Saturday, 13 July 2013

Box ticking: Dubious benefits of midges and ticks explored

They are Scotland's most notorious bloodsucking pests, but the Mountaineering Council of Scotland is highlighting the benefits of midges and ticks.

Swatted, warded off with smelly repellent or twisted out with tweezers from where they have burrowed into skin, midges and ticks usually get short shrift by people they encounter.

Midge bites can cause irritating red itchy sores while those of ticks can result in serious, long-lasting medical problems.

But to raise greater awareness of the health risks the latter can pose to human health, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has explored the positive benefits of the tiny pests.

The pros include their importance as a food source for wild birds.

Heather Morning, mountain safety advisor at the MCofS, said there was a serious message behind compiling the list.

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