With record numbers of midges expected in the Scottish Highlands this summer following the cold winter and mild spring tourists are being warned to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten.
The peak season for the Highland Midge is between June and August and experts estimate there could be as many as 800 times the average level of midges this year as recent conditions have been ideal for the Highland Midge or Culicodies Impunctatus.
Howard Carter , insect repellent expert and founder of leading natural insect repellent brand incognito, said: “Midges can ruin a holiday in what is one of the most beautiful areas of the UK – they are voracious and swarms of them can cause real irritation. The Scottish Highlands are a great location to enjoy outdoor pursuits but people need to protect themselves.”
Mr Carter has developed five simple steps to help people avoid being bitten by midges, CLOAK.
C – Cover up arms and legs with suitable clothing.
L – Light coloured clothing is strongly advisable.
O – Odours certain kairomones (bodily odours) and perfumes are strong attractants. Therefore washing thoroughly which includes exfoliating with a loofah and not using perfumes is essential to minimise attractiveness.
A – Apply an effective insect repellent.
K – Keep away from stagnant water.
Mr Carter continued: “Many people think the best way to avoid being bitten is to use a DEET-based repellent spray but the Scottish Highland Midge is a sub species which has built up resistance to DEET, a proven neurotoxin.
“As a result we have developed the incognito repellent spray, which is proven to be more effective than DEET. The incognito spray contains eucalyptus maculata citriodora, which is great for keeping midges at bay. As the product is made from natural ingredients it is safe for pregnant women, young children and people with sensitive skin to use, unlike DEET-based repellents.”
“The spray is best used in conjunction with our lemongrass and citronella soap which is particularly effective against the highland midge and used by many Highland locals.”
Mr Carter developed the incognito insect repellent, which is also effective against mosquitoes, after being struck down with malaria and dengue fever in the space of a year, whilst using a DEET-based spray and taking anti-malarial medication. incognito spray is now the only insect repellent product authorised by UK trading standards as ‘clinically proven to protect against malaria’
Other products in the incognito range include a hair and body wash (Formely 3in1 Shampoo.) and the Luxury loofah soap; which minimises kariomones which attract midges, citronella incense sticks which can be used both inside and outside and tick removers, which are also useful when out and about in the Scottish Highlands.
incognito products are available at Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, John Bell & Croyden, Planet Organic, Whole Foods, Trailfinders Travel Clinics, selected independent health shops or chemists or direct from our website www.lessmosquito.com . The spray retails at £9.49 and the lemongrass and citronella soap at £5.