Residents alerted to increased March fly activity

Published on Friday, 10 February 2023 at 4:18:06 PM

The Shire’s Environmental Health Team have identified an increase in insect activity, in particular March flies, in our communities.

Whilst March flies are not known to transmit diseases in Australia, their bite can cause serious allergic reactions in some people which may require hospitalisation.

A particular species found in our Pilbara region is known to produce serious symptoms in some people, including hives, fever, wheezing, and in severe cases and patients with a severe allergic reaction should seek urgent medical assistance and advice.

The simplest way to prevent being bitten by a March fly is to cover up with appropriate clothing and/or apply an effective repellent product.

Symptomatic treatment, including application of an ice pack and use of an antihistamine, may offer relief from painful bites. Scratching the bites can result in a secondary bacterial infection that may require the application of antiseptic cream or the use of antibiotics.

Lotion or gel repellents are the most effective in protecting yourself against March flies, but these will vary in their effectiveness depending on the species of March fly.

March flies are known to be attracted to dark blue, so it is advisable to avoid wearing blue and other dark colours. Long, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing, including head nets, is likely to provide the most effective protection for humans when March flies are present.

The best protection for babies and young children is to dress them in protective clothing, socks and shoes, and use other forms of insect screening.

Due to the extensive size of their breeding areas and their ability to travel long distances, it is generally not possible to control March flies using large scale pesticide applications.

Residents are advised to apply insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin evenly to all areas of exposed skin. Many mosquitoes are at their biting best around dusk and dawn, but some will bite day and night.

By cleaning out common breeding sites around your home, including pot plant drip trays, ponds, pet bowls, old tyres and rubbish that may collect water, will help stop insects from breeding.

For more information visit or contact the Shire’s Environmental Team via 08 9188 4444

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