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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I hate bush fly season

You all know what I'm talking about?
Those annoying little flies, smaller than a regular house fly, that travel around in packs and descend on unsuspecting people sitting at bus stops. Or anywhere.

For several years, bush flies haven't been in the city in large numbers, some years I haven't seen any at all.
But this year, they're back. And zooming in on faces, arms, necks, settling on clothing.
People everywhere are walking (or sitting) and swishing their arms or hands around every few seconds to brush away the flies. If there is a breeze, things aren't so bad, but a still day brings them out in droves.

It reminds me of childhood in Port Pirie, where people gathered in the streets for a gabfest would have a veritable army of tiny flies hitch hiking on their backs. Children tore small leafy twigs off street trees and used them to swish away flies as they walked.
These irritating little buggers are the reason swagmen wore hats with swinging corks tied around the brim.
Once I moved away from Port Pirie I forgot about them as there didn't seem to be any in the Eastern cities I lived in.
Even coming back to Adelaide I didn't notice any. It wasn't until I spent a week in Port Augusta visiting my dad that I saw bush flies again. They were everywhere up there. More than I'd ever seen.

Does anyone remember seeing old footage of film from places like Africa or Australia up in the Northern Territory with indigenous people that had these tiny little flies clustered around their eyes and noses, sometimes by the mouth? I used to wonder why they didn't brush them away.

Well, those are the flies I'm talking about. And this year, they're back. with a vengeance. For a few weeks now I've been flapping my arms about as I sit and wait for buses to or from the city.
You'd think with such a workout the "bingo wings" would tone up wouldn't you? Not so.  I'm tempted to tear a twig of the nearest tree, but that might be illegal these days, so I'll have to start carrying a fan. Reading a book at the bus stop on a still day is impossible now. Maybe I should get a swaggie hat with the swinging corks?
I can't wait for bush fly season to be over.

Please, all you flies, go back to the bush!

48 comments:

  1. Do they bite, or are they just annoying beyond all reason.

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  2. I wonder if it means a long, and worryingly, hot summer?

    I know what you mean about those pesky little black flies. I've lost count of the times they've flown up my nose or hit the back of my throat when outside - coughing up profusely to try and dislodge them, urgh.

    And, the large cicadas are in huge numbers. More than before.

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  3. Swaggies hat, definitely, with photos.

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  4. Someone once postulated that they’re the reason the archetypal Australian doesn’t move his lips or open his mouth when he talks.

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  5. The great Aussie salute - waving the little beasts off. They are here too. And I loathe them.
    One of my friends got married on his property a few years ago - every wedding photo has the rotten little things all over the faces and clothing of everyone who was there. Eeeuw.

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  6. We had those flies in Illinois, altho I was too young to be bothered. If I knew your address, I would mail you a camper's bug hat--has netting that covered your head, face, and neck.

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  7. Fortunately they haven't arrived in Perth yet this year but our weather has so far been mild. It is hotting up this week with easterly winds forecast and it is those winds that bring those flies into the city.
    I well remember seeing those pics of aborigine kiddies with flies all over their faces but they didn't seem to be aware of them nor did they ever use hankies.
    I think perhaps the hat with corks could be the way to go...start a new fashion.

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  8. No my pet hate is the mozzies, for some reason I taste very good and I always attract them, the flies don't like me much at all..
    Merle.........

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  9. Joanne; annoying beyond all reason. The biters are the much larger March flies. Their season is much shorter.

    Delores; irritating in the extreme.

    Vicki; I remember breathing in a few as a kid and everybody knew to cover a yawn back then, otherwise you'd get a mouthful. We don't have the cicadas yet.

    fishducky; I'm going to see if I can get one of those hats.

    Op Ex; tiny tiny terrors.

    Andrew; First I have to find a hat...then there will be photos, definitely.

    FigMince; That is the correct reason, the famous Aussie mumble is because of those flies.

    Elephant's Child; one excellent reason to have your wedding in the middle of winter. Or inside.

    Susan Kane; I've seen those hats, I think the net would drive me crazy inside a minute.

    Mimsie; you might get lucky and not have any flies, they're probably all here I Adelaide. I always wanted to wipe their faces or give them a good washing. I still see too many kids even now with permanently runny noses. Not only indigenous kids either, lots of caucasian kiddies. Blowing and wiping is something that has to be taught by parents, it doesn't just happen on its own.

    Merlesworld; add a little vinegar to your diet on a daily basis. Mossies don't like it.

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  10. They've been in unbelievable numbers this year because of the warm end to Winter and the mild Spring (so far) We've had a lot of Northerly winds that have blown them South toward you. Once the weather warms (high 30's- low 40's) it will kill them off for a while...maybe!

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  11. kymbo; I knew it was something like that. Doesn't make them any less annoying though. Any idea where I can get a small size swaggie hat?

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  12. I agree... those little flies are big pests.....I think one of the hats with the net like the bee keepers use would drive me crazy.... a Fan might work..
    Hugs .... Barb xx

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  13. Bingo wings? (LOL!!!!!!) Sorry about your bush flies... we don't have these but in the spring we suffer something fierce with black flies.... (I hate bugs)

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  14. Barbara Neubeck; a fan will have to do, I don't think I'll find a swaggie hat to fit my small head.

    Cathy Olliffe-Webster; are they tiny little flies, smaller than a usual house fly, but otherwise the same? Probably the same family of irritating little buggers.

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  15. I haven't noticed the small flies but the blowflies are enormous this year. Makes up for last summer when I hardly saw any.

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  16. JahTeh; I've only seen one blowfly this year and not even in my own home.

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