Flies and mozzies are invading my home! How do I keep them out?

Fly Girl, my love – I know the pain of which you speak. There you are, innocently watching The Walking Dead and suddenly, you can barely hear the sound of rotting zombies because there’s a nasty buzz in the air.

A fly. A bloody fly.

Here in Australia, we have so much good fortune, and yet – flies and mosquitoes threaten to ruin our summers each and every year. They’re total bastards and I won’t hear a good word about them. So let’s get rid of them, shall we?

First of all, flies and mozzies both love stagnant water – so have a look to see if you have any of that lying around. Buckets? Old sandpits? Pot plants? A pool, perhaps? Sometimes even chock-a-block gutters can attract insects, so make sure they’re cleaned regularly (at least once a year, but if you have lots of trees around your roof, consider doing this every six months). Tip out any stagnant water (or put a cover over the pool) and make sure that anything that can hold water and isn’t in regular use is turned over so it can’t retain water.

Next, you want to keep your house and garden neat and clean. Again, mozzies love a wet breeding ground, so don’t let them have one. The bushier your trees, the longer your grass, the wetter your garden will be – so keep everything trimmed. If you have pets, clean up their droppings daily – flies love feasting on these (sorry, so sorry). Keep bin lids tightly closed (inside and outdoors), never leave food out, and clean up after barbecues immediately.

If you have a lot of flies or mozzies (ie not just one or two pesky ones that come in if you’ve left the door open), it’s worth looking for the breeding ground – it’s likely there’s one quite close to the house, in this case. In this instance, you might have to call in the professionals.

In the meantime, seal any cracks you can see, check your window screens for any tears or weak spots, and make a quick spray bottle of water and a few drops of essential oil (flies and mozzies loathe lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint) to spritz over yourself when you’re outdoors. Because everyone knows the real walking dead is you, in summer, when you are eaten alive by dreaded mosquitos. Godspeed.

More Dear Tiaralestari:

Dear Tiaralestari: How to clean mouldy luggage
Dear Tiaralestari: How to stack the dishwasher