morning and late afternoon outdoors
Our first time in Scotland and in some places, Glennfinnan view point for example, the midges had a true feast on our pour unexpected bodies 🙂 I imagine them like little warriors, battlecry included. I don’t mind the little buggers but thanks for the tips because my husband is not amused 🙂
If one gets these midges into the car, just turn on the heater (never mind you sweating) and they’ll soon die off. You can then open the windows again once you are driving. Sorted!
A more comfortable option which also works is to crank up the air conditioning. They don’t like the cold either.
For what it’s worth, my wife and I drove the North Coast 500 in early October, 2016. Surprisingly we had a whole week of glorious weather and didn’t see a single midge. We did, however, see some mind-blowing scenery and meet some lovely, friendly people. It was an absolutely superb holiday and has whetted our appetite to go back and visit some of the islands off the west coast.
Dave Staines says
During an extended holidayin Skye and the islands of the outer Hebrides we were only bothered by midges in Skye..We were camping with tent and camper van and had a truly memorable holiday.You will love the Hebrides so go and enjoy
Robert Gregory says
My wife and I also drove the North Coast 500 in early October 2016. We, too, had glorious weather for the whole trip and not a sign of a midge. It was a great holiday- but spoiled our subsequent Irish Wild Atlantic Way trip last year (which was nowhere near as impressive).
well October is outside midge season. They’re all gone by end September
caroline boucher says
just back from skye mid june im bitten to bits used verbena which worked last year but there were millions of them you would need a coplete plastic siut to avoid them they ge eerwhere when the numbers are high
Andy Mitch says
1. Best to camp on a windward shore, or second best, a glen parallel to the wind, so you have a breeze most of the time.
2 Head out on a boat, or stand in the middle of shallow loch or head up the hill if there is no wind
3. Use anti-midge stuff like ozzies use a bucket of suncream on their veranda
4. And slap it on under your hat and over your hat. And in your hair if you have got any. And over your clothes. Socks. And dae nae forgoat yer sporran. ….. so general pong, not a local whiff.
5. Keep a smoke ring burning at the tent door (subject to usual safety precautions)
9. Knock back half a tumbler of single malt and maintain the same blood-alcohol ratio till you are South of the border. They cant abide the stuff despite their bloodline.
Hugh McEwan says
I just retired back home to Scotland. I live rural and I’m totally demented by these horrible wee bastards. I’m becoming paranoid and think they are all hiding in the trees waiting for me to step outside. My arms and legs are covered in bites, although I think some of them are Gleg bites. I’m just waiting on my flame thrower to arrive as well as the dynamite and gattling gun. HELP
Midge Hanlon says
Oh my!!! I’m laughing so hard my sides hurt!!! (Please don’t pay a bit of attention to my name…I’m thinking if changing it to Maggie before my trip in 2022!)
Tracey Aldridge-Russell says
Hi Hugh, did you find an effect solution?? (Other than moving house!)