I’ve been catching up on my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles lately and with this particular reprint, I will be up to date. When people think of Australia they often also think of flies in your face. Irritating, annoying, face pestering persistent flies.
But how bad is it?
For me, living here in Brisbane, I really haven’t found it to be a problem. So I decided to try and find out why and that’s what I wrote about the magazine. This article appeared in their February edition.
How to avoid flies in Australia
Seven years I’ve lived in Australia now and I still haven’t seen anybody anywhere in this country wearing the famous Australian cork hat. I have tried one on though; I can’t begin to tell you how irritating those things are to wear. But are flies in Australia even more irritating?
First, a bit of background; where do these flies come from?
The kind of fly I’m talking about breeds in cow dung and the majority of our cattle stations are in the outback or bush. These flies are commonly known as Australian bush flies. The female bush fly pesters you because she wants your saliva, blood, mucus and tears; it’s how she gets her protein. She needs it to breed and it’s why she is so persistent and so in your face.
Outback Queensland currently has a bit of a fly epidemic going on; apparently you can’t open a bottle of water out there without three flies diving in before you get your mouth to it. Hmm, yummy! When the wind blows from north to south it takes a lot of these flies with it and they can land just about anywhere.
It’s impossible for me to speak on behalf of all of Australia all of the time, but I can tell you about my experiences in the places I’ve been to when I’ve been to them.
Easily my most traumatic experience was along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria a few summers ago. We stopped to take a look at the Twelve Apostles which are some rather unusual limestone rocks poking out of the ocean down that way. Like this…
When we got out of the car, we were plagued by flies. At any one time there might be 10 flies on my back and another 10 swarming around my face, inspecting my nostrils, trying to get into my mouth and maybe checking out my eyelids.
Some people can cope with these flies swarming all over them; I’ve especially noticed that in the movies. In real life though, it’s different. Me in particular, I look like a mad man on a mission to beat himself up. I think we only got to see about five of the Apostles before we were back in the car, windows shut tight.
That’s the only time I’ve ever had a real problem with flies here in Australia. I’ve been to many other Australian cities without flies constantly foraging my face, but I do know that most of them can have a bush fly problem from time to time. In the summer mostly and quite literally depending on which way the wind blows.
Brisbane though is different and a place I can speak of with some authority; I live here.
I am shocked at how fly free this city is, I’m convinced I see fewer flies here than I ever did whilst living in the UK. Flies in our house are almost unheard of; we might see one a month on average. I’ve discovered that very few flies get blown here and when they do they just can’t breed. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s something to do with our surrounding wet mangroves and marshland. Whatever the reason, I love it.
So how do you avoid flies in Australia? Choose Brisbane.