Get the Blasted Midges!

As an Australian, there’s seemingly no end to our deadly dangerous, venomous wildlife. I’ve written before about our encounters with venomous snakes, deadly Funnel Web Spiders Funnel Web Spiders and devilish   Drop Bears falling from trees. However, as dangerous as these might be, I’ve never actually been bitten.

The same can’t be said of the “Midge”.Last weekend, it got me. Indeed, I was all but consumed by the Midge and am still suffering terribly. While the Midge might be small, it packs a mighty punch!

“A Midge? What on earth is a Midge?”

Well, you might ask.

“Is it just Aussie slang for a deadly beast you know by a more conventional name? Or, could those wild Australians possibly be harbouring yet another deadly fiend?”

Well, last weekend, I found out exactly what a Midge is.

Of course, knowing my luck, it had to be the hard, way when I was all but consumed by its relentless attack.


We were having a picnic in the park in Queensland’s Surfers Paradise. After running around chatting and photographing, there I was feasting on a slice of gooey Nutella Chocolate Birthday Cake crowned with luscious fresh raspberries when the sneaky blighters struck.

The first I heard of them, was when I started hearing our family and friends chatting about who has “sweet blood”. Thinking “Midgie” must have been Queensland slang for mosquitos, I relaxed. Mozzies tend to leave me alone. My blood must be so ridiculously sweet, that it’s undesirable. Moreover, I am not allergic to mozzie bites.

However, the Midge is NOT a mosquito. Rather, Biting Midges are very small flies (0.5mm – 4mm long), renowned for their nuisance biting and are associated with coastal habitats. They seemingly live in swarms and so it’s not the case of getting one bite but having bites all over every bit of exposed skin.

Although I was covered in red spots, I wasn’t phased until I heard someone say they get worse the next day. That’s when I began to take note. Start to wonder whether I was in trouble. After all, I’m allergic to bee stings and I’m on immouno-suppressant drugs and can end up on antibiotics for a simple grazed knee. Yet, I still wasn’t in a panic. How could such a  tiny fly cause an insatiable itch, sending you to the brink of madness?

I was about to find out.

Sunday morning, I took an antihistamine thinking trouble was on its way.

Sunday night, I caked my arms and legs in Calamine lotion. My feet felt like they were being eaten alive.


Midge Feet 3 days after the attack.

Monday, we bought an insect bite gel and coated myself in cortisone cream once we arrived home.

Monday night, I took two phenergan tablets.


I had bites like this on both arms and legs. The itch could send you crazy…or, crazier!

While the Midge might be small, it packs a mighty punch! Three days later, I’m still itching like crazy and am about to head off to apply more creams, take more antihistamine and am hoping the bites don’t get infected and I’ll be onto antibiotics. Clearly, I am allergic to the Midge.

So, while I used to give the Funnel Web spiders, snakes and sharks, their due, the humble Midge has now been added to my personal Australia’s Most Wanted List.

Or, should I say, the most UNwanted.

Now, where’s that cream? I can’t help wondering if it is cheaper by the dozen.

xx Rowena

13 thoughts on “Get the Blasted Midges!

  1. Tara

    We have midges too (in the UK). They love me, for some reason, and every summer I seem to itch like crazy! I feel your pain. I totally Googled drop bear 🙂

  2. TanGental

    now i don’t want to underplay your suffering but, believe me, there is nothing move terrifying than a Scottish midge if you are English. they have been genetically adapted over millennia to destroy the Sassenach!

  3. Rowena Post author

    I had wondered about that. Mentioned it to Geoff and he said it only worked if the sting was acidic. At that point, I barely knew what a Midge was and didn’t expect the itch to last so long. Didn’t take an antihistamine last night and I was doing my 1.5 hour round trip driving my daughter to school.Didn’t want to fall asleep on the freeway. Woke up in the middle of the night with my feet itching like crazy 4 days later. Those blighters really are dreadful. Took more non-drowsy ones this morning. You wouldn’t think a little fly could be such a pest! xx Ro

  4. Rowena Post author

    I’m sure our Surfers Paradise Midge is to not match for your Scottish midge. It has much tougher conditions and much more cunning prey. Geoff has told me the English were expert escape artists during WWII and I’d imagine the Scottish midge has adapted some strong counter offences. Our midges only have to contend with victims who’ve spent way too long out in the midday sun and have fried their brains.
    By the way, I had to Google the term Sassenach and so their was a delayed laugh.
    xx Ro

  5. Rowena Post author

    Geoff filled me in on those Scottish midges. Visions of William Wallace came to mind…big, mean blighters.
    By the way, I found out Roald Dahl is a direct descendant of William Wallace, whose descendants fled to Norway. I picked that up during the A-Z Challenge.
    I did read that the midges don’t like wind and they did suggest mosquito coils. Fortunately, we don’t have them down here. What a relief!

  6. The WheatandTares

    Ugh! I hope you’ve found some relief by now. If not, maybe try some essential oils in your application…? Look up which ones are best for bites, as I don’t rightly remember right now, but EOs are great for that!
    Those little drinkers sound like American chiggers. They’re tiny little red bugs that crawl up on you and actually burrow a tiny little hole/bite in your skin! You don’t even feel the bite on the first day, but oh! The itching that begins to occur by nightfall! It’s awful!!
    Hoping you’re feeling much better today! 😊

  7. Rowena Post author

    Those chiggers sound even worse. Nasty things. I have a good cream from the chemist. We’re quite sensitive to fragrances so have to be careful with essential oils but thanks for the thought. Hope you’ve had a good week. It’s now Friday night here and another weekend is about to kick off. Take care xx Rowena

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Kath. It took about ten days to stop itching. They drove me crazy. I had a job interview on Thursday morning and I was wearing these Lady Jane type shoes and you could see the residual spots all over my feet and I hoped they didn’t wonder what that was about. I was wondering how they’d all fade but now all but a couple are all gone and I’m back to normal…whatever that is! xx Ro

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