A losing battle with the midge

Jill Buchanan
Jill Buchanan

You’ll excuse me if I stop writing this occasionally to scratch.

Nothing infectious you understand, but a sunny weekend spent outdoors as much of possible – yes, you can watch Wimbledon in the garden thanks to an iPad – resulted in me becoming what seemed like breakfast, lunch and dinner for the local midge population.

While other people are complaining about their sunburn, I’m surreptitiously trying to cover up the read weals that have appeared on my body courtesy of aforementioned little critters.

Unfortunately, it appears that I am one of those people who are the midge populations delight: a tasty treat just waiting to be devoured. Help!

Choosing to ignore well-intended warnings never to Google anything health-related, after reading up on how they actually leave their mark, I’m horrified.

It seems that only five of Scotland’s 35 species of midge will bite humans with the worst offender the wonderfully named Culicodes impuctatus.

And, would you believe it, the male of the species are useless. For those of a sensitive disposition, stop reading now. It appears they can’t pierce the skin – only females can carry out that bloodthirsty role and it is their saliva which makes us itch and causes the bumps.

Over the years people have tried to come up with a remedy to the problem ... and failed miserably. This weekend, it feels as though I tried them all – from tonic water to vitamin B.

But despite my misery, I still managed to laugh when I read that the midge has made a huge contribution to keeping the north and west of Scotland wild and beautiful – by putting people off living or even visiting there.

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