Firm warns Scots about potential health risks from new ‘supermidge’
CHANGES to the Scottish climate could soon see the rise of a new species of ‘supermidge’ which has the potential to transmit disease to humans, according to industry experts.
Pyramid Travel Products says the increased number of foreign species being found in Scotland could be bad news for agriculture, tourism, and even human health.
In Scotland the most common form of midge bite comes from the Culicoides impunctatus species (better known as highland biting midge) which is responsible for 90 per cent of bites. Despite this, there are now more than 37 different species of midge known to exist across Scotland.
There has been increasing concern about more aggressive species of midges being blown over from Europe, including Cu
licoides obsoletus. These species have been responsible for outbreaks of deadly Bluetongue and Schmallenburg virus in livestock.
Although these diseases are not communicable to humans, there are concerns that some midges have the potential to transmit disease in ways similar to mosquitoes, with research already under way to try to understand the changing dynamic.
Nicola Cameron from Pyramid Travel Products said: ‘Scots are used to dealing with the nuisance and discomfort caused by midge bites, but there are concerns that a new breed of ‘supermidge’ could in time bring new problems, not confined to the usual discomfort associated with the Highland midge.
‘Whilst the Highland midge is undoubtedly a pest, should a new species establish themselves in Scotland with the potential to carry disease to humans, there could be an obvious impact for agriculture, tourism, and general health.’