Are you wondering what keeps flies away outside? Flies are pests that can make your life miserable. In fact, they can even spread diseases and make the area unsanitary. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to get rid of flies using both natural methods as well as products you can purchase from your local hardware store.
In today’s article, we are going to talk about what keeps flies away, including 15 tips and tricks you can use to repel these pests so you can enjoy your yard again in peace.
But First, Here’s What You Should Know About Flies
Flies are insects that include thousands of different species.
Flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name is derived from the Greek di = two, and ptera = wings. A fly has only one pair of wings. Flies have short antennae and their compound eyes are large and prominent. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and sucking juices from plants and animals. The larvae (maggots) of most species feed on decaying organic matter and can be serious pests in agricultural operations. Flies have a worldwide distribution, being found in every part of the world except Antarctica.
Some flies are pollinators for plants and are beneficial insects, but many are considered pests because they bite people and animals or damage crops and materials with their larvae. Some flies can even cause myiasis (insects living in or on humans or animals) by laying eggs at wounds or on mucous membranes; others are predators of other insects; still, others are parasitic on plants, fungi, or animals including humans.
There are more than 1,000 species of flies in the United States. Approximately one-third of these are considered pests because they feed on human blood or human food.
The most common types of flies in the United States include:
- House flies
- Stable flies
- Flesh flies
- Bottle Flies
- Phorid Flies
- Fruit Flies
- Drain flies
- And blowflies
Of these common pesky bugs, the mosquito is one of the smallest. However, the mosquito is also considered one of the deadliest insects in North America. More than half of the world’s population is at risk of being infected by viruses carried by mosquitoes. The most dangerous mosquito-borne disease is malaria, which kills more than a million people each year and causes billions of dollars in losses to the agricultural industry.
Mosquitoes can also transmit dog heartworm, dog hookworms and roundworms, babesiosis, West Nile virus, and avian viruses such as influenza. They can even carry leishmaniasis, a disease that causes skin ulcers and that can be fatal if left untreated.
In some areas of the United States, mosquitoes infect more than half of all people with their bites each year.
Of course, whether you’re dealing with a blood-sucking mosquito or an annoying housefly, chances are you simply know what keeps flies away.
In order to answer the question, we must first take a look at what attracts flies in the first place. Keep reading.
What Attracts Flies
Flies are attracted to a food sources, water, and shelter.
We’ve all seen the fly that seems to be attracted to your sandwich. But what are flies really attracted to?
It turns out that there are many different types of flies, and each has its own set of preferences when it comes to what it eats and where it lives.
Flies have poor vision and rely on smell, taste, and touch to find food. In fact, these tiny creatures can detect odors in concentrations as small as one part per billion.
And in order to answer what keeps flies away, we must first talk about what makes them come around. So, here are some of the things that attract flies:
Food – Flies are attracted to the food of any kind, but the type of food flies are attracted to depends on their species. Some types of flies like house flies and bottle flies are attracted to food sources that include garbage, leftover food scraps, or pet food. Other types of flies like mosquitoes and horseflies are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breathe because they feed on blood from humans and animals. Some flies are attracted to rotting meat from dead animals or infected wounds, while others are attracted to waste from pets or livestock.
Water – Like most pests, flies are highly attracted to sources of water. They are especially attracted to standing water sources. Mosquitoes and other types of flies use stagnant water sources as breeding grounds, while some species simply need water sources to drink from. Flies are naturally attracted to sources of water like puddles or swimming pools where they can drink their fill, or where they can breed or lay their eggs. Some sources of water aside from swimming pools or puddles include even overturned buckets, drainage pipes, fountains, bird baths, and more.
Protection From Predators – Flies have many predators that eat them for food or destroy their habitats, so it’s important that they find places where they can hide from these predators when possible. Flies often live near human dwellings because our yards or homes provide them not only an abundance of food but also shelter with debris, garden sheds, or pet runs.
So, now that we know what attracts flies, let’s talk about what keeps flies away. Below are 15 things you can add to your list of what keeps flies away quickly and effectively!
1. Plant Fly Repellent Plants
Basil is a herb that also serves as a fly-repellent plant.
Planting fly-repellent plants is an excellent way to keep flies under control without the use of dangerous chemicals. You can plant fly-repellent plants in your garden or grow them in containers on your patio to keep flies away from your family and pets.
Some of our favorite fly-repellent plants for what keeps flies away include:
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
- Cats Mint (Nepeta mussinii)
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
- French Marigold (Tagetes patula)
- Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)
- And Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
But how do fly-repellent plants work for what keeps flies away? Well, fly-repellent plants work in two ways: they smell bad to flies, so flies don’t want to land on them; or they taste bad, so flies don’t want to eat them. When a fly lands on a plant that tastes or smells bad, it remembers that experience and avoids that plant in the future. It’s possible for some flies to become immune to certain plants after being exposed to them for several days straight. This is why it’s important to rotate the types of plants you use for fly control throughout the year.
2. Citronella Candles
Citronella and citronella candles can help repel a number of flying pests.
Citronella is a tropical plant with a strong lemon scent. The oil extracted from the leaves and stems of this plant is used as an ingredient in many insect repellents, including those designed for use on humans as a product for what keeps flies away. Citronella candles contain the scent of the plant that repels flies, and so they are one way to keep flies away, mosquitoes in particular.
Citronella candles are made by combining citronella oil with paraffin wax or soy wax and then adding colorants to make them look pretty. They usually come in glass jars or tins so you can see how much wax remains before refilling them with new candle wicks. The wicks themselves are usually made of cotton thread or string so they don’t need any special maintenance beyond being trimmed when they become too long.
Flies are attracted to lights, but they are wary of fire, so the flame and smoke from citronella candles work as a method for what keeps flies away. The scent of citronella candles will also help drive flies away from your home or yard. This is because flies hate the smell of citronella, so they avoid areas where it’s present.
Citronella also has a strong odor that masks food odors, which makes it difficult for flies to find food sources near your home like garbage bins in the driveway, food from the grill, or even the carbon dioxide we breathe that could attract them to us for a blood meal.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has long been used as an ingredient in pest repellent products.
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant (Mentha piperita), which is native to Europe, but now grows in many other places around the world. The leaves and stems of this plant are used to make peppermint oil, which can be used for many different purposes.
Peppermint oil is a great product to add to your list of what keeps flies away. It can be used in several ways, and it’s one of the most effective natural ways to keep flies away from your home or yard.
The first way to use peppermint oil is to use it with a spray bottle. Simply mix two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of peppermint oil and put it in a spray bottle. Shake it up and then spray once or twice on a surface that has flies around it. You can also use this mixture to spray on your hands and rub them together for extra scent protection against flies.
Another way to use peppermint oil is to saturate cotton balls with the oil and leave them around areas outside your patio or garden where you want to repel the pests. You’ll need to replace these saturated cotton balls once every few days for the best results.
Remember, flies are attracted to sweet smells, so if you don’t want them around your property, make sure everything has a minty smell including trash cans and pet run areas.
5. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Applying lemon eucalyptus oil to your skin or clothing can help keep flies at bay.
Lemon eucalyptus oil comes from the leaves and twigs of Eucalyptus citriodora, an Australian species of Corymbia. There are several different types of the eucalyptus tree, but this one has the strongest smell and is used most often in commercial applications. Its name comes from its lemon-like aroma and the fact that it was first discovered in Australia (which was called New Holland at the time).
Because of its properties, lemon eucalyptus oil is another natural insect-repellent product that belongs on our list of what keeps flies away. It is derived from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree and has a strong, pleasant scent that may keep flies away, though it is not always effective against all types of insects.
With that said, lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural fly repellent because it contains two chemicals called citronella and geraniol (which give off a flowery scent). These chemicals are released through vaporization when you apply them topically onto your skin or clothing, or when you apply enough oil drops to a spray bottle or cotton ball.
6. Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another essential oil that can help repel flies.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a strong-smelling essential oil that comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. It has been used for centuries by Australian Aborigines as a medicinal aid and antiseptic. It was also used during World War II to treat burns and cuts. In this case, it is another product we like for what keeps flies away.
Tea tree oil works by repelling insects like flies with its strong scent. The oil can be diluted with water and applied directly to the skin or on clothing. When used in this way, it will keep insects away for up to eight hours after application, so it’s great if you are hiking or gardening. You can also mix the oil with a few drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle and spray it around your garden, yard, or patio to repel flies.
7. Fly Trapping Plants
The venus fly trap is a type of carnivorous plant that catches flies.
Carnivorous plants that trap small insects like flies to supplement the nutrients they receive from their environments. These plants can be found in North America, Asia, and Australia, but their ability to trap insects has been known for centuries. Many people use these plants as an alternative to pesticides or repellents because they don’t contain harmful chemicals or pesticides.
While many of these plants don’t grow naturally in the United States, you can often purchase them at your local gardening store or even online.
If you have an infestation of unwanted flies, you can use carnivorous plants as a way to get rid of them without using harmful chemicals or pesticides. The most common types of carnivorous plants include Venus flytraps, pitcher plants, and flytraps.
These plants have evolved over time so that they can survive in areas where there is little sunlight or nutrients available to them. In order to survive and thrive in these conditions, they developed ways of attracting prey and digesting their bodies for nutrients. This is why there are so many different types of carnivorous plants on the market today.
8. Cover Your Garbage
Investing in sealed garbage bins can help reduce fly problems around your property.
There are many reasons why flies are attracted to garbage. First of all, they love to feed on the scraps of food that we leave behind. Next, they enjoy the humidity and warmth that garbage cans offer in the summer, and they also get some protection from predators.
To keep flies away from your outdoor garbage bins, you’ll need to cover them or disguise the smell.
One way to use this method for what keeps flies away is to invest in garbage bins that have lids that seal closed. These types of garbage bins will not only keep out flies but also other pests like ants and roaches, and it can even deter large pests like raccoons, coyotes, and bears.
The best type of cover for a garbage bin is one that has a built-in lid that fits snugly over the rim of the can. If you don’t already have a garbage bin with a lid, you can buy one at your local hardware store or home center.
Another method you can use for what keeps flies away is to not only seal your bins but also spray them with essential oils like peppermint to disguise the smell. Spray them each time you take the trash out for the best results.
9. Try Rotating Fans
Rotating fans can be used both inside and out and can help keep flies from coming near.
Rotating fans are fans that rotate on a central axis. The blades move in a circular motion, which creates airflow in multiple directions. While they are not as effective as other types of methods for what keeps flies away, they do offer some benefits and can work well in conjunction with other products and methods when used properly.
The best way to use rotating fans as a method for what keeps flies away is to use portable ones you can use outdoors when you are gardening or eating on your patio.
The movement of the rotating fan will not allow flies to fly straight or land on you or your food. Oscillating fans are a temporary solution for what keeps flies away, but they are also a completely chemical-free solution you can use that will work safely around children and pets.
10. Make Your Own Vinegar Fly Trap
Flies are attracted to vinegar and you can use this to attract them into a trap.
A vinegar fly trap is a homemade fly trap you can use that attracts and catches flies by using vinegar as an attractive liquid bait. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, safe for people, pets, and the environment, and it’s also effective.
We like that vinegar fly traps are an environmentally-friendly way to control house flies, fruit flies, drain flies, and other pests in your home or garden. With that said, they will not control flies like mosquitoes or other types of flies, so use this method with other products for what keeps flies away if you’re dealing with several species of flies at once.
With that said, vinegar fly traps are easy to make as you can use common household ingredients like vinegar and sugar, so you can use this method in a bind.
To make your own vinegar fly trap as a method for what keeps flies away, you will need:
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Pour the vinegar and sugar into a large saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the water, then heat on medium until it boils. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour mixture into a bowl and set outside in an area where flies are known to congregate.
11. Try Citrus Fruit Peels
The peels of citrus fruits can help repel flies while also making your property smell more fresh.
Citrus fruit peels are a great method you can use for what keeps flies away. When you’re out in the garden, a handful of citrus peels can be used as a natural insect repellent as these peels can help repel flies and other insects.
They contain natural citrus scents that smell bad to insects, but very pleasant to humans.
To use citrus peels as a method for what keeps flies away, simply rub some orange or lemon peel on your clothes or skin before heading outside for gardening or play. You can also place citrus peels in pots or bags near plants that have been bothered by pests.
While citrus peels can work well for getting rid of flies in smaller areas, we should note that if you live in an area where there are lots of flies and other insects all year long, it may be worth investing in some commercial insect repellents to use in conjunction with this method.
12. Try Lavender Oil
Lavender oil can help you relax not only due to it’s lovely scent, but also due to keeping pests like flies away.
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant and has many uses in aromatherapy, as well as other medicinal purposes. Lavender oil can also be used as a method for what keeps flies away.
Lavender oil can be mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. It can then be applied on the skin or mixed with water and sprayed on clothing or other surfaces to keep flies away. Lavender oil may also be added to an insect repellent spray or candle that is burned on a regular basis.
The essential oils from plants like lavender have been used for centuries by humans as insect repellents because they contain compounds that are toxic to insects. The effectiveness of these essential oils depends on their concentration, how often they are reapplied, and how long they are left on the skin before being washed off or wiped off with a cloth.
13. Invite The Fly Predators To Your Yard
Bats are highly beneficial and excellent fly control predators.
A variety of fly predators can be used to help keep fly populations under control. These include:
Predator nematodes – Using these nematodes is a good option because they do not harm humans or pets and they will not harm other insects in your garden. The only drawback is that they take time to work, so it may take several months before you see results when it comes to what keeps flies away.
Predator beetles – These beetles eat fly larvae and pupae, which means they help control both adult flies as well as the next generation of flies. There are several different species of predator beetles that can help keep flies away, including some that are native to the United States.
Predatory mites – These tiny creatures eat fly eggs and larvae in order to keep populations under control without harming other animals or plants on your property. Like predatory nematodes, however, they do take time to work.
Other types of fly predators you can use as a method for what keeps flies away include insects like:
14. Pick Up After Pets
Cleaning up your pet’s waste is a great way to repel flies.
Picking up after your pets is a good idea for many reasons. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your home and it’s good for your health. But did you know that it can also help as a method for what keeps flies away?
There are a number of reasons that flies are attracted to waste from your pets, but one of the biggest reasons is the smell. Flies are attracted to any source of food or moisture, so they will find their way to any animal waste product.
If you have an outdoor dog or cat, then there are bound to be some pet waste products in your yard at some point. This can attract flies and other insects, who then lay eggs in the soil around these sites. These eggs hatch into larvae and develop into adult flies that feed on blood from animals and people alike.
One of the easiest ways to help keep flies away is to pick up after your pets every time they go out to use the bathroom. It’s also a good idea to keep your yard clean of debris and to keep your yard cut short, and to keep your pet runs clean and tidy.
15. Use Camphor
Camphor is an oil that comes from the camphor laurel tree. It’s strong scent deters flies and other pests.
Camphor is a waxy aromatic solid extracted from the camphor laurel. Native to China, Japan, and Korea, camphor has been used for centuries as an insect repellent and can be used as a method for what keeps flies away.
Aromatic compounds in the oil are responsible for its repellent properties. Camphor has a sweet pungent odor with a mild solvent action on the skin and mucous membranes. Camphor oil is used as an ingredient in many personal care products as well including soaps, lotions, balms and liniments.
To use camphor for what keeps flies away, you can apply it directly to the skin or mix it with water or alcohol to create a spray to keep flies away from your yard, patio, or even your livestock feed containers (for those in barns or farms). The smell of camphor repels flies but does not harm horses or other animals, and it can also help repel a variety of other pests as well.
What Keeps Flies Away – Other Expert Tips And Products
Flies are incredibly pesky, but they can be managed using different steps.
The best way to keep flies away is to prevent them from breeding. Flies lay their eggs in food and other organic matter, so the best way to prevent breeding is to make sure there is no food for them to lay eggs in. If you have fruit trees or compost bins, it’s a good idea to cover them with netting. If you have a garden, make sure your compost heap has no rotten fruit or vegetables on it and that there isn’t anything growing in it that will attract flies (such as aphids).
You can also surround your compost heap with a strip of wood – this will prevent flies from landing on the compost heap when they’re looking for somewhere to lay their eggs.
There are lots of plants that are known as ‘fly repellents’ because they contain chemicals that repel insects such as flies and bees – including sage, lavender, and rosemary, as we mentioned above at the beginning of this article.
If you have used the above methods for what keeps flies away and you find you’re still dealing with these annoying pests, it may be a sign you’re dealing with a bigger issue. If this is the case, we suggest contacting a professional for further assistance.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!