Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jun 2016, 8:59am

I got over 41 midge bites putting a tent up in the lakes. I stopped counting at 41 and didn't bother with the other leg and my arms. If you're in a swarm and you have no choice but to be there you have to man up.

A Scot a met who never seemed to be bothered by midges gave me a piece of advice. Don't swat or brush away. The first time you do that they'll come for you. He had a very Zen approach to them I think. At the same time I was swatting like crazy and getting bitten badly.

Among my walking friends we have two groups, one gets bitten by midges, the other gets bitten by ticks. Mostly it's one or the other. Whilst there's no science or methodology behind this purely anecdotal "fact" it seemed to hold out among the decent sized walking group. I'm afflicted badly by midges but never been bitten by a tick. Only seen one, a tiny dot walking on my bare arm trying to get off. Seriously it hadn't fed because I it was tiny and showed no sign of biting.

IMHO out of midges or ticks I'd rather get attacked by midges. Although one's irritating and can drive you crazy. The other can make you very ill indeed.

scoot
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Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 8 Jun 2016, 9:50am

Hi Tangled Metal,

It must be very difficult if not impossible to not want to swat or brush of midges. I'll try if we suffer from them.

Thanks,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

nosmarbaj
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Location: Reading

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby nosmarbaj » 8 Jun 2016, 11:09am

The problem with brushing them off is that you tend to squash them. If they are in the process of biting, some of their insides get injected into you via the mouthparts. In many (all?) people this causes a worse reaction than just a bite. Agreed, it's not easy not to brush them off!

Elizabeth_S
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Location: Dunblane

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Elizabeth_S » 8 Jun 2016, 12:36pm

Mostly I don't use anything, I use Smidge if I have to but I generally wear a thin close weave shirt slightly on the big size and long trousers if I think I'm likely to encounter them (I do have a hat and midge net). I thought that this guy was spot on http://www.themidgieman.com/ particularly on the subject that midges hurt when they bite, you can feel them, but cleggs are worse. Generally if I get bitten I ignore it, don't scratch, and use well I've used a number of things, Arnica seems to work (don't know why) if it isn't a bad bite, antiseptic, Savlon Sting and Bite (which numbs it); just don't scratch. If it is in a place that rubs then cover it, I've used plasters (make it a very big one) but sometimes they make it worse, I don't know why and you seem to react to the adhesive on the plaster (even though you don't normally, it happened to a friend recently). I have personally used hydrogel plasters if there is no infection and there are advantages to them, but do so at your own risk.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jun 2016, 12:51pm

scoot wrote:Hi Tangled Metal,

It must be very difficult if not impossible to not want to swat or brush of midges. I'll try if we suffer from them.

Thanks,

Paul

Steely willpower I think. I've not got it but that guy did. Since he took the decision not to swat he's not had a problem. He just lives with them.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jun 2016, 1:14pm

Just remembered an old wives remedy, not sure if it works and it's too late for the OP's trip.

Marmite! Taken regularly for some time before your trip. The theory is the high vitamin B makes your blood unpalatable and you smell a bit different.

Personally I've found the last 5 years or so midges have been less of an issue for me. Before then I was one of those people who attracts midges strongly. In fact if you're walking next to me through a cloud of midges they'll all come to me and you'll hardly get any midges near you. I once got so irritated by a swarm of midges I ran off then looked back. There was a column of midges several metres high running up and backwards from where I was walking. My mate had a very few midges above his head, about 5 I think. Something about me has changed and I'm now more like my dad in that midges.don't bite so much. With my dad I always said that any midge that bites him dies. They know it and leave him completely alone. He can part clouds of midges like Moses and the red sea!

scoot
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Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 8 Jun 2016, 2:18pm

MARMITE :roll: think I prefer the midges :D

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

Tangled Metal
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jun 2016, 2:55pm

scoot wrote:MARMITE :roll: think I prefer the midges :D

Paul

Me too but I tried it once...

Seriously I tried marmite once never again!

Joking aside I bought myself a jar before a big trip to Skye. I ate a spoonful a day followed by something to take the taste away (whiskey or rum was a favorite but coffee as a sober alternative). This lasted a couple of weeks then I gave up. It was about that time I stopped getting bothered by midges but I think it's nothing to do with midges.

Scottishgaucho
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Location: A Scot based in Argentina

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Scottishgaucho » 8 Jun 2016, 3:49pm

I've tried everything and found a spray works best during the day and mosquito coils located at the tent entrance in the evening.
For many years at weekends when I was away on the bike I camped at the same spot in Glen Falloch beside the river and was never bothered by midges. I put it down to the patch of ground where I pitched my tent being sandy. Needless to say that spot remains a secret to this day. :D

geocycle
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby geocycle » 8 Jun 2016, 8:29pm

Is this the mythical stuff? I'm heading into the midge clouds in July....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Avon-Skin-Fres ... ft+dry+oil

Stewart H
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby Stewart H » 9 Jun 2016, 12:26pm

I have some Avon skin so soft that is a few years old, it is partially effective though sometimes seems to be more like a condiment for the little brutes, I have seen also the avon product marketed as having extra citronella in it (apparently the repellent ingredient) especially for the purpose, I have never heard of the Marmite solution, but I have come across the yeast tablet remedy, apparently you need to begin taking them a couple of weeks beforehand for the best effect, above all do not sample single malts on Loch Lomond-side and then fall asleep with the tent door open or you may wake up looking like the Elephant man!

PJ520
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby PJ520 » 11 Jun 2016, 9:01pm

profpointy wrote:
scoot wrote:Warning - do not let DEET get onto anything plastic, eg don't leave it on the dashboard of your car, so that it leaks in the sun, and then burns a hole in the dashboard, into the glove box, out the bottom of the glove box onto the carpet. You've seen the scene in Alien where they cut the monster and the acid blood burns through several decks of the spaceship - well DEET is like that with (certain) plastics.

I was climbing up to Sequoia NP in California when a swarm of some kind of flies started buzzing round my head. Riding along I sprayed my head and helmet with some stuff that claimed to be 95% DEET and that got rid of the flies right away. Later that day I saw some sticky black stuff on my jacket as if the jacket had come into contact with my chain. It turned out to be the DEET that was dissolving my helmet. Apparently wool and cotton are unaffected by DEET but plastics beware. As I'd bought both the repellant and the helmet from the same place they replaced my helmet.

I do know DEET works very well against mosquitoes but midges seem to be of a whole different caliber. I'd take DEET over Skin So Soft anytime.
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

scoot
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Location: Near Colchester

Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 27 Jun 2016, 1:24pm

Hi All,

We returned home on Saturday after a splendid holiday in Scotland. We did purchase some smidge but probably could have done without it, we weren't troubled when on our bikes, only when we stopped to shelter from the little rain we had and when we visited a waterfalls. Apart from that I have a couple of marks but nothing significant. My wife, who does attract stings more than me, is also similarly un troubled.

We only had 3 shortish rides because we had so much more we wanted to do. We rode round Loch Earn at about 16 miles a couple of times and down one side of Loch Katrine after taking the steam boat up. This was about 14 miles. Only 1 hill beat the wife but as a not so committed cyclist as me, I was proud of her and more than happy to walk up what was left of the hill. It was on Loch Katrine and went up at 12% for about half a mile as a guess. My wife loved the cycling as much as I did.

Elizabeth: you are right and thanks for your comments about living with midges.

We did miss out on a couple of other rides but that only means we have to go back to do them :)

Kept my legs working for a 75 mile ride this Saturday (Colchester Castles) which is my last long practice ride before the Ride London 100 on 31st July.

Thanks again,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

greyingbeard
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby greyingbeard » 11 Jul 2016, 7:20pm

I understand that cheap nastly wimmins (not Ladies) perfume is effective.

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andrew_s
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Re: Midge repellent for trip to the Trossachs

Postby andrew_s » 11 Jul 2016, 8:47pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Scandinavian Summer. It comes in a tin, looks like boot polish and makes you smell of a wood fire. It's also one of the best midge, mosquito and fly repellents I've used

Nordic Summer

The marmite idea may have some merit.
The last few years, my recycling has been getting just about as many marmite jars as wine bottles, and now I mostly don't bother to take repellent to Scotland any more. I don't seem to react to the bites any more either. I never did very much, but now there's nothing to see so I can't even count bites.