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Problem with midges, gnats

Hi, would appreciate some advice. I have a garden plagued by biting insects. I live in a semi urban environment in the South East and they are not mosquitoes, my best guess is midges or large gnats. The ground is generally quite damp due to underground streams, so much so that the first section of garden was lawn that I replaced with artificial grass as it would turn to mud every autumn. This part of the garden is fine, the problem is the rear half, which is a bit like a mini strip of woodland: two very large oak trees, shrubs and years of leaf fall on the ground. There are no water sources nearby like ponds and neighbouring gardens don't have a problem so it appears to be very localised. I wonder if people think that the main problem is the leaf litter or maybe all the shrubs? I would prefer not to get rid of shrubs but it really is unusable at the moment unless I want to get bitten alive. Many thanks.


  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    They say that bog myrtle keeps midges away, honestly do not know if this is true or not but it might be worth looking into. 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,410
    Avon Skin So Soft will stop them biting you.
    I can now use the shady end of my garden!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DarleydameDarleydame Posts: 18
    Definitely recommend the Avon
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Rhondda ValleyPosts: 2,539
    Listerine works too if you don't have Skin so soft.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,724
    Do you dab on the Listerine? New to me! I shall try.
  • DakDak Posts: 3
    Thanks all. Keen to find a solution that isn't insect repellent as the kids will never remember to put it on. Will look into bog myrtle, hadn't come across that before.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,724
    Dak,  I would perhaps have a really good hunt over the whole area for standing water / boggy places / fetid places. I think you would need to diagnose the local problem before trying to solve it.

    Perhaps putting down a deep layer of woodchip in the woodland might help. It might soak up any standing water, if that is the problem. You can often get it free from tree surgeons etc. Better ventilation might help too - allowing for more air / wind to flow through the area... Would opening up the tree canopy a bit and letting in more sun, help matters?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,554
    edited June 2018
    You could try planting this stuff

    (the key is in the name - lose+strife)

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,426
    Under trees is usually where my insects are. Have you tried planting pots of mint, I have some near my conservatory door and they do seem to stay away. Also anything that smells of lemon is supposed to help.
  • DakDak Posts: 3
    Thanks for all the suggestions
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