Wildlife in Australia

1 April 2013
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Other Creepy Crawlies

by David Manning of Animal Ark.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are just a fact of life in most warm countries. I certainly don't get many in my house and like spiders the kids or my partner will call (or scream if it's a big one) for me to come and get it. Supermarkets and hardware stores sell products to spray around the home or particularly to spray the outside of your home to keep most bugs from coming in. But just by not leaving food or rubbish around you make your home less attractive to any of them.

Flies

Flies can also be a nuisance. Sometimes and in some places they are unbearable. Most homes have fly screens so you can leave a door or window open but keep flies and other bugs from coming into the house.

Praying Mantis

These insects are our friends - they are harmless to people but ferocious predators of flies and other nasties. They are normally seen in bushes and trees but some small species live on the ground amongst leaf litter. Usually around 5-10 cm in length and green or brown in colour.

Stick Insects

These long thin insects are similar looking to the praying mantis but lack the mantids spikey front legs. They are harmless leaf eaters. Adults can fly and they often get blown out of trees into gardens where unless they land on a window or white wall are generally so well camouflaged that you just do not often see them.

A praying mantis: about 10cm long

Ants

A large variety of ants live in Australia and some definitely bite. The larger 1-2 cm Jumper and Bull ants also have a sting. Ants are controlled using powders or sprays and can be a nuisance on patios and lawns but mainly are no more problem than in the UK.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a real pain. Some people are much more attractive to mossies than others but once again your best bet is to deter them. Aerogard is a top selling product that you spray on exposed skin like legs and arms when you are outside in the evenings. Along with sun screen and swimming gear it's one of those items you tend to always have in the car. When you are entertaining or enjoying a barbie at home most families use the mosquito coils that you light or citronella candles that mosquitoes don't like.

Scorpions

Scorpions do exist here as well but are not that common and you are, in most situations, not likely to come across one. They are not considered deadly anyway so again DON'T PANIC. I've only seen one scorpion in my 2 years living in Australia and I am the kind of guy who goes out looking for this kind of thing.