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midges on Skye

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London, England
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102 posts
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midges on Skye

Ever since we started telling people we were going to Skye in August, they have been warning us about the terrible midges who will ruin our holiday unless we prepare to do combat with them.

Are the midges really so bad, and if so, what is the best protection against them? Brand names please!

Scotland
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1. Re: midges on Skye

Depends on the weather. They don't like strong sunlight or wind. They like mornings and evenings when it's still/warm/damp.

Cover up as much as possible. Try Avon Skin So Soft (green bottle not pink)

I use it, but I think it works because its V greasy and the midges can't land on you.

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: midges on Skye

Try this site....

http://www.midgeforecast.co.uk/2008/

Today would be a good day to visit!

Isle of Skye
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3. Re: midges on Skye

The midges haven't been so bad this year!

London, England
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4. Re: midges on Skye

Well, thank you, midge experts. We shall watch the midge forecast with interest. We're still recovering from the description of a friend who claims he could only eat his picnic by pulling his anorak hood around his face, leaving just a sandwich-shaped hole through which he quickly posted his lunch into his mouth to avoid being bitten all over his face by midges while he had his lunch.

It didn't sound like a recipe for blissful picnics in scenic spots.

Scunthorpe, United...
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5. Re: midges on Skye

Bear in mind we all tend to exaggerate our midge stories.... No doubt you will also come home with equally horrendous ones to frighten your friends.

Walking may not be too much of a problem but as soon as you sit down they will arrive. They are worse around trees. Allow 5-10minutes before they force you to move.

Everyone has their favourite brands. Thee is a lot of information here.

safariquip.co.uk/i_insect_repellent_informat…

We always use a deet based spray - the stronger the better.

Some people reckon that smoking a foul smelling pipe is the answer....

Keep arms and legs covered and light colours are supposed to be better than dark.

It is possible to buy trousers and shirts which are impregnated with insect repellant. Craghoppers make a range - see:

trekwear.co.uk/nosquito_clothing/c-489.html…

I've not used them so can't comment on effectiveness.

Eleanor

Stornoway, United...
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6. Re: midges on Skye

Seems that most visitors have a day or two of immunity before they feel the effects. It must be a delayed allergic reaction or something...

Midges only really become a problem if you're camping, otherways if you just keep moving they wont bother you. Skin so soft really does work (green as stated above) it can be bought from tiso online, and must be re-applied frequently. In my opinion anything else is a waste of money. Either way, you might not find the midges too bad and might not need to use it :)

Its been a really strange bug year. The midges have come out really late, but the clegs were such a nightmare earlier, we even had a few people anaphylactic our way. Thankfully they've calmed down now.

Out of curiousity have you guys seen these (non-biting) flying ants down in Skye this year?

Scotland
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7. Re: midges on Skye

I don't do camping and the midges bother the hell out of me whether I'm movong or not.

If you can't get it online you can usually buy Avon SSS at outdoor shops. The Green Welly shop at Tyndrum sells it. You might pass here if driving to Skye.

London, England
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102 posts
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8. Re: midges on Skye

Thanks, everyone, for all this advice. I love the idea of smoking a foul-smelling pipe! Alas, it might drive away more than just the midges.

Staffordshire, UK
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9. Re: midges on Skye

In 2 days we will be making our sixth annual visit to Skye and although we have been bothered by midges this tends only to be brief and is more than compensated for by the many and varied wonders of the place. Certainly the midges have not lingered in the memory as long as all the great things about Skye and midges clearly have not put us off returning

We have used repellant but to be honest the advice to keep moving is probably the best. Also bright sunlight, pouring rain and/or wind drives them away and you will be sure to get all of these at various times - sometimes within minutes of each other. The only thing I really miss is the opportunity for long lingering sits in the fading sun on a warm and sultry summer's evening. But it is unlikely that we will be getting Mediterranean temperatures for sitting out anyway - especially by by mid-end of Aug.

I did hear that eating marmite acts as some sort of systemic repellant but I'm not convinced. As I like marmite I eat it anyway for breakfast while in Skye just in case. The same may be true for garlic although I wouldn't recommend it for breakfast.

Loch Lomond
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10. Re: midges on Skye

Midges are so small that they cannot fly when there is any breeze and that is a fact. It is said that anything over about 3mph keeps them away and in my experience this is correct. As you will probably be aware breezes greater than 3mph are not uncommon on Skye. ;o)

I do have considerable midge experience being a lawn bowler based in the West of Scotland. Many a night I have been eaten alive on the bowling green but I can tell you that this year they have not been a big problem. I don't know why this should be but IMHO it's a fact.

Midges are part of the mosquito family and like mosquitoes they don't bother everyone. The seem to like some people more than others. Some people also have a worse reaction to their bites than others. When they bite me I get a slight itch for an hour or two then it goes away. Some others may experience lumps where they have been bitten but their bites are nothing like mosquito bites, whihc are far worse.

Incidentally that midge forecast website looks like a scaremongering exercise to me. Isn't it more about advertising than anything else? Talking about problems with exotic diseases related to midges I believe is nonsense. I have no doubt that there is some scientific truth in it but I have lived in the West of Scotland for over 60 years and I have never heard of anything like this so it is hardly a problem.

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