Why Are There So Many Midges In Scotland?

Written By:
Jack De Graaf
Last Updated:
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1 Minute
Filed Under:
Animals
In Scotland, a brutally cold winter actually means more midges appear in the spring and summer.

As anyone who has ever been to Scotland will tell you, there are way too many midges – Hundreds of them.

Thousands of them – and they’re everywhere in the Highlands!

Midges are annoying little mosquito-like insects that bite you all over and send you into an itchy frenzy – and the highlands are full of them!

So why are there so many?

So why are there so many?

Well, firstly, Scotland has roughly 35 different types of midge native to it, however, only 5 types of these midges bite humans.

So whilst you may see so many about, not all are annoying bloodsuckers.

Secondly, the Highland Midge, which is the midge most often found in greatest quantities in Scotland, are known to be the biggest repeating offender when it comes to biting people, and their numbers are rife in the highlands.

And thirdly, a brutal winter actually means more midges in the spring and summer.

In 2010 scientists believed that the Highland Midge population was going to die down a little after the brutal winter Scotland (and the rest of the U.K.) had just been through.

But what they actually found was that due to the constant freezing temperatures; most of the midge’s natural predators had sat the winter out, leaving the midge population to boom.

So every time there’s a freezing winter (which is mostly about every winter in Scotland) the midge population is set to bloom in spring.

So there you have it, that’s why there are so many midges in Scotland!

Bonus Fact!

Midge on human skin

In medieval times, some Scottish lords would torture people by strapping them naked to a post and leaving them to be devoured by midges.

Although this would never kill a person, it often sent them crazy after a few days.

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About The Author

Jack De Graaf
Jack De Graaf

Jack De Graaf is a BA English Studies graduate and a part-time writer. In his spare time he likes to read and do circus skills. He enjoys writing about video games, television and general knowledge.

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