/ 2012 - worst midges ever

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Heike - on 21 Jun 2012
This must be the year off the worst midges ever (or at least in a very long while). I am currently sitting in my living room with the door open, but no light on (apart from computer) and it's midgey hell - inside (I am closing off now...). I have never in my whole life in Scotland had so many midges inside... and we live in a big village /town (although lots of trees around us) not even the real countryside where midges have not really been as bad as Glencoe etc..

Anyone else notice loads of midges this year...?
Daniel Heath - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

Haven't experienced them much until today.

Gave me a load of grief it did, came out all blotchy.

Makes me climb like I've got ants in my pants
IainRUK - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: awful in north wales too... worst I've known them in 6 years.
Kevin Woods - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: I haven't seen much. Even hanging around climbing, they've only come in bits... plenty months to be proven wrong still :|
wilkie14c - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: we went for a bivy and a climb at grey crag, buttermere, on monday and the walk up by the beck was the worst ever. They were all over me and i couldnt see! Had to stop every 15 seconds to whipe em. Awful they were, mate sprayed his face at the bivy and his lips went numb LOL I had the tried and tested skin so soft and embassy number ones :)
The fact it rained all night was made better by the thought of no midges in the rain on the walk out. So yes, its the worst ive known it
Andy Long - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
Nope, none in Shetland yet. Must be all this cold, dry, sunny weather with a constant Northerly wind we've had for the last month or so.
Heike - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to blanchie14c and all:

Seem really bad at the mo, glad it's not just me going mad, though!!! I guess it was warm in march and now it's dreich and warm..excellent breeding grounds...
JamesRoddie - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

They've been pretty grim in Glencoe! Certainly the worst in the 3 years I've lived here, getting a nice swarm of them in the Clachaig bar every evening after about 9pm!
AdrianC - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: Not bad over here at the moment. The ice was a bit soft today though.
Dauphin - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:


only woke up to the lychin party one morning on Jura first week in June. 2nd week on Arnamurchan and Knoydart they were hobbled by sunshine and the north easterly.

D
In reply to Heike: Worst mosquito year in memory here in Finland - it's been in the newspapers and everything. Lots of snow and then a rapid thaw with warm weather afterwards seems to be the problem. The forests are still full of stagnant pools of standing water from all the snow, even though it feels like it hasn't rained much this spring and summer and the mossies are just hellish.
CurlyStevo - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
I just spent a week in the highlands (mostly NW) and didn't get midged. Probably because the wind was up but the ground in the NW was very dry and most the bogs were dried / drying up. The level of the lochs / reservoirs was noticably lower than normal also.
Route Adjuster on 21 Jun 2012
Climbed at Buckbarrow - Longlseddale last night. Midge Hell. In your face, up your nose, buzzing in your ears and getting stuck in the corner of your eyes. My arms were black with dead midges - was using a strong deet solution to kill em off but it doesn't stop them from buzzing you.

As others have said, seems to be bad. Not been a problem until this week or so.
Richard Baynes - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Route Adjuster: I was working in Lochgoilhead last week and it was exceptionally bad: I had forgotten about them until then as you do. We had to watch some kids abbing in the rhodie woods and I came back with a face like a frog ...
quirky - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: went for a run on the west pennine moors on Tuesday night... I was eaten alive by them on that car park...garden is full of them too but did not seem to bad up applecross way at the weekend.
AlH - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: I know you have seen these pics Heike but others can enjoy... scroll to the bottom of the post: http://alanhalewood.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/short-walk-in-west.html
prog99 on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to AlH:

FFS!!! I'm glad when we were camping in that neck of the woods last month they hadn't woken up.

Funnily enough they have been benign in our garden in Edinburgh this year. Usually by now mowing the lawn is done in a bit of a hurry.
Ann S on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

Agreed. We were climbing at Troy quarry on Monday night (Lancs) which is normally not too bad as it is very open and breezy but we had to pack up by 8.30 and flee to the pub. Going to wear goggles and an industrial face mask next time.
Simon4 - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: Thanks for the warning Heike, I will dust off the hyper strength midge-repellent, in the event it ever stops raining for long enough to go climbing.

Not surprising really after months of 4 days of rain followed by a day and half of semi-sunshing. Very obvious how humid it is on the "sunny" days, even in an urban environment, with all the moisture burning out as soon as it gets a bit of heat on it.
Trangia - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

I think I saw one at Bowles yesterday.....

You might say it's one of the advantages of living in the south, until you experience the moquitos in our woods (big four engined types) and the exceptionally high pollen count. My eyes were so puffed up on Tuesday I can hardly see to type.
BigHairyIan - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: I was eaten badly at the bus stop at.the Corran Ferry. Friends who live near there said that they have heard of a repellent called 'smidge'. Does anyone have experience of it?
Heike - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to AdrianC: Hahaha! Alright for some
pebbles - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: brimham on monday was one big midge party over towards hare heads - its much more peaty and swampby over there than the rest of brimham, other bits were not nearly so bad. Curbar yesterday was an itchy experience even in the middle of the day, specially in the sheltered bays.
pebbles - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to pebbles: even though we were using smidge! it stopped them biting but didnt stop them landing and crawling on us.
jon on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

It's the price of living in a nice place Heike. Another few weeks and Vallorcine will be full of Parisiens.
Heike - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to BigHairyIan: I tried it last year and seemed to work as well as any of the others (e.g. Skin so soft) which means it basically works for a little while to an extent...
It smells quite nice and is not as sticky as Skin so soft.
AlH - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to BigHairyIan: Smidge is an off shoot of some long running research into Scottish midges. A company called Advanced Pest Solutions make it along with running the Scottish Midge forecast website.
The formula is more waterproof (sweat resistant) than most repellents, skin and climbing kit friendly (the active ingredient is called Saltidin and compares very favourably to DEET in research but it much more friendly to you, your skin, your kit and the environment).
Lots of details here: http://2010.midgeforecast.co.uk/images/uploads/Smidge%20January%202011.pdf
The one thing to say is that whilst it is pretty effective it is like all other repellents in that once sprayed on it forms a cocktail with your own bodily fluids. It is the effectiveness of the cocktail that is key (this is why some repellents seem to work better for some people and not others) that counts.
Get some and try it, it knocks spots off of skin so soft or any feet based formula.
Flinticus - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
Was fine on a wild weekend camping up Glenfinnan way until I had to answer one of nature's less pleasant calls. Dipped in the woods... b*stards all over my legs ...
Heike - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Heike)
>
> It's the price of living in a nice place Heike. Another few weeks and Vallorcine will be full of Parisiens.

Do they also bite and sit on you...?
toad - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to AlH:
> > Get some and try it, it knocks spots off of skin so soft or any feet based formula.


Trust me, even midges won't go near my feet

ads.ukclimbing.com
fijibaby on 21 Jun 2012 - 5e0be4e0.bb.sky.com
In reply to AlH: I sent the link to the blog to my father, it brought back some memories apparently: Been there - on the Isle of Skye during a wet summer in the late 1960s.
Unless you have experienced it you can have no idea about the impossibility of dealing with an intense midge swarm for any length of time.
I have sat inside by tent wearing a baraclava and a hanky over my mouth to filter midges out of my tea. I have seen a guy run screaming from his tent and dive into the sea to get out of the swarm.
Deet is, at best, a limited answer, a special head-net and complete body coverage is the only real answer. We climbed onto the Skye ridge and bivied on a summit where the wind kept them away on one occasion.
Scottish tourism's greatest challenge?
Ali - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: Some of them have come down south too...I got bitten by some nasty bitey things in Richmond Park earlier this week - bites of the big, itchy kind and they got me through my running tights! Grrr....
AlH - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to fijibaby: definitely Scottish Tourism's greatest challenge. More funding required and Visit Scotland should be pushing for research.
My head net it always in my sack in summer and The Ice Factor a selling line of upper body net jackets which look quite tempting!
heather monkey - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150906963733051

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!
<scratch>
Neil Henson - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike: Yep, definitely noticed a lot more midges than usual this year.
joan cooper - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to BigHairyIan: Yes its brilliant for me Buy anywhere in NW highlands
Daniel Heath - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to heather monkey:

wow that's bad
jon on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
> (In reply to jon)
> [...]
>
> Do they also bite and sit on you...?

Worse than that. They wear pink silk scarves, smell of perfume (the men) and rancid sweat (the women), drive large cars that are not equipped with direction indicators and look down their long superior noses at everyone else. Midges... luxury!
In reply to Heike:
Thanks to 6 weeks of virtually no rain and a nice north easterly breeze their numbers are depleted(temporarily ) in Gairloch and environs.
Ridge - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:
Been discussing this recently at work. Worst year for midges in cumbria for a long time.
SFM - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Heike:

I got utterly savaged at the LAMM this year(Cruachan area). I thought they were bad at Glenfinnan a few years back but this lot had a rabidity about them I've never experienced before. They even got in behind my ear plugs!!
I ended up with several hundred bites on my legs as a result of going for a midnight p*ss. Cue a week of calamine lotion and antihistamines. Legs like salami.
deepsoup - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to Ali:
> ...I got bitten by some nasty bitey things in Richmond Park earlier this week - bites of the big, itchy kind and they got me through my running tights! Grrr....

That sounds like a cleg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse-fly
Nasty.
Ali - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to deepsoup: I don't think so - horse-flys are big! And these buggers were only wee...though obviously very hungry!
BigHairyIan - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to lots of folk: thanks for.the replies. I will try some. Where can.I.get head nets?
GeoffG - on 21 Jun 2012
In reply to BigHairyIan:
Anywhere that sells Life Systems gear.eg Cotswold Camping.
Some fishing shops sell them as well.
Been using them for years and there's nothing better!

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