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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Plan to put bite on midges
Beer garden
The trap aims to make outside life more pleasant
Experts have taken the latest step in combating Scotland's infamous midge by crossing a cow with a vacuum cleaner.

The process for the machine has been researched and developed at Edinburgh University's centre for tropical veterinary medicine.

The midge trap gives off the carbon dioxide output equivalent to a cow, along with other associated scents, and then sucks up any midges it attracts.

The device is due to be launched next week.

It draws midges in with these smells and once they get close it sucks them up
Dr Alison Blackwell

The university's Dr Alison Blackwell said that midges can detect carbon dioxide from about 100m away.

"It draws midges in with these smells and once they get close it sucks them up into a collecting bag where they will eventually die," said Dr Blackwell.

"Their favourite host is actually a cow or a horse or a deer, not, strangley, people.

"So what we've done is mimic the smell of the cow, which is CO2 plus some other attractants, so instead of flying towards you they will fly towards the trap."

The machine has been designed to sit outside, next to areas like beer gardens.

Dr Blackwell said that anti-insect devices already on the market have mainly been designed for bigger mosquitos.

The manufacturing research has been carried out with backing from Calor Gas and Scottish Enterprise.

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