March Flies in WA

Submitted: Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 15:37
ThreadID: 98345 Views:4463 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

I was just wondering what time of year the dreaded March Flies (or Marsh Flies - not really interested in the semantics!) start to bother us here in WA. We are heading to a particularly notorious spot down south not far from Augusta in the middle of October and not sure if they will be buzzing around that early. We have been to the same spot in Feb and it was that unbearable we ended up leaving and going somewhere else!


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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 16:03

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 16:03
G'day Craig

Can't help with dates for the little mongrels, but I do suggest you get yourself one of those pingpong bat type bug zappers. We get our share of march flies on Stradbroke Is (off Brisbane) and I get so much satisfaction zapping the little bastards I almost forget how much of a pain they are.
AnswerID: 496003

Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 16:11

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 16:11
Great idea Rosco! I've seen those in BCF, I think I'll grab a couple just in case, cheers
FollowupID: 771610

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 20:06

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 20:06
How you going, Craig?

Don't know much about WA March Flies, but I just googled "Life cycle of March Flies" and got an interesting brochure from the website: on the lifecycle of your WA nemesis. Really only says they are active in the warmer months, which gives a broad scope for their activities, eh.

When I was still in my teens, was with a bloke fixing up a cattle yard down the Cox's River, which is one of the rivers that runs into Warragamba Dam, Sydney's main water supply. We rode down the river a bit, and swam over the other side, to catch some fish for brekky. Left our horses tied up, in the shade, and when got back to them, maybe an hour later, they looked like they'd been attacked by a angry tom-cat. Both horses had blood running down their heads from many puncture marks. The march flies then turned their attention on us, and we had to gallop along, for maybe a click, to get away from them. Worst I've ever seen them.

What about some Natures Botannical "Rosemary & Cedarwood". It'll keep aussie bush flies at bay, so should work on your jumbo-jet blood suckers. Can get it at chemists, or produce agencies. Good Sh*t!!!


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AnswerID: 496012

Follow Up By: honest - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:33

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:33
I agree with Natures Botanical cream magic stuff and not a bad smell to boot.
cheers honest
FollowupID: 771665

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 20:14

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 20:14
G'day Craig,

we're not long back from The Kimberley.

We had our share of March Flies through late August and Sept. I don't know how bad they get but there were plenty.

At work I give them a hit and stun them, then put them in the mud before I lay a brick on them. That usually keeps them away.

AnswerID: 496013

Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:35

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:35

Yeah a marchie by any other name will sting as strong. (With apologies to ol' Willie) Can't remember what the Augusta area was like as I haven't been down that way for a few years, but I know what a pest they can be up here in the hills east of Perth. They do seem to be much worse some years. Last year wasn't too bad but the year before was murder. From memory they seem to be more numerous after a wet winter.
They seem to be about from any time in October through to around Xmas and become less of a pest as the middle summer comes around

AnswerID: 496020

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 00:00
February March is the worst. They are at their peak when the Marri (red gum) blossoms, and when there is a good bloom they will be in droves. In poor seasons there are hardly any.


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AnswerID: 496029

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 07:27

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 07:27
They hit us in an overnight camp, just a bit west of Norseman very late in September, 09 - nasty biters - we were able to hide in the van, but I can see how they would ruin holiday plans.
AnswerID: 496036

Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 09:30

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 09:30
Went down to our block on the weekend, and they are there now, although not as many as there will be round December / January.
That is around the Nannup/Augusta area on the Blackwood river

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Reply By: Coenen N & G (WA) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:50

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:50
Usually they are about when the gum trees are in flower, so if you see lots of white gum blossom be ready for the little blighters!
AnswerID: 496068

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 13:55

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 13:55
Apparently the male marchie drinks/eats nectar, the female after mateing becomes the blood sucker.......hmmmmmmmmmm no I'm not going there, you know self preservation and all that (;-0)
FollowupID: 771697

Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:00

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:00
In October it's not the March flies you worry about.

It's now the Blowie season down south, and October-November are the worst for them.

They don't sting but maybe worse anyway.

AnswerID: 496072

Reply By: Pebble - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:32

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:32
Depends on when the trees blossom as someone said and maybe the amount of rainfall (or lack of). I live in Nannup and they're worst in February or so. Last year they weren't too bad, the year before there was absolutely heaps (particularly in the leaf litter around the trees on our bush block).
I don't think you should have any trouble during October, there's just been blow flies around on the warmer days.

I still remember the first time I really found out about March flies, it was camping at Israelite Bay near Esperance (in the summer time) on our way to Perth or somewhere. They're probably worse than Mozzies!
AnswerID: 496113

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