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Midge Repellent

VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
If you've ever been out and about in the countryside of Scotland, you'll have come across the midge (for those of you who haven't, they're small insects with a big bite).  Some people get bothered by them, some don't but it's always good to have midge repellent on to make sure.  

Is it better to spend a little more or are the cheap and cheerful brands the best?  We want to know!
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Comments

  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I use the Avon Skin-so-Soft too, but the lady in the NTS shop in Dunkeld assured me that the very best thing is to get basic citronella oil and rub that on any exposed skin.  I've still to test it out, as I do tend to try avoid midgies if at all possible!
  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    I always use Smidge (i promise my nickname is not named after it) which you can get right across the Highlands. Works for me. 
    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


  • EwanEwan VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭

    I have a reasonably high tolerance but Avon works for me.  I've also been reliably informed that eating Marmite sandwiches for a couple of weeks beforehand is effective ?! 

    Other than that, avoid standing still, cover your arms and legs (and head!), find somewhere with a breeze, avoid wearing dark clothing and stay in bright, sunny areas.  (OK, so maybe that last solution is a bit more challenging in Scotland ... :))

    There are some more tips on my blog here.

    Exploring Scotland's wild places by foot, bike and camper van

    WildaboutScotland blog | Twitter

  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited May 2016
    Ewan said:

    I've also been reliably informed that eating Marmite sandwiches for a couple of weeks beforehand is effective ?! 

    Never heard that one before... will give that a try!  :D
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Some great midgie tips there on your blog @Ewan. I was told that when passing through a swarm of midgies to put my hand up higher than my head and hold my breath to discourage them from going right into my face and mouth. Apparently they are attracted to the highest warm spot on the body. Anyway, I'm sure we've all done the freestyle midgie dance in desperation.
  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I put marmite on my shopping list this week as I usually get bitten pretty bad so willing to give anything a go!  Will also try the breath holding/hands up high thing @VisitScotlandJulie.
  • arjc1971arjc1971 Member ✭✭
    watched a team of rugby players at half time lather on Avon Skin-so-Soft in a particularly bad pitch swarming with the damn things and they swore it works
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Skin so soft for me too, works like a miracle although I did hear recently that Avon have changed the formula and it no longer repels the dreaded midgies. Hoping that's not the case. Hate the wee blighters. 
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I was sitting enjoying my fish supper at Duck Bay, on Loch Lomond,  the other night when I looked up to find a swarm of midgies hovering above my head.  I feared the worst but for some reason they left me alone!!!



    Have I discovered a new midge repellent in fish and chips....?? :p
  • VisitScotlandLyndsayVisitScotlandLyndsay Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Wow @VisitScotlandAngela, they sure are big midges! I wonder what the Duck Bay midges feed on....?  :D

    I'm not a fan of marmite @Ewan so I'll stick to the Smidge lotion. It works for me  :D
  • MargaretMargaret Member ✭✭
    I will try ALL of these remedies - the midges just love me :s
  • JoolshornetJoolshornet Member ✭✭
    I'm a recent convert to a midge net with hat - although they don't bother me as much as some, this just helps stop them crawling all over you.  I also found a very effective repellent from Aldi that is cheap, so definitely on the shopping list from now on.  
  • We like the Lifesystems Midge/Mosquito head net.  Its a pop up hat which includes a net.  Folds up and fits into a small bag when not in use.
  • ZarabelleZarabelle Member ✭✭
    I was speaking to a lady today who told me that garlic powder is her go to repellent - she eats a spoonful a day for three weeks before she comes up to Scotland and it has apparently made such a difference!!!  :D
  • johnmurrayjnrjohnmurrayjnr Member ✭✭✭
    I used Smidge on Rum recently, was fine! #SmidgethatMidge 

    We took Avon's Skin so soft but was told that the ingredient in it which repelled the midges, was removed, so it's not effective anymore.

    Sometimes, a good dram of whisky helps you forget about the midges :smiley:
  • GillyGilly Member ✭✭
    I always get mauled by them, was horribly bitten last year and swore I didn't want to go back to Scotland again. So, we set off for the Highlands next week
  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Gilly said:
    I always get mauled by them, was horribly bitten last year and swore I didn't want to go back to Scotland again. So, we set off for the Highlands next week
    Haha - the Highlands have that sort of draw, it's difficult to keep away  <3
  • VisitScotlandAmyRVisitScotlandAmyR Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @VisitScotlandHeather Looks like there might not be as much need for midge repellent after all - according to reports in the media, there have been a significant drop in numbers this year ! Hurrah! :)
  • VisitScotlandMiriamVisitScotlandMiriam Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @John_WelcometoFife @Gilly @Margaret I'm off to Bute at the weekend, going to try out Smidge for the first time - will let you know how it goes!  

    It might not be necessary at all though, as I see the Midge Forecast says there aren't any around there at the moment. Will see if it's accurate!
    I'm an Edinburgher who works in the VisitScotland Content Team - have you seen our blog?
  • GillyGilly Member ✭✭
    @VisitScotlandMiriam there aren't too many around (we are in Ardmair) but I've still been using the Avon stuff and eating bananas! Been here five days and would usually be covered in bites by now, I only have one (it's the size of a £2 coin mind) so looking good so far
  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    We use Smidge. Good at keeping midges, flies and (my most hated) cleg at bay too.
    (Pictured here) Midges landing on Gilbert's trusty Tilley hat in quite big numbers, near Shieldaig, Wester Ross.



    The Scotland guide, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.
    www.must-see-scotland.com



  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    @VisitScotlandAlison I have always read that you should avoid using pure citronella oil on your skin. It can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions - need to dilute it a bit first. Good luck!
    The Scotland guide, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.
    www.must-see-scotland.com



  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Thanks for the tip! 
  • I once went on a guided tour of the Botancis in Edinburgh and we were told that bog myrtle is a midgie deterrent, but might stick with the Avon - at least I know what the bottle looks like!
  • My main problem with midges only occurs when I am on the West coast- then I have to use liberal applications of Jungle Formula insect deterrent (IT WORKS !).  When I am on the East coast,especially the Moray Firth between Nairn and Fraserburgh,I can walk around without a shirt for a fortnight without ever getting bitten. A very cold winter followed by a dry spring will normally reduce the problem in most areas.
  • I live on the Isle of Skye and know only too well about the dreaded midge. But it's not just Scotland that has them. I quote from an article that I read recently, 'Midges are a group of insects that include many kinds of small flies. They are found (seasonally or otherwise) on practically every land area outside permanently arid deserts and the frigid zones'. The reason I think they are bad in some areas is because they breed in boggy or stagnant water. I use a midge hood. Very effective.
  • VisitScotlandMiriamVisitScotlandMiriam Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Just back from Bute  :) pleased to report that there were no midges until the last night, and even then they were very few. 
    I'm an Edinburgher who works in the VisitScotland Content Team - have you seen our blog?
  • Amazon has come great deals on Avon Skin so Soft and also the plug-in midgie repellent. I cannot post links but if you have a search you should be able to find them.
  • deenise27deenise27 Member
    Skin so soft for me too, works like a miracle although I did hear recently that Avon have changed the formula and it no longer repels the dreaded midgies. Hoping that's not the case. Hate the wee blighters. 
    Skin so soft for me too, works like a miracle although I did hear recently that Avon have changed the formula and it no longer repels the dreaded midgies. Hoping that's not the case. Hate the wee blighters. 
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