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What is that smell?

Humans have different sensitivities to smells. Not all people will find the smell of a flying fox camp difficult to live with. This may explain why you sometimes find it difficult to get others to understand how much impact the odour has on you and your daily life.

The main odour associated with flying foxes is the scent male flying foxes use to mark their territory and is strongest at the camp. It is not reported as being associated with the faeces dropped during flight. The most important thing to note is that the odour is not a risk to human health.

  • Predicting relief from the smell: The smell is usually at its strongest during hot, humid and still or low-wind days. Good rain will wash away the smell for a period of time. The wind direction will often also determine when the odour will be at its most difficult for you. It may be useful to follow the weather forecasts and relate them to the high-odour days. This will help you to predict when you may get some relief.
  • Managing the smell within your home: There is not a lot of information about how to manage odours entering your home from an outside source. The main advice is to close all windows and doors. Obviously this can be a problem on hot days. Where possible use air-conditioning on a recirculate option (where the air is drawn from inside the home rather than outside) or use fans to circulate internal air. 

This page was last updated on: 13 September 2019