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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Bad weather affects midge numbers
Culicoides impuntatus - the female midge. Image supplied by Dr Damien Nolan - University of Aberdeen
The wet weather has reduced midge numbers
A leading expert on midges has said their numbers have slumped this summer due to the heavy rain meaning they cannot get a frequent supply of blood.

Earlier this year, Dr Alison Blackwell, of Edinburgh University, said it could be a bumper year for the Highland Biting Midge - culicoides impunctatus.

However, she has now said that all of the 30 official midge traps throughout Scotland were well down on last year.

Dr Blackwell warned a warm and dry end to the summer could reverse the trend.

She said: "It is one of the quietest years for midges for a very long time.

"The last three or four weeks in particular have seen very low numbers. It is simply the weather.

"The heavy rain has had quite an effect on them. Midges need a blood meal within a week or they will not survive - and the weather has made it difficult for them to get that."

Dr Blackwell runs a spin-off company from Edinburgh University developing new methods of insect control.

Millions of midges to be trapped
24 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Summer proves too hot for midges
16 Aug 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Tourism drive over midge numbers
28 Jul 04 |  Scotland

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