Scientists looking for brave Scots willing to sit in field and be bitten by midges

BOFFINS are looking for brave jocks willing to sit in a field for eight hours and get bitten by mosquitoes.

A research project requires repellent testers—the stinkier the better—to expose their arms to the blood-sucking pests.

Entomologist Alison Blackwell promises to shake them off before they bite


Entomologist Alison Blackwell promises to shake them off before they bite
Repellent testers must expose their arms to the pests


Repellent testers must expose their arms to the pestsCredit: Alamy

Experts assume that 80 to 800 of the notorious pests could land on each of the ten “victims”.

But entomologist Alison Blackwell promises to shake them off before they bite while testing a new insect repellent.

She said, “Basically, every hour you’re exposing your arms to mosquitoes — or whatever’s out there.” Then we count the numbers that land on your arms.

“During each exposure period you can expect between 10 and 100 mosquitoes to land.

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“As soon as they start biting, they are removed. People might get a few bites, but not that many.

“We are not that cruel – and they will contribute to science!”

The project is being run by Dundee-based research and development company APS Biocontrol, which produces a daily mosquito forecast.

The test will take place near the ‘mosquito hotspots’ of Inveraray and Minard in Argyll.

Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 65 and sign a consent form to participate. Excluded are pregnant women or people who are prone to bad reactions to insect bites.

The volunteers will have one arm covered with repellent and the other exposed to see how well it works.

Alison added: “Some people seem to be more attractive to mosquitoes than others. Mosquitoes are attracted to a variety of odors, such as carbon dioxide in the air we breathe and body odors. The hotter and smellier you are, the more attractive you are.”

Alison didn’t specify how much volunteers are paid, but it’s enough for “a nice dinner out.”

In addition, the participants receive cream for these bites.

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Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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