If you've been doing research about Scotland you'll have no doubt heard about the notorious wee beastie that goes by the name of "Midge". Conversation usually goes something like "those BLOODY midges were everywhere!" Or "I've been eaten ALIVE!!". You may not recognise the name Scottish Midge , they are also known as "no see ums" in the states (which I think is a pretty excellent and appropriate name for the little swines), sand flies in Australia, gnats and punkies. Whichever name you call them there is no denying they are a bit of a nightmare. Here you'll find out everything you need to know and how to how to get rid of midges.
For those unprepared they can indeed be a complete pain and can easily ruin your holiday but fear not, a few simple rules and some good midge repellent should make your trip to Scotland beastie free and let your enjoy your trip without the need to turn into a mad man/woman, swinging tennis bats/hand bags/frying pans around your head like you are doing the time warp.
What is a midge?
The Scottish midge is a teeny wee flying insect with a wing-span of 2-3 mm. There are actually over 35 species of biting midge in Scotland but it's the ferocious Highland midge that causes the most problems. With wings that flap 1000 times a second they have the highest wing speed of all animals worldwide and if you unfortunate enough to encounter a swarm of them they can deliver 3000 midge bites in an hour. That's the scary facts but you'll be pleased to know that only half of the midge population will bite, the males are quite content to munch on flowers. The females reach adulthood with enough eggs for one batch of eggs, after this, if she decides to have more, she needs blood so it's then that the little madams decide to feed on us.
Just a quick note as people are often confused. Midges are not mosquitoes, the are a much smaller version. You are unlikely to ever see a mosquito in Scotland.