How To Get Rid Of Flies In Your Garden: A Complete Guide

Spring and summer are potentially the best seasons for eating outside in the garden, park, or at the beach. However, it is sometimes impossible to avoid the infestation of flies as it can very quickly spoil your whole dinner. Annoying and twirling, these little beasts find their place on furniture and food and lay eggs on them.

A fly sitting on a beautiful flower in a garden

There are so many species of flies and we can’t go into many details for each one. For example, big troublemakers that you also need to get rid of are midges. House Flies are important as part of the food chain. They also help pollinate certain plants. Did you know that on average female adult flies live for about a month, but they can produce 500 eggs in that period? A few female flies in the garden can cause thousands of flies to appear in a brief period. So, how do we get rid of them? First, let’s see what attracts them in the first place.

Why do you have flies in your garden?

A clean house is essential if you want to avoid attracting flies into the interior. But beyond hygiene, you will also have to pay attention to what is lying around in your home and outdoor space. So, do not leave food (especially meat) in the open air. Use some plastic wrap to protect your dishes. Flies love such conditions. Therefore, fresh meat exposed to the open air is the ideal environment for many types of flies to lay eggs.

Wet areas are also places where flies like to settle down to leave eggs. Be sure that the pipes and sinks are well protected. Also, if you have a pond or a fountain in the garden, it will be wise to add some light traps or use some type of other pest control like natural repellents or pesticides to keep them away. Compost piles, trash cans, and animal faeces attract flies as well. Make a habit of cleaning up daily.

A fly sitting on a green leaf on a home garden

How to get rid of flies in the garden

Flies are a common nuisance in homes that spread disease by contaminating food and different surfaces. Some flies, such as horse flies, can even sting! And you can only get rid of them using various traps, repellants, and chemical sprays.

How are you getting rid of flies from the garden now? What are the best techniques for pest management? What are the tips to prevent flies from invading your home? How do you kill flies and make them disappear for good? Let’s find out together!

How to repel flies?

There are several natural solutions if you want to repel them and prevent them from invading your home. Some odours are natural repellants. The fragrance of the following herbs and plants bother flies so it would be clever to use them against them:

  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Laurel
  • Mug wort
  • Camphor

You can get a natural flies repellent by getting these plants in pots in your home and around the garden. You can also use aromatic oils to get the same results. Note that the mixture of lemon and cloves is also very effective. By cutting the lemons into pieces and placing cloves in them, you will create the ideal DIY fly repellant and you can use it both indoors and outdoors.

Homemade essential oil based mosquito repellent. Flat lay view of spray bottle surrounded by brown essential oil bottles on bamboo mat background.

How do you trap flies?

Homemade traps are actually easy to make. To trap flies, you will need a trap and bait. Different mixtures are recommended to create a perfect bait. Apple cider vinegar is very effective. Wine is also very attractive to flies. By placing wine with a few drops of dish soap in your trap, you will catch them and they won’t be able to get away.

To attract fruit flies (flies attracted to sugar and fruit) you can use a combination of:

  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper

Set it up in a container and you’ll catch plenty of flies with it! It’s best to make your traps ahead of time for the best results, on the same principle as wasp traps – with a funnel entry, making the escape complicated. You can create the traps yourself by cutting a bottle of water or a soda bottle on the top part and placing the cut part on the base to make a funnel entrance. You’ll also find ready-to-use trap systems on the DIY market.

A jar and a glass of apple cider next to some apple fruit

To kill flies, you just need to choose something stronger from the list below:

  • Insecticide products
  • Electric fly trap
  • Light traps
  • Flypaper

Each solution has its pros and cons; there is still a preference for the traditional flycatcher, which remains the most frequently used pest control solution.

Simple home remedies and tips to help you get rid of flies

Let’s get down to business! Here are some smart tips and tricks that you can use to say goodbye to your fly-problem once and for all. Have a look!

1. A clean garden

It sounds simple, and yet it’s essential! To avoid flies, you must not attract them. To do this, keep the garden clean, with no food out or garbage. Make sure your worktops are clean and free of crumbs and food scraps and that your garbage cans are regularly emptied and non-odorous. Of course, this is not always enough, but it is a good start.

2. Garlic

Flies hate garlic. Learn how to grow your own at home and use it as an ally. To keep them away, we advise you to peel a few pods and boil them. Filter the water and place it in different areas of the garden. It should be enough to repel flies.

Different types of garlic plants on a wooden table

3. Onion

Like garlic, onion is a very handy fly repellant. Cut one into slices and place them in cups that you will spread around the garden. The flies will keep their distance!

4. Cloves

Flies do not appreciate the smell of cloves. Cut citrus fruits in half or in four, such as lemons, clementines, grapefruits, or oranges. Insert a few cloves in them and spread them out in the garden, and replace them every week. So, you’ll enjoy the good smell of this mixture while keeping flies out of the garden.

5. Lavender

Lavender is an excellent way to keep flies away. The advantage is that lavender smells good for you, (unlike garlic) – it is decorative and it can be arranged in several ways: in sachets, in small pots, in bouquets, or you can use lavender essential oil. You can grow them in the garden or you can buy them. If you use them, pour a few drops on pieces of tissue. Place them in several spots in the garden to keep flies away.

6. Basil

Not everyone appreciates the smell of basil, but these houseplants are very effective at repelling flies! Pick up several jars of basil and place them around the garden. Not only will you be able to enjoy your food more, but you will get rid of the flies.

A wooden bowl with some basil leaves on a gray background

7. Mint

Like basil, mint is a fragrance that flies don’t like. It is an exciting solution because it allows you to cook good dishes at the same time!

8. Essential oils

Flies and mosquitoes hate the smell of lemongrass, geranium, basil, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Arrange them on pieces of fabric or in small cups to place near your doors and windows or place them in the garden. To repel the outdoor flies that show up for dinner when you eat out, put a few drops on your clothes, and they will leave you alone! There is no need to mix all the essences; only one is enough to get a good result.

9. Milk and sugar

Catch flies into a homemade trap by having milk, sugar, and a little cayenne pepper in wide cups. Flies that are already at home will be attracted to the sweet mixture and drown in the cup. All you have to do is to take them out.

10. DIY sugar water fly trap

When you live in a fly-infested area, fly repellants may not be sufficient. You can create a house non-toxic fly trap very simply. Cut a large plastic bottle at about 1/3 of its height from the neck. In the bottom, add water and honey or a little sweet syrup. Turn the upper part over to place it in a funnel on the bottom of the bottle. Flies are attracted to the sugar and enter the bottle through the funnel and get trapped there.

A pile of sugar on a dark surface

11. Get carnivorous plants

Some plants repel them, but others eat them: Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, or sundew plant. You’ll want to have some of these carnivorous plants in the garden! Trust us!

How to prevent flies from returning

It would be beneficial if you managed to keep the fly infestation to a bare minimum, as flies feed on garbage cans and faeces, including organic matter and waste, and spread diseases after landing on several surfaces. Fly control is important if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet in the garden, as well as a nice, delicious meal without interruptions.

  • Keep flies from coming back by cleaning the trash can and other sources of infestation. If you do this all the time, you can make the garden less attractive to flies that will no longer see it as a food source and shelter.
  • Flies are attracted to strong odours. If you eliminate these odours, you will drastically reduce the population of flies in your outdoor space.
  • Mow the lawn regularly. Flies like tall grasses, so prune your shrubs and don’t leave large piles of grass cut or leaves on site. If you’re not a big fan of this chore you can always lay artificial grass and leave the troubles behind.
  • Manage your compost piles intelligently. Compost is filled with decomposing organic matter, a choice for flies. Don’t keep your compost too wet. Place it as far away from your home as possible. 
  • Maintain your piles properly. Make sure that the fly larvae do not survive.
  • Watch out for standing water. Outdoor flies are attracted to moisture. Plus, keep bird bath water cool, and don’t let buckets or other containers filled with rainwater. It would help if you got rid of old tires and other debris in your garden that is likely to collect rainwater as well.

A fly sitting on a wonderful yellow flower in a garden

When there is a fly infestation, there is always a concern because they are vectors capable of carrying more than a hundred pathogens (typhoid, cholera, salmonella). You don’t want this in your garden. Keep your relaxation heave free from flies by trying out our suggestions, you’ll be happy with the results!

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