Scots midges face might of US bug repellant

AN INSECT repellant which has swept the United States, selling millions of bottles, is coming to the UK, thanks to a Scots entrepreneur.

Insects in the US have been repelled by Bug Soother, but overcoming Scotlands fearsome midges could be a taller order. Picture: Thinkstock
Insects in the US have been repelled by Bug Soother, but overcoming Scotlands fearsome midges could be a taller order. Picture: Thinkstock

Bug Soother was created by Freda Sojka, who lives in Iowa and ran a small soap and candle store. She was asked to make up a natural insect repellant for her daughter’s young child, and largely through word of mouth and the power of the internet the product has since taken off.

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Last year, the firm – Simply Soothing – sold more than one million bottles and is projecting sales of 2.5 million this year.

Now businessman Willie Petrie has agreed a UK distribution deal for the first batch of the treatment to be bottled outside America.

Petrie, who sold his Highland Timber Buildings business in 2012, said he had been looking for a “less physically intense occupation” and discovered the repellant via the web. He says the first big test this side of the Pond will be Scotland’s dreaded midges.