Thursday, June 12, 2008

Midges

Midges are tiny insects with a wingspan of just 1-2mm. They suck blood from the skin, causing itching and swelling that can last several days. In summer, midges that bite people can reach vast numbers and become a real problem for both locals and tourists - the Scottish Midge Forecast

Amidst the preparation and the pleasurable anticipation for the Scotland-trip there is one issue I hopelessly underestimated: the Midges. Sure I heard about them and I packed a repellent with a high DEET-concentration, but I wasn't aware of the impact of these little "friends".
In the Netherlands we have "muggen" - Gnats. Dutch gnats don't like my blood, mostly the others get bitten, not me.. In Scotland however I discovered that the Scottish Midges love my blood. It's a cold comfort that only the female midges bite. There were thousands of these tiny girlie insects just waiting to put their cheeks in my skin (and these cheeks are each sporting 20 razor-sharp teeth). It's quit a nuisance to be that popular - especially because the result of the bites proved to be very itchy, a nuisance that lasted for days. Don't scratch!

The effect of the repellent proved to be only temporary, so I was very glad that Govert had taken an extra midge net along... The combination of a midge net and a Goretex dry-suit offers quit good protection, only you don't want to wear that gear all day...

Picture taken on Scarba. Scarba and Jura were the places most plagued by midges..

2 comments:

COBBER said...

Well Hans,

The Midges do not give up.....I know that I used to bring Omega pain killer from the Philippines. This was a good medicine for keeping all kinds of flying Objects away.

any way, I find out that overhere in Hungaria, they have related Midges....still the best, or worst is to come the swamps of the donau delta...I have my net, but don.t think it will help a lot.....

Jőrgen

Douglas Wilcox said...

Hello Hans, the top of Jura is populated by a fiercesome breed of midge.

The midge jacket helped until I took it into the tent with me.

:o)