Eliminating Flies Outside: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes

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Photo by Jin Yeong Kim on Unsplash

Flies are not only irritating, but they can also pose health risks by transmitting diseases. Eliminating flies from your outdoor space is essential for a comfortable and healthy environment. This comprehensive guide provides detailed tips, tricks, and recipes to help you get rid of flies outside and enjoy a pest-free experience.

Top Tips for Getting Rid of Flies Outside

1. Maintain a Clean Yard

A clean and well-maintained yard is less likely to attract flies and other pests. To keep flies at bay:

  • Regularly dispose of trash and secure garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean up pet waste daily.
  • Avoid leaving food outside after picnics or barbecues.
  • Keep compost bins sealed and maintain them properly.

Understanding the factors that attract pests, such as ants, can also help prevent infestations. Learn more about what attracts ants and how to prevent them.

2. Eliminate Standing Water

Flies, especially mosquitoes, lay their eggs and breed in stagnant water. To prevent fly infestations:

  • Regularly check and remove standing water sources, including birdbaths, old tires, and clogged gutters.
  • Empty and clean pet water bowls daily.
  • Fill in low-lying areas in your yard that tend to collect water.

By eliminating standing water, you can also prevent infestations of other aquatic pests. Discover how to get rid of water bugs and other water-dwelling insects.

3. Use Fly Traps

Fly traps can significantly reduce the fly population around your outdoor space. There are commercial fly traps available, or you can make your own using household items. Place these traps strategically around your yard, but away from gathering areas to avoid attracting more flies to your living spaces.

4. Grow Fly-Repelling Plants

Some plants naturally repel flies due to their aroma. Planting these around your outdoor space can help deter flies and other insects. Fly-repelling plants include:

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigolds
  • Rosemary

In addition to repelling flies, these plants also add beauty to your garden and can be used for cooking or making herbal remedies.

5. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural fly repellents and can be used in various ways to deter flies from your outdoor spaces. Some effective essential oils for repelling flies include:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Citronella
  • Lemongrass

Create a fly-repelling spray by combining a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture around your outdoor space, focusing on areas where flies tend to gather. Be cautious when using essential oils around pets and children, as some oils can be harmful if ingested or applied to the skin.

Homemade Fly Trap Recipes

Sugar-Water Bottle Trap

This simple and effective fly trap uses sugar water to attract flies and a plastic bottle to trap them.

  1. Cut the top off a plastic bottle, leaving the neck intact.
  2. Invert the top and place it inside the bottom part of the bottle, creating a funnel.
  3. Mix equal parts sugar and water in a separate container until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Pour the sugar-water mixture into the bottle, filling it about halfway.
  5. Add a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension, preventing flies from escaping.
  6. Place the trap in fly-infested areas away from your gathering space. As flies enter the bottle to reach the sugar water, they become trapped and unable to escape.
  7. Regularly empty and refill the trap to maintain its effectiveness. Dispose of trapped flies in a sealed plastic bag to prevent odors and reinfestation.

Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

This easy-to-make fly trap uses apple cider vinegar and dish soap to attract and trap flies.

  1. Fill a shallow dish or bowl with apple cider vinegar, leaving some space at the top.
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap to break the surface tension. This prevents flies from landing on the vinegar and escaping.
  3. Place the trap near areas where flies congregate, such as near trash cans or compost bins.

Replace the vinegar and soap mixture as needed to maintain the trap’s effectiveness.

(Video) How To


What do flies hate most?

Flies are most repelled by strong-smelling essential oils and plants. They particularly dislike the scents of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, citronella, and lemongrass. Incorporating these scents into your outdoor space can help deter flies.

Where do flies go at night?

At night, flies typically seek out dark, secluded areas to rest. They may be found resting on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces in and around buildings, under leaves or branches, or in other protected areas. Flies are less active during the night, as they rely on daylight and warmth for navigation and feeding.

What is the best spray for flies on the patio?

The best spray for flies on the patio is typically one made with natural ingredients, such as essential oils. These sprays are effective, environmentally friendly, and less likely to harm beneficial insects or cause health issues for humans and pets. Create your own fly-repelling spray by mixing a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, citronella, or lemongrass with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around your patio and other outdoor areas where flies tend to gather. Be sure to reapply the spray as needed for continued effectiveness.

Do citronella candles repel flies?

A: Citronella candles are primarily known for their ability to repel mosquitoes, but they can also provide some level of protection against flies. The strong scent of citronella oil, which is derived from lemongrass, can help deter flies from the area where the candles are burning. However, citronella candles may not be as effective as other fly-repelling methods, such as essential oil sprays or fly traps. For optimal results, consider using a combination of different fly-repelling strategies in your outdoor space.

What animal kills flies?

Several animals and insects prey on flies, helping to control their populations. These natural predators include:
Birds, such as swallows and sparrows
Insects, like dragonflies, ladybugs, and praying mantises
Spiders, which trap flies in their webs
Bats, which feed on flying insects, including flies
Frogs and toads, which consume flies as part of their diet

Pests can ruin your outdoor experience and cause damage to your property. Explore these helpful resources for dealing with a variety of pests:

By following these tips, tricks, and recipes, you can effectively eliminate flies from your outdoor space and create a more enjoyable and healthier environment. Regular maintenance and preventative measures, such as keeping your yard clean, eliminating standing water, and using fly-repelling plants or essential oils, will help ensure that flies and other pests stay away from your property. Don’t forget to explore the additional resources provided to tackle various other pest issues, so you can have a pest-free outdoor experience.

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