Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Scotland faces ‘bumper year’ for blood-sucking midges after exceptionally wet winter

Conditions are perfect for a huge midge hatch this year, a leading expert has warned

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Those planning on visiting Scotland this year have been warned that the country is set to have a “bumper year” for swarming, blood-sucking midges.

The unusually mild winter and wet, warm start to spring have put in place the perfect conditions for the insects’ larvae to thrive, according to leading expert Dr Alison Blackwell.

The “beasties” plague many of Scotland’s most beautiful natural landscapes, and have been estimated to cost the country’s tourism industry around £290 million a year.

Though measuring just 1-2mm across, midges tear the flesh with a set of mouth parts acting like shearing scissors, sucking blood from the skin and leaving a nasty, irritable red mark.

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