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Midges in Scotland

Midges in Scotland

The Midges in Scotland overshadow the prospect of a relaxing camping trip. They have frequently caused trouble in the vast outdoors. Moreover, some have even been known to cause tears in grown men and women. Additionally, they harm Scotland’s outdoor industries by decreasing productivity. Above all, they endanger those who depend on the outdoors for their livelihood.

How bad are the midges in Scotland?

Some people have a solid reaction to the bites of midges in Scotland. They are frequently misidentified as sandflies. In Australia, there are more than 200 different species of biting midges. However, only a few of them are severely problematic to people.

Large numbers of biting midges may attack exposed flesh. Their bites can be uncomfortable and painful. Only the females bite, and they use the blood they draw as a source of protein for the development of their eggs.

Even though you might not feel it, the midge will feed for three to four minutes. That’s until it has consumed all of the blood. The body’s response to the midge bite is causing swelling and itching.

What are Midges?

Midges are little biting insects found in Scotland. However, you don’t have to let these irritants ruin your vacation! Everything you need to know about midges, including how to prevent them, is given below. You can also find essential advice related to them down below.

Image Source: Depositphotos – Midge on the hand of a person

Where do Midges live?

You don’t have to worry about midges while travelling through southern Scotland. That’s because they primarily inhabit Scotland’s Highland regions. There’s a good possibility you’ll see and get bitten by midges in many areas of the Highlands. Fortunately, there are some landscapes in which you will (and will not!) discover them.

Midge life cycle

Midges go through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The life cycle lasts about three weeks, depending on the species and environment. The larval stage is the longest. The mature larvae are also referred to as “bloodworms.” They emerge as flying adults after swimming to the water’s surface during the pupal stage. Adults can live for a few days at most.

Are Scottish Midges Mosquitoes?

If Scottish is not their native language, people often mix the names of mosquitoes and midges. Despite how similar they appear to be, they are not the same. Compared to mosquitoes, midges are much smaller and have shorter wings. 

ARE there any products I can buy to repel midges?

Various products can help repel midges. You can learn about them below.

Does Avon skin so soft repel midges?

Avon’s Skin So Soft is the ideal product if you want the best defence against midges in Scotland. It was initially developed as a skin moisturizer using citronella oil as the aroma. But outdoor enthusiasts found that the cream was also very good in warding off midges.

Does mosquito repellent work on midges?

Using insect repellents is essential if you want to avoid being bitten by midges. If biting midges are present, use an effective insect repellent when outdoors. The most efficient insect repellents are those that include Diethyltoluamide (DEET). They can also have picaridin. A product’s effectiveness lasts longer the higher its DEET or picaridin content.

Does DEET Insect Repellents work on midges?

DEET has been widely used and is very effective. It works against fleas, biting midges, black flies, and mosquitoes.

Does Smidge Insect Repellents work on midges?

An insect repellant called Smidge includes 20% Saltidin. It’s also known as Picaridin or Icaridin. You may depend on it to protect you from midges or any other biting insects for up to 8 hours.

Does Citronella candles work on midges?

Midges are believed to dislike Citronella and Saltidin candles. That’s because they find them repulsive.

Top tips to survive midges in Scotland

Following are the tips for surviving midges in Scotland.

Visit the Eastern side of Scotland (Cairngorms National Park)

Midges can be an issue in the Cairngorms. However, the area’s dryer climate and windy conditions keep midges at manageable levels.

Use an electric fan to knock them out.

Midges cannot disturb you if there is enough air to prevent them from flying.

What to do on rainy days?

Our best recommendation on rainy days is to engage in high-intensity activity. It can be mountain biking, road biking, or zip lining. This will keep the midges off you while you create your own “wind,” or slipstream.

Try to avoid the West Coast

If a trip to Scotland is on your bucket list, this is arguably the hardest thing to manage. Have plenty of repellents if you’re planning to travel there. It gets rough between June and mid-September.

Consult weather apps

Before you go, find out how much rain falls there on average. Scotland’s drier regions tend to have fewer midge hotspots.

Check midge forecast

You can see the midge levels in Scotland with the Scottish Midge Forecast. It collects information that can be helpful to you. The small weather stations located all around Scotland also perform a similar function.

Be mindful to avoid the outdoors at dawn and dusk 

Given how early morning and how late dark are in the early summer, this is generally simple advice to abide by.

Go between the end of September and the end of May

The midges cannot tolerate chilly weather.  You won’t see many midges in Scotland if you come before the weather has warmed up too much.

Ensure you enjoy the wind 

As they’re so small, midges can only withstand very mild breezes. There is a delicate balance between how much wind you can tolerate before it begins to spoil your day. You can figure that balance out for yourself. 


Where is the best place to avoid midges in Scotland?

The Eastern region of Scotland is the best place to avoid midges. 

Can midges bite through clothing?

Although biting midges can’t attack through clothes, they can get inside them.

What time of year do you get midges in Scotland?

The midge season generally lasts from April through September.

The worst place for midges in Scotland

Anywhere in the Highlands, including Glencoe, Torridon, and Fort William, can be terrible. The Great Glen and the surrounding areas are also particularly midge-heavy.

Midges in the Scotland season

The midge season generally lasts from April through September. July and August are the worst months.

How to avoid midges in Scotland?

  • Covering yourself up 
  • Using strong repellent 
  • Having extra wind or air 

Why are there so many midges in Scotland?

Midges are in abundance in Scotland. That’s mainly because of rain since larvae grow in mossy and damp conditions. 

Are midges only in Scotland?

No, midges can be found almost anywhere on Earth. However, due to the midge-friendly climate in Scotland, they are prevalent there.