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How To Keep Flies Away From Your Outdoor Spaces This Summer

How to Keep Flies Away From Your Outdoor Spaces This Summer

As the summer sun beckons us outdoors, the last thing we want is to be swarmed by pesky flies. These unwelcome guests can turn a pleasant outdoor gathering into an annoying battle. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to keep flies away from your outdoor spaces and ensure you can enjoy the warm weather in peace.

Understanding the Problem

Flies are attracted to food, waste, and certain scents. By understanding what draws them, we can take steps to make our outdoor spaces less inviting to these pests. Here are some methods to help you keep flies at bay:

Natural Repellents

1. Essential Oils

Certain essential oils act as natural fly repellents. These include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass. To use these oils:

  • Spray Bottle Mix: Combine 10-15 drops of your chosen essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray around your outdoor space, especially on surfaces like tables and chairs.
  • Diffusers: Use essential oil diffusers or candles to disperse the scent throughout the area.

2. Herbs and Plants

Planting fly-repelling herbs and plants around your outdoor space can be an effective and attractive solution. Consider adding:

  • Basil: Flies dislike the strong scent of basil.
  • Mint: Another aromatic herb that deters flies.
  • Marigolds: These flowers not only add color to your garden but also repel flies.

3. Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

Create a simple yet effective fly trap using items you likely already have in your kitchen:

  • Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes in it.
  • Flies will be attracted to the vinegar, enter the bowl, and get trapped by the dish soap.

Physical Barriers

1. Screens and Netting

Use screens and netting to create barriers between your outdoor living spaces and flies:

  • Screened-In Areas: If possible, install screens around patios or porches.
  • Canopy Tents with Netting: Use tents or gazebos with built-in netting for protection during outdoor gatherings.

2. Fans

Flies are weak fliers, and a simple fan can be an effective deterrent:

  • Place fans around your seating area to create a breeze that flies will struggle to navigate.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

1. Proper Waste Disposal

Ensure that all waste is properly disposed of to avoid attracting flies:

  • Tightly Seal Trash Bins: Use bins with tight-fitting lids and ensure they are closed properly.
  • Regularly Clean Bins: Clean trash bins regularly to remove any residue that could attract flies.
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2. Outdoor Dining Precautions

When dining outdoors, take steps to minimize the appeal for flies:

  • Cover Food: Use food covers or mesh domes to protect food from flies.
  • Clean Up Promptly: Immediately clean up spills and remove food waste after meals.

Chemical Repellents and Traps

1. Commercial Fly Traps

Several commercial fly traps are available that use bait to attract and trap flies. These can be placed around the perimeter of your outdoor space:

  • Sticky Traps: These traps use adhesive to capture flies.
  • Electric Traps: These devices attract flies with light and then zap them.

2. Insect Repellent Sprays

Consider using insect repellent sprays designed for outdoor use:

  • Outdoor Foggers: These can be used to treat larger areas and provide temporary relief from flies.
  • Surface Sprays: Apply these to surfaces where flies frequently land.


Keeping flies away from your outdoor spaces this summer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By combining natural repellents, physical barriers, cleanliness, and the strategic use of commercial products, you can create an environment that’s both inviting for you and unappealing to flies. Enjoy your time outdoors without the constant buzz and bother of these pesky insects.


Q: Do essential oils really work as fly repellents?

A: Yes, certain essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass are known to repel flies effectively. They can be used in sprays or diffusers to keep flies away from your outdoor spaces.

Q: How often should I clean my trash bins to prevent flies?

A: It’s a good practice to clean your trash bins at least once a week. Ensure that they are tightly sealed and free from any food residues that could attract flies.

Q: Can I make my own fly traps at home?

A: Absolutely! A simple and effective homemade fly trap can be made using apple cider vinegar and dish soap. The vinegar attracts flies, and the dish soap traps them.

Q: Are there any plants that naturally repel flies?

A: Yes, plants like basil, mint, and marigolds are known to repel flies. Planting these around your outdoor space can help keep flies at bay.

Q: Is it safe to use chemical fly repellents around children and pets?

A: While many chemical repellents are effective, always read the label to ensure they are safe for use around children and pets. Natural alternatives like essential oils and certain plants can be safer options.