Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Time to roll out the midge experts and their (now regular) claims of imminent doom

Crazy midge

Blood lust

Although I generally have the problem under control, I’m something of a cynic at heart, and find the motives of many to be suspect. All to often, like telephone sales, their mouth is saying one thing, while their hands are doing something you probably wouldn’t like if you knew about it, and were not having your attention diverted.

One such animal that seem to be becoming more common is the “Midge Expert”.

These (possibly innocent dupes) seem to be rolled out of their cupboards by the media any time there is a change in the pattern of winter weather.

And the story is always the same:

It’s going to be a bumper year for midges!

The trouble is, this bumper year seems to be promised regardless of the type of winter we have.

In the past, I have written about the promise of a ‘bumper’ year for midges after we have enjoyed mild winters – such as the one we have just experienced in the period 2013/2014, and the mild November of 2011 – and then found myself writing much the same after we have shivered during harsh winters, such as 2009/2010 when I first suggested Long hard winter might dent midge population, but was then forced to revise this thought with Scottish midge proves to be a wee hard man. The latter even being supported by a BBC short which included expert testimony that their number would rise rather than fall, even though we’d had a sever winter.

This year, the media tells us:

MIDGES are set to plague the Highlands in record numbers this year, according to the world’s leading expert on the insects.

Dr Alison Blackwell is predicting a “bumper” summer for the biting beastie, saying that the warm winter followed by wet and damp conditions just as midges are hatching could not be more perfect for the insect.

“If the rain continues over the next couple of weeks it will be perfect conditions and a bumper year for midges,” warned Dr Blackwell.

“With the mild winter and now the warm, wet spring weather, we could see a similar bumper first emergence in mid-late May as we had two years ago, when the weather pattern was very similar.

“The critical period that determines the timing of the first emergence is now.

“They like warm and damp conditions. They don’t like hot and dry summers. We are in the crucial period now.”

Dr Blackwell added that the spate of wildfires that have scorched the Highlands and Islands last year would have “little effect” on midge numbers.

“They are pretty adaptable in surviving all kinds of conditions,” she said.

“The larvae bury two-to-three inches into soil. I’m afraid their numbers are just so huge it will have made little difference.”

‘Bumper year’ in store for Scottish midges – The Scotsman

However, the truth in the midge’s resilience can be found a little later in the same article, and it’s all down to money and target, as the Scottish tourist industry whines about ‘lost’ income, and blames this on the poor we midge, rather than its own lack of success:

The Scottish tourism industry is estimated to lose about £286 million-a -year because of the voracious and swarming insects.

A previous study also found that many tourists said they would not return to Scotland at the same time of year because of culicoides impunctatus.

The trail always leads to money!

Oops!

Oh dear… There I go again – letting my cynicism surface again.

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March 20, 2014 - Posted by | Civilian |

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