THE Highland midge, Culicoides impunctatus, has been the scourge of Scotland's countryside for as long as people have lived here.

Over the centuries many attempts have been made to create a potion or device which will end their reign of terror, with varying degrees of success.

Avon's Skin So Soft body lotion has long been said to be the best defence, and is even used by Royal Marines based at Faslane. Other theories about what can offer the best protection from attack range from citronella, bog myrtle and repellents, including the chemical DEET, to cigarette smoke or simply staying indoors at particular times of the day.

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Another way to keep the air clear of the biting nuisances is to use a midge-eater machine. These devices pump out C02 to attract midges into a bottle from where there is no escape.

Midges are less active after sunset, as well as with wind speeds of over 6mph, so you can avoid them on windy days and by only coming out at night.