As an angler and hill-goer, I'm always surprised by the misconceptions that all midges bite and there are no mosquitoes in Scotland. I've been aware of the existence of mosquitoes in Scotland for decades. I'm always suspicious of research done via disconnected media like NHS 24, however, as the increase of reported bites or stings proves nothing other than that there is a convenient means of reporting. Neither does it provide proof of species.I read somewhere of suspicions that there had been the presence of malaria amongst The Navvies who built the West Highland Railway. Between the first sod being cut by Lord Abinger at Fort William in October 1889 and the last spike being driven by Mr Renton on Rannoch Moor in Sept 1893, we know much about the local dignitaries and aristocracy concerned with the railway, but nothing whatsoever about the men who actually built it. There are very few graves and fewer gravestones or memorials, despite the fact that there were known to be outbreaks of cholera and typhus amongst the workforce. Their only legacy and memorial is the railway itself, and scattered graves from Craigendoran on the Clyde to Mallaig on the Atlantic Coast.For many years now, I've used on the passing, a camping spot alongside The West Highland Way, as a mate lives close by with convenient access to a pub. I've had my suspicions that the midge/mosquito problem has increased steadily with the growing popularity of the route, which is likewise reported by locals.It may be of interest that a fairly new route has been established in the Borders, The Southern Upland Way, which has not yet attained the number of walkers or the popularity of the WHW. I imagine that some parts of the 200+ miles of the route are busier than others, but this would be a good opportunity for researchers to study the effects of an increased number of walkers in areas which have been virtually depopulated for the past 100 years, and the response of the local mosquito population. One issue probably applies as much here as it does throughout the 3rd World however, there's no money in it!
To be honest, other than the possibility of a mosquito bite passing on some nasty, virulent disease (which are pretty localised, anyway: you won't find malaria in all mosquito areas, for example), I've always found midges far more annoying. I've heard that the mosquito exhudes a pheremone when it bites, so that you'll only be bitten by one at a time. Midges, on the other hand, attack and bite en-masse; they're an absolute nightmare. Whilst mosquitos have been an annoyance, in places I've camped where mosquitos are an issue, It's only midges that once caused someone I was camping with to wake up, in the middle of the night, and quite literally scream, "AAAAARRGH! They're eating my f-ing head!" (LOL).