A company that makes repellent for midges is seeking volunteers for a new product. The selected candidates will have to stand in the open for eight hours and let the midges (a species of tiny insects) bite them. The 10 volunteers will be paid to put repellent on one arm, while leaving the other exposed to count the number of midges that land, according to the BBC. The test will be held in a midge hotspots since these tiny insects swarm around hikers and campers in summer months.
“When a midge lands on your skin, it kind of wanders around before it starts to bite. So at that point, one of the staff running the project will take that insect off, so you get very few bites to be honest,” Dr Allison Blackwell from the repellent making company APS biocontrol said.
The expert said that while the candidates would certainly get bitten, it should not be too bad.
The news comes days after a wildlife photographer came under attack from a swarm and captured it on video, as per the BBC report.
“Midges can add an extra layer of complication for outdoor photography shoots and jobs. They can make things quite uncomfortable, even whilst wearing a midge net and using repellent,” James Roddie, the photographer, told the outlet.
According to Purdue University, midges are minute flies that can be severe biting pests of humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife. Their blood-sucking habits also raise concerns about possible involvement in the transmission of disease agents.
The family includes more than 5,000 species, distributed across the world, except the Antarctic and the Arctic.
The insects thrive in wet and warm conditions and usually have two hatchings during the Scottish summer.