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Clegs.

Clegs.


Postby Csm8 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:31 pm

During this summer I've been a bit dormant in the hills due to other projects, but in a way I've actually not been to bothered about this because its meant that, pathetically, I haven't had to deal with clegs. They have the ability to completely ruin days out - I remember one particularly bad day getting swarmed by hundreds of them in Fisherfield.
I don't actually react badly to their bites at all but I refuse to accept that you just have to accept them when walking in the summer - summer is slowly becoming my least favorite season purely because of them :lol:

Anyway to my point...I have some big ideas next summer in the hills and I'm wondering if anyone has had any success from any repellents, homemade or otherwise that have actually worked? I've tried various things over the years with almost zero effect - one I'm adamant made them even more attracted to me!

Cheers and here's to a good winter!
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Tringa » Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:28 pm

I have found Smidge is fairly good at stopping them from landing on me and therefore biting. I say 'fairly' because one or two get through but they are, for me very much reduced.

However, I find its effect is very short in range so they can still fly just(about 15cm) in front of me for ages and that can also be very annoying.

Like you, their bite does not induce a reaction in me so, other than what must be one of the most painful bites of any UK insect, I can sometimes just about put up with them - unlike Mrs Tringa who, within a minute or so of a bite, comes up in red itchy wheals.

In some ways clegs are just like midges - just part of the scene.

Summer can be great but also sometimes less pleasant than Autumn or Winter.

Others might be along with better suggestions than mine.

Dave

PS they are still wonderful looking insects.
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Alex W » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:27 pm

I am severely irritated by Clegs and Midges and have quite a severe reaction to any bites. I've tried a few repellents including lavender formulae and Smidge. The most effective for me is old fashioned Deet, but I would really like to move away from that for environmental reasons and due to its toxicity - I am a bit worried that prolonged use of deet might be causing me health issues.

For next year I'm going to try a new approach. I'm going to research the effect of building up natural resistance by eating certain foodstuffs. I'm not sure what yet, but I'm sure garlic, both raw and in food, helps make you pretty disgusting to insects. There's other stuff too. It takes a few months, so you have to start in advance of midge and cleg season and basically ensure your body chemistry changes so that midges hate you.

I'll need to make sure that humans don't find me disgusting as well!

I'll still have the chemical remedies to hand just in case this is claptrap.

Has anyone else heard of this or tried it? Anyone know of any research?

Honestly though, midges and clegs cause me so much misery that I'll try just about anything.
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:11 am

Alex W wrote:For next year I'm going to try a new approach. I'm going to research the effect of building up natural resistance by eating certain foodstuffs. I'm not sure what yet, but I'm sure garlic, both raw and in food, helps make you pretty disgusting to insects.


I have heard of this; taking Vitamin B tablets basically from April to September (maybe we should just take them all the time for our health?) builds up a scent, undetectable to humans, which puts midgies off - makes us smell like Marmite to them! I don't know if this would work on cleggs, as they are the spawn of the devil and have swastikas tattooed on their foreheads. You try it, let us all know how you get on... :D
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Re: Clegs.

Postby jmarkb » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:28 am

There doesn't seem to be a lot of research on the effects of diet on attractiveness to insects. However, Vitamin B1 patches have been tested and found to be ineffective against mosquitos: https://academic.oup.com/jinsectscience/article/15/1/140/2583458
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Alex W » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:42 am

jmarkb wrote:There doesn't seem to be a lot of research on the effects of diet on attractiveness to insects. However, Vitamin B1 patches have been tested and found to be ineffective against mosquitos: https://academic.oup.com/jinsectscience/article/15/1/140/2583458


That study suggests that deet is most effective. It's deet I'm trying to get away from, but the study bears out my anecdotal experience which is that deet works best.
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Re: Clegs.

Postby 1Magnus » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:47 am

'Jungle Formula' insect repellent, available from Boots. Doesn't cost the world. Is DEET-based. Seems to repel clegs, midges, keds. Smell still overpowering hours after the walk has finished and you're entering a crowded pub.

Make sure to pack it in such a way that you have access to it *as soon as* you get out of the car! :shock:

And then keep it in an accessible outside pocket of your backpack, for top-ups. Make sure also to spray some in your *hair*.
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Re: Clegs.

Postby earthdragon64 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:53 pm

I've had some success with Smidge, as long as I remember to re-apply it frequently on hot days, it sweats off a bit too easily. I can't use Deet based products, they cause a nasty skin reaction. I also get quite bad reactions to most, but not all, cleg bites, redness, swelling and itching, and then get very lethargic although that may not be the bite itself, but could be the antihistamines I need to take to reduce the effects of the bite

I heard about something completely different towards the end of the summer, an insect bite pen. This works by applying heat to the area of the bite and needs to be done as soon as possible after being bitten. I didn't get any cleg bites after buying it, so can't say yet if it works on them, but it definitely reduced the irritation and swelling from quite a few midge bites I was able to try it on, so I'm hopeful it will work.
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Giant Stoneater » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:34 pm

I have used this with some success for various insects.

https://www.lifesystems.co.uk/products/insect-repellents/ex4-anti-mosquito-spray
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:14 pm

I definitely think I react less than I used to. When I first started hillwalking, I'd only get to midge country a few times a year, and the rest of the year I hardly got bitten by anything. I reacted badly, especially to midges, and it was quite uncomfortable and lasted a few days for each bite. I don't know if this is related, but these days, I spend time almost every day outdoors, and for much of the year, I get bitten by something most days. It does seem to help build up a resistance and I don't react much now. Have to say, I'm not sure cleg bites specifically have been better than before, but midge and mozzie do seem to be.

On the most recent trip, I also took a "one a day" antihistamine tablet.

I use Smidge. It definitely reduces biting, but doesn't stop them landing and they seem to be able to find the bit you missed more than with DEET, which I too no longer want to use. It needs applying more often than strong DEET used to, but doesn't dissolve your carrier bag print, watch strap or handlebars as DEET has done!

Some clegs are equipped with laser drills or something and can eat you through clothing! :lol:
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:26 pm

We were sitting outside the Strontian Hotel on a calm evening a couple of summers ago and the midgies were making their presence felt. Also some clegs floating about.
We met some Yorkshire folk who had plastic spray bottle type dispensers filled with mouthwash - they swore by it. I did try it and it did appear to work to a certain extent. It was certainly very refreshing and didn't spoil the taste of the beer like the normal repellents do. :D

I must add - I've never tried it since. :D
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Re: Clegs.

Postby CharlesT » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:40 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Some clegs are equipped with laser drills or something and can eat you through clothing! :lol:

My middle daughter, a biology graduate, once described to me in some detail how the mouth parts of a cleg work. You really don't want to know. :shock:
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Re: Clegs.

Postby Tringa » Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:40 am

This link -

https://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artapr12/at-HorseFlyhead.pdf

- is from another forum and tells you all you need to know(or not!) about cleg mouth parts.

Dave
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Re: Clegs.

Postby AJ01 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:55 am

Tringa wrote:This link -

https://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artapr12/at-HorseFlyhead.pdf

- is from another forum and tells you all you need to know(or not!) about cleg mouth parts.

Dave


A fascinating read (in a grisly sort of way). No wonder the bites hurt as they do. :wink:

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Re: Clegs.

Postby Lindyloo914 » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:05 pm

I hate cleggs!! They bite through my clothing and cause painful bleeding lumps. I found deet works but I don't like using it and they bite me on the parts I haven't applied the deet to :(
I discovered one day I had been squeezing and zesting lemons and they didn't come anywhere near me. Maybe that's the citronella effect?
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