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  #1  
Old 16 Oct 2005
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Australian bugs

I have heard a few reports about the mass quantities of bugs in AU. Is this an overstatement or is it a real impediment when riding. I will be going from Sydney, Port Douglas, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Perth. Mostly following the coast with a few trips inland.
Thanks Al
ps What is the best time of year regarding the insect problem?
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  #2  
Old 17 Oct 2005
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Bugs?

Do you want them, or want to avoid them?

---- 'We' do get plagues of them from time to time - usually grasshoppers. When that occurs wait a few days and they move on, or go around that area.

--- During the warmer months the evening bugs come out around dusk - you find them on your visor and headlight .. avoid dusk ... and you'll also avoid roos and emus and wombats and etc.


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  #3  
Old 17 Oct 2005
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Frank: Thanks for the reply. Grasshoppers are not a problem. I am more concerned about the biting kind or the tiny ones that get in your clothing. we call em noseeums here. Any areas or time of year to avoid?
Al
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Old 17 Oct 2005
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The *only* time any sort of bugs have been a major problem whilst riding that I've encountered over the past 10 years or so have been Plague Locusts. (The grasshoppers previously referred to). They don't bite, but certainly provide some interesting 'entertainment' ;-)
I was riding at about 140kph when I hit the first one. I was wearing leather pants, & the first one hit me on my knee. Bloody hurt, like I'd been hit by a rock!. Within moments I was surrounded by these things. They were so thick in the air that the sky was virtually blocked from sight. As well as this there were bugs that had not yet flown completely carpeting the road, & their mates who were just starting to fly hovering around a few feet off the ground. They spatted all over the bike, creating a dreadful stench of roast locust. They also splatted all over my visor. You cannot wipe off the bug remains from your visor as they just 'smear' more. I arrived in the next town a few kms away with about 1 square inch of visor I could still see through. Slowing to less than 60kph had the bugs bouncing off rather than splatting. In the town, every car had strips of shadecloth across their radiators to protect from the bugs. One car pulled up next to me, & emptied his shadecloth, No exageration, he dumped a full wheelbarrow load onto the road, & he'd only travelled 3kms! A pressure washer cleaned most of the bike, but when I got home several weeks later, I was still picking the odd bug from various nooks & crannies on the bike.
Chances are you wont encounter such 'biblical' style events, but if you do It'll just be another interesting story to tell.
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  #5  
Old 17 Oct 2005
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Camping in wet places up north like Kakadu can see you dealing with alot of mosquitoes, there are a few flies around in summer...the so called aussie salute being the usual remedy.

We dont have flying funnelweb spiders or anything.

I would be more concerned about camping near lagoons and rivers up north...crocs, and walking around the bush not looking where you step...snakes.

But its unlikely they will bother you if you take simple precautions.

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Old 18 Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paulsen:
I am more concerned about the biting kind or the tiny ones that get in your clothing. we call em noseeums here. Any areas or time of year to avoid?
Noseeums - sandflies = New Zealand.

Most of our ozie bugs are seeable. They do disappear in winter. And they get more numerous closer to the equator. Deat (sp?) and pyrethrum are the weapons of choice. Most locals cope with them.


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Old 18 Oct 2005
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Shame on you Alec - "a few flies around in summer" - tell him the truth!
Australian flies are a breed apart and they found us any time we stopped, even in the middle of nowhere. Instead of just buzzing around they make a bee-line for your mouth, nose or ears. Aussies we met didn’t seem too bothered by them but we were forever swatting them away. Bloody 'orrible.
A number of people seem to wear mesh fly screens - they have to be the way to go.



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Old 18 Oct 2005
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Hey Rich..its just because PETA wouldnt let us dock you! Mulesing is probably a bit much around the eyes! I see your feeling better now your back at work heh heh

[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 18 October 2005).]
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Old 19 Oct 2005
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Docking and Dagging happened on entry to New Zealand.
We found a good insect repelent was a 50/50 mixture of Dettol and Baby Oil. The Dettol keeps mossies at bay and the baby oil works wonders for midges/sandflies.
The combination seems to work for most insects and has the added advantage of putting an antiseptic on your skin - great for any little cuts, etc - as opposed to an industrial strenght poison.
Doesn't keep flies away though.
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  #10  
Old 19 Oct 2005
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Parkie

Docking and daging should be of benefit and mulesing would be a touch painful, just as long as they did not mark you as well as it would take all the fun away..........

John

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  #11  
Old 19 Oct 2005
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Also, watch out up north Queensland around summertime for the thousands of mosquitos and the Ross River virus some carry. Real fun, but like most risks, can be minimised if common sense (and repellant) is used :-)
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Old 19 Oct 2005
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Parkie,

Johnson's baby oil or any brand? Interesting concoction. Might be useful for athelete's foot as well. I'll give it a try in the South African bush before risking the ozzie outback.

Hans
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  #13  
Old 20 Oct 2005
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I always used Johnsons baby oil - that and Dettol are available in pretty much every country I've visited - I've never tried it on Athletes foot as I'm not an athlete...
May be usefull to apply to the wounds left after mulesing too....
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  #14  
Old 20 Oct 2005
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Hey guys

Well after reading all of this I believe that you guys are getting soft. What have travellers come to, especially bike riders?

Yes we have bugs, so do nearly every other country that you travel in, we don't have ginormous Mossies like Denmark or kin big moths like ONG or those blind wasps like Indonesia that always seem to want to crash into you then sting you cause you should not have been in their path!

Yeah, the grasshopers are fun, just make a mess of the visir and the bike but a good topic in the pub in the evening. The crocs well does anyone know of anyone who has been chased or taken? You just have to use common sense, don't go to the same place on the creek more than once and don't go to the blackest dirtiest part of the river. If you travel with a dog get him to go for a swim first....haha.

Snakes don't hurt you unles you try to hurt them, same for a rattle snake I believe? If you go walking go barefoot and then you DO watch where you place your foot.....haha.

But other than this just come down here and enjoy the ride. Enjoy the bugs, and enjoy the and a yarn at the end of the day.

Good travelling mate. may see you on the road?

Cheers
Ivan
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  #15  
Old 16 Nov 2005
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Those insects you were asking about in October. Are those the ones that bite silently and then you bleed for ages and they come up in a welt. This is what we found in Peru and Canada and a bit of Washington. Well if there the same we don’t have any in Australia at all. I would bring malaria for up north and ask about Dengi fever medication up north.
As far as snakes goes, don’t worry they usually slink away before you get near them. You are not their food.
But at the same time wear your boots in long grass.
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