The midge season is just about over for another year! We are still receiving reports of a small number of midges in areas of the Highlands and Islands but with the weather taking a wintery turn and the summer holiday season being over, it’s time for the Midge Forecast to close for the season and it will return in May 2022.
The 2021 Midge Season
Just like previous years, this year saw even larger numbers of midges than usual. We estimate midge numbers were up around 20% on last year and even more on previous years. July and August were particularly bad for midges with the warm spring and continuing good weather throughout the summer. The Met Office have said that some areas of Scotland saw the hottest summer since records began. It was also one of the driest summers compared to average.
Our weather station on the west coast recorded highs of 23oC in June and 25oC in July and August. The wind averaged speeds of 1.3 – 1.5 mph over the summer. Considering midges can maintain flight in anything up to 7mph, this was no bother for them! These conditions were ideal for midge breeding and emergence, and with Covid restrictions easing, this led to an incredible demand for Smidge.
Smidge Sells Out!
We sold double our normal number of Smidge bottles during June and July; they flew off the shelves and we had to ramp up production to meet the huge demand. This doesn’t include sale of Pocket Smidge or Smidge Wipes, which were also extremely popular. It’s likely that lots of Brits had a staycation in Scotland and with the worry that midges might be out in force, Smidge was extremely popular (and essential!) Smidge was also featured on various radio stations and The One Show on BBC 1, where CEO, Dr Alison Blackwell, discussed Scotland’s midge problem and how to get rid of them. Smidge was also a favourite of various film crews working in the Highlands. Midge traps were also popular purchases during 2021; we’ll more of these in stock for next season.
The Year Ahead
Covid has had a huge impact on our ability to expand the forecast and attend our usual events like the Mountain Bike World Cup. We hope that next summer will return to normal and that these events can take place and we can be there to save everyone from the midges. We would also like to be gathering more data and placing more traps around the country to help make the forecast even more accurate and to cover some areas not currently on the map.
If you have a midge trap in your garden or on your business premises, please get in touch if you would be happy to share the data (weight of midges caught) with us. We will be back with the Midge Forecast in May 2022.