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May 28, 2015, 1:31am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Reading through this 'Job Offer' seeking people to work as volunteer midge trappers...

I was intrigued to note the promise of yet another "Bumper year for midges'.
Quoted Text
It's been cold so far this year so midge numbers are low. But the relatively mild winter means many will have survived.

So numbers will explode once the weather warms up.

Midge trappers sought for Scottish forecast - BBC News

I guess it really comes down to where you are in the country, but in recent years I seem to have noted such warning before, yet haven't seen much variation. Central Scotland probably doesn't see swings that amount to much.

You would probably have to head further north, and to more isolated areas to get the full effect.

While we probably don't get choking swarms of the things, I have seen more isolated places up there, where midges can wiped of the skin such are their numbers.

I just wish I could get a repellent that worked.

I've tried most of them at varying cost and recommendation, but over the period fro July to August, always seem to suffer just about the same assault from them, and number of bites.

Funny thing is, they didn't bother me much a few years ago, but now they are either picking on me, or I have changed, and their bites are really becoming inflamed and itch intensely at times. This is something that just didn't happen a few years ago.

Maybe they are genetic mutants - from some old abandoned biological warfare experiment
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November 8, 2015, 1:50am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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So, off we go again with YET ANOTHER promise of 'Even more midges next year.

To me, it seems that we get this warning every year.

And a new reason is 'invented' each time.

This time, we have a 'third' breeding, thanks to a mild end to autumn.

I have seen them, but fortunately have not been too close, so not a bite so far.

Actually, I did quite well this year, and did not suffer the usual attack that I have been victim to in recent years.

Even so, I did have some hefty reactions to one or two of the bites, and still have the marks to show where they were. they were still damned irritating too, but there is a difference between a dozen (mostly on my ankles this year), and 40 or more. And the few I had this year were without me having assorted repellents slapped on, so I avoided that irritation on top.

Here's the story of the 'third' batch:

Warm weather brought Scotland 'rare third midge hatch' - BBC News

As I say, note the warning of 'more' next year as a result.

Remarkably, if it's not the cold bringing the promise of more, it's the warm!
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November 8, 2015, 9:09am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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November 8, 2015, 10:41am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Saw the story before, but...

Rereading after this reminder - still does not tell us how he achieves the attraction to his trap before he 'soap' then to death.

We know how the commercial units work now, with a release of CO2 gas attracting the midges to a killer/collector.

And this tallies with my own walks to the shops.

After learning that midges find people by following the CO2 trail left by their breath, I've noticed that if I plough through the swarming clouds of the little b******s and breath normally, then I end up with much of the cloud following me along the road - and that's not a good thing.

But, if I hold my breath for a while, as I walk through and past them, then I don't get the unwanted group of 'companions' following me quite as determinedly.

The only thing is, you have to be able to hold your breath and not exhale for quite a while, to ensure the concentration of CO2 you have already exhaled and is attached and surrounds you has dissipated sufficiently, or they will just keep coming.




Needs...


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November 8, 2015, 11:41am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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CO2  ,  now I know how we were followed from Langstrath to the summit of Glaramara    >
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May 16, 2016, 4:11pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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EVERY...

DAMNED...

YEAR!


Seriously - do these people think the Scottish are stupid, or have the (proven wrong of course) 3-minute memory of a goldfish.

Every year we get a warning that THIS YEAR is going to be a BUMPER YEAR for midges, and we are going to sent running for cover.

REALLY?

Guess what?

YUP!

Scots warned to prepare for plague of midges - The Scotsman

Actually, the retrospective review of 2015 was much better than the forecast, then again, if they can't get things right with 20/20 hindsight, then they're not doing very well at all, are they.

As I've noted before, for some reason I have become very sensitive to these bite in recent years (or they have become stronger!), but last year was not bad at all from my perspective, and the marks 'only' lasted until Christmas.

I was able to count them in 10s, instead of the usual dozens
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June 15, 2016, 2:42am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Off we go again

A news site I don't give any publicity to had joined in with the 'BUMPER MIDGE FORECAST' this year.

It claims a record combination of wet weather then intense heat means the worst 'bumper' midge season for six years, and Dr Alison Blackwell, who runs the Scottish Midge Forecast, says significant increases have been recorded, and a rare third wave  could be due, stretching out the torment until the end of September.

Sorry Dr Expert - but I think the 'torment' runs into September every year!

The doc has presented an online forecast (the national Midge Forecast) for 10 years  and reports from various places across the country, and said: “At the moment we’re looking at a big summer.

Scotland has 48 types, but the 3mm long Highland midge causes problems for Scots in the summer months, and only the females 'bite'. Actually, they saw into the skin rather than bite.

She said that last year the season was delayed by two weeks due to cooler temperatures in May, but 4,140,064 midges were recorded at one site (Argyll) and 2,353,896 at another.

That's a lot of midges.

And I can say there were plenty in Glasgow.

Still, last year was not bad, not good, but not bad compared to previous years.

I'd still just like to know why I now react quite badly, even to just one bit now, as I am sure I did not some years ago.

The marks etc can easily last until Christmas.
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June 17, 2016, 10:27am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Dammit midge...

TAKE THAT!

Bzz Bzz!sauce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWySdXedUiY (at the end!)
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July 26, 2016, 6:25pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Mystery my a**e!

All these damned midge 'experts' (I suspect the is in reality no such thing now) 'talk up' the number of midges at the start of the year (see my notes above), then act surprised and shrug theor shoulders in amazement when their Great Prophecy fails to materialise - EVERY YEAR!

Mystery as midge numbers drop sharply - The Scotsman

Allow me to let you into a secret...

I reckon most of them have a direct or indirect interest in this, and run companies that sell patent midge repellent, or midge killer/collectors.

At the start of the year, it's in their financial best interest to put the fear of god (or midge ) into everyone, and have them stock up their patent 'soups' to drive the pests off, buy their killer/collectors to protect larger areas, such as back yards, patios, and outdoor restaurants and cafes.

Make a note...

And let's see if we receive the now annual warning of BUMPER MIDGE NUMBERS from them for 2017 as well.

If they're still selling their noxious potions and machinery, I suspect the chances of such a warning remain high.

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WANLOCK
July 27, 2016, 1:34am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Midges are benign beasties, not like the mossies that I encounter in SE Asia, at the moment, Zika virus has the attention of the powers that be, such that the eradication methods are worse than the little blighters themselves. Chemical fogging sprays all over the place.
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July 31, 2016, 11:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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July 31, 2016, 2:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Like anybody cares...

Give them sprays filled with sodium hydroxide, this would deal with BOTH pests, stop the midges biting, AND get rid of those wasters from Ardnamurchan. which the local would probably be pleased to see rid of them.

=====

So...

The biting midges have arrived in Glasgow this week (actually a week before that, but mild reaction only at that stage), and I've already had one notably bad night.

Regardless of what I treat them with, the bites tend to be become like small blowtorches applied to my skin during the night.

Repellent seems largely ineffective.

And wearing covers seems largely ineffective too.

The somehow seem to survive entry via trouser bottoms, and are not destroyed by getting inside shoes/socks, biting my ankles and feet freely.

Same story elsewhere, not crushed inside waist or trouser belt, and bite freely there.

I don't go out with short sleeves, usually have a jacket too, yet they make their home and bite away happily in arm pit.

Anywhere is also fair game for them.

Not looking forward to the next 4-7 weeks, which is how long their biting season can last here.
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August 25, 2016, 12:51pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Bumper season  

Hillwalker's Cairngorm midge film goes viral - BBC News

They will sort out the incomers and tourists  
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August 25, 2016, 1:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I see that article has allowed the prophets to predict YET ANOTHER 'bumper midge year' next year (2017) as well.

I guess if they simply predict a bumper year EVERY year then they will be able to refer back to their predictions and show that they were right EVERY TIME

While conveniently not referring to all the other years, when things were just 'normal'.

I'm intrigued at the claim made for the repellenent cream - apparently it does not actually REPEL the beasts, but stop them from biting.

Really?

I've never read THAT on any of the labels:
Quoted Text
Despite being filmed with insects all over his hands, he said his midge repellent cream prevented him being bitten.

Well, I guess he had to say that, after suggesting the cream had not repelled the wee beasties, he was in danger of being sued for every last penny he might have, for an adverse comment made in public and reported by the media, and causing a loss in sales.



I'm quite enjoying this particular 'BUMPER YEAR'.

While I have one or crackers, and one that went ulcerous, I have less than half the usual number of bites, AND they have not been anywhere near as frequent as in past years.
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August 26, 2016, 2:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I can't link to the 'comic' the story has appeared in, but...

It seems a (local not torurist) woman got a midgie blown into her ear by the wind, and it liked it in there, so stayed

But she wasn't so happy as it buzzed around, and refused to leave even after cotton buds (seriously? DO NOT DO THIS!), and flushing with water and cooking oil just amused it.

After going to the doctor, she ended up going to hospital, where nursed drown the little spot with water, and flushed the little monster out.

Must have been a quiet news day
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August 31, 2016, 7:55am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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"Take my money!"

Well, I suppose that's one way to solve the problem

Assuming you can get where you're going, then later make your escape without the little monstera feeding.

I think this is actually sold as a collapsible laundry basket or similar, and folds up into quite a small package when not in use.

One person anti Zika seat.


This particular 'BUMPER YEAR' (2016) has been one of worst examples of the 'midge experts' predictive skills since they started issuing this warning EVERY year a few years back.

Usually, I collect bites so rapidly/frequently all I can't tell new ones on a daily basis.

This year?

I only pick up bites every few days, and can see that even then, it's generally only 1-4  or so.

Previous years?

Frankly, I just have to give up counting the daily total when it passes 30 or so, as it's too hard to remember which ones I have already counted

Only about another 2 weeks to go (for our season here at least)
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February 23, 2017, 6:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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OH JOY!

Just what we need - MORE midges
Quoted Text
A host of rare and previously unseen bugs and insects have been discovered at a conservation estate in the Highlands – including some creatures that were feared to be extinct.

Unusual finds in the past 12 months include a midge never before found in the UK and a fierce-looking pseudoscorpion, thought to live only south of the River Tay.

The latest discoveries bring the total UK biodiversity “firsts” found at Dundreggan, on the shores of Loch Ness, to 11. Researchers at the charity Trees for Life, which runs the 10,000-acre estate, said the Glen Moriston site is proving to be a “lost world” for wildlife.

Bugs and insects feared extinct discovered near Loch Ness - The Scotsman
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February 23, 2017, 7:50pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well THIS is good news
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Surveys of a large forest near Loch Ness have recorded rare insect species, including a midge not previously found in the UK - that does not bite.

Meet the real monsters of Loch Ness - BBC News

I'm  not an entomologist or biologist, but...

Does anybody else think this suggest a new bio-project?

Cross-breeding the non-biting midge with our blood-thirsty biting version, with the aim of producing a sexy non-biting species that the biting variety will mate with in preference to its own kind, thereby wiping out the biting population via 'natural' means.



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March 23, 2017, 9:07pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Aye - very good

You'll notice that even thought this work is being carried out at Strathclyde University, they don't even bother to try testing it on their own doorstep in Scotland, but take the easy option and go for mosquitoes in far away Malaysia.

This is not, as some may say, because the team want a free holiday.

No.

It's because they are clever enough to know that they would be wasting their time testing it against the Scottish midge.

Our rabid monsters would just fly en masse, pick their 'yogurt pots' up and dump in the nearest stream or river, just for fun - then attack the team when they went to check what had happened!

Using maths to outsmart mosquitoes - BBC News

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It's a CONSPIRACY!

The flies are joining up with the midges..



Newton Mearns fly infestation due to illegal waste dump - BBC News
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Time to make our fortune

Anybody want to pitch in with a few grand and set up as the sole importer of this stuff to Scotland?

Looks like it would be an instant hit here

(I guess it doesn't work, since it hasn't happened already )

Mosquito Bits packaging
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SURPRISE SURPRISE!

Yes folks, believe it or not...

The media forecasts...

ANOTHER...

BUMPER...

YEAR...

FOR...

(Wait for it - surprise coming )...

MIDGES!

Really, midges! Who would ever have expected THAT?!
Quoted Text
Get ready to brace yourself for a midge explosion in the next couple of weeks, particularly if you are in the north of the country, as the pesky insects look set to flourish in the late spring weather.

With their tiny but ferocious scissor-like jaws and taste for human blood, anyone who has taken a trip to the countryside at this time of year will know why they are feared as the arch nemesis of holidaymakers.

Experts are predicting 2017 will be a booming year for the beasties, with recent conditions creating the perfect habitat for our unwelcoming neighbours.

Midge explosion: Scotland set for bumper year of biting bugs

Well, if you predict EVERY year is going to be a 'BUMPER YEAR' you are bound to be right sometime...

And be able to say you are an 'EXPERT' because you got it right!

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'Expert' uses BBC to spread her 'expert' opinion on midge 'explosion'L
Quoted Text
An expert on the Highland biting midge has said there could be an estimated 21 billion of the tiny insects in the Highlands and Islands.

Dundee-based Dr Alison Blackwell and her team made their calculation by looking at how many midges could be found in a square metre area.

Their estimate is for inland areas of the Highlands and Islands where the insect is mostly commonly found.

The figure of 21 billion is for females, which feed on blood.

They need blood to mature the eggs they carry. Males feed on nectar and other natural sugars.

Dr Blackwell, who runs the Scottish Midge Forecast, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that because of their tiny size, there was a high mortality rate among biting midges.

However, she added: "We reckon that in a total season we might be close to around 69 billion midges at least for the Highlands and Islands."

She said when the 1:1 male to female ratio along with other factors, such as females that fail to find food, were taken into consideration, there were likely to be 21 billion females in a season "looking for a blood meal".

Estimate given for biting midge numbers in Highlands - BBC News

This really is becoming little more than an annual farce, with every year apparently to be a 'bumpr' year, or as this 'expert' puts it, an 'explosion'.

Presumably doesn't want to start sounding like a broken record by coming back with the same story every year

Come to think of it, and more interesting than this 'expert' annual self-promotion...

Have we created a replacement for the saying 'Broken record' in this digital age of MP3s etc?

Or does the delusional love of vinyl mean it will never become obsolete, and even millennials (kids) will understand it?
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Incidentally, I just remembered I made this comment last August (2016).

The 'expert' started predicting the bumper 2017 year back then, just to make sure they got their name in the media  

The rest of the comment I made then still sums up my opinion these days (farce)
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I see that article has allowed the prophets to predict YET ANOTHER 'bumper midge year' next year (2017) as well.

I guess if they simply predict a bumper year EVERY year then they will be able to refer back to their predictions and show that they were right EVERY TIME

While conveniently not referring to all the other years, when things were just 'normal'.

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And. just for good measure...

Another 'expert' has appeared this year

If the midges don't get you, then...
Quoted Text
And experts say the population of wasps, flies, ants and fleas could soar as a result.

Will!



Homeowners warned to expect a plague of bugs this summer - The Buteman

Sounds more like Biblical Plagues to me....

And you know what THAT means!

The 'End of the World is Nigh' loonies will be coming out of the woodwork (along with the bugs)

I might as well roll this gem in here as well, just for good measure, and make sure we really are 'Doomed'

BBC - Earth - There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

If you don't want to read it (and it is a long read), then just be aware that climate change (that thing that SCROTUS says is a Chinese conspiracy intended to bankrupt the US) is melting polar ice, and long unseen diseases are being released from the permafrost.

Of course, human immune system has forgotten about them, so we're all going to die
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'Experts' swarm to midge swarm and try to 'Talk Up' a swarm nobody actually cares about (but them, so they can claim 'Bumper Year'... AGAIN!)

Why do I say 'Nobody cares'?

Because these are NON-BITING midges.



Experts rush to huge midge swarm at Loch Leven - BBC News
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