Why Australian flies are so annoying? When the summer has started to spread the heat and humidity, these damn animals are everywhere. The most annoying to me is the small flies or what people here call the Bush Flies (Musca vetustissima)
Bush flies are small and they breed in cow dungs or just any dung I suppose. If the day is hot and humid, these sneaky little creatures are all over you. Walking along the street during the hot and humid day around Melbourne is not complete without the present of these troublesome flies. Funny if you decide to wear a white or light colour shirt, then they will certainly sit all over your back. I’m not so sure why they are attracted to white or light colour. Or may be because these flies are black in colour, so if they sit on something dark, they won’t be so stand out, and you can’t see them so clearly. It is really amusing to see some one’s wearing a white T-shirt with so many flies hitch hike on his back.
It is strange, many of them seem to just be happy to sit on your white shirted back, but some of them really love your face. Some people say just put Insect repellent cream on. But I can’t stand the smell and the feel of that sticky cream on my skin, even more all over my face. These little flies will sit on your lips, on your nose, near your eyes….If you attempt to do Aussie salutes (to brush away by moving your hand in front of your face) they seem getting more excited and the quicker they will come back. Some even attempt to go into your nostrils or into your mouth when you dare to open it. So don’t try to swear if you don’t want to taste a fly in your mouth. Some people say flies like the taste of our salty sweat, so we provide them with a refreshing drink.
During this warm, humid and sunny weather, if you walk around here in Melbourne, it is a common sight that people will hold a little branch from a tree (most common is off the gum tree). Continuously they will move the leafy branch in front their face to stop the flies sitting on it. One day I even saw a man was walking on the street with a fly swat, or some one was wearing a hat with an orange bag (similar to a net) over his head. But do not attempt to cover your head with a plastic bag, because you can suffocate yourself to death!
Here in Australia you can try to wear a cork hat to get the flies off your face. It is hats with a wide rimm with many corks are hung all round it. I’ve never tried one because I think it looks absolutely ridiculous and I’m not so sure if it will work. One more extreme way is by wearing a hat with a see through net to cover the whole face.
The second annoying flies are the bigger ones with the name of blowflies (Calliphoridae). They are metallic green and most annoying if they are getting inside the house. They will fly like drunken flies back and forth around the room or around the window and make a loud buzzing noise. However, these flies are easier to control by using insect spray.
Talking about flies, although they are common for dirty germs spreading little animals, they also have some benefits to our environment. Some act as pollinators for some plants and most of them act as waste cleaner. They help nature to get rid of waste such as dungs or dead animals or other rotting matter. But why Australian flies like to sit on our face or back I still can’t understand. I used to live in Indonesia and flies there look similar but they leave us alone. So if some one asks me what is one thing that I don’t like about this Great Southern Land, my straight answer will be the flies……