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How to manage Scotland

How to manage Scotland's midges

Just like the mosquito and the sand fly, the Scottish midge is a famed living irritant. It bites, it’s hard to catch, yet there are effective repellents on the market and we should all buy them in order to save our self some unnecessary discomfort when on holiday in Scotland.

Here’s a few useful facts about the hardy Scottish midge too, so your defence can be as tactical as it is chemical-based.

Not all Scottish midges bite you

midge

It’s true, only pregnant midges bite. Without a food supply of nutritional blood they only manage to lay a single set of eggs. By taking preventative steps to stop them from biting you, you’re potentially cutting off their ability to lay more eggs. That means a decrease in their population numbers for the months to come. Since none of us can tell which midges are the pregnant ones, it’s best to protect yourself against them all.

Choosing the right insecticide

midge defence

To deter midges from the ‘get-go’, Smidge is the best on the market or anything with a high level of citronella and deet (diethyltoluamide) in the ingredients. Also, Avon’s Skin So Soft dry oil spray is proven to be effective, so next time you’re jotting down a shopping list, include these items for a midge-free Scotland break. They’ll make you smell nicer too in the process.

When midges come out to play

midges at sunset

Midges love warm and damp conditions the best. This makes dawn and dusk particularly popular for them. If you have to go outside during their key weather conditions, make sure you’ve liberally applied the aforementioned insecticide, and wear long-sleeved/legged clothing to cover as much exposed skin as possible.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of your visit exploring the great outdoors at peak midge time, wear long trousers tucked into your socks or boots to thwart them. Zip-off trouser/shorts are a great idea for days when the weather might change. You can also buy midge nets to wear over your head for even better protection. Tres chic, non?

Midge-proof your Scottish holiday cottage

midge proof

The best defence is a strong offence, in this case and we suggest you begin by keeping your windows closed, particularly at dawn and dusk. Although strong sunlight perturbs them, they find artificial lighting attractive. Leaving a living room light on with a window ajar is an open invitation to a midge, so keep everything closed tightly. If you’re planning on eating outside, smoke from the BBQ is a popular repellent to Scottish Midges. Buy some citronella candles and coils to create a wider no-midge zone too.

It’s no big deal to avoid being their next meal

Why let something so small ruin your holiday? There really is no need to make midge-control a central part of your trip. If you prepare well, it will seem like they don’t exist at all. Millions of travellers take holidays in Scotland every year, so all you have to do is remember our handy tips on how to keep the midges away.

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