Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Scottish midge proves to be a wee hard man

Crazy midgeIt looks as if the Scottish midge has its roots in Glasgow, and taken after the example of the city’s legendary ‘hard’ men.

Despite some hopes that the long, hard, cold, freezing winter might have had the effect of denting the midge population by killing off some of the midge larvae, it looks as if the arrival of summer is being greeted with nothing less than the usual numbers of these little pests.

This morning’s BBC News reported from Glencoe, and from a camp site, where tourists were already displaying arms carrying the tell-tale lumps of visitations from the little bloodsuckers, and others were confirming that they were moving on to get away from their attacks. While the bites don’t generally cause pain – the midge has sharp jaws that cut the skin and it then dips into and drinks from the resulting blood – the stuff it passes on to prevent clotting leads to local swelling and irritation, and the tourists complained of the incessant itching that carries on after it leaves, which can become quite distressing if there is a large number of bites.

Probably because there is not really a significant number in use, in relation to the midge population, it would seem that the midge traps that appeared a few years ago – which use carbon dioxide to attract, then trap and kill the midge – are not having any effect on the population, even though they catch sufficient numbers for some people to trade in the buckets of dead midge these produce.

The total number is estimated to be quite large, somewhere around 1,000,000,000,000 or one million million or 10¹² depending on how you like to express your trillions.

With so many around, it would seem rather redundant to work where the little so-and-so can be found, but they do concentrate in hot (or is that ‘itch’) spots, and new web site has been created to provide just such as service:

The Scottish Midge Forecast

Last year, it was reported that the midge costs the tourism industry £286 million a year.

That’s 1,000,000,000,000 or one million million or 10¹² depending on how you like to express your trillions.

The BBC web site also followed up the story BBC News – ‘Rise in midges’ despite harsh winter

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June 17, 2010 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | 2 Comments


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