For some people the idea of moving to Australia conjures up some very strange thoughts and questions.
- Will I miss my friends and family?
- How will I cope with the snakes and spiders?
- Will it be too hot for me?
- If I go swimming in the sea, will I get eaten by a shark?
- Will I meet Skippy?
- It’s the other side of the world, will I be walking upside down?
- Will the bath water spin in the opposite direction when I pull the plug?
Yes, all of these questions and more can flash through your mind when you consider moving to Australia. The biggest question of all though has to be this one:
Australia and flies
Yes, everybody knows that Australia is a country riddled with flies and the only way to combat this is to wear a hat, attach string and tie corks to the ends.
Or is it?
Why am I asking this question now?
I’m glad you asked. When I was driving through Kakadu whilst on holiday in Darwin during another beautifully hot day with clear blue skies, I found myself blurting out the most ridiculous question imaginable.
“My word, has it started raining?”
The answer was a definite no; well, it was in the middle of the dry season. What did I expect?
What had happened though, and I was very quick to work this out (honestly) was that my car windscreen had been bashed all of a sudden by flies.
The screen had been quickly pelted and covered with loads of very dead (I assume, I didn’t check any pulses) and very small flies which were immediately washed off (almost) by deploying the windscreen wipers on very fast mode and spraying with screen wash heavily.
This doesn’t really clean the windscreen, as you know, it’s just smudges them more evenly across the glass and requires more specific treatment next time you park up and have a few minutes to spare.
When I parked up though, I took a photograph of the dead, although those on the windscreen didn’t show up so good, so here’s how the front of the car looked the next day…
I’m sure you can see the mess made by whatever types of flies these were, but there was something about this event that I was finding very strange. The immediate thought that popped into my head (after I had so cleverly realised it wasn’t rain during the middle of an extremely hot day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight) was this…
“I’ve never had squashed flies on my car windscreen in Australia before?”
Yes, at the time of this event I’d been living here for 5 years and 8 months, and I realised for the first time that I have never, ever scraped dead flies off of my car windscreen since I arrived here.
It’s not that I don’t do much driving either, I’ve done loads. I get out and about as well, you know, I cover some distance, particularly during my Australian road trip where I drove over 4000 kilometres in a few weeks.
This is Australia, a country known for its irritating flies? What’s going on?
The short answer is, I don’t know, but I will tell you this.
Squashed flies on car windscreens in the UK
I used to drive around quite a lot in the UK as well and scraping dead flies off of my car windscreen was a regular thing. They took quite some scraping as well. I never kept records, obviously, what kind of nutter do you think I am? But I reckon I used to scrape dead flies off of my car windscreen at least once a month, possibly more.
The funny thing is I’ve not had to scrape frost off of my car windscreen since arriving here either, but that’s something I have been completely aware of and have appreciated very much, but I’d completely forgotten about the dead fly problem.
Until, that is, what happened in Kakadu.
So, where does that leave the theories of cork hats, irritating flies and Australia now? Has this myth bitten the red dust?
Tell us where you live, wherever you are in the world, and whether you have to scrape dead flies off of your car windscreen. Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this, place your answers in the comments below…