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How To Keep Flies Away Outside

Flies 1

Keeping flies away can be a daunting task, especially during the warmer months when they are most active. Flies are not just annoying, they can also carry diseases, making them a potential health risk. This comprehensive guide will provide you with various methods, tips, and tricks to keep flies away from your outdoor spaces.


To keep flies away outside, use natural repellents like certain plants (basil, lavender, mint, rosemary, marigold, lemon balm, eucalyptus, catnip, sage) and essential oils (lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, catnip, citronella, and cinnamon). Maintain a clean outdoor area by regularly disposing of garbage and cleaning up after pets. You can also use fly traps, encourage natural predators like birds, bats, and frogs, and set up fans to deter flies. For serious fly problems, consider professional pest control services.

Understanding Flies

Before we dive into the various methods of keeping flies away, it’s important to understand what attracts them. Flies are drawn to decaying organic matter where they can lay their eggs. This includes food waste, pet waste, and compost. They also love sweet and sticky substances.

Flies are more active in warm weather and are particularly problematic during the summer months. Understanding their behavior and preferences can greatly assist in implementing effective prevention strategies.

Natural Repellents

One of the safest and most eco-friendly ways to repel flies is by using natural repellents.


Certain plants emit scents that flies find disagreeable. Planting these around your outdoor seating areas can be a great way to deter flies. Some of these plants include:

  1. Basil: Flies dislike the smell of basil. Plant pots of basil around your outdoor areas or use it in cooking to deter flies.
  2. Lavender: Known for its pleasant aroma, lavender is disliked by flies and many other insects.
  3. Mint: The strong scent of mint plants, such as spearmint and peppermint, can help repel flies.
  4. Rosemary: This aromatic herb can help keep flies at bay.
  5. Marigold: The scent of marigold can deter flies and other insects.
  6. Lemon Balm: Its strong lemon scent can help repel flies.
  7. Eucalyptus: Flies dislike the scent of eucalyptus leaves.
  8. Catnip: This plant is known to repel flies and other insects.
  9. Sage: The strong aroma of sage can deter flies.

Essential Oils

Flies are repelled by certain essential oils. These include lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, catnip, citronella, and cinnamon. You can create a DIY fly repellent spray by mixing these essential oils with water and spraying it around your outdoor areas.

Cleanliness is Key

One of the most effective ways to keep flies away is by maintaining a clean outdoor area. Regularly dispose of garbage, avoid leaving dirty dishes outside, and clean up after pets. Flies are attracted to food and waste, so keeping these to a minimum can significantly reduce the presence of flies.

Fly Traps

Fly traps can be a helpful tool in catching and eliminating flies. There are various types of fly traps available, including sticky traps, light traps, and DIY traps made from old wine or vinegar bottles. Remember to place these traps away from your seating area to draw flies away.

Encourage Natural Predators

Birds, bats, and frogs are natural predators of flies. Encouraging these animals to live in your garden can help control the fly population. This can be done by installing bird or bat houses and maintaining a small pond for frogs.

Use Fans

Fans can create air movement that makes it difficult for flies to fly. Set up some oscillating fans around your outdoor seating area to deter flies.

Adjusting Prevention Methods According to Weather and Seasonality

Flies are more active in warm, moist weather. During these times, you might need to step up your fly prevention methods. This can include more frequent cleaning, using more fly traps, and reapplying natural repellents more often.

Professional Services and Products

If you’re dealing with a serious fly problem, you might want to consider professional pest control services. Companies like Orkin, Rentokil, and Pest Control Everything offer professional fly control solutions.

DIY Fly Repellents

Making your own fly repellent at home can be an effective and cost-efficient solution. One popular DIY fly repellent involves mixing water, vinegar, and dish soap in a spray bottle and spraying it around your outdoor area.

Long-Term Fly Control

To maintain a fly-free environment in the long term, combine various methods such as using natural repellents, maintaining cleanliness, and using fly traps. Regularly reapply repellents, clean your outdoor area, and replace fly traps as needed.

Flies can be a nuisance, but with these methods, you can enjoy your outdoor spaces without the constant buzzing and landing of these pesky insects. Remember, the key to effective fly control is prevention and consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of vinegar for the DIY fly repellent?

Yes, you can use any type of vinegar for the DIY fly repellent. However, apple cider vinegar is often recommended as it has a stronger smell that flies find particularly unappealing.

How often should I replace the fly traps?

This will depend on how many flies are in your area and how quickly the trap fills up. Generally, it’s a good idea to replace fly traps every 1-2 weeks, or when they are full.

Are there any other plants that repel flies?

Yes, other plants that are known to repel flies include wormwood, tansy, and pennyroyal.

How do I use essential oils to repel flies?

To use essential oils as a fly repellent, mix a few drops of the oil with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray it around your outdoor areas. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser and place it outdoors.

Can I use these methods to repel other insects as well?

Yes, many of these methods can also be effective at repelling other types of insects. For example, the plants and essential oils listed can also repel mosquitoes, gnats, and other pests.

How can I attract birds, bats, and frogs to my garden?

You can attract these animals by providing them with food, water, and shelter. Installing bird feeders, bat houses, and small ponds can make your garden more appealing to these creatures.

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