Best Way to Get Rid of Flies Outside

By HomeAdvisor

Published March 5, 2021

House fly on leaf outside

The best way to get rid of flies outside your home is to use either a homemade or store-bought trap. Insecticides may kill some flies on contact, but it can be toxic to other animals in your yard. Clean up debris and standing moisture to prevent fly infestations, and use natural repellants, like fans and certain types of plants to keep them from coming back.

Whether you’re having a barbecue or just trying to enjoy your yard, flies can ruin the occasion. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can carry harmful bacteria like E. coli, listeria and salmonella, all of which can lead to health problems if they land on your food or even your skin. And if you’re not careful, those outdoor flies may eventually become an indoor problem. Get rid of your outdoor fly infestation once and for all with these methods.

On this Page:

  1. Best Way to Get Rid of Flies Outside
    1. Commercial Traps Pros and Cons
    2. Homemade Traps Pros and Cons
  2. Best Way to Kill Flies Outside
  3. Best Way to Get Rid of Flies on Patio and Porches
  4. Best Way to Keep Flies Away Outside

Best Way to Get Rid of Flies Outside

The best way to get rid of flies outdoors is to use traps. If you prefer organic pest control, you can try making your own with items found around your house. You can also buy different types of fly traps to use outdoors at your local garden shop or hardware store. Disposable sticky traps and electronic zappers are the most common types.

Commercial Traps Pros and Cons

When you purchase fly traps, make sure you distinguish if the ones you buy are for indoors or outdoors. Some outdoor products contain toxic chemicals that should never be used indoors, and some indoor products may not help with your outdoor fly problem.

Sticky traps are usually strips of coated material that you can hang in various locations outdoors. They attract flies, and once they land on them, they can’t get free. These traps are inexpensive and generally safe for humans to handle. They may also help trap other types of pests, like gnats, mosquitoes and moths.

However, these types of traps are often considered cruel by organizations like the United States Humane Society. They can also be unsightly if you hang them in places where you plan to eat a meal or entertain guests.

Electronic zappers are more efficient for fly and pest control, but they do cost more. Instead of using chemicals, they attract flies with light and kill them instantly when they land.

But keep in mind that electronic traps must be cleaned regularly. They can also be expensive, and they will not kill eggs or larvae.

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Homemade Traps Pros and Cons

If you want to reduce the number of flies in your immediate area, a homemade trap can help. Pour about an inch of something that will attract flies into a jar, such as wine, sugar water, fruit or apple cider vinegar. Next, make a cone out of a sheet of paper and place the narrow end into the jar. The flies can enter but they can’t usually escape.

Another option is to place bowls of vinegar around. Add a drop or two of dish soap to the mixture. Flies visit the bowl to taste the vinegar, but the soap prevents them from leaving.

Homemade traps are safe and inexpensive to make. However, they’ll only kill the flies that buzz around it. They do not get rid of an infestation.

Best Way to Kill Flies Outside

If you want a quick way to kill flies on contact yourself, you have a few options. An old-fashioned fly-swatter is one. You can usually find them for around a dollar, but you’ll need good aim. You’ll also need to make sure you aren’t squeamish at the site of a dead bug.

Insecticides that you spray directly on flies are another option. However, they can be dangerous when not used properly, and they’re potentially toxic to humans and other animals. Experts recommend using insecticides as a last resort or calling in a professional pest control exterminator to use them.

Best Way to Get Rid of Flies on Patio and Porches

If flies are a nuisance in areas where you like to spend time, such as your patio or porch, there are some things you can do to deter them. They include:

  • Using fans: The breeze prevents them from flying.
  • Lighting citronella candles: The scent deters flies as well as other flying pests.
  • Planting certain flowers and herbs in the area: Marigolds, lavender, nasturtium, mint and bay leaf all deter flies.
  • Creating vodka deterrents: Flies hate the smell of vodka, so consider keeping bowls or bags of it around the area. If you don’t want to use vodka, consider essential oils, like pine or citrus.

Best Way to Keep Flies Away Outside

If you have a fly problem outdoors once, there’s a good chance you’ll have one again. The best thing you can do to prevent another infestation is to create an unwelcoming environment.

Start by eliminating scents that may attract them. Clean up after your dog. Keep your outdoor garbage cans covered and cleaned regularly. If you have a compost pile, consider covering it.

Next, get rid of any standing moisture. It creates a rich breeding ground for flies. This can even help you with mosquito control in your yard. Take care of any leaks that may be causing standing water puddles.

Mow your lawn regularly and get rid of any debris or brush that has built up around your house. Long grass and weeds also attract flies.

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