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10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Flies on a Patio

10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Flies on a Patio

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Nothing beats spending some quality time on your patio to bask in the sun, sip on your favorite drink, or enjoy a delicious meal. 

Unfortunately, one uninvited guest can easily ruin that pleasant experience: flies!

Those annoying little buzzers will come out of nowhere and start flying around you, land on your food, and generally make you feel quite uncomfortable.

Luckily, there are plenty of effective ways to get rid of flies on a patio, and in this guide, I’ll walk you through some of the techniques that worked for me. 

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

1 – Create a Food-Bait Flytrap

Homemade Fly Trap

Flytraps have been around for a long time because they do work, so let’s kick off the list with this tried-and-true technique. 

At the end of the day, flies are there because they’re looking for food, so you can easily use that against them!

To make your own flytrap, you will want to dissolve about a quarter of a cup of sugar in about a cup of water or so, preferably in a jar.

You wouldn’t want to use something like a cup or a bowl or anything that you might get use out of on a regular basis. 

When you have made your mixture inside of the jar, stuff some paper inside. 

You want a cone-shaped piece that will be long enough to reach from the top of the jar to the point where it sits just above where the liquid is. 

When you have achieved this length, cut the tip off of the piece of paper.

From there, tape the cone to the inside of the jar using the wide end at the mouth of the jar and the tip of the cone right above your mixture which is essentially sugar water. 

The idea here is that the paper cone will act as a funnel for the flies.

Curious flies will find their way into the jar through the cone, trapping them in the space between the cone and the sugary water bait. 

Depending on how serious your fly problem is, you may want to set up multiple jars to capture more flies.

2 – Use a Fan to Create Strong Wind

Kid With A Fan

Since they’re quite small, flies can’t stay in the air for very long. They also tend to stay out of windy areas where flying poses a challenge.

For this reason, if you have a particularly large patio space that can fit a grill, a large table, and several chairs, incorporating a few fans might be a great idea!

You can run them using extension cords so that they can reach all of the areas of your hangout space. The strong air current should be enough to keep the flies at bay or, at the very least, keep them away from your hangout space and push them to the fringes of your yard.

Another benefit of the fans is that, on a particularly hot day, they can provide a refreshing breeze to keep you and your guests cool, making it a win-win idea for your hangout space ideal.

3 – Swat Them

Fly Swatter

It may not be the most ideal removal tool, but it can be the most effective and immediate for flies! Not only that, there is that oddly satisfying feeling of nailing a pesky fly that has been bugging you for a good while.

Thankfully, technology has made this process a little easier, as you can use a traditional fly swatter or an electric one.

These electric ones are bulkier and look like tennis rackets but they have an added effectiveness: they simply require contact with the fly, they only need contact to zap the problem away!

The main downside here is that you need to do it yourself, and it can be quite a hassle when there are plenty of flies around.

4 – Use Fly-Repelling Candles

Lighting A Candle

There is no doubt you have seen this in effect before—candles lit and set out on picnic tables or seating areas in public spaces.

There are a number of different candles out there that have natural insect-repellent qualities to them, especially ones that include Citronella, a highly aromatic essential oil distilled from varieties of lemongrass. 

These kinds of candles have natural repellent qualities when it comes to both mosquitoes and flies.

The goal here is to have enough to last you an entire afternoon. Using one that burns out halfway through the day means that they’ll simply show up throughout the other half.

This method is best used as a secondary technique, as it’s not the most effective one on its own, so you can combine it with other methods on the list (except for the oscillating fans, of course.)

5 – Buy Fly Strips

Fly Strip Trap

Fly strips are long, thin strips with an adhesive on both sides. Oftentimes, they are either orange or yellow in color. These are commercial fly strips that you can buy from the store to save you the hassle of making traps yourself.

They aren’t the most ideal way to get rid of your fly problem, but they can be particularly effective in smaller areas and spaces.

The downsides here are the extra costs and the poor aesthetics, as you need to hang them up everywhere and the flies have to be lured into them, and you’ll see the nasty flies stuck to the strips all the time.. 

6 – Create Your Own Fly Strips

If you don’t want to go to the store and find these fly strips to hang up around your outdoor area, you can actually make your own and implement essential oils that have natural repellent qualities to them that will keep those flies away.

All you have to do is cut a piece of cloth into strips that are about a foot long and at least an inch wide. You can cut as many of these strips as you like; it really depends on the size of your patio or outdoor space where you are using them.

When you have cut all of the strips you need, simply moisten them with a few drops of your favorite essential oil that has repellent qualities. This can be something such as citronella, lavender, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, or mint.

When you have successfully saturated the strips, tie them onto the railings and tree branches that surround your patio. If you don’t have those things nearby, try hanging them from your roof or any other areas that are accessible to your patio or outdoor space.

The scent should get rid of the flies altogether instead of physically trapping them on the strips. Additionally, you will be left with a pleasant smell hanging around your outdoor space!

7 – Try Some Vodka

Vodka Bottle W Shot Glasses

Flies hate the smell of liquor. So, you can actually create a pretty effective deterrent for flies by using some vodka. The idea here is to fill a couple of sandwich bags with any kind of inexpensive vodka that you can find. 

You will want to stick with the smaller sandwich bags for ease of handling since you aren’t using that much vodka.

Fill these small bags about halfway with your vodka and then zip the bag until it is almost completely shut, leaving just a little opening at the end. 

From here, you would want to use something such as string or twine as well as clothespins that can stand up to some heavy-duty work.

Use the twine or string to hang these bags around your patio space and yard to deter flies and keep them from buzzing around your guests. It seems like a crazy solution, but it is an effective way to deal with flies and keep them at bay!

8 – Eliminate the Source 

Keeping flies from bothering your guests during a gathering is one thing but getting them to stay away is something else entirely. 

When your guests have departed, you may want to take measures to keep those little buggers away from your patio space for good.

Thankfully, there are a lot of things that you can do!

The first is to keep the space clean. While it isn’t likely that you will have trash all over your patio, keeping garbage containers anywhere nearby will attract flies and other pests. Move those to another area if at all possible.

Also, you will want to be aware of any water that you see. While your patio will get wet when it rains and that is natural, you want to avoid having any pools of water that wind up stagnating on your patio.

This is because flies need water to drink and tend to be drawn to things such as birdbaths, puddles, and any soggy patches where something such as a hose or sprinkler may reside.

9 – Rely on Natural Predators

The motto of this technique is to let nature do its work, so to speak. There are various creatures out there that prey on insects and flies, including birds and spiders.

There are many ways to attract birds to your backyard, such as spreading some seeds near the patio, setting up bird feeders and birdbaths, etc. However, you should keep an eye out for squirrels, who can show up to enjoy the free food.

You can also let the spiders in your backyard have at the flies. All you need to do here is not disturb the cobwebs around the property, so long as they don’t directly interfere with the space. 

10 – Plant Natural Fly Repellents

Another great thing to do is plant herbs that have natural repelling features to it. This is also a good idea because it will make your patio space much more vibrant and probably look a little prettier on top of all of that.

Try planting something such as lavender, basil, or mint around your patio and it can help to keep the flies away for good. Mint will also help keep wasps at bay.

Final Thoughts

This marks the end of today’s guide that shows you how to get rid of flies on the patio through highly effective yet accessible techniques.

As you can see, these techniques are remarkably simple and suit a variety of purposes. Of course, don’t have to implement each measure listed above. However, I highly recommend you combine some of them to increase their effectiveness dramatically!


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