Best summer month to avoid midgets in Scotland?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Jun 14, 2009 5:23 PM Last Post By: scoodly
Jun 5, 2009 12:22 PM
Best summer month to avoid midgets in Scotland?Best summer month to avoid midgets in Scotland?
I am planning a 3 month England, Wales, Soctland, N. Ireland, and Ireland summer trip (starting in Brighton, and working up the west coast (via Wales). My question is when to arrive in Scotland when the insect problem (midgets) is not as severe? I am planning on a hiking tour of Scotland, and hitchhiking as well. If I know when the best time to visit Scotland is, I'll know to start 3-4 weeks earlier in Brighton. It should take a bout a month to take in SW England, Wales, and NE England (before entering Scotland).
Jun 5, 2009 2:27 PM
1To avoid midgets, just make a wide arc around Glasgow.
I always thought May and June were the best summer months for avoiding midges, but I guess #1 is right. They don't bite me too much so I don't always notice but they had a right go at me outside the Applecross pub last August
Jun 5, 2009 11:15 PM
Jun 6, 2009 1:01 AM
4Don't go to Edinburgh in August as it's peak season for midgets
Jun 6, 2009 5:32 AM
5I have to be in Scotland either at the beginning or in the middle of summer, so which should it be?
and it's going to be a landscape, highland trip, with lots of hiking, and camping, I am afraid of annoying insects ruining my trip, of course I will have DEET, but Ive heard its carcinogenic, also what is this "oh so soft" lotion people use? As for herbal oils, i've heard they are far less effective than DEET.
Jun 6, 2009 6:16 AM
6You haven't actually said which month your 3 month trip will start. There are other considerations, in a addition to midges. DEET is the most effective insect repellent, and as you will only be using it for a few weeks at most, you don't need to be so concerned potential carcinogenic effects of long term use. Midges can't fly in rain or wind, so you won't need insect repellent all the time. Pitching a tent in an exposed area (ie not amongst dense trees) usually helps. Many people resort to using head nets or buffs (1 for head, 1 for neck & lower face). Beginning of summer is probably better for fewer midges than middle of summer. The earlier you go to Scotland, the more benefit you'll get from longer daylight (June is lightest month), and bear in mind Scottish state school holidays are start of July to mid August, while English, Welsh & Northern Irish state school holidays are mid July to end August / start September.
And midges can be horrible in other places - I've suffered in Wales and the Lake District, as well as Scotland.
Edited by: Copepod
Jun 6, 2009 7:31 AM
7Worst place ever was Glendalough in Ireland. Giant midges they were.
Jun 6, 2009 9:55 AM
Jun 10, 2009 12:13 AM
Jun 10, 2009 12:51 AM
Jun 10, 2009 2:15 PM
11It's the female of the species during the breeding season you need to be wary of - they seek a blood meal just prior to laying eggs. The breeding season is some 10 - 12 weeks long spanning late June, July, August and early September. The timing of the breeding season varies depending on the weather and can, therefore, vary in different parts of Scotland.
Having said this July and August are the core season.
You can mitigate their impact by following the tips above; use a repellant, a midge net (when needed), do not camp too near water, keep high when hiking (fewer midges above the sheep line), ensure you camp and trek when the wind is above 4mph, it is raining heavily and the sun is shining fiercely!!!
Enjoy Scotland and remember that the wee beasties are part of what makes the highlands so magical.
Jun 11, 2009 2:24 AM
Jun 12, 2009 4:57 AM
13My experience is that midges are quite prepared to bite DEET-smeared people, even using 110%. DEET works better on mosquitoes. The other problems with DEET are that it seriously damages plastics, such as the lenses of your glasses, and it makes food inedible if it transfers from your hand to your food. Only solution I know for camping is 100% body cover with a midgenet over the head. Bad places like Glencoe the midges are out and biting from late May if the weather suits. I've not had problem with midges in Scotland in September though. The midges are also intolerable in Irish wilderness areas like Connemara. I recall having a serious midge problem in Co Galway one September, but it was a 2-day wonder - they suddenly appeared in enormous clouds and then vanished 36 hours later without obvious explanation.
How bad this is depends on you. If I get badly midge-bitten, I swell up and have to take strong antihistamines. Some other people don't react at all - they think they haven't been bitten: but of course they have, they just didn't react to it.
Jun 14, 2009 11:22 AM
14We were camping at Luss on Loch Lomond one year and as the shadow of Ben Lomond advanced across the camp ground at sunset you could see people waving their arms and slapping themselves.
In the space of half an hour everyone was either inside their tent or in the pub across the road..
Shame, as up until then, everything was just perfect.
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