Wee beasties?

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Jonathan.
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Wee beasties?

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:15 pm

Anyone been to Shetland who can tell me what the midges are like?

I'm there in July for the kayak fest, and am trying to decide whether to camp or stay indoors. If the midges are likely to be in full cry, then I shall want doors to bolt and bar. No braveheart I.

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snuggle_bunny
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by snuggle_bunny » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:21 pm

Did a tinterweb search based on the above info and came across this article which I hope will be of some help. Basically Scotland = midges = guess who's coming to dinner.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Scotland-299 ... Midges.htm

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Mark R
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by Mark R » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:58 pm

Remarkably, they're not much of a problem - we were there six weeks and had no midge bites.
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Northern Blue
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by Northern Blue » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:08 pm

Mark R wrote:Remarkably, they're not much of a problem - we were there six weeks and had no midge bites.
You must smell Mark ;-)

Please don't take that the wrong way and if I can explain.... Me and my wife have different body odours when we exercise hard, be it running, cycling or hill walking and she will admit that she smells worse than I do when sweaty. She doesn't stink or anything, just smells more than I do.

The point being, that when we're in Scotland during the summer, she never picks up a single midge bite, yet I get swarms of the little buggers treating me as a free lunch.

Same in foreign climes, mozzies love me to bits !

The only time I don't get eaten alive during the summer in Scotland, is if I stick to the beaches with on shore winds.

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Jim Tait
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by Jim Tait » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:25 pm

They're usually not too much of a problem until August, and then only on really still days or in the lee of something.
It it's really intolerable, then crash on the centre floor after everyone has gone to bed?
Have fun. I would say see you there, but I won't be there this year.

Jim

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PeterG
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by PeterG » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:38 pm

In three weeks this summer we had 3 days of midges, just at dusk as the wind dropped to nothing and they were pretty lively. Less severe than the mainland, but nonetheless aggressive on that rare occasion when they do come out.

I have never found midges attracted by body smell apart from the CO2 and water vapour. Just try taking a bath in a stream, as clean as you like and they will bit all the harder. On the other hand deer and horse fly nuisance are definitely reduced after a bath.

I spent an entire season in the highlands a few years ago, living in caves or just in the open whilst increasing my score of Corbetts. At first I often regretted not having a midge proof tent but eventually they ceased to bother me. Don't know if it was a heightened state of mind or a biological effect.

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andyE
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by andyE » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:52 pm

Try this site prior to your departure http://www.midgeforecast.co.uk/home.

snuggle_bunny
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by snuggle_bunny » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:45 pm

I think it's just a case of staying away from lochs etc at dusk especially if theres little or no wind. take extra strength jungle formula and some anti- hystemene tablets

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MikeB
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by MikeB » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:50 pm

snuggle_bunny wrote:I think it's just a case of staying away from lochs etc at dusk especially if theres little or no wind. take extra strength jungle formula and some anti- hystemene tablets
If only it was that easy!

JF is a waste of time. Nothing works. Bring a head net and/or a full mesh top. The anti-his is a good idea.

Certainly the wind will keep them away - and it's usually windy up there. Mike.

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Strad
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by Strad » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:55 am

To pick up on the smell thing, many moons ago I was told that midges don't like the smell of certain skin types - in particular if you load up on Vitamin B before going and while there the change in your smell discourages them from biting. It's not exactly a scientific study, but certainly I found that taking a strong vit B supplement has greatly reduced midge bites for me. (As I say non-scientific as there are probably other things I am doing consciously and sub-consciously that are having an impact)

Another alternative that my brother swears by is to smoke rum and raisin tobacco in his pipe - not my cup of tea as a non-smoker - but the pipe smoke does appear to create an exclusion zone around him (it appears to work on most people as well as midges :-) )
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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by lg18 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:46 pm

Shetland is nowhere near as bad as Scotland when it comes to midgies, chances are you'll be absolutely fine camping. (as Jim says, they CAN be bad, but it is unusual, and normally later in the summer. I would not say the same of the West coast of Scotland!).

The tents for the symposium are right by the shore in an exposed position - I've camped there several times in July and never seen a midge, even in calm weather.
Midges not only need absolute calm (rare in Shetland in that tent area), but they also need warmth (also quite rare in Shetland!!!).

For the Shetland symposia I've been to, people don't tend to hang around at the tents anyway - excellent food is laid on in the evenings, and the building is open to campers to lounge around in, make cups of tea etc etc.

Lucy

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Re: Wee beasties?

Post by Jonathan. » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:22 pm

Some excellent advice there which has led me to a decision - I shall camp but I'm booked in for meals.

Very many thanks

jonathan
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