Flying-foxes are nomadic animals that prefer to feed on native trees that produce fruit and nectar. They typically migrate across the eastern seaboard of Australia following the flowering season of paperbark and eucalypt forests and fruiting seasons of rainforests. Where food sources are reduced through climate change, or loss of habitat through human development, they may be forced to forage on introduced fruit or cultivated crops.

If you experience an individual or small group of flying-foxes feeding at night in your garden, this will likely occur until the tree has finished fruiting.  If you do not want flying-foxes feeding in your backyard, you could remove the fruit manually or properly net the tree to make access for the flying-foxes difficult.  There are simple, non-harmful deterrents which may be of assistance on your property, such as:

  • Creating a visual/sound/smell barriers with fencing or hedges using plants that do not produce edible fruit or nectar-exuding flowers
  • Planting a buffer of low vegetation such as shrubs, providing a screen between your yard and roosting / feeding trees
  • Placing predator decoys (e.g. Owls) or reflective /shiny deterrents (e.g. CDs or aluminium foil strips) on verandahs or in trees
  • Keeping food or habitat trees trimmed
  • When landscaping, plant fruit or habitat trees away from your home (or don’t use these plants at all).

It should be noted that you should always check with your local council before installing fences, or removing or trimming trees if Flying-foxes are present, as there are laws governing how and when actions that could potentially disturb flying-foxes should occur.

Residents are not allowed to conduct flying-fox removal or dispersal activities, so these actions are only able to be used in locations prior to flying-fox camps establishing. If a camp has been established, you need to remember that Flying-foxes are extremely important native animals, and as they are a protected species, any activities that may result in the disturbance of a roosting flying-fox colony or individual flying-fox can result in prosecution under State or Federal legislation.


Depending on your desire to either attract or deter Flying-foxes from visiting your yard, you can potentially plant (or not) some of the following tree species that produce fruit and nectar considered a delicacy by Flying-foxes.

Download the pdf for a full list of preferred flying-fox feed trees here


Flying-fox demonstrate a preference for particular roost trees with favoured native vegetation including:

  • Casuarina species
  • Eucalypt species
  • Corymbia species
  • Angophora species
  • Lophostemon species
  • Melaleuca species
  • rainforest species
  • mangrove species
  • palm species

Species selection may be a by-product of preference for tall trees (as well as other characteristics that influence plant communities, such as proximity to water). Nonetheless habitat is generally preferred when dominated by one or several of these species, especially when coupled with a complex vegetation structure (e.g. with a developed under and mid-storey canopy).


When their preferred food source is unavailable, Flying-foxes may resort to flowering and fruiting trees in your backyard. Tree netting can be a simple way to protect your fruit, but the wrong type of netting can be harmful to the Flying-fox and other native animals.
Wildlife friendly netting should have a mesh size of less than 5mm and you shouldn’t be able to fit your finger through it.
The base of the net should be secured to the tree trunk or the ground to prevent access. To avoid any damage to new growth, remove the netting after fruiting.
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The best protection for your horse is to keep it away from Flying-foxes. Do not allow your horse to access paddocks if Flying-foxes are feeding on trees in that paddock. They can be returned when the trees have stopped fruiting or flowering.

If Flying-foxes are roosting on your property, try to limit the possibility of contact between livestock and Flying-foxes.

Use good hygiene practises around horses and be vigilant of sick animals.


Flying-foxes feed on soft fruits and flowers which contain a lot of nectar. The trees and plants below do not produce fruit or flowers attractive to flying-foxes.

  • Conifers, Cypress and Kauri
  • Casuarinas (She Oaks)
  • Brachychiton (Kurrajong, Flame Tree, Bottle Tree)
  • Bamboo (clumping – also a fodder crop)
  • Bougainvillea
  • Racehorse Trees(Tipuana),ChineseRain/Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria formosana), Jacaranda, Poinciana, Fiddlewood & Olive Trees

Contact your local council for information on varieties found naturally in your area.