The Highland Midge

If you have never been to the Highlands before, you may have heard stories of the dreaded Scottish midge. A tiny two-winged fly that moves in swarms, generally near water or marshy areas, and bites unsuspecting passers-by. But don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you may think! With a bit of preparation and knowledge, this wee beastie should not affect your holiday.

Our Tips for keeping the Midges away

Firstly, midge season is generally in the height of the summer, from mid-May to September. So, if you are visiting us at any other time of year, you will not be bothered by them.

Also, midges are tiny, much smaller than mosquitoes. So their bites are usually more irritating than painful, unless you tend to have severe reactions to insect bites. Their tiny size with a wingspan of just 2 mm is probably the reason that midges appear in large numbers. You never get “just the one”!

Midges are most likely to be out and about at dawn and dusk, and in still, humid conditions. Even a slight breeze will chase them away. They also can’t keep up with you when you’re walking. So while you’re out hiking or cycling you should be perfectly fine.

If it is “midgey weather” (i.e. cloudy, damp and no wind) and you are worried about these pesky insects bothering you, try a midge repellant like Smidge or Avon Skin So Soft.

Camping in the highlands

In case you don’t like to use insect repellants or are allergic to them, you can also go for the very fetching “midge hat” (a wide brimmed hat with a net), which will protect your head and face from the midge menace.

Not all areas of Scotland are affected by midges, so keep an eye on the Midge Forecast in the summer, so you can decide if you have to pack an insect repellant or not! In the Inverness and Loch Ness area, most places by the coast and along Loch Ness are pretty much midge free, but in other places like Glen Affric you are more likely to encounter them.



The Scottish midge

So don’t be worried about the Scottish midge.  Just remember our tips on how to avoid midges. Stay active and avoid sitting still outside if it’s “midgey weather”. And if you can’t avoid them (for example when you’re camping, fishing etc), stock up on tried and tested midge repellents, and you will still be able to enjoy the great outdoors!

For lots of outdoors activity ideas, head over to our Things To Do map