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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
44 posts
2 reviews

We will be hiking throughout the UK. Mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, etc LOVE my husband and daughter and one son. They leave the rest of us alone. And, naturally, since the bugs love them so much, they also itch horribly from them.

What type of bugs can we expect and is there a repellent/insect spray you recommend? We are not bringing anything since we will be bringing carry on back packs only. We arrive this week.

If anyone knows what to use in Paris or Rome that would be great also.

Thanks so much. M

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
13,230 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: Bugs

I've no idea what a chugger is so assume we don't have them over here unless it's a nickname for something else! You might encounter midges although it's possibly a bit early in the year from them so you might be lucky. Most likely to be found near water or if the weather is damp and also around dusk. Worth checking carefully for ticks too if you've been walking through long grass or ferns. I would go in a chemist or outdoor shop when you first arrive and purchase something. Different repellents seem to work better for different people and some aren't recommended for use on children so best to check. I don't think you should be troubled too badly in the uk at this time of year though......famous last words.....

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
44 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Bugs

Thanks Edinem. Chiggers are tiny little annoying things that make you itch for weeks. My son was hospitalized with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever last year from one single tick bite. Thankfully a doctor recognized the signs. We are originally from Alaska where the most annoying thing is a mosquito. I feel horrible for my husband and daughter because bugs LOVE them. They are also the two who have the most allergies. Sucks to be them sometimes. We will look for an outdoor shop in Edinburgh.

Bristol, England
Level Contributor
2,632 posts
30 reviews
3. Re: Bugs

I don't think we have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever over here (nor chiggers either, probably).

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
34,960 posts
1 review
4. Re: Bugs

Midges and horseflies are the biggest worries. As you already know the best way to avoid them is to travel with someone who is a magnet for them.

Personally as someone who still has scars from horseflies from last summer I advocate max strength DEET and always wear long socks

Edited: 03 May 2016, 00:40
Camborne, United...
Level Contributor
423 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Bugs

To relieve itching direct the shower head to the area with water hot enough to stand without scalding. My husband reacts quite badly to insect bites and this works for him. It sounds counter intuitive I know but it does work.

Level Contributor
5,485 posts
48 reviews
6. Re: Bugs

If you're anywhere near a branch of one of these stores (national chains, exist in large towns and cities), then pick up




You might also want to pick up (in the event anyone is troubled by allergic reaction)


and a tube of this to relieve itching/inflammation


Midges are tiny, but their little bites cause awful itching, and we do have mosquitos too (anywhere where there is slow-moving or stagnant water, particularly around dusk).

The midge (not exclusively available in Scotland!)


Edinburgh, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Garda, Lake Garda
Level Contributor
9,070 posts
14 reviews
7. Re: Bugs

Hi, Avon's Skin-so-Soft (the green one) is a great bug repellent. I am a magnet for biting creatures and I find it very effective. My husband and daughter were advised to use it when they spent six months hiking the Appalachian Trail a few years ago and we've been using it ever since. You can buy it at Tiso's on Rose Street in Edinburgh.


Cumbria, United...
Level Contributor
981 posts
287 reviews
8. Re: Bugs

At this time of year bugs are few, it's pre midge season, so you should be fine, if a problem Deet is probably best. live in the Lake District and often sit out even at dusk not a bite this year, not really warm enough yet.

haven't seen any horse flies yet.

Level Contributor
3,156 posts
99 reviews
9. Re: Bugs


we are lucky as we have never been bitten by anything in the Lake District and hopefully it will be the same for your family.

Boots the chemist is on the main street in Keswick but also try George Fishers the mountain walking shop at the top of town or any of the other walking shops ( there are many).


Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
2,060 posts
10. Re: Bugs

In my experience midges and horseflies are not a problem in the Lake District, but ticks, which can cause Lyme Disease, are. The number of cases in the UK has tripled this century. I know two people who have been bitten and the consequences can be extremely serious if you do not extract them properly. I've become reluctant to wear shorts when I know I'll be going through bracken.

And, for reasons I've never understood, midges, almost unknown in the Lakes, are a serious menace in Scotland. I've no real experience, but as you say you are travelling throughout the UK it might be worth asking the question in the Scotland forum.

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