Midges tend to avoid bright sunlight, making them less active at dawn and dusk, with winds of more than 3mph preventing their flight.

Damp forests and heather-covered moors provide their natural home. You might also spot them near lakes and rivers. Thankfully, unlike mosquitoes, these spiders do not carry infectious diseases that could infect people.

What is a midge?

Midges (Culicoides Impunctatus) are small two-winged flies which swarm in Scotland’s highland areas from May through September. While similar in appearance to mosquitoes, they do not carry infectious diseases and only cause itchy bites as nuisances.

Midges prefer still, humid conditions to thrive in, making their presence known at dawn and dusk as well as in wet, marshy areas across Scotland. West Highlands in particular are notorious for midge infestation while some parts of Skye may also experience midge infestation issues.

Male midges don’t bite and feed on plant nectar directly, while females possess powerful serrated mandibles for biting that they use to penetrate skin to siphon blood for their first batch of eggs laying process – up to three more batches will follow over summer, each necessitating another blood meal from someone.

Midge season doesn’t need to be the end of the world; with preparation, appropriate clothing, and an effective repellent you can still enjoy Scotland’s great outdoors without the worry of midge bites. While reactions from midge bites may be intolerable for some individuals, anti-itch pens or creams may make a significant difference; scratching away bites will only increase irritation further. Furthermore, keeping fires burning or using citronella candles or coils create an effective no-midge zone!

What are the symptoms of a midge bite?

Midges differ significantly from mosquitos in that they only feed off of blood rather than spreading disease to humans, instead feeding off it without becoming carriers for any serious infections. Midge bites can last a few days before swelling increases significantly and itching becomes unbearable; to alleviate itching antihistamines and anti-itch creams are recommended.

Midge season in Scotland runs from late spring through early autumn, with July and August typically being the worst months. Midges tend to prefer humid forests and heather-clad moorlands over lakes or other bodies of water; their peak activity occurs at dawn and dusk and they don’t tolerate wind very well (much like vampires!).

Whenever travelling to Scotland in summertime, it’s advisable to check the midge forecast in order to gauge how severe the problem will be in your destination area. This will give an idea of when midge activity peaks as well as ways to minimize its effects – for instance avoiding exposed areas, finding breezes, wearing clothing that covers body areas and using repellent). You might even find midge-free zones by travelling further north or into mountains where temperatures tend to be colder and trees taller – where midges tend not hide so easily in such environments!

How to avoid a midge bite

Scottish midges may seem like a running joke, but they are no laughing matter. Their bloodsucking qualities can easily ruin a day spent exploring Scotland’s wilderness – but don’t fret: there are ways you can prevent or reduce midge bites during your Scottish vacation!

One effective way to avoid midge bites is using a midge repellent spray with citronella or eucalyptus oil, readily available at supermarkets and outdoor stores across Scotland. Both these natural oils come from plants themselves and have proven successful at deterring midges.

Midge forecast maps can also be an invaluable asset in planning activities around the peak times for midges – typically dawn and dusk, when they are most active. Wind can help in your fight against midges; just 5mph of gusting wind speed or greater is enough to blow them away from their path and away.

Other ways you can lower the chance of midge bites include wearing long-sleeved clothing and remaining mobile; avoiding stopping in areas with dense vegetation; using a midge net when necessary to protect both face and neck from bites; drinking whisky can even act as an effective midge deterrent as its strong scent can repel them!

How to get rid of a midge bite

During midge season, it’s wise to avoid being outside at dusk and dawn if the weather is overcast or humid as midges tend to become active at this time due to low light conditions; they feed off mammals (such as us!) as well as birds during this period of activity.

If you must venture outdoors during midge peak, it is wise to wear brightly-coloured clothing and cover as much skin as possible. Also bear in mind that higher altitude areas tend to experience far fewer midges; wind may help too since midges cannot fly in winds of 7mph or greater.

Use an insect repellent containing DEET to decrease midge attraction; Jungle Formula and Smidge are two popular spray-on repellents with this action, while citronella candles may provide additional deterrence against midges when in an enclosed environment.

If midges are particularly bad, a midge net may help protect you while walking. Carry some water and sugar along as an emergency remedy in case any bites happen – the sugar will break down any compounds causing irritation in the bite site.