How to get rid of flies outside (2023)

During the warmer months, you may be visited by apparent swarms of flies that will take over your yard, land on your food at a picnic, and cling to the side wall of your home. If you find yourself in this situation, you are probably wondering how to get rid of flies quickly so you don't have to deal with those pesky creatures. While an occasional visit from flies is pretty much unavoidable, especially in the summer, there are things you can do to suppress the population of feisty bugs circulating outside your home.

Here are seven effective ways to get rid of flies fast. Try one, two, or even mix and match three as you discover what works for your home and family. The good news is that many, if not all, of these methods are natural and not harmful to humans. And remember, while flies are gross and undesirable, they are usually harmless and relatively easy to eradicate.

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What Causes Outdoor Flies?

Houseflies (Musca domestica) are most active when it's hot outside, usually between April and October in most of the US. With super-fast reproduction rates and very basic survival needs, fly populations can apparently explode. From overnight. A female housefly is capable of laying more than 500 eggs during her lifespan of just 15 to 25 days. And those eggs hatch into adult flies in just one week. That's why a swarm of flies can feel like a sneak attack you're not prepared for.

Most of the time, flies are nothing more than a nuisance. But it is possible for flies to spread disease and cause foodborne illness when they land on the food you are eating.

How to look for flies outdoors

Finding flies outdoors can be a task in itself. For example, if you have a problem with flies in your yard, see what might attract them. Food sources can include garbage (particularly meat), spilled drinks, and pet waste. Flies are also attracted to bird houses or lighting that also attracts insects. Keep these points in mind when looking for flies outdoors to get rid of them safely and effectively.

Not to mention that outdoors, flies can enter your home through small cracks and crevices, especially screens. So if you have a problem with flies, it's important to see where flies are hiding and where they can get into your home.

Ways to get rid of flies outside

Here are seven methods on how to get rid of flies outdoors, whether you want to protect your entire yard or just your outdoor dining area.

Find the source and remove it.

There is nothing flies like more than decaying organic matter. They will be attracted to anything of plant or animal origin, such as compost, decaying products, or animal waste, and will use these as hosts to lay thousands of eggs. When the eggs hatch, the maggots hatch, which soon develop into adult flies. Getting rid of any sources like this will be key to maintaining a fly-free property. Trash cans should be cleaned regularly with a bleach solution, compost bins should be kept away from your home and covered if possible, and pet waste should be collected as regularly as possible.

Clean with Pine Sol

Flies hate the smell of pine, which is what makes Pine Sol such a powerful repellent. If you're having trouble with an outdoor fly infestation, simply wipe down your porch, deck, and even the side of your house with a solution of hot water and Pine Sol. It won't harm your patio finish or siding, but most surfaces tolerate Pine Sol fairly well. For maximum effectiveness, this application should be done every few days.

Host to natural predators

Animals like birds, bats, and even frogs feed on flies, which reduces the number of them in your garden. Therefore, attracting these types of critters to your property is another effective step in getting rid of flies outside your home. Birdbaths and bird feeders are an obvious way to attract more birds to your property. But be careful, these can also attract squirrels, which in turn can build nests under porches, in chimneys, and even inside car engines. Look for bird feeders that are intended to repel or discourage squirrels from feeding on them.

Bat houses are cheap to buy or easy to make, and can be effective in attracting insect-eating bats. While it may be tempting to add a pond to house frogs, remember that this can also attract insects, as they love standing water of any kind.

Use fly traps

Fly traps can work surprisingly well for outdoor fly infestations. Most fly traps use a liquid or powder made from rotten, or rotten eggs, a horrible smell that is incredibly repulsive to humans but delightful to flies. Fly traps are capable of catching and catching thousands of flies at a time and need to be replaced when full. For severe infestations, consider using multiple fly traps at once along property lines. It's best to use them away from your home so you don't accidentally attract flies onto your property, but instead cross them before they start whizzing across your garden living space.

Use fly paper

Flypaper is an incredibly sticky strip that contains insecticide. It is easy to use and clean; Just remove the top of the dispenser and the paper will unroll all the way (which is quite long, as a warning). You'll find that flies are instantly attracted to the paper, so your fly paper will quickly fill up with trapped flies that can't shake off the sticky surface. Once the paper is covered, simply collect the flypaper in a garbage or grocery bag, tie it off, and dispose of it.

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Use fans or light candles

Wondering how to get rid of flies on your patio or deck while you're enjoying a meal? A fan can do wonders in such a small space. The constantly moving air confuses flies that prefer to fly in still air. While citronella candles are most commonly used to repel mosquitoes, they can also be effective at keeping house flies at bay, especially when used in small spaces.

Use essential oils

With a similar mindset to pine sun cleaning, you can use certain essential oils to get rid of house flies. Scents they particularly dislike are strong, pungent scents such as cloves, lavender, mint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, and citronella. Apply a few drops of these oils to strips of fabric to make DIY flypaper, or spray your deck and patio to keep flies out of your home's perimeter.

How to prevent flies outdoors

Outdoor flies are a tricky and persistent pest. From various trapping methods to natural predators and repellent methods, it's important to keep flies out of your home by not allowing them access. Therefore, it is important to keep your outdoor space clean. This means emptying and washing trash cans frequently and immediately cleaning up any spilled food or drink. If you have a pet, clean its litter every day.

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