5 Ways to Get Rid of Flies from the Outdoor Patio

If you’re enjoying your patio in the summertime, the last thing you want is a pesky fly that won’t stop buzzing around your head. Whether it’s one or dozens of them swarming the patio, it instantly makes it an uncomfortable place to be.

If flies have invaded your outdoor patio, you can get rid of them using their hypersensitive sense of smell. Flies hate the scent of vodka, basil, peppermint, and cayenne. For traps, use meat or anything sugary like fruit and soda. You can also use any type of fan to deter them from an area.

Flies can detect odors up to four miles away, so it’s no question why your barbecue was invaded by these pests. They can instantly turn a get-together into an annoying experience. Unfortunately, they are far more than simply annoying.

Flies can pose a serious health risk to anyone eating or drinking on your outdoor patio. According to the World Health Organization, house flies can carry many diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, leprosy, and trachoma.  

Take heart, there are many ways to prevent and get rid of flies before they ruin your party or cause a health problem. Follow the steps below for the total removal of these pesky invaders.

1. Clean Up

Flies will eat just about anything and your outdoor patio or the area surrounding it may be a prime location for food. On the patio itself, any scraps of food—especially near the grill—will draw them in instantly. Your patio or the area around it might have standing water, trash, or opened sugary drinks. The longer you leave them out, the more flies you’ll attract.

Regularly tend to your yard by picking up dog and animal waste often. A fly’s main goal is to lay eggs and they can only do that on a food source that is decomposing. A regular pickup schedule will cut them off from an otherwise very reliable resource.

When serving food outside, clean up quickly. Use caps or lids on sugary drinks and throw them out as soon as you are done. It will only take a couple of minutes for flies to descend on your food and drinks.

Perform regular maintenance around the yard to keep flies at bay like mowing the lawn, clearing away trash, keeping garbage cans covered, and getting rid of any standing water. The cleaner the yard, the less attractive it is to flies.

2. Use Fans to remove Flies from a Patio

If your outdoor patio is covered, installing a ceiling fan is a great way to keep flies and many other bugs away. Flies and mosquitoes, in particular, do not like moving air and fans will usually do the trick to ward them off. You can also point an oscillating fan at a food or seating area to target certain places.

Automatic fly fans like these on Amazon are also a great way to target specific areas of the patio. These battery-powered fans are only a little over a foot tall and cone-shaped. At the top of the cone, three soft blades spin and create just enough air current to repel flies. 

The blades also have reflectors to catch the light which confuses them and drives them away. The battery lasts 30 hours and the blades automatically stop when touched, making it a safe, effective, and low maintenance solution for warding off flies from small areas.

3. Homemade Fly Traps

Making a homemade fly trap is easy and you can use household items that you probably already have. For bait, you can use any type of fruit, meat, or sugary drink. Since they rely on their sense of smell more than anything, the older and riper the food, the better. Apple cider vinegar will also attract them. Pungency is key.

One of the most common traps uses only a two-liter bottle and some bait. Cut off the top part and unscrew the cap. In the bottom part of the bottle, pour in one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or add another type of bait.  Lastly, turn the top part upside down and place it back onto the bottom. Flies (and wasps!) will be drawn to the trap and unable to get out once they enter.

If you are not crafty and don’t want to make your own, here is one of the best we have found on Amazon.

Another way to trap flies with bait is to use a bowl or a mason jar covered with plastic wrap. Poke multiple holes into the plastic wrap so the flies can get in. They won’t be able to figure out how to get out once they’re in the trap.

With just a bit of honey and a piece of paper, you can create a sticky fly trap with ease. Simply warm equal parts honey and water together until completely mixed. Using a paintbrush, brush this mixture onto a piece of paper and tape it onto a surface on the patio. Switch out as needed.

4. The Power of Scent to get rid of Flies

There are many scents that flies hate and the best way to make them pungent enough to deter them is with essential oils. Some scents that have successfully repelled them are citronella, cinnamon, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender. Add a dozen drops of one or more types of essential oil to a spray bottle full of water.

Flies hate the smell of vodka, so adding it to your spray bottle will increase the repellent’s effectiveness. Another way to use vodka is to hang bags of it with a hole at the top around the patio. Using certain plants on the patio have a similar effect, which is described below.

5. Plant Something They Hate To Get Rid of Flies

There are a number of plants that you can use on or around your patio that will discourage flies from coming around. This includes citronella, basil, lavender, mint, rosemary, and marigold.

You can put these plants in pots in corners of the patio or on tabletops to ward them off, but you can also plant them in the landscaping and garden for a similar effect. The closer to the patio, the stronger their repellent powers.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Venus flytrap. It’s an odd plant known for chomping down on flies and it’ll do the same for you on the porch. It’s is a finicky plant, though, so you’ll need to take special care of it. For example, Venus flytraps are evolved to survive without nutrients, so using tap water will eventually kill them.

Finishing Up

Your outdoor patio might be an oasis for flies which are controlled by their sense of smell. If there are any within four miles of your patio party, they might stop by for the buffet.

You can keep flies at bay by regularly maintaining the outside of your home, sealing up trash, disposing of all food and drink, planting fly-repelling plants, and using traps and repellents.

Above all, keep things clean so you can stay safe. It’s extremely easy to attract flies and if there’s any food or water available to them, there’s no getting rid of them until the area is cleaned up. And with flies comes the potential for various diseases. 

With traps, fans, and repellents on your side, you can get rid of the flies on your outside patio and get back to relaxing. Good luck!

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