The Irish Midge Problem

Midges are tiny, one wonders how they ever managed to evolve into something that can annoy us so much. They are my one and only on-going battle when out walking most of the year – though in winter I get a respite for a few months.

Understanding why they bite me has not helped either, but maybe you will or can be more compassionate – more so than me.

The only Midges that bit are the females. And the only time they bite is when they are pregnant with their second or later off-spring. The reason they bite is for blood, which they use to feed the little one. One good thing about Ireland and these little pests are that they do not carry any diseases.

Midges like warm humid climates, they do not like bright sunshine; therefore there will be less of them on sunny days. They don’t like wind, if the wind is more than 5 or 6 km per hour they get blown away. Therefore at the coasts you will encounter them less. They like the evenings, and you will see swarms of them hovering in the trees, across paths, and right beside the stream where you would like to camp for the night or just sit and stare at the stars. Like most flying insect they don’t like smoke, so camp fires keep them away – however landowners don’t like camp fires, and they are more of a problem. It is the only time that I see smokers having an advantage over non-smoker, as the blow their noxious fumes around keep the midges at bay.

The bite does not hurt, it irritates, and scratching should be avoided – if possible, and that seems to be nearly impossible. I have given up my fight – I admit defeat – except for my one last secret weapon. I use DEET, Boots own brand, but I’m sure any brand would be fine. I don’t like the idea of the chemicals on my skin, however I like having the sanity the I currently cling to.