Irritating Insects Are Driving Australians Out Of Their Homes

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16th November 2009, 07:24pm - Views: 660

Media Release



In the lead up to summer, new research reveals that Australian’s negative reactions to insects

are so intense that over a third of people surveyed confessed they’ve left a room and even their

home to get away from them. While for 17 percent of the population their aversion is so great,

they rely on someone else to remove insects from their homes. 

The research, conducted as part of the Mortein Insect Index reveals some truths about

Australian’s attitudes to creepy crawlies, with 61 percent of the population disliking insects so

much that upon seeing them they become resolute on killing them - no matter what.  For 18

percent of respondents, this means frantically chasing them around their homes with spray and

six percent of the population will either break into a cold sweat or scream for help. 

Topping the Index for the most feared insects are cockroaches, followed by mosquitoes, then

fleas, which appear to cause the most distress when they invade the home.  For 72 percent of

respondents the diminutive mozzie is the most likely critter to keep them awake at night,

ruining a good night’s sleep and leaving behind itchy reminders. So for half of all Australians, this

means they’ll keep their windows closed when they hit the hay this summer, making the

warmer nights even harder to bear.

Leading Entomologist Dr Peter Miller from the University of Technology, Sydney reviewed the

survey results, “I was surprised by the intensity of the reactions that Australia’s feel towards

common household insects. Summer is the peak season for insects; they are more active and

breed much faster than in the cooler months - bad news for anyone who gets put off at the sight

of them!”

Australians who aren’t afraid of insects may change their minds after reading Dr Millers’ top ten

interesting insects facts:


One female cockroach can produce two million offspring in one year 


Cockroaches can enter homes by swimming up U bends in toilets and sinks, and live in

rubber fridge linings 


Cockroach droppings can short out electrical equipment


Cockroaches can live in tiny cracks and crevices as small as 0.5 mm


The average airspeed of the common housefly is 7.2km per hour


The female mosquito needs to feed on blood to reproduce and is attracted to carbon-



Mosquitoes detect their  prey's body temperature using infra red


Queen ants can live for 10-15 years


An average jump for a flea is equivalent to a 1.8 m human jumping the length of a

football field

10. Fleas have been responsible for the death of more humans than all the wars ever


The Mortein Insect Index shows that annoyance and fear aren’t the only instincts that insects

invoke. For close to 30 percent of those surveyed protecting their family is their key motivator

for removing insects from the home. While some insects are just downright annoying, including

the common household fly that 60 percent of respondents unhappily share their homes with. 

People Feature Hausmann Communications 1 image

“Sharing our homes with insects can be an extremely uncomfortable experience and it’s during

the summer months that they most often make their way inside, despite our best efforts to

keep them at bay,” commented Dr Miller. 

One insect that Australians are best to keep at bay is the unassuming cockroach, with a third of

Australians reporting that they consider it to be a sign of an unhygienic household, while 22

percent think it is a sign of poor pest control. 

“There is never an easy way to explain to guests why a cockroach just ran across the room, so

it’s worthwhile protecting your home, your family and your reputation by examining your pest

control solutions” advises Dr Miller. 

“Ad hoc pest control does work but can be very stressful especially if it sends you running

around the house wielding a firm object trying to kill them. Installing a Mortein NaturGard

automatic system, which is designed to control flying and crawling insects is a good solution, it

act as security systems and will help reduce pest problems in your home,” recommended Dr


Despite the level of fear surrounding insects for some, Australians are most strongly motivated

by their annoyance of creepy crawlies to remove them from their homes. For 57 percent of us

this means reaching for the insect spray, while 24 percent find a fly swatter or whatever is close

enough to grab in order to kill it.

There is relief at hand however for the 91 percent of survey respondents who wish they did not

have to worry about insects invading their homes this summer, thanks to the Mortein

NaturGard Automatic Indoor Insect Control System.

The survey was conducted by Pure Profile among 1000 Australians aged between 18 and 64 years, in

October 2009.

For more information or to organise an interview please contact 

Rosemary Biggs at Hausmann Communications on

02 8353 5736 / 0415 319 862 or

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