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Beat the bite: how to keep those midges away

PUBLISHED: 10:15 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:15 03 November 2014

Buzz off!

Buzz off!

Archant

I’m due to travel up to the Isle of Skye. Is there anything you can recommend to keep the midges at bay?

JONNY CROCKETT replies: There is very little scientific research and a lot of anecdotal evidence into what works and what doesn’t. Some swear by Avon Skin So Soft, whilst others prefer to stick with a DEET-based product. There are several other possibilities that range from eating lots of marmite, lots of garlic, and rubbing your exposed areas with elder leaves. I’m sure that they all work to a larger or lesser extent, but scientists will repeatedly say that DEET is the only effective repellent (or to be more accurate ‘masking agent’). The levels of DEET in your insect repellent will determine the effectiveness. Products like Nordic Summer have less than 5% whilst other are 100% DEET. Always try to use the lowest percentage possible. Remember that DEET will eat into anything plastic. Use carefully. My best advice would be to cover up as much skin as possible and use a really low percentage DEET product.

1 comment

  • As a person with a lot of experience of DEET in the 1980's and early 90's, I would point out that it is easily absorbed into the skin thru' open pores in the skin. Not very good for your health ! Best put it on material that you don't mind staining. cdesign

    Report this comment

    cdesign

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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