Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Dundee experts warns 21 billion figure for 2017 midges “could double”

Post Thumbnail

A Dundee expert has warned the country could be plagued by a swarm of 21 billion midges this year.

The onslaught of bugs is due to start in the coming weeks, with numbers in line to soar after mild weather failed to kill off midge larvae living under countryside soil.

The official Scottish Midge Forecast has estimated 139 billion midges will blight the country this year. Of this number, the amount looking for dinner could be 21 billion.

Only the female insects bite, however not all of them make it to “biting point”.

Midge expert Alison Blackwell, who runs the forecast and is director of Dundee’s APS Biocontrol, said this figure for hungry bugs “could double” if weather was particularly warm.

However it could also be a lot less if the mercury dropped in the coming weeks.

Midge survival guide: How to effectively battle Scotland’s impending plague of 21 BILLION bugs

Ms Blackwell said: “Where that number comes from is we did an estimate of what the midge population could be this year based on potential breeding ground area.

“I don’t think 21 billion is an over-estimate. That could be the number of midges running around trying to bite people.

“However there could be a dry, windy spell which kills off more than anticipated. Or it could be warm and there could be more.”

She said the figures were based upon “what we know about the reproductive routes of midges”. There is usually two generations of the insects every year, half of it male and the other half female.

Milder weather, such as that experienced in the 2016-17 winter, can also lead to higher populations.

Ms Blackwell added: “In the ground there is a huge big population of midges waiting to emerge. Warm weather encourages them to start turning into adults.

“They need a bit of humidity as well. If we get some rain between now and the end of the month we could be looking at a big first emergence.”

Midges usually arrive in late May or early June.

Ms Blackwell’s study focused on a huge land mass in the Highlands and Islands.

The study estimated there will be 44.8million of the beasties per every resident of the region.

APS Biocontrol Ltd produces the anti-midge repellent, Smidge.

Ms Blackwell added: “You have got to really be prepared for them at kind of peak times of the day when midges are active: dawn and dusk.

“Things that attract midges are heat, movement and dark clothes. Midges are also attracted to carbon dioxide. Being prepared is the most important thing”.




Already a subscriber? Sign in