The current hot and dry spell across northern Europe is temporarily supressing the Highlands' midge numbers, scientists say.

Heatwave is giving Scotland a short ‘midge window’ before insect numbers peak

THE current hot and dry spell across northern Europe is temporarily supressing midge numbers, scientists say.

However, boffins at Dundee’s APS Biocontrol who run the Scottish Midge Forecast, warn that a peak in numbers is expected to hit in August.

Scotland is home to more than 35 species of biting midges – including the voracius ‘Highland midge’. There have been several reports of high numbers of midges in the north west of Scotland, but numbers are currently down due to the dry weather which is, according to the Scottish Midge Forecast, not ideal for midge survival.

A spokesperson said the conditions were holding up the emergence of adult midges, but they would probably “come out with a bang” as soon as wet weather arrives.

“We had the first peak of midges in early to mid-June and normally we’d have the second peak five or six weeks later, but this second peak is probably being delayed by the current conditions,” said the spokesperson

“I suspect this peak is another three to four weeks weeks away. A bit later than usual.”

Dr Alison Blackwell, who runs the forecast, suggested a large wave next month was guaranteed.

“They have survived all kinds of conditions including an Ice Age,” she said.

“There are few things in life as certain as death, taxes and midges!”

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