The Most Common Australian Insects & How To Avoid Them

Insects are common in Australia during the warmer months of the year, and they can be very annoying! Whether big or small, you’ll find insects disrupting your BBQ party, ruining your family Christmas dinner, feasting on food in the kitchen, or even disturbing your sleep. What’s more, some of them can damage your property or be hazardous to your health.

So how do you deal with them? In this article we’ll introduce and explain the most common creepy crawlies that’ll hang in and around your home in summer, and the methods you can use to avoid them and keep them away from your home. But first, let’s look at why insects are more active in warmer months.

So why does insect activity increase in warmer months?

Insects are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is dependent on the external environment. So, many insects rest during the colder months and when the temperature rises in the warmer months, insect activity increases as they emerge to reproduce and start their winged adult life stages.

What’s more, hot weather brings more rainfall and increased humidity which, in turn, increases the availability of food sources for insects. For example, rain leads to blooming flowers and plants, as well as aphids (sap-sucking insects) that are a food source for insect predators like flower flies (aka hover flies), ladybirds, and lacewings.

The most common insects

Now, here’s a look at the most common insects in Australia – bad and good – and why they hang around homes in the warmer months.

The bad ones

  • Ants – With more than 1,300 documented species and subspecies, their population increases during summer. Ants are generally useful to the ecosystem, but they can damage and contaminate food. They’ll get inside your house if they detect food and if there’s an ideal place for a new colony.
  • Flies – They’re dangerous to your health as they’ll feed on almost anything (food, drink, your pet’s poop) and often carry germs on their bodies that they spread wherever they land. Flies also multiply quickly, particular during the warmer months. They’ll annoy you both inside and outside your home.
  • Mosquitoes – They spread diseases like Malaria and Dengue fever. The mosquito season starts in spring and peaks in summer, causing the population to balloon. They’ll feed on overgrown vegetation and blood, lay their eggs in still water, and enter your house at night when they’re most active.
  • Fleas – These guys mature faster in warm weather and can spread diseases to both you and your pet when they feed on your blood. As you spend more time outdoors in summer, you’ll expose yourself and your pet to fleas. They leap onto hosts via tall bushes and grass and some wild animals also have fleas.
  • Cockroaches – They’re more aggressive during summer as they like the warm weather and the heat wave that comes with it, so expect to find them in your home. Summer provides the ideal conditions for cockroaches to find mates and reproduce many nymphs that develop into adults at a fast rate.

The good ones

  • Huntsman spiders – These guys reproduce in warm and humid weather and love snapping up pests around the house! Before grabbing the insect spray, consider collecting them in a plastic container and relocating outside.
  • Ladybirds – They’re most active in summer with pests abound. The common spotted ladybird eats aphids, scale insects, and mites. The mealybug ladybird eats mealybugs of course! And the fungus-eating ladybird controls black and yellow discoloration on plants by eating the mildew fungus.
  • Praying mantis – These guys are more abundant during warm weather, with the young ones eating aphids, caterpillars, mosquitoes, leafhoppers, and other soft-bodied pest insects around your home. The older ones eat larger pests like crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles.
  • Bees – They’re active in summer with the warm weather and flowering of plants. Bees don’t eat insects, but they’re beneficial to your garden. As pollinators, they’ll help your flowers open and your veggies grow.

How do you keep the bad insects away?

Here are four ways to keep the bad insects away from your home:

1. Pest control services

Have a pest control professional check your home for signs of pest infestation and give you pest treatments that can help you get rid of bad insects and keep them off your property – both indoors and outdoors.

2. Retractable insect fly screens

Retractable fly screens not only offer a barrier to bad insects flying in and out of your home, they also allow you to enjoy the breeze, sunlight, and view of the outdoors without sacrificing on good insects!

3. Nature’s way

You can implement some pest management plants in your backyard! Here are two examples:

  • Plants that attract good/predatory insects – Fennel, parsley, dill, chives, and elder plants have flowers or foliage that attract insects that eat the bad ones.
  • Plants that repel bad insects – Lavender, basil, tansy, and wormwood have a strong pungent scent or taste that drive away or confuse bad insects.

4. Dispose of waste properly

Food waste can attract bad insects if not disposed of properly. Pick up any food on the floor, don’t throw food down the sink, and cover food leftovers before throwing them in the bin. Finally, always keep the bin closed.

Invest in retractable fly screens today

Insects love to hang out and reproduce in warm weather, which is why many of them pay your home a visit in summer. Some of them can be a pest, but others are very welcomed guests! When it comes to keeping the bad insects away, follow the tips above to ensure a safe and fun summer.

Summer and pests go hand in hand, which is why retractable fly screens can be a great investment. But they do more than just keep the insects out, they also let you enjoy the benefits of fresh air, natural light, and an unobstructed view of the outdoors. Artilux is Australia’s leading supplier of retractable fly screens, with over 30 years of experience in the field. Contact us today for a free quote.