The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

This is how to avoid the misery of midges

A reader is tired of being food for midges and asks for some advice

A dense cloud of midges

A dense cloud of midges

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.

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.