How to reduce midge bites

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
BryterLayter
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How to reduce midge bites

Postby BryterLayter » 4 Jun 2011, 9:07pm

Hi all

I am cycling with my brother around North Yorkshire in a few weeks ending up at the York show. My concerns are the midges...!!!! :?

I will be wearing Lycra cycling shorts for comfort, however the major drawback is I am cycling midge food, It is guaranteed if I stop anywhere with my legs uncovered and there are midges within a ten mile radius the little blighters home in on me and then its lunchtime for these pesky critters :cry:

To make matters worse I react badly to their bites and come up in incredibly itchy lumps, which I I scratch until they bleed.

Is Deet the only answer, or are there more natural answers out there that truly work.

So can someone give me a strategy to minimize being bitten and if I do get bitten, what can I do use to minimize the itchy reaction.

Otherwise, I have told my brother I will have to wear a space suit. Which could get a bit sweaty :D
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scotsmanincumbria
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby scotsmanincumbria » 4 Jun 2011, 9:18pm

I do a lot of Hill Walking and Fishing, the best product I have found as a midge repellant is Avon Skin so Soft. It orks for me and is recommended on most fishing anf hill Walking forums.
http://scotsmanincumbria.blogspot.com

Sue60N
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby Sue60N » 4 Jun 2011, 9:39pm

You sound like me - A midge magnet . - I have a couple of recommendations for use against the dreaded Scottish midge - However everyone appears to be different and Yorkshire midges might have different tastes and aversions than their Scottish cousins !

Avon´s ¨Skin So Soft¨ - Cintronella is the principle midge repellant ingredient. Apparently it was developed as a skin softener - targetted at the female market so is rather perfumed but found to be rather successful as keeping midges at bay ! Its widely used throughout Scotland and even by fishermen in spite of the perfume !! - It´s certainly a talking point. I´ve used it, swear by it BUTI find it needs to be reapplied every hour or so.... and being a skin softener is quite greasy - and in hot weather can feel like you´re in a chin pan. You can get it from an Avon agent or in the Highlands it´s readily available in outdoor shops and chemists alike.

The other recommendation is Smidge - developed specifically to tackle the Scottish midge - I´ve not used it yet but I hear great reports - and plan to get some for this year´s cycle camping trip to the Highlands. There´s info here http://2010.midgeforecast.co.uk/

If you do get badly bitten - antihistamine tables Piriton or Piritize is pretty good at easing itch - available over the counter

best of luck
Sue60n

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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby Vorpal » 4 Jun 2011, 9:49pm

Some of the sun cream / insect repellent products also use citronella. I haven't tried them against midges, but they seem to work well with other biting mini-beasties.
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eileithyia
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby eileithyia » 4 Jun 2011, 10:23pm

Ha if you find the perfect formula please let me know.....
B12, Citronella, Avon skin so soft (but it has to be the green one).
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531colin
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby 531colin » 5 Jun 2011, 8:00am

Anti-histamine tablets send me to sleep, but a cream to apply direct to the skin area works OK.

If you smoke a pipe the midges will leave you alone.

BryterLayter
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby BryterLayter » 5 Jun 2011, 8:20am

Is that an anti histamine cream or antiseptic cream. I use Germolene antiseptic cream but it doesn't really help much with the itching.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Jun 2011, 8:25am

531colin wrote:Anti-histamine tablets send me to sleep, but a cream to apply direct to the skin area works OK.

If you smoke a pipe the midges will leave you alone.

+1

Only time I'd go near my father when h was smoking...
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pete75
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby pete75 » 5 Jun 2011, 9:01am

531colin wrote:Anti-histamine tablets send me to sleep, but a cream to apply direct to the skin area works OK.

If you smoke a pipe the midges will leave you alone.


I read somewhere that even Queen Victoria used to smoke at Balmoral picnics to keep the midges away.

Slidingpillar
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby Slidingpillar » 5 Jun 2011, 9:12am

If you smoke a pipe the midges will leave you alone.


Not necessarily the case with the Scottish midge, I've been attacked while smoking a pipe in the past. Not for nothing is the Scottish midge famous.

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531colin
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby 531colin » 5 Jun 2011, 10:50am

BryterLayter wrote:Is that an anti histamine cream or antiseptic cream. I use Germolene antiseptic cream but it doesn't really help much with the itching.


Definitely anti-histamine. Its histamine that triggers the over-the-top immune reaction, that is worse than the bite itself.
There is nothing to suggest the bites are actually infected....and not much to suggest an antiseptic cream would help if they were!

MarySkater
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby MarySkater » 5 Jun 2011, 7:26pm

Germolene contains some local anaesthetic, so it can be helpful for some people. I've also seen someone break an anti-histamine tablet in half, wet it and rub it straight on the bite. Others recommend a couple of weeks taking Vitamin B tablets before a trip, because apparently this makes you smell less attractive to the little biters.

For myself, I find a conventional repellent, maybe Autan, mostly stops them from biting, with Germolene to repair any damage. If I go somewhere they are really swarming (Scottish highlands) I use a headnet to keep them out of my eyes and nose. However, I admit my main strategy these days is take my holidays in a windy coastal location - not helpful for you, I'm afraid.

Good luck,
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Cunobelin
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Jun 2011, 8:44pm

I tend to wear more casual gear, but the Craghopper "Nosi" clothing seems to work

Sorebum
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby Sorebum » 5 Jun 2011, 9:33pm

If you know someone going to Turkey on hols in the near future, the locally-produced lemon cologne is cheap as chips, and the dogs' danglys at repelling flying things

boris
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Re: How to reduce midge bites

Postby boris » 5 Jun 2011, 11:42pm

deet ( or the similar ingredient in autan) is the only thing that works to a useful extent.

If anyone can point to a proper scientific study that shows otherwise please speak now with the citations.

The ozzies have been researching something herbal that I heard shows some promise but it is not citronella. The herbal things work a bit, but you would not want to use them when you can use deet which really works, if the biters like you and you hope to enjoy yourself. Skin so soft has no evidence to back it up, just a general rumour that it works, like copper bracelets and reflexology.It is possible the tiny scottish midges get stuck in it if applied thickly enough.
The evidence tends to refer to mosquitoes, not midges.

If there is one fly in the county it will find me and bite me, so i have always taken an interest in these things.
Of course the best solution is to keep moving and cover up. I always take my midge hood . It is very light and if you use it you wil be so pleased to have it. and I spray the tent with permethrin like stuff before setting off, otherwise the scottish midges obscure the light through your net windows.

If I had to live my whole life in the midge clouds I might be less keen on deet, however. some of these organic solvents can be a bit bad for you .

from an old thread on bikeradar called 'skin so soft':

http://www.webmd.com/news/20030408/best ... -repellent

''In their study for Consumer Reports, three medical entomologists judged insect repellents with a range of DEET concentrations from 7% to 100% -- as well as insect repellents without DEET. They exposed their repellent-treated arms to 200 mosquitoes for 3 minutes, then counted the number of bugs that bit them. If none bit, the testers repeated the test every half-hour until at least one mosquito bit during two successive exposures.

"[DEET] does not kill bugs, but the vapors discourage them from landing or climbing on you," the story states. "Deet is generally acknowledged as the most effective mosquito repellent there is. ... Generally, products with about 30% deet have proven most effective for the longest periods, and they are considered safe for adults and children age 2 months and older."

Of the insect repellents tested, here's how long they fought off mosquitoes:

Product Mosquito Protection

3M Ultrathon 13 hours
Off! Deep Woods for Sportsmen 13 hours
Muskol Ultra 6 Hours 8 hours
BugOut 7 hours
Sawyer Controlled Release 6 hours
Cutter Unscented 5 hours
Off! Skintastic with Sunscreen SPF 30 4 hours
Cutter Skinsations 2 hours

Avon Skin So-Soft Bug Guard/ Sunblock 1 hour (contains no DEET)



Insect repellents using plant oils such as citronella, soybean, coconut, and geranium "provided little if any protection," the report states.