Midges… These terrible little biting insects are often the nightmare of walkers exploring Scotland.
“The walk was wonderful apart from the midges…” I think everyone has heard that reply when asking a friend how their walk went.
However, Dr George Hendry may be able to offer some sound advice with his book “Midges in Scotland” published by Birlinn. The title, which is in it 5th edition, aims to provide a deeper understanding of the winged beasties.
What are they?
The author begins the book by explaining what a midget actually is and when and why they commonly feast upon poor unsuspecting walkers. This section of the book fascinated me especially as over the years I have only been really interested in trying to find some obnoxious chemical to cover myself with in the hope that it will deter them from taking their many irritating chomps out of my noggin and not what they actually were.
The midge has always been something that tourists are warned about prior to their visit to Scotland and it can sometimes give people something to think twice about before booking their holiday. This is something that Dr Hendry devotes a section to and it is surprising to learn the actual impact that these minuscule aggressors have on the Scottish economy especially in the height of the summer months when the midge seems to rule the countryside.
Fighting the enemy
The chapter of main interest to me was the one covering midge control. The author talks about everything including folk medicine, chemical repellents, insecticides and habitat manipulation. The author throws in some surprises and I have had to rethink a few things thanks to his advice.
I really enjoyed this book. The writing style has a clear and light-hearted manner which makes even reading the biological references easy to digest and the humour used throughout when combined with the amusing illustrations, makes it a real pleasure to read.
Date Published: 2011
Format: 11.9 x 0.8 x 17 cm
Cover Price: £4.99
Available From: Amazon