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The Scottish Midge Season

Many tourists to Scotland leave with the impression that the country is permanently under siege from the midge menace. That's not true, midges are seasonal. Unfortunately they tend to be at their most active during the peak tourist season!

When Is The Midge Season?

As with most things connected with the seasons in Scotland, that of the midge is not precise. When the midges come out in Scotland is a bit of a moving target. Midges of various species begin to appear in Scotland around April and continue to be present until October. However at the start and finish of the season the midges around tend not to be the most troublesome biters.

The worst problems begin in June. This is when the infamous Highland Biting Midge - the worst of several biting species - starts to appear. The Highland Biting Midge remains active for about three months, with July usually being the worst month for midges.

Despite the name the Highland Biter isn't restricted to the Highlands and can be found throughout the country, especially in shady conditions near water.

There are other species of Scottish midge that also bite, for example the Garden Midge. This has a longer season, lasting until October, however although it does bite it's not as much of a problem as its Highland counterpart.

So if you want to minimise the chance of being attacked by midges then June and July are probably months to avoid - this is when the midges in Scotland are at their most active, with the numbers dwindling towards the end of August. But avoiding June and July means missing out on the wonderfully long days we get here at that best time of year. So it might be better to come anyway and concentrate on defending against the midges rather than avoiding them.

The Future

There have been reports that the season is getting longer, with biting midges becoming active earlier, sometimes during the last fortnight in May. This might be a side effect of global warming and the general increase in Scottish temperatures. If this trend continues then the midge menace can only get worse.

On the plus side, they don't like the weather too hot so if things do warm up significantly then the middle of summer could become slightly less midge infested.