Any walker in Scotland will be able tell tales of swarms of midges ruining their trip.

Midges are perhaps the most annoying pest in Scotland and I don’t think many walkers would disagree.

These tiny flying insects can make a summer stroll the most miserable and irritating experience in the space of just a few minutes.

Last year we tested a number of different repellents from various suppliers to help you pick one that may do the job for you. In this the third of our series of reviews we are looking at a product that is family friendly.

Smidge Insect Repellent

Smidge is very popular with the hillwalking community across Scotland and is available in a 75ml pump spray bottle and in the form of a handy pocket friendly 18ml dispenser.

The repellent does not contain DEET and instead uses a more “human-friendly” formula which means it is safe for use on adults, children over 2 years old and pregnant women. The formula certainly smells better than the DEET alternatives.

The manufacturers claim that the repellent will provide up to 8 hour water-resistant protection against biting midges, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, horse flies and sand flies. We have to say that claim stands up well to testing and we found it worked well.

Smidge themselves also provide a free “Midge Forecast” through their website at which allows people to identify areas where the midge threat is at it’s highest.

Tough bottle

The Smidge bottle is made from a light-weight metal alloy which is very tough. The bottle’s design has proven to be leak proof even after months of living being bashed, dropped and knocked while out exploring trails which is good to see. Leaking insect repellent is something I have experienced in the past and it is something I am keen to avoid happening again.


Apply carefully to all exposed clean and dry skin except for eyes and lips. For use on face, spray into palm of hand before applying. Re-apply as necessary depending on conditions such as temperature, humidity and other environmental factors can reduce the duration of protection of all insect repellents.

So it is effective?

I was initially slightly cautious about using it as I have used many non-DEET formulas over the years and they have each failed leaving me covered with annoying bites.

After using it for a number of trips into the Highlands I found that I didn’t need to be cautious as it does actually work incredibly well. The other advantage of the absence of DEET is that the formula will not damage synthetic clothing or plastics which is a welcome bonus.

An effective insect repellent for all the family.

Smidge Insect Repellent

Ease of Use - 90%
Overall Effectiveness - 95%
Value for Money - 100%



An effective insect repellent for all the family.


Volume: 75ml
Kid Friendly: Yes
Available From:

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Life Systems Midge and Mosquito Repellent Spray - Review - Walk Fife