A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

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Bearbonesnorm
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A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:09 pm

I appreciate that the answer to this question will depend on many factors but I'll ask anyway ... how bad are the midges likely to be on the west coast at the end of July?

A / Don't bother

B/ Not too bad until you stop

C/ No worse than Wales

D/ You won't see any
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touch
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by touch » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:13 pm

Depends how windy it is.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by htrider » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:18 pm

With smidge, a head net, careful accommodation choice and a positive attitude, they are survivable.....
Plus stiff breeze, rain, hot sunshine (!) will see them off. Trying to bivvy at altitude if its still is also a good plan

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ZeroDarkBivi » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:20 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:09 pm
D/ You won't see any
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by whitestone » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:21 pm

Generally they don't like wind, heavy rain or bright light. Apparently the summer of 2018 was so hot that they were trapped several metres above the ground due to the thermals!

Beyond that it can really vary - I've been climbing on the Etive Slabs in June in dull weather and not seen or felt a single midge (Glen Etive is one of the midge hot-spots), then I've been at Roy Bridge is reasonably bright dry weather and been mugged in the middle of the day.

Edit: Oh, yes. As Phil says, a head net is essential.
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Shewie » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:30 pm

Horrendous most likely but don’t let them get in the way of a good trip.

I’d pack a Beaton midge jacket, either Autan, Avon SSS or Wilmas Nordic Summer, or all three just to be safe,

Pray for a 5mph breeze too :)

Plenty of permethrin for the ticks

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:31 pm

I camp and bivvy all year round. Location, Smidge and (very occasionally) headnet deals with any problems. TBH it's the ticks that trouble me more.

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ballibeg
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ballibeg » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:38 pm

I live and work on the west coast. End of July probably about right for second flush.

I'm not into midgie type 2 fun and I don't even react to bites any more. I wouldn't bother

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:31 pm

Is this scenario and precautuon specific to the west coast and being off road... Me and Composite will be riding to East side (Lejog arriving at JoG at last days of June I think).

Do we need to carry repellant/precaution/midge jackets!! Its all road

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by whitestone » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:34 pm

Shaf, the winged teeth are no respecters of tarmac :shock:

Midges tend to be worse in the West but there are central and eastern parts that can be as bad.
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by composite » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:38 pm

redefined_cycles wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:31 pm
Is this scenario and precautuon specific to the west coast and being off road... Me and Composite will be riding to East side (Lejog arriving at JoG at last days of June I think).

Do we need to carry repellant/precaution/midge jackets!! Its all road
I was going to put some repellant and my head net in my last drop bag so I had them for the Scottish stretch.

Oh, and it will be the end of July Shaf! :lol:

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:44 pm

Living by a river in a forest, I'm no stranger so sounds like it'll be the luck of the draw - thanks all.
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:45 pm

Shaf, Smidge is, basically, mandatory. A headnet is recommended. There's a concept that you are safe as long as you travel above 5mph. Of course, that doesn't help when you fly into a swarm of them.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:10 pm

Thanks... Niel, yeah July :smile:

One thing I've always noticed is that midges like sweet blood alot more. Usually when on our mtb camping trips of the past I've always ensured not to have sugar in my tea (and stuff like that) and its definitely real that they sucked on me alot less (my siblings suffered more)

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Dave Barter » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:16 pm

I thought midges honed in on CO2. Once down they bite, they won’t know how the blood tastes until they taste it surely?
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:23 pm

Dave Barter wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:16 pm
I thought midges honed in on CO2. Once down they bite, they won’t know how the blood tastes until they taste it surely?
Dunno Dave. Pretty sure its not a placebo effect as I experimented with it for more than a couple years/summers at least. Further investigation needed

CO2 exhcange takes place deep within the body afterall and blood is part of the marriage/deal/patrnership. Maybe they've a way of sensing which CO2 has come from sweet blood!!

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Landslide » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:45 pm

A Scottish friend assured me that drinking a whole bottle of whisky deals with the problem.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:53 pm

Landslide wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:45 pm
A Scottish friend assured me that drinking a whole bottle of whisky deals with the problem.
Lol... That might cause the blood sugar concentrations to be dampened (I dont know if its true but would be interesting to test his glucose levels once fully bottle up)...

Anyway, I couldn't find any info online regards my experience but this forum seems to have someone having expereinced similar https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/thread ... tes.32102/ (not very large sample size I suppose but :smile: )...

We could set up an experiment over the summer (Bearbones Research) but it would have to involve a liad of people going into East Coast Scotland... One without any sugar in their tea and drinking lots of plain water and the other with Robinsons in their bottles and lots of sugar in their tea... might have to involve no midge protection so we can get a full on report :lol:

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Escape Goat » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:10 pm

B from experience.
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:36 pm

In our family, my wife has the sweetest tooth. She is the one they are least attracted to. I'm basically barred from giving blood as my blood sugar is so low I faint. 😅

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by JohnClimber » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:43 pm

C) but it's it's not windy C/A

Skye midges are even harder than the soft mainland midges IMHO

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:51 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:36 pm
In our family, my wife has the sweetest tooth. She is the one they are least attracted to. I'm basically barred from giving blood as my blood sugar is so low I faint. 😅
Thats my theory (provisionally)out the window... (edited to fix grammar)
Last edited by redefined_cycles on Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Cyclepeasant » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:57 pm

From parents whom originate from the land of the fastest combines and tractors, eating baked garlic cloves does the trick of keeping vampires ,large and miniscule,at bay. (In my experience)
I have been informed by many of my female colleagues that Avon "skin so soft" works very well too.
I have yet to test this product though.
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:00 pm

Dr Alison Blackwell carried out a lot of research into midge attraction, starting around 30 years ago. There is definitely a factor other than CO2 alone and it's to do with pheromones. It's this that makes some folk midge-magnets.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:03 pm

Cyclepeasant wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:57 pm
From parents whom originate from the land of the fastest combines and tractors, eating baked garlic cloves does the trick of keeping vampires ,large and miniscule,at bay. (In my experience)
I have been informed by many of my female colleagues that Avon "skin so soft" works very well too.
I have yet to test this product though.
Skin-so-soft developed a bit of a reputation in the 80s. It had to be the Dry Oil Body Spray. It only ever worked if you smothered yourself in it. You'd create a greasy layer that would bung up the midge mouth parts when they tried to chomp on you. It was never an actual repellent. On a bad day, you could scrape layers of dead midge of your arms.

There's been a lot of chat about Vitamin B helping as a repellent. I think it was maybe started by the makers of Marmite.

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