Midges in Scotland


Besides the scenic beauty of Scotland, the midges in Scotland are really problematic for tourists and locals alike. 

These small insects are largely found in the highlands. The midge season in Scotland starts when the summer arrives and crowds of visitors are found everywhere.

Scotland midges can really cause discomfort and disturb your outdoor activities. 

If you are emigrating to Scotland from the US or planning a tour of the scenic landscapes of Scotland, You must not worry about the Midges.

We will discuss everything about midges like the lifespan of midges, biting midges repellent, how to avoid midges, where are midges found, and tips to prevent midge bites. Let’s delve into the details.

1. What are Midges?

Midges are the small insects of the order Diptera and suborder Nematocera. The midges in Scotland belong to the family Ceratopogonidae.

These midges are known because of their biting behavior. 

Midges also bite human beings as the female midges feed on the blood for egg development.

However, midge bites are not dangerous but they cause redness, itching, and swelling on the skin. 

The average lifespan of midges is from one to a few weeks depending on the temperature and weather conditions. 

2. Season for Midges in Scotland

Midges are found throughout the year in Scotland but the peak season is during the warmer months from April to September.

Moreover, Midges become more abundant and active when the weather is humid and during dawn and dusk. 

3. Where are Midges Found in Scotland? 

Midges are found in areas with water bodies, marshes, and damp vegetation. The worst places with large numbers of midges in Scotland are given below: 

Scottish Highlands 

The Scottish Highlands are the worst places with midges. The damp and cool climate and water bodies provide a suitable environment for the breeding of the midges. 

West Coast 

The West Coast of Scotland includes areas like the Isle of Skye and West highlands. These areas are well-known due to the lochs and forests. Thus providing a home to the Midges for reproduction. 

Loch Ness

Besides the stunning scenery of Loch Ness, the place is also popular due to the huge population of the midges. 

Cairongram National Park

This park is located in the eastern part of Highlands well known for its open spaces, forests, and wetlands. Thus, the right areas for midges growth. 

Gardens & Woodlands

Midges populations are also largely found in gardens and woodlands that have high humidity. Know if Scotland is an independent country?

4. Best Time to Visit Scotland to Avoid Midges

Midges are in great population during the wet and humid weather conditions which is during the summers.

So, to avoid these midges and to enjoy a comfortable trip, the best time to visit Scotland is between late September and Early May. Here is about hiking trails in Scotland.

During winters the Midges are absent due to colder temperatures. Midges go away usually at the start of October due to changes in weather conditions. 

5. What are the Symptoms of a Midge Bite?

The most common symptoms of Midges bite include the immediate redness and itching at the site of the bite.


Other symptoms include localized swelling, a burning sensation, and small bumps. 

Moreover, reactions to midge bites are not severe and disappear after a few minutes or hours. 

6. How to Avoid Midges During your Cacation in Scotland?

Given below are a few of the things that you must do during your vacations in Scotland to avoid midges. 

Avoid West Coast 

The West coast of Scotland is an ideal habitat for midges due to the presence of water bodies, abundant vegetation, and a suitable environment for breeding.

Places like The West Highlands, The Isle of Skye, and other coastal regions have a large population of midges. 

These places have a huge population of midges causing discomfort to the visitors, particularly during the worst season of midges.

So, to avoid midges you must use the prevention tips or these places during your vacations. Learn things to do in Scotland with kids.

Check Midges Forecast 

Scotland has established a Midges Forecast system where you can check the amount of midges before traveling to a place in Scotland.

You can check the Midge forecast on the map of Scotland where you will see colored circles indicating the levels from 1-5. 

These levels will tell you how many midges are present in a particular area. Like level 1 means no midges, and level 5 means that the worst midges are present.

So, before traveling to any place in Scotland remember to check the Midge Forecast. 

Don’t go out and about at Dawn and Dusk

Midges are more active and in large numbers at Dawn and dusk. The weather is humid, cooler, and more favorable for midges during these hours. 

Moreover, these are the feeding hours of the midges, and also the windy atmosphere is suitable for them to fly easily. So, try not to go out during the dawn and dusk hours. 

Visit Indoor Places on dull days

Dull days mean days with cooler temperatures and lower light levels. Visiting indoor places during dull days lessens the risk of midge bites. 

Indoor places like museums, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants have less to no midges present.

But, the places with open windows and lawns have midges so, you must be cautious during your visits to indoor places as well. 

Visit the Eastern Part of Scotland 

The eastern part of Scotland has a smaller population of midges as compared to the western and northern areas of Scotland. This is due to weather conditions and geographical areas. 

The weather in the east of Scotland is dry and less humid which is not suitable for midges breeding.

Moreover, the urban lands and agricultural areas also have fewer midges as compared to the lochs and wetlands of the Western highlands. 

So, to avoid midges you must prefer to visit the eastern parts of Scotland which include Edinburgh, Stirling, St.Andrews, Aberdeenshire, and Perth. Know life in Scotland. 

7. Tips to Prevent Midge bites


A few of the tips are given below to prevent midge bites during your vacations in Scotland. 

  • Always remember to close your windows and doors during the peak hours, especially during the Dawn and Dusk when the midge activity is high. 
  • Always wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks to cover up your skin to avoid being bitten by midges.
  • Stay away from damp areas, wetlands, and marshes as these are breeding places of midges. 
  • You can cover your head and neck with a hat and fine-mesh midge net to prevent midges. 
  • Avoid wearing dark colors as midges like dark clothing. Prefer to wear light colors like white, grey,cream colors. 
  • Do not stay too long in wet areas or grasses. 
  •  You can also use midge repellents to keep midges away.

Midges in Scotland FAQs

What are the worst places for midges in Scotland?

The worst places for midges include the west highlands, Isle of Skye, lochs, and other coastal areas in Scotland. 

Why do midge bites affect people differently?

The different immune responses, skin types, and genetics of the people are the reasons for the different effects of midge bites. 

What time of the day are midges most active?

Midges are most active during the dawn and dusk hours of the day. 

What is the repellent to midge?

Midge repellent spray containing bifenthrin, eucalyptus oil, lavender, Citronella, and peppermint is used to repel midges. 

Does a midge bite hurt?

No, it does not hurt but causes itching, redness, or swelling in the area where the midge bites. 


Midges in Scotland are widely present in damp areas with humid weather conditions and wetlands.

The Western Scotland and Northern areas of Scotland have a high population of midges during the peak summer season.

Moreover, eastern Scotland has fewer midges due to urban and agricultural areas.

However, you can still visit these areas with midges by using the preventive tips, and the methods to avoid the midges can make your tour easy and comfortable.