Midges are set to wreak havoc for Scottish golfers this summer with an ‘explosion’ of the insects expected to start in the coming weeks.
The Highlands is the area set to be most susceptible to the bloodthirsty beasties with the mild weather conditions so far this year proving very favourable for them.
“We think it is going to be a pretty bad midge season,” explained Dr Alison Blackwell from the Scottish Midge Forecast. “It has been nice and warm recently and with a bit of rain, which we are expecting at the end of the week, we should see a big explosion by the end of May.
“It is a bit of a guesstimate but we think around 84% of the Highlands is suitable midge breeding ground so that will give us about 68 billion midges but only half are female so looking to bite and we estimate that around a third of those, about 21 billion, will be looking to actively take a blood meal.”
Her estimate focuses on inland areas in the Highlands and islands where the majority of the insects are found, with the population varying from year to year based on the amount of female midges.
In 2011, entrepreneur Richard Caring pulled out of a £35m deal to buy Loch Lomond Golf Club after being attacked by swarms of midges when he visited the club.
"To be honest - and this will sound ridiculous - when I was up there, I was bitten to death by the midges and it really put me off,” he said.
And three years earlier, Graeme McDowell (above) admitted he bogeyed the 17th hole en route to victory at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond because he was being bitten so badly when he hit his tee shot.