FAQ: your questions answered
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APS Biocontrol Ltd,
8 Tom McDonald Avenue,
Who are Smidge?
We are a group of entomologists based in Dundee, Scotland. As a team, we have many years’ experience working in biting midge and mosquito research, on a international basis. Alongside selling Smidge, we continue to conduct research in our labs in Dundee, aimed at understanding insect behaviour and helping to develop more effective means of control. We are also lucky to have access to unique field sites across Scotland for studies of biting midges and also, ticks.
What is Smidge and how does it work?
Smidge is an insect repellent that contains 20% Saltidin® (also known as Picaridin or Icaridin). It will provide you with up to 8 hours of safe, effective protection against midges, mosquitoes, horseflies, ticks, sandflies and any other biting insects. Smidge works by firstly blocking the antennal receptors of these insects so they have difficulty finding you and then, if they do land, Smidge makes you taste horrible to the insects, deterring them from feeding. As a bonus, Smidge also moisturises your skin and is water/sweat resistant, so perfect for use on a damp day in the Scottish Highlands or a humid day in the tropics.
Smidge contains 20% Picaridin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene and Linalool.
Is Smidge approved for use?
Absolutely. The active ingredient, Saltidin® is being supported for use as an insect repellent under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and during this consideration phase, national approvals are in place for its approval. For more information on Saltidin®, see saltidin.com. The repellent active is also recommended as an effective alternative to DEET by the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland and the CDC.
Can I use Smidge abroad?
Yes! Smidge not only works on midges but also on mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, horse flies and any other biting insects. Read our travel blog for more information.
Why Smidge over DEET?
Smidge contains 20% Saltidin®, which is just as effective as DEET. Saltidin® is a newer repellent molecule and is far kinder to the skin, doesn’t leave a sticky residue and will not damage plastic or metal, which is particularly important for protecting expensive outdoor sports kit, including climbing gear and ropes.
Does Smidge smell?
Smidge has a pleasant citrus aroma and smells great unlike other repellents that often have a chemical smell. Smidge contains no alcohol, instead being a water-based lotion, which rubs easily into the skin.
Can I use Smidge on sensitive skin?
Yes. Smidge contains moisturiser and is kind to your skin. If any doubts, always read the label, contact us with any queries and we would strongly recommend a small patch test, just to be sure. Apply a small amount to your skin and leave for 24 hours to see if there is a reaction. If you do have a reaction, stop use immediately.
How do I apply Smidge?
Shake the bottle well before use. The best way to apply Smidge is to spray it on to your hands and rub it on to all exposed skin. Do not spray directly on your face. Spray a small amount on your fingertips and rub on to your face, whilst avoiding your lips and eyes.
Is Smidge tested on animals?
Smidge, like all repellents sold in the UK, has to be approved for use under the Biocidal Products Regulation and this includes their safety for use by humans. Each of the four repellent actives going through this system (DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 & Citriodiol) have to go through such safety assessments. As such, we cannot categorically say that none of the components of Smidge have been tested on animals.
Is Smidge safe to use on children?
Yes! Smidge is safe to use on children aged over 24 months.
Is Smidge safe for pregnant women?
Yes. Smidge is even safe through breastfeeding.
Can I use Smidge with sun screen?
Smidge can be used with sun screen, but we recommend you apply sunscreen first and let it absorb in to the skin before applying Smidge. Be sure to reapply both when required.
Can I go swimming with Smidge applied?
Smidge is water and sweat resistant and does not need to be re-applied after up to 30 minutes of swimming or sports. We would recommend you reapply Smidge if you swim or exercise for any longer.
Is Smidge going to damage my clothing?
Smidge will not melt or dissolve materials. However, it is best to be safe when applying around delicate clothing as it could stain.
Can I take Smidge on a plane?
Yes. Smidge cans are not pressurised and can be taken into the cabin or the hold. The Smidge bottle holds 75ml and the Pocket Smidge contains 18ml of product.
Can I use Smidge on animals / pets?
Smidge has not been approved or tested for use on animals. We have heard many success stories of people doing so, but we cannot recommend this.
Where can I buy Smidge?
Smidge is available in most outdoors shops around the UK, as well as lots of pharmacies and other stores. You can also buy online from our online store, as well as Amazon. We also have distributors in Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland and can provide details of these. We are adding new countries all the time, so keep checking back here.
I don’t live in the UK, can I buy Smidge and have it shipped abroad?
Unfortunately, we do not ship outside the UK. This is due to the costs involved and various issues at customs. Additionally, Smidge is not registered in numerous countries such as the USA, Canada or Australia.
What is a midge?
Midges are tiny flying insects measuring 2-3mm. There are over 35 species found in Scotland alone, but it is Culicoides impunctatus that earns its place as Scotland’s most ferocious foe.
Why do midges bite?
Only female midges bite. They emerge with just enough fat reserves to mature their first egg batch, but they need the nutrients from blood to produce subsequent batches of eggs. Male midges only eat sugar from plant nectar.
When do midges bite?
Midges thrive on still, humid conditions and aren’t big fans of the wind! Speeds above 7mph will be enough to stop midges from being able to fly. The intensity of light signals feeding time, with midges most active in low-light conditions such as dusk and dawn, or with lots of cloud cover.
What are midges attracted to?
Midges are mainly attracted to our breath and the CO2 we exhale. Smidge works by blocking midge CO2 receptors making it much harder for you to be detected.
Midge Forecast FAQ
What is the Midge Forecast?
The Scottish Midge Forecast was created by ourselves here in Dundee. We use data from midge traps and mini-weather stations across Scotland to generate a prediction of midge abundances. We then extend this nationally using a mathematical algorithm and weather forecast data from the MeteoGroup.
Why is X location not on the map?
We are working hard to update the map to include more locations in Scotland. This requires a little bit of time. See point 3 to see how you can help!
Can I get involved / help?
Yes, please! We would love to hear from you if you have a midge trap (e.g. Mosquito Magnet or Predator) or weather station in your garden or farm etc. We can use the data from this to improve our forecasts.