You’ll be glad to know that it’s nearing the end of the midge season! Numbers are starting to decline around the country, with fewer and fewer reports coming into us of midge activity. This means that the Midge Forecast is soon to shut down for the season. It’s at this stage that females will start to lay their final batch of eggs, which will develop into larvae that will remain a few centimetres under the surface of the soil. These larvae then enter an overwintering stage and will remain there until the spring of 2020, when they become the first generation of midges.
2018 ended with a mild winter, but a warm spring in 2019 led to an early appearance of midges all around Scotland. Unsettled weather in June meant we didn’t see the usual peak of midge numbers that we normally would. However, we did see a large bump in numbers in August and now they are starting to decline.
It’s not so easy to predict when the first generation of midges will appear in 2020. If we look back to 2018, we saw a slow start to the midge season thanks to cold weather at the start of spring. Compare this to 2019, which was a very different story. This shows just how weather dependent midges are! If this year’s winter is as mild as 2018 and combined with a warm spring, we will see an early emergence. However, a cold winter and delayed spring will see midges appear later in May 2020. We will have a better idea at the start of the year.
We will relaunch the Midge Forecast around May 2020. Next year we hope to have improved forecasts by adding more locations to the map.
We are also considering a relaunch of “Midge Watch”. Midge Watch was a citizen science project that over 100 of our Smidge fans took part in. We sent out a small trap to each volunteer, which allowed us to understand midge demographics a little better. I’ll be sure to post further details nearer the time.
Please get in touch with us in the spring if you are one of the first to suffer midges! We are always happy to receive reports from our Smidge customers and you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Facebook.