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Fly Screens – A Must For Every Home

Todd Green
Fly Screens – A Must For Every Home

Flyscreens have come a long way in the last few generations. Today, they offer a great deal more than just protection from insects. 

Here we look at the types of fly screens that are now available, the types of creepy-crawlies they will typically keep at bay and the range of other benefits they offer to homeowners.

All About Flyscreens

A working definition of a flyscreen is a device that is designed to keep insects, dirt, and debris from entering your home through open windows and doors. Materials used in its construction can include any of the following:

  • Nylon mesh – fiberglass coated with PVC. It is the most commonly used fly screen material due to its anti-corrosive and stain-resistant properties. One possible downside of nylon mesh is its tendency to stretch and tear over time.
  • Aluminium – also a popular material for flyscreens due to its strength and durability. The main downside of aluminium is its tendency to dent or crease over time.
  • Stainless steel – used in most security screens due to its strength. It is also popular in bushfire-prone zones because of its fire-resistant properties.

As well as different materials, there are a variety of different screen types available. These can include:

  • Pet screens – a specially designed mesh with small holes to protect the screen from scratches and damage from pets.
  • Retractable screens can be unrolled along horizontal or vertical tracks much like a roller blind to provide protection from insects as needed.
  • Pleated screens – fold and unfold in a concertina fashion to cover a window or door and have less tension than retractable screens. This makes them ideal for homes with elderly persons.
  • Hinged screens – normal screen doors commonly found in many homes. They behave like a normal doors, while also allowing ventilation when they are latched.
  • Security screens – stainless steel mesh screens that not only keep out insects but deter intruders as well. They are available in a range of strengths and come in a variety of styles and colours to suit almost any home’s décor.
  • Sliding fixed screens – specifically made to work with sliding doors and windows.
  • Magnetic flyscreens – if you don’t have flyscreens, or if you just need one for a particular door or window, these portable screens can be fitted in minutes and provide a tight close due to the magnets in their border.

What Pests Do Fly Screens Keep Out

While the name suggests that flies are the number one insect that screens keep out, there are quite a few pests that fly screens will help to deter:


Not only are flies annoying, but they also carry a number of diseases, some of which are deadly. These include:

  • E.coli – causes diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.
  • Anthrax – causes ulcers which, if untreated, can be fatal.
  • Food poisoning – causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
  • Conjunctivitis – a highly contagious disease that causes inflammation of the eyelid.
  • Typhoid – Also highly contagious, typhoid presents as a nasty fever and can be fatal.


Flyscreens can also deter most 8-legged pests from entering your home, although they sometimes get in regardless of all the precautions you take. Typical types of spiders include:

  • Daddy Longlegs – also known as Harvestmen. These are found in most households. They are not true spiders, but are closely related and would be highly venomous except for their tiny mouthparts.
  • Black Widow – known as a redback in Australia and is a highly venomous spider that is often found in outdoor buildings such as garages or sheds. 
  • Common House Spider – common, non-venomous, web-dwelling spiders found all across North America.
  • Huntsman Spider – similar to a Wolf Spider in that it doesn’t have a web and moves around to hunt, these are found in warm climates around the world.
  • Tarantula – there are hundreds of different types of tarantulas found worldwide, ranging from a small 7 cm variety right up to the 30 cm bird-eating spider.

Bees & Wasps

Both bees and wasps sting to protect themselves and their colonies. So keeping them outside is obviously the most desirable option. Not only is a sting painful, but for certain people, it can be life-threatening if they are allergic.

A bee or wasp sting in an allergic person can cause swelling, and shortness of breath, and can result in anaphylactic shock which can be fatal if not addressed immediately.


There is nothing more annoying than the high-pitched whine of a mosquito at night when you are trying to sleep, except maybe for the bite which inevitably follows when it manages to avoid the slap of your hand.

But, mosquitoes are not only annoying, they can also carry serious diseases such as malaria, Dengue fever, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, and encephalitis.


If you already have ants in your home, flyscreens aren’t necessarily going to fix the problem, but if you want to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place, flyscreens are an effective deterrent.

Surprisingly enough, ants are capable of carrying a number of diseases including staphylococcus, Streptococcus, fungal diseases, Salmonella, E.coli, and other foodborne illnesses.


A flyscreen can also keep out larger pests such as mice, rats, birds, and even snakes allowing you to have all of the doors and windows open without the risk of unwanted visitors.

Obviously, security screens would be more effective in this role and today’s models are also designed to keep out 2-legged intruders, as well.

The Benefits Of Flyscreens

In addition to the obvious benefit of insect protection cited above, the following benefits are just as important:

Let Fresh Air In

Houses without flyscreens, where all the doors and windows are closed, tend to have stale air which can contain toxins from cleaning products, carpets, and other sources of pollution.

Having fly screens throughout allows fresh air into the home which is a much healthier environment, particularly for those who suffer from allergies. Fresh air is believed to help improve digestion, lower blood pressure, elevate mood, strengthen your immune system and give you more energy and sharpen your mind.

Save Energy

By allowing you to open doors and windows in the warmer months, screens can help to reduce energy costs from air conditioning and fans. 

While there will be an initial cost associated with installing your screens, the energy savings from natural cooling will more than pay for this over time.

Add Security

The construction of flyscreens using heavy-duty materials has meant that today’s top-of-the-line security screens are resistant to both cutting and repeated impact.

And while security screens allow you to safely leave your doors and windows open in hot weather, they also provide an additional layer of protection in the winter months when doors and windows are closed.

Keep Little Ones Safe

As well as keeping unwanted visitors out, flyscreens are ideal for keeping children and pets inside the home when unsupervised.

Parents obviously want to protect their children, but without making them feel like they are in jail and flyscreens allow children and pets to see out and feel the fresh air while still remaining safely inside.

Improve Sleep

Another advantage of screens is they allow you to open the window at night. This helps to reduce your body’s core temperature faster, and hence, fall asleep faster.

Sleeping with an open window is also believed to increase blood oxygen levels and allow you to have a better night’s sleep.

Maintain Privacy

One problem with opening your doors and windows is that your neighbors and passers-by can see inside your house. But closing up makes you feel like a prisoner in your own home.

Screens solve this problem by providing a measure of privacy as the mesh is harder to see through than glass. And for full privacy, you can even purchase specialized screens that allow you to see out without anyone else being able to see in.

Maintain The View

If you are lucky enough to have a scenic view, you will naturally want to enjoy it, but opening doors and windows will let the bugs in as well.

Screens give you the security of solid doors and windows, but without blocking the view. And if you have bi-fold doors to take advantage of panoramic views, there are even bi-fold screens for this purpose.

Add Style

Unlike the ugly wire mesh our parents and grandparents called flyscreens, today’s screens are designed to complement a home as well as provide protection from pests.

Today, you can purchase flyscreens to match your existing décor along with a variety of different styles from wrought iron to retro. This adds curb appeal and improves the value of your property.

Avoid Pesticides

If you don’t have fly screens but want to bring the outdoors in, you have little alternative but to use toxic pesticides to keep bugs at bay such as fly spray, fly strips or mosquito coils.

Flyscreens offer a natural alternative, keeping you and your family healthier and keeping bugs on the outside where they belong.

While screens might not be ideal year-round for those people living in regions of climatic extremes, they are a great alternative for most people for most of the year. They provide a healthier lifestyle and energy savings while keeping your family safe and the pests outside where they belong.

Todd Green
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