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How To Keep Flies Away from an Outdoor Party

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Outdoor parties are a great way to enjoy the company of family and friends. However, nothing ruins a good time faster than a swarm of pesky flies. These tiny insects not only cause annoyance but can also pose health risks by transferring pathogens. Therefore, it’s crucial to find effective ways to keep flies away from your outdoor party. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore various methods, ranging from natural remedies to commercial products, to help you enjoy a fly-free event.


To keep flies away from an outdoor party, use electric fans around the area as flies struggle to fly in windy conditions. Set up fly traps and use natural fly repellents like citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass essential oils. You can also light citronella candles and grow fly-repelling plants like basil, lavender, and mint. Keep your outdoor area clean and cover food with insect nets or food tents. Commercial products like fly repellent fans, insecticides, and bug zappers can also be used.

Why Do Flies Crash Your Outdoor Party?

Flies are attracted to outdoor parties primarily due to the smell of food. Foods high in sugar, such as fruits, sauces, and desserts, are particularly attractive to flies. They’re also drawn to carbonated beverages like soda, beer, and wine. The warmth of the day encourages their activities, making them more active during daylight hours and warmer months.

Effective Ways to Keep Flies Away

Use Electric Fans

Flies have a difficult time flying in windy conditions, so placing fans around your party area can help to keep them at bay.

Employ Natural Fly Repellents

Flies dislike certain scents, such as citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass. Essential oils, candles, or plants with these scents can be used to repel flies. One effective method is to soak strips of cloth with these oils and hang them around your outdoor space.

Set Up Fly Traps

Commercial fly traps can be purchased or you can make your own using a mixture of sugar and water in a jar, with a cone-shaped paper funnel placed on top.

Use Insect Nets and Food Tents

Insect nets can be placed over food to keep flies away during an outdoor event. Food tents are another effective barrier that prevents flies from landing on your food.

Light Citronella Candles

Citronella candles can help repel flies and other insects. The scent and smoke produced by these candles are unappealing to most flying insects.

Grow Fly-Repelling Plants

Planting herbs like basil, lavender, and mint in your garden can help deter flies. These plants have strong aromas that flies find unappealing.

Keep Your Outdoor Area Clean

Ensure all trash is stored in sealed receptacles and clean up any spilled food or drinks. Flies are attracted to rubbish and cut fruits, so it’s crucial to maintain cleanliness.

Commercial Products That Help

There are several commercial products recommended for keeping flies away from an outdoor event. Fly repellent fans, fly traps, insecticides, foggers, sprays, fly ribbons, sticky traps, and electronic bug zappers are all effective at controlling flies.

The Impact of Timing and Season on Fly Activity

The presence of flies at a party can be influenced by the time of day and the season. Flies are generally more active during daylight hours and warmer months. To minimize the presence of flies at a party, consider hosting the event during cooler months or during times when flies are less active, such as late afternoon or early evening.

Preventive Measures to Reduce Fly Infestation

Before the party, maintain cleanliness, practice proper waste management, use natural repellents, set up fans, cover food, use water and pennies, and eliminate standing water to significantly reduce the risk of fly infestation during your party.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively keep flies away from your outdoor party and ensure a more enjoyable experience for your guests. Remember, the key to a successful, fly-free outdoor event is preparation and prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other natural remedies for repelling flies?

Other than those mentioned in the article, some other natural remedies include using apple cider vinegar, cloves, or a water bag with pennies. Apple cider vinegar can be used in homemade fly traps, while cloves can be stuck in a lemon half and placed around the party area. A bag filled with water and pennies hung in the sun will refract light and deter flies.

How do homemade fly traps work?

Homemade fly traps often use a sweet substance, such as sugar water, to attract the flies. The design of the trap then prevents the flies from escaping. For example, a jar trap uses a cone-shaped paper funnel. The flies can easily enter the wide part of the funnel, but find it difficult to fly back up the narrow end to escape.

What precautions should be taken when using commercial fly repellents?

When using commercial fly repellents, it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some products may be harmful if ingested or if they come into contact with skin or eyes. Also, some repellents may be harmful to other animals, so be sure to use them responsibly if you have pets.

Do electronic bug zappers work for all types of flies?

Electronic bug zappers can be effective against many types of flies, but not all. They work best on flies that are attracted to light, such as houseflies and fruit flies. Other types of flies, such as blowflies, may not be as attracted to the light and therefore may not be as effectively controlled by a bug zapper.

Is it safe to use insecticides at an outdoor party?

Insecticides can be used safely at an outdoor party as long as they are used as directed by the manufacturer. It’s important to keep them out of reach of children and pets, and to avoid spraying them directly on food or surfaces where food will be prepared or served.

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