Mozzies on west coast route

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Mozzies on west coast route

Postby dabster » 3 Feb 2011, 11:52am

Anyone know how bad the mozzies get going up the west coast route and what time of year they are bad (I am travelling September).

Also, what don't they like - DEET / Jungle Formula etc

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby rualexander » 3 Feb 2011, 2:39pm

Not many biting mosquitoes in the UK.
If you are referring to Scottish midgies then they can still be quite bad in september depending on the weather conditions. 100% DEET is reasonably effective but not totally. Nothing much else works against them although some folk get good results from Avon Skin-so-soft.

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby phil parker » 3 Feb 2011, 3:11pm

September's comparatively better for the Midges - I came down the west coast during the last 2 weeks of September and didn't have any problems whatsoever - and I was camping!

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby PompeyJoe » 3 Feb 2011, 6:40pm

Eat Marmite

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby bogmyrtle » 3 Feb 2011, 6:56pm

Midges tend to build up from June. They are particularly active in July and August then they tail off again. If the weather is wet and windy, they are not a problem. In warm dry weather they are at their worst from late in the afternoon and during the evening. They are also particularly bad after rain or when it is humid.
The west coast midges are particularly nasty. A lot of people swear by Avon Skin So Soft as a repellent. Not what is produced to do but it is effective.
Last edited by bogmyrtle on 3 Feb 2011, 7:45pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby cycloret » 3 Feb 2011, 7:36pm

Most complaints are about the Scottish midges though years ago when camping I remember the mozzies too. For my Lejog I bought some Ecoguard Extreme but failed to apply any before I was bitten whilst mending a puncture in a wooded area near Spean Bridge. Otherwise I think it good stuff. Stop for any reason and you risk getting bitten, keep peddling and you should be safe.

Deet is effective but not pleasant to use. Avon so soft is moderately effective but needs to be applied probably every couple of hours, the midges seem unable to get through the oil. There are reports that some find it ineffective. There are a variety of nets you can buy. Here they're probably essential if you intend to camp overnight in a midge area.

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby dabster » 4 Feb 2011, 1:08pm

Cheers guys, where can you get this Skin so soft stuff?

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby cmlstratton » 4 Feb 2011, 1:23pm

An Avon Lady or eBay

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby dabster » 4 Feb 2011, 4:25pm

Cheers, ordered some. Hopefully it'll do the job!

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby mattraisin » 1 Mar 2011, 1:38pm

Have done a West Coast JOGLE and have a friend who lives in Fort William. The Avon skin so soft forms more of a barrier rather than actually repelling them and as you are on a bike this leads to loads of midges stuck on your arms and legs and face. I recommend Jungle Formula. Any high percentage DEET should do the trick. Also, the thing about wind keeping them away did lead to a problem when I camped on my second night. It was windy so I found a more sheltered but also damp spot down by a stream. It was a small grassy field with a marshy bit next to it. No midges at the time but when I woke up the next day and the wind had gone away you wouldn't believe it. Tiny midges had made it everywhere in my tent. Outside was almost like a dark coloured fog. I was inhaling and being bitten at an awful rate. This was not a nice start to my third day especially since the first two had been decimated by terrible wind (it went on to be a soaking wet day but also one of the most enjoyable, large long downhill most of the day on passing place road with no traffic.). I must also add that midges are not just a west coast problem, this particular incident was near Altnahara in the North of Scotland, but they can be a pain in loads of places, any damp forested and sheltered areas on a humid day can give rise to this problem. I was using insect repellent almost everyday.
A puncture in the middle of nowhere simply gives you more time to admire the view.

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby Russcoles » 6 Mar 2011, 2:21am

Take a smoker with you. Pipe smokers can clear midges from the biggest area :)

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby SimonCelsa » 18 May 2011, 12:36pm

I've quite a lot of experience with the ferocious midge & can make the following informed observations/deterrents from previous research:

Do not stop - anything above a brisk walk is too much for the little darling's wings

Do not breathe - CO2 emissions are like a magnet to the midge

Smoke stogies - CO they don't like

Evaporate hydrocarbon vapors around oneself - acts as a narcotic & puts the midge into a drunken stupor

Thus, whilst transitting West Coast routes during the summer months I have found it beneficial to hold ones breath, douse oneself liberally in petrol, light a giant cigar & keep on pedalling.

Boom Boom said basil,

Regards, Simon

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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby garibeet » 18 May 2011, 12:47pm

You can try "Smidge", just released this year. We have some in stock and I plan to try it as they love me!!
If it works for me I would say it will work for most folks.


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Re: Mozzies on west coast route

Postby alicej » 18 May 2011, 2:13pm

+1 for Skin So Soft, it works better on midges than DEET. It's supposed to make your skin feel soft but it basically makes it very slightly greasy, and the midges just hate it - any that do land on you just stick to you and die before they can bite you.

It's especially good for using on your face as obviously you shouldn't squirt poison like DEET etc near your eyes, but Skin So Soft is fine if you close your eyes and just spray your whole face. They have started making one with insect repellent in it that you shouldn't do this with though, I'd just buy one without the insect repellent added, as it's the grease that works.