Midge madness

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The Highland midge has ruined many summer holidays in Scotland. Cathrene Rowell has some tips on how to avoid midge misery

One of the attractions of the Scottish Highlands is the scenery. However while the landscape is undeniably stunning, sadly it’s plagued by midges. Can you survive a midge onslaught? Does anything work?

Determined to find out, I recently went there armed with a pharmacy of anti-bite creams, sprays and wipes (having received recommendations from friends and relatives who had travelled to Scotland, Hawaii, India, Europe….. basically anywhere where blood-suckers are common and came up with a list of four products, all of which had been a success to my friends in the past).

I returned with just one bite and that was, admittedly, due to me forgetting to apply anything until after breakfast. So, here is a guide on the products – all of which I can heartily recommend as THEY ALL WORK!

ALL of the below products are suitable for all blood feeding insects, not just Scottish midges and were recommended by travellers from all around the world….. I guess this is why I had such good results! My message? Use the format which suits you best! (the ‘disadvantages’ are more in terms of age restrictions and ‘cosmetics’ – all of these products worked brilliantly.)

Avon ‘Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray’
This was one of the most popular recommendations from my walking / geology buddies….


Easy to apply – spray
Soaks in quickly
Moisturises skin too
Smells neutral – no overpowering or “girly” scent
Fine for sensitive skin
Should last eight hours – however I survived 24 hours, with no bites!
Can be used on eyes and lips
No age usage restrictions

Not being someone who particularly moisturises my whole body on a daily basis, I found this added 10 minutes onto my shower routine, and was always worried about the space on my back which I could not reach…
Phone your local Avon representative and avoid postage costs – they do not tell you this until you have paid up!
They are currently running a special offer: Half price: £2.50! (£2.50 for 150ml & postage if do not go through Avon Representative)

Boots own-brand: ‘Repel Insect Repellent Wipes Tropical Strength’

Easy to apply – small wipes applied to exposed areas
Soaks in quickly
Strong/pungent smell, but vanishes quickly
Portable/takes up no space

Only use on children who are at least six months of age
Should not be applied to eyes and lips
Buy from the website, www.boots.co.uk, or in store (£5.75 for 15 Sachets)


Easy to apply – spray into your hands and apply evenly. Eyes must be avoided.
Soaks in quickly
Only applied in the mornings – appears to offer 24 hour protection
Not scentless, but a very pleasant citrus/fresh smell
Portable small spray
Recommended by the World Health Organisation
Should not be applied to eyes and lips
Only use on children who are at least 30 months of age
Order well in advance – took a while to arrive!
Buy fromwww.midgeforecast.co.uk (£6.99 & postage: 1 Smidge: £2.99; 2-6 Smidge: £3.49; 7-8 Smidge: £4.99)


Jungle Formula









Easy to apply – spray directly onto your body and spray into your hands and apply evenly on face.
Soaks in quickly
Not scentless, but a very pleasant citrus/fresh smell.
Comes in sprays, lotions, roll-ons and as a plug-in
Comes in a range of strengths (destination dependant) and varieties (sensitive skin, camping etc…)
Should not be applied to eyes and lips.
Strong / pungent smell
Larger bottle
Applied twice daily for a day out (rather than the 10 hours advertised) – after around 5 hours noticed increased attention from insects (website says “dependent upon conditions, as high temperature, humidity and other environmental factors and reduce the duration of protection”)
Only use on children over 2 years of age.
Buy from: Boots: http://www.boots.co.uk / or in store (£7.75 for 125ml)
More information on the range on: http://www.jungleformula.co.uk/

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