Gympie's great fly debate: do we have a problem?
GYMPIE region residents are abuzz over the number of flies and mosquitoes since the rain of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, but the jury is out on how severe the problem is.
Southside resident Jess Sanderson said flies were definitely an issue, despite consistent efforts to keep the house clean.
"I'll start cooking dinner, there's no flies,” she said.
"Then the chicken comes out and suddenly there's 15.
On another occasion, Ms Sanderson said she and her sister had to move from where they were chatting due to the number buzzing around them.
"There's never one rogue fly,” she said.
"There's going to be seven.”
Worried she might be imagining the problem, Ms Sanderson inquired on social media and said it was "heart-warming” to hear other residents were having the same problem.
While residents are saying there are more flies than normal for this time of year, Amalgamated Pest Control area manager Tracy Langfield said he was not aware of any major fly problem.
"If you live near wetlands or close to dry areas where there's livestock, it varies on which one you're going to get a problem with,” he said.
He said he was also not aware of any major problem with mosquitoes, despite the Sunshine Coast reporting their highest mosquito rate since 1991.
Compared to the Sunshine Coast which has had 115 complaints since March 24, Gympie Regional Council had only received three in the past 10 months: one in June from Southside, and two more this month at Cooloola Cove and Gunalda.
A spokeswoman said the council did not have a treatment plan in place to manage mosquitoes, but was coming to the end of a surveillance program which was run in conjunction with Queensland Health.
She said mosquito customer requests were investigated to establish if there are specific breeding sites nearby.
Mr Langfield said residents who were concerned about fly and mosquito populations at their homes could take a number of steps to reduce them.
These included getting rid of any standing water in the area, removing water from the bottom of pot plants and ensuring tank lids were sealed. Reducing the foliage around buildings was another option.
"If you cut the foliage back it can help as well.”
For flies, he said be sure to clear up any food sources and close up mulching tubs to ensure they don't have any organic matter to breed or feed in. More information about mosquito control can be found at www.gympie.qld.gov.au/mosquito-control
Fast fly facts
- There are 300,000 species of flies
- House flies are grey in colour with four dark stripes on their back
- House flies move their wings 200 times per second
- Females can lay up to 2500 eggs on food
- Only female mosquitoes bite
- There are more than 3500 species of mosquito
- They can drink up to three times their weight in blood