Fungus could kill off Kielder midges

A KILLER fungus could provide the solution to an irritating problem at a North East tourism hotspot.

A KILLER fungus could provide the solution to an irritating problem at a North East tourism hotspot.

Scientists have found a fatal toadstool that could eliminate the swarms of midges that plague tourists visiting Kielder.

Experts working in Wales have found the fatal fungus that not only kills midge larvae, but also wipes out the adult insect.

If field tests prove successful, the fungus could be introduced to Kielder, making life easier for visitors to the giant lake and forest.

Angela Hill, from the Hawkhirst National Scout Camp on the shores of Kielder Water, said: “It’s early for them yet but when they do start to swarm, we have plenty of midge veils and sprays to keep them at bay.”

The research in Wales was part of a project called IMPACT – Integrated Management of Forest Pests Addressing Climate Trends – which was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Forestry Commission Wales.

Now the findings need to be tested in different field conditions to examine the effect on other wildlife.

A decade ago, a five-foot gas- powered device was hailed the answer to the problems at Kielder but only had limited success.

 
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