As anyone who has ever been to Scotland will tell you, there are way too many midges – Hundreds of them. Thousands of them – and they’re everywhere in the Highlands! Midges are annoying little mosquito-like insects that bite you all over and send you into an itchy frenzy – and the highlands are full of them!
So why are there so many?
Well, firstly, Scotland has roughly 35 different types of midge native to it, however only 5 types of these midges bite humans. So whilst you may see so many about, not all are annoying blood suckers.
Secondly, the Highland Midge, which is the midge most often found in greatest quantities in Scotland, is a renowned “wee bastard.” These midges are known to be the biggest recidivist about when it comes to biting people, and their numbers are rife in the highlands (if the name didn’t give that away).
And thirdly, a brutal winter actually means more midges in the spring and summer. In 2010 scientists believed that the Highland Midge population was going to die down a little after the brutal winter Scotland (and the rest of the U.K.) had just been through. But what they actually found was that, due to the constant freezing temperatures; most of the midge’s natural predators had sat the winter out, leaving the midge population to boom.
So every time there’s a freezing winter (which is most about every winter in Scotland) the midge population is set to bloom in spring.
So there you have it, that’s why there are so many midges in Scotland!
Bonus fact: In medieval times, some Scottish lords would torture people by strapping them naked to a post and leaving them to be devoured by midges. Although this would never kill a person, it often sent them crazy after a few days.