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Aussies baffled by mysterious 'creamy' substance corroding fly screen

One local described it as the ‘most extraordinary thing’ they had ever seen. But nobody knows what it is.

A "weird" creamy substance found to be corroding a woman’s fly screen has everyday Aussies, as well as experts, completely baffled.

Jana Jantos posted images of the sticky-looking substance to social media desperate to help identify what could be causing it. “Would anyone know what is corroding our aluminium fly screens?” she asked. “It is creamy in texture and on all east-facing screens."

Based in Warragul, Victoria she explained that after asking pest controllers, screen fitters, and garden experts, she is none the wiser about what is destroying her fly screens. “I am at a loss to find out what it is,” the woman told Yahoo News Australia, explaining that she first spotted it a few months ago. “No one has ever seen anything like it.”

A fly screen covered in a creamy substance. Inset: A close up of the substance.
The substance has baffled Aussies. Source: Facebook

The substance appears to be destroying the aluminium fly screen mesh. “Removing it with anything leaves holes in the screen,” she explained. “As soon as you touch it, it falls apart in that spot. It is strange though as aluminium should not corrode, and our house is pretty new.”

Aussies perplexed by cause of corrosion

Responding to her request for help, many were quick to make suggestions as to what could be causing it. “Aliens,” suggested one nature enthusiast, before asking if there were any trees or plants near the windows. But Jantos insists there is no vegetation, and no industry in her town that could cause the metal to corrode.

Some of the more serious suggestions included moths, salt, hair remover cream, spittlebugs, calcium build-up and aluminium oxide but none seemed to fit the bill. “I've been interested in natural history for over 50 years and this is the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen,” said one Aussie.

The substance appears on all of the fly screens that face east at the woman's house. Source: Facebook
The substance appears on all of the fly screens that face east at the woman's house. Source: Facebook

Experts just as baffled

Experts told Yahoo that it didn’t appear to be from insects, nor fungus, and were seemingly just as baffled as everyone else. Experts from the Sydney Institute of Agriculture, the Australian Aquatic Biodiversity Research and Consultancy, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Victoria and the Queensland Museum along with a number of entomologists were unable to identify the mysterious substance.

“Wow, weird stuff,” said one expert. “It’s weird how the blobs are so evenly distributed on the fly screen,” added another. Nobody seems to know what the substance is, why it could be causing the corrosion or if it’s dangerous to touch.

Do you know what the creamy substance is? Contact courtney.greatrex@yahooinc.com

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