When you’re enjoying a summer evening playing backyard cricket or dining on the patio, there’s nothing worse than having mosquitoes and flies buzzing about.
And this summer, around Australia, it’s been a particularly bad year for bugs, according to experts.
But there are measures you can take to stop mosquitoes and flies ruining your relaxation.
That’s a massive relief, because University of Technology Sydney bug expert Bryce Peters told The New Daily summer 2016 had so far “not been a good one for humans, but a great one for bugs”.
“Westerly winds have flown in bush flies which are also breeding on animal dung out in Western Australia so eastern cities have had lots of bush fly blown in,” Mr Peters said.
“These are the little flies that get on your face and sit on your back.
“Also we have had a lot of rain early on so many parts of Australia have had plenty of mosquitoes.”
We asked Mr Peters how to ensure the mosquitoes and flies away. Here’s what he recommended:
How to keep bugs out of your home
“The old fashioned way was citronella candles and coils but technology has moved on now and automatic aerosols have natural ingredients in them that work very well,” he said.
“They’re basically a can that sits on your wall and squirts out a natural insecticide and it is very effective for outdoors and indoors.
“They control insects well – flies and mosquitoes are both controlled by these.”
How to keep bugs off your body
“Again, technology has moved us forward in terms of products to keep flies and mosquitoes off your body,” Mr Peters said.
“So for personal repellents we no longer need products with a main ingredient known as ‘deet’.
Deet was developed during World War two as a pesticide.
“Now we have insect repellent active ingredient called ‘picaridin’ that’s in many brands and feels much better on the skin.”
How to keep bugs off your food
“If you’re eating outside the best way is to use an area repellent (as described above). That will keep them away from food,” Mr Peters said.
Things to avoid
“Make sure you clear away or stay far away from things like pot plants, old tires and still water in containers, for example,” he said.
“Also in Cairns recently a whole heap of mosquitoes that caused some illness in a group of people were thought to have come from a big trailer full of grass clippings.
“So things like that. And use fly screens for indoors and if you really want to stay away from mosquitoes and flies stay indoors at sunrise and sunset.
“That’s when they’re most likely to be out and about.”