A reader is tired of being food for midges and asks for some advice
Q: I stalk in Sutherland and every time I go out I get horribly bitten by midges and ticks. Can you recommend any remedies or repellents that work, please?
Tell me about it — the “black mist” seems to be particularly bad this year. Midges don’t seem to affect me luckily, but ticks are always a problem and are more dangerous too, of course, being potential carriers of Lyme disease. It is always wise to prepare for a shooting trip in the Highlands with some preventive aids or protection.
When the dark cloud descends, it’s not usually a rain cloud that ruins your day of shooting, but a swarm…
I use Lifesystems Expedition midge repellent spray with myrtle extract; it seems to be effective at deterring midges from biting and is easily reapplied with its pump-spray. People ask me why I always wear a woolly hat — the answer is easy: I spray the wool liberally and it acts as a wick to diffuse the spray so it works for even longer.
When there’s no air movement to deter midges
I also keep a small midge net handy in the car, and I take it out with me rolled up in my pocket or worn as a veil connected to my hat. This is a useful thing to have with you when you have to stop for periods of time to observe deer but there is no air movement to deter midges.
With ticks, I find that Hagopur Tick Attack spray is good. I also often use Expedition EX8 Permethrin, also made by Lifesystems, to coat nets, hats and jacket cuffs; it kills anything that comes into contact with it.
In case you do find a tick on you, a pair of tick-twister tweezers is always worth having, as are the tick patches; these suffocate the little blighters so they back out of the skin and you can safely dispose of them.