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How to stop midges spoiling your season

The summer is coming and with it come the swarms of midges. Here are some clothing options that will keep the midges at bay and will ensure that you have a comfortable trek, stalk or shoot.

midge proof clothing

The Bug Proof Midge Jacket from BushWear easily pulls over your regular gear.

When the dark cloud descends, it’s not usually a rain cloud that ruins your day of shooting, but a swarm of midges biting your exposed flesh. We have rounded up the best midge proof clothing to keep the bugs at bay and to ensure your day in the countryside isn’t ruined by itchy bites.

Midges are a problem all over the UK and their population peaks between mid-July to September. They appear on damp and cloudy summer days and tend to be found near wet ground or dense undergrowth and will most likely be found at either dawn or dusk.

Midges or gnats do not transmit illnesses but when they do bite it can often be painful, itchy and can swell up.

Did you know midges can detect carbon dioxide from up to 200 metres away? So when you’re on a strenuous walk in the Highlands, walking from drive to drive on the first grouse shoot of the season or stalking stags, they will be able to sense your presence and zoom in for their next meal.

Another top midge proofing tip is from shooters and country sports enthusiasts. Shooters have been raving for years about Avon’s Skin So Soft’s dry oil body lotion for its midge repelling abilities. It is not officially marketed as such by Avon but it comes highly recommended from the Marines and the SAS. It is thought the citronella aroma and the oily base keeps the midges at bay.

Experts advise that you wear insect repellent and reapply if you are sweating and cover up in light coloured clothing because dark clothing attracts them.

The NHS say that insect bites can usually be treated at home and clear up within several hours. However if you are particularly sensitive to insect bites, you may develop bullae – fluid-filled blisters or weals – circular, fluid-filled areas surrounding the bite. If the bite becomes infected or you are concerned about your symptoms you should seek advice from your GP or ring NHS 111.

So whichever midge-infested area you are in this summer, whether it be Scotland or Cornwall, consider adding these midge proof clothing items to your shooting wardrobe.