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Natural midge repellent that actually works

As stated before, my wife has numerous severe allergies.

As we will be spending nearly all of our trip in the Highlands or on the Islands, we'll want a midge repellent that won't try to kill her which means DEET-free and no strong scents.

Any ideas?

Posted by
5678 posts

So, I hope that you find one. But if you don't, it's still really likely that you'll have great holiday. I have taken a half dozen or more walking holiday in Scotland where we go out 6 days in a row hiking/walking in the Highlands. I've needed my miidgie hat and repellent a half dozen times. For the most part I never needed it. I travel in July, August and September. My experience with mosquitos in the midwest is much more problematic. It don't think I ever did a hike or canoe trip in Wisconsin or the UP with out putting on repellent. So, hope that this gives you some perspective. Get a midgie hat. All the outdoor shops have them and they are packed in lovely wee bag. You put it over head with your hat over or under depending on preference. :)


Posted by
7049 posts

You know, "natural" does not mean "safe". My union has warned me against a number of "citrus cleaners." I think the physical barrier suggestion is an excellent idea.

Posted by
6181 posts

I can't use DEET either. I have had some success with a product called Buzz Away. But the scent may be too strong for your wife. There's another one I've used; I think in its latest incarnation it's called Herbal Armor. Both should be readily available - Target, health food stores, outdoor stores.

Posted by
810 posts

My mom used to use a product from Avon call Skin So Soft. Kept mosquitoes away, maybe it will work for midges? I know the scent didn't make her sneeze, and she's pretty sensitive.

Posted by
11172 posts

I have also been told Skin So Soft does the trick! I took some along last September to the Highlands, but we had nary a problem with any critters. We tended to hike after breakfast and ended well before cocktail hour. As the midges and mosquitoes are more-or-less crepuscular, we did not encounter them!

Posted by
1879 posts

I might plan on buying some Avon product. I thought about Skin So Soft, but the Avon rep tells me they have new products that work better. I haven't purchased yet, as our trip is in September. That said:

An item you should consider is Buff....they have an Insect Shield Buff that has UV protection. it will ward off bugs around your head and neck
You can probably find these in your local outdoor around, or buy here on line.

I'm for sure bringing my BUFF with me on our hiking trip to Scotland.

Also, Ex Officio makes bug repellant clothing...

Just a couple of suggestions....instead of putting something on your skin in the way of a would do the same without getting something into your pores...and there is no smell to these products.

Posted by
2627 posts

brewers yeast tablets, or become a regular beer drinker, you need to start taking the tablets about 3 months before you visit to build up things in your system. over 60 years in Scotland and never have a problem with midge bite but I have been a regular beer drinker since my teens

Posted by
1616 posts

Skin So Soft is sold in outdoor shops in Scotland, for its midge repellent properties and anecdotally used by the Royal Marines.

Posted by
8322 posts

Even "natural" substances can cause reactions to the sensitive. There is Skin So Soft (which does have a strong scent), the original bath oil, and there is Skin So Soft Bug Guard which contains chemical bug repellents. Avon makes no claim on repellent properties for the bath oil. Neither could be consider "natural". If they really worked as good as proclaimed, every military and public health agency in the world would be buying it by the ton. Check Consumer Reports for good information on the subject. I think oil of lemon eucalyptus is the only "natural" chemical that has been tested as having some repellent properties in skin application. But it has a scent too.