I have moved into the 3rd storey of an apartment building that doesn't have any flyscreens. Unfortunately, with the vast amount of rain we've experienced over the last few months (and are likely to continue to experience) we've had to leave all the windows open in an attempt to reduce humidity. Besides which, getting airflow in general is a good thing.

The (huge) problem is that we are getting (huge) bugs coming into the house. Flies and mosquitoes we can (sorta) handle, but not crickets that chirp all night and are difficult to locate, white-tail spiders that aren't great pets for little kids, and those giant roaches that seem to love Sydney housing.

I want to somehow retrofit flyscreens to the outside of the windows, but unfortunately the windows are not accessible from the outside due to the height and the fact that there isn't flat ground directly below them. Also, I'm looking for a "good enough" solution, not a perfect solution which may be a professional with an Elevated Work Platform fitting fixed flyscreens to the outside of all windows.

The windows are aluminium sliding windows. Here is a picture of one of them closed:

enter image description here

And open:

enter image description here

They don't open all the way for safety reasons due to height.

My idea is relatively simple: I glue an amount of flyscreen to the outside of the window sills that is wide enough to lay flat when the window is opened. When the window is closed, the flyscreen simply folds outwards. Here is a terrible drawing of my idea, with the flyscreen depicted in red, viewed from above:

enter image description here

I know that the flyscreen won't be perfectly sealed at the top and bottom of the window, but if it is taught enough then when it lays flat it should prevent most of the larger bugs from getting through, as I assume they are not smart enough to hit something and try to "find a way" to get in. And if they do, well I should still be dealing with vastly fewer bugs compared to the at least one big bug per day drama that we're currently experiencing.

Will this idea work? Has anyone done something similar? Are there better ideas than the one I have, that won't break the bank and can be installed by a DIYer?

  • 1
    Normal to fit screens on the inside in this situation. You'll have to pop the screen out to close or open the sliding window, but then the rest of the time it's easy to make a securely fitting screen that you can actually install. Some are made with a small door in the screen so you can leave the main screen in place with only that small hole while opening or closing the sliding window. Entirely DIY-able.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 21 at 2:15
  • 1
    I will take a SWAG and say open the window partly then lift it up and the bottom should swing out giving you access to the other half. At that point I think you could fit a screen that will not let bugs in (or out).
    – Gil
    Apr 21 at 2:46
  • 3
    It appears there are three tracks, could you make a Pseudo screen that would work in the middle track. Good Luck.
    – Gil
    Apr 21 at 5:40
  • 2
    @Gil That's a really good point. I followed your previous advice and lifted the sliding window part out (I forgot that this was possible). It looks like it may be possible to simply make a fixed frame and slot it into the second track. I'll investigate this option further, thank you.
    – Arj
    Apr 21 at 6:10
  • 2
    @Gil write that up as an answer!
    – FreeMan
    Apr 21 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


I think the best solution will take a little time but it would be a permanent fix. Open the window partly then lift it up and the bottom should swing out giving you access to the other half. Follow Arj suggestion and make a sliding or fixed frame and slip it into the second track. At this point with a good fit the screen will not let bugs in (or out). If you enjoy this type of work you could start a small business selling these to your neighbors etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.