The Irony that is the Irish summer

June 26, 2013

Alfresco Irish SummerWe wait and hope and dream of the long, warm summer evenings.

And then…

The tiny little midges arrive. In their thousands. Sucking the blood out of us softer skinned folk.

I need to read more about why the midges prefer some of us to others. Not enough zinc, need more vitamins, we’re sweeter. Do you know why the corner of my eye has been bitten yet Mr G is sitting next to me untouched? If so, please share.

The citronella oil is working well in the burner on the patio table (but lit too late for my right eyelid) and the insect repellent is effective out and about, but sadly not to be relied upon when sitting outside with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.

Still, we’re never quite sure if, or how many more opportunities we’ll have to be able to drink alfresco in the late evening light when the children are in bed and we can enjoy the tranquility. So we’re enduring the annoying little insects, and over the coming days I’ll be researching every insect repelling plant that I can grow in a container and surround the patio with.

I’ll share it with you as soon as I know.


  • Reply Brian June 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Started a similar post just recently Dee, as I get eaten alive. Lavender and Rosemary were two recommended plants. I hope you are going to test each plant and its midge effectiveness thoroughly. 🙂

    • Reply greensideupveg June 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I do remember hearing a radio interview years ago Brian where the caller swore by taking zinc supplements on the run up to midge season but have never tried. I’d heard rosemary is a good deterrent and do often grab a handful and rub it over, it’s also one of the oils in the Vogel spray.

      I’m growing some lavender from seed and have a huge rosemary bush that cuttings could be take from, think I may start with some of them in containers next year around the patio, thanks for the tip! Neat lavender oil is one of very few than can be applied directly to skin and is great for helping with the itching afterwards. Also Ian discovered that I’m a great deterrent for him… They leave him alone and eat me!

  • Reply Peggy Murray June 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Same here, midge food which can be identified in a crowd, I’m the only one bitten!
    My eldest son is in the army and found mosquitos found him and ignored others when serving abroad, he was told it is certain blood types which attract them?!

    • Reply greensideupveg June 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Well I am a different blood type to my hubby Peggy so perhaps. Whoever finds the ultimate midge cure will be onto a real winner!!

  • Reply Dr Hows Science Wows (@sciencewows) June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Dee, I am like yourself, a real midge magnet. While it is carbon dioxide and heat that attracts the little beasts to us it is apparently smell that makes them choose their preferred victim!! Your blood type can contribute to the odour they detect, along with other proteins present in your biochemical make up. I must smell really good to them!!

    • Reply greensideupveg June 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Well if you ever figure out a way of putting them off Niaomi, please share!

      • Reply Dr Hows Science Wows (@sciencewows) June 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

        Found something recently that suggested using vicks vaporub to put them off. Sounds plausible, thing I’m going to try it as nothing else works for me! Will keep you posted ;0)

        • Reply greensideupveg June 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

          Was going to reply we might be a bit wiffey (I have some too) but thinking about it, wouldn’t really care if it worked! May try it too, thanks 🙂


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