Pest Guides

How To Repel Corn Flies

How To Repel Corn Flies

Warm temperatures, sunshine, and outdoor barbecues characterize summer.

Enjoying the outdoors is popular until a swarm of unwelcome guests appears: Corn flies. You may also know the bug as a hoverfly, syrphid fly, or flower fly.

And if you spot one, there are probably hundreds more annoyingly flying or hovering around.

Humidity is one thing that helps them. They also require salt, which they get from the sweat on our skin.

The only annoying characteristic of corn flies is their constant presence, the whining sound of their wings close to your ears, and the itchy feeling brought on by their sucking mouthparts.

They can also fly high and skillfully avoid almost any swipe, slap, or smack you would aim at them.


It’s time to repel corn flies or entice them to an area far from your garden if their numbers have significantly increased and are causing problems.

You can use several natural methods to keep corn flies away from you or your home. The best option is to:

  • Apply repellents on yourself to mask any attractive scents
  • Take care of your yard
  • Use natural home deterrents to send them away

Here is a list of steps to keep corn flies away before they even land on you or your property.

6 Tips To Repel Corn Flies Away From You and Your Compound

Tips To Repel Corn Flies Away From You And Your Compound

Studies show that corn flies are pollinators that help in plant reproduction by moving pollen with their bodies.

Without insect pollinators, we would have fewer flowers, veggies, or fruits.

Also, the larvae feed on aphids and aid in their control when aphid infestations are common in cornfields.

There are several risk-free ways to keep these helpful insects at bay without causing them harm.

1. Avoid Flowering Plants and Keep Your Garden Pest Free

Avoid Flowering Plants And Keep Your Garden Pest Free

Corn flies are common around—you guessed it—cornfields. We know they bother with more crops than just corn, though.

Any sweet sugary crop attracts corn flies because of its sweet fragrances and the nectar they consume.

Growing flowers helps provide corn flies with a favorable environment while they are in the larval stage and ready to lay eggs.

Consider growing flowers in a partial space since corn flies benefit your garden and crops. Allow them to do their pollinating work as long as they keep from the house.

Corn flies will stay away from your garden if you grow flowering plants far from it, and they will eventually cease pestering you.

Corn flies and their larvae feed on crop pests in the garden. If the crop pests multiply, they attract corn flies, which consume plants and crops.

Maintaining a pest-free garden is crucial for reducing corn flies in your home.

2. Lower the Humidity

Lower The Humidity

Corn flies rest on heaps of leaves, water, or perhaps an abandoned insect nest.

You can reduce moisture levels and naturally get rid of corn flies around your home by following these steps:

  • Water plants early in the morning to allow moisture to evaporate before dusk.
  • Keep gutters free of debris, and clean them to remove moisture.
  • Leave your outdoor space free from water-collecting containers.
  • Avoid allowing water to pool on sidewalks and flower beds.
  • Rake and discard leaves off the ground, and organize wood piles.

3. Cover Food and Drinks

Cover Food And Drinks

Corn flies visit homes and gardens in search of food. Drops of sweet sugary foods and drinks attract corn flies because of a smell similar to nectar or pollen.

When hosting or attending outdoor activities like barbecues or picnics during the hot season, keep beverages closed and food covered.

Uncovered drinks increase your chances of attracting corn flies tenfold. Soda cans, in particular, attract these sneaky intruders.

Always pour drinks into cups with a lid and use containers to store food.

Ensure trash cans have tight closing lids and clean up after your event.

4. Use a Fan To Deter Corn Flies

Use A Fan To Deter Corn Flies

You might need to restrict corn flies when they invade your yard, patio, or house.

A fan increases the air surrounding your house or yard, and it’s best to leave it on for these visitors.

Corn flies hate being around moving fans because it restricts their ability to move around. The flies will move when they encounter such unfavorable conditions.

5. Avoid Applying Heavy Scents When Outside

Avoid Applying Heavy Scents When Outside

Nectar is sweet, and because of this, sugar and floral scents attract corn flies.

Always use unscented sunscreen outside and avoid strongly scented hairspray and perfumes attracting corn flies. While the scent is the easiest attractant to these unwanted guests, it’s also the simplest deterrent.

Topical treatments to apply on your skin to ward off corn flies from the sweat that attracts them include lavender oil, citronella oil, olive oil, and lemon.

These oils are skin friendly and are repulsive to corn flies, who flee once they catch a whiff of them.

6. Use Natural Repellents

Use Natural Repellents

Deterrents help keep corn flies away from your compound and reduce their presence inside the house.

Natural corn fly repellents come in various forms and are safe to use around pets or kids.



Mix vinegar, soap, and water in a spray bottle, and spray areas where corn flies are present.

Corn flies will move to another location.

Lemon and Cloves

Lemon And Cloves

Split a lemon in half and cover it with cloves.

Leave it outside close to where corn flies are hovering.



Keep corn flies away from your garden or patio using citronella candles or oil.

The smoke is an excellent deterrent.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

Peels from citrus fruits disperse corn flies from any area where you place them.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Spraying lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass oils produces a pleasant aroma and deters corn flies.

Add a generous amount of one or all these essential oils to a bottle and spray it outside where you intend to spend time with family and guests.

Mixing dish soap, apple cider vinegar, rosemary oil, and basil oil also deters corn flies.


Do you have corn flies lurking around somewhere?

Corn flies are never welcome, whether they are inside your home or when you are out on a picnic.

They are beneficial, so it’s better to shoo them away without hurting them.

The first step in resolving the corn fly issue is determining where to grow flowering plants in your garden.

Simple techniques like reducing moisture levels, avoiding wearing strong fragrances, and using natural deterrents will help avoid attracting these insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Corn Flies Bite?

Corn flies are harmless even though they resemble bees or wasps in appearance. They don’t bite and lack stingers, and their outward look serves as a defense.

What Causes Corn Flies To Land on Human Skin?

Even though corn flies feed on pollen, the human skin draws swarms of them because they find human salty sweat a tasty delight.

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