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How To Get Rid of Backyard Flies: Pest Control Solutions

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Learn how to get rid of backyard flies because nothing disrupts outdoor enjoyment quite like a swarm of pesky flies in your backyard!

A close up view of fly with text title of "How To Get Rid of Backyard Flies".

Flies are one of the most common pests in your home. During summer, you may find them swarming around the backyard or sneaking inside your house to cause trouble. You’ll want to deal with them as quickly as possible before an infestation occurs.

Fortunately, you can proactively reclaim your outdoor space and keep these unwelcome guests at bay. We’ll explore simple yet effective methods to get rid of backyard flies, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor activities without the nuisance of these buzzing insects. Say goodbye to bothersome flies, and hello to a more pleasant outdoor experience!

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Why Are Backyard Flies a Problem?

When you think of a fly, you probably imagine the ordinary house fly known as Musca Domestica Linnaeus. They’re commonly found in pig or poultry farms, ranches, and horse stables.  In the U.S., they are most active during the warmer months, typically between April and October. However, you can also deal with other types of flies, like fruit flies or horse flies.

A closeup of a fly sitting on a piece of cloth in the backyard.

While these pests don’t bite, the increasing fly population can cause annoyance and concern. A female fly can lay 75 to 100 eggs at a time in garbage cans, rotting waste, and excrement. They can go from eggs to full-grown adults in just a week, so you might suddenly see swarms of them near any of their food or potential nesting/breeding sites.   

Additionally, flies eat anything and everything they can. They are attracted to garbage, overripe vegetables and fruits, sugary substances, feces, garbage, and filth. When they feed on these things, they can pick up pathogenic organisms and transfer them to other surfaces.

As a result, they can easily be a way to spread diseases to people, especially when flies land on your food, which can happen anytime they’re hanging around you!   

Are You Dealing With an Infestation?

It’s normal to see a couple of flies here and there, but it’s another thing to see a huge number of them seemingly sprouting out of nowhere. It’s even worse when they follow you inside your house!

The following are signs that you might be dealing with this problem outside your home:

  • Maggots (fly larvae): When you see maggots in garbage cans, fecal matter, pet waste, and areas with rotting food, this may indicate that flies laid their eggs in a chosen breeding area. 
  • Clustering: Flies tend to cluster around specific areas where they find food sources or breeding grounds. Check for dense concentrations of flies in certain spots, such as around trash bins, compost piles, or decaying organic matter.
  • Unpleasant Odor: Fly infestations often come with an unpleasant odor. Flies are attracted to and breed in decaying organic matter, and decomposition can produce a distinct smell.
  • Droppings: Fly droppings, or frass, may be visible on surfaces where flies congregate. These droppings can resemble small, dark specks.

How to Keep Flies Away from Your Patio and Backyard

When you see these signs, it’s time to take action. Here are some ways to repel flies from your patio and backyard:

Get Rid of Any Potential Food and Breeding Sites 

This is perhaps the most effective way to get rid of backyard flies. By eliminating any food or breeding sites around your home, they won’t have anything that can attract them to feed or hang around your property any longer!

A woman is putting a piece of trash into a garbage bin.

You should:

  • Keep a tight lid on your garbage bins.
  • Clean them regularly using a bleach solution.
  • Regularly pick up and dispose of pet feces and other animal waste.
  • Keep compost bins and/or compost piles away from your home. 
  • Remove any pooling areas of standing water around your yard. 
  • If you have fruit trees in your yard, remove any fallen or decaying fruit as quickly as possible.

Set Up an Oscillating Fan

Whether you regularly host any outdoor gatherings or simply love staying outside, consider setting up oscillating fans or an overhead fan on your deck or patio. This will help keep flies away from your grill or tables since they can’t fly well in strong breezes and don’t like flying into air currents.

A fan is breezing in front of a tree, providing relief from backyard flies.

Light Citronella Candles

If you’re a candle fan, you’ll love this trick. You can use wax candles made of citronella-scented oils on your patio or porch! Citronella has been used as an insect repellent for decades, as flies hate the smell and it drives them away. Light these candles up and enjoy a fly-free day, any day. 

A citronella candle on a wooden table, an effective solution for getting rid of backyard flies.

Clean Your Outdoor Space Using Pine Oil

If you have furniture on your patio or deck, you can use pine oil or pine oil-based cleansers like Pine Sol to clean them. Flies dislike its smell, so use them as fly repellent! Wipe down tables, chairs, and other surfaces with pine oil, or even spray some solution on areas where flies frequent. This will make them go away.

Use Light-Based Zappers

You can also hang zappers around outside your home! Their bright light will attract the flies. Once they’re close enough, they will get electrocuted. This makes zappers a good way to deal with flies in your yard. 

A black insect zapper hanging from a tree, effectively getting rid of backyard flies.

Use Insecticides

If you see swarms of flies in a particular spot, such as your outdoor trash can, spraying them with insecticide should kill them. Handle insecticides with care. However, it’s best not to use insecticides in your backyard if you have pets. Keep children away from the backyard, as well.

Natural Repellents You Can Use to Get Rid of Flies Outside

You can also harness the power of nature in your backyard to deal with pesky flies!  

Use Essential Oils

Citrus oils like lemon, orange, and grapefruit are natural fly repellents. I also like using peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil. Mix a few drops of these essential oils with water in a spray bottle and apply it to areas where flies are a problem. 

A bottle of peppermint essential oil with mint leaves on a wooden table.

If you have dogs at home, it may be best to keep them out of the backyard as they may be allergic to essential oils.

Add Plants That Repel Flies

Another trick on how to get rid of backyard flies is to put certain plants around your backyard. Thanks to their natural scents, planting herbs like basil, mint, and lavender can be a natural way to keep insects and bugs away from your garden. Planting certain types of flowers can also help repel flies. Marigolds and chrysanthemums deter flies and other insects.

A beautiful garden adorned with a bunch of vibrant marigold flowers.

Don’t worry, your furry pals are safe around these plants.

Hang Fly-Repellent Bags

Hang bags filled with water and shiny coins or aluminum foil near outdoor eating areas. The reflective surfaces can confuse and deter flies.

DIY Traps and Ways to Kill Flies

If deterring flies isn’t enough, then taking a more proactive approach to killing adult flies around your patio is an option. Here are some tips for getting rid of flies:

Use Fly Traps 

Traps are good for catching and eliminating flies. They often involve using bait (like powder or liquid made from rotten eggs) to attract flies and then trap them either with glue boards, poison, or containers. This can be an effective means to reduce the number of flies buzzing around your yard.

Make Vinegar Traps

If you don’t like using fly paper, you can DIY a fly trap by mixing apple cider and sweet-smelling dish soap! Apple cider vinegar attracts fruit flies the most. To make it, you need to:

A bottle of apple cider vinegar and a sponge on a counter.
  • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and dishwashing liquid in a small bowl.
  • Add a pinch of sugar.
  • Put these bowls in areas where flies frequent.

How to Stop Flies From Entering Your Home

Having a fly infestation should not be taken lightly. These insects are known to transmit 65 diseases to humans, which is why it is imperative for you to keep them outside your home. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Repair any holes or replace any ill-fitting windows and window screens to eliminate potential entry points. 
  • Keep your doors and windows regularly closed at all times. 
  • Alternatively, consider using small-mesh, well-maintained screens on your doors and windows (if you don’t have those yet). This will allow you to keep them open while stopping flies from entering your house.  

When to Call a Professional to Treat a Fly Infestation?

If you feel like your fly problem has gotten out of hand despite using these tips, it might be time to call for help. Pest control experts can identify the causes of flies swarming around your home. They can also get rid of flies by setting up traps or using high-grade chemicals to keep fly populations under control. 


Can Maggots Form Without Flies?

You, along with many others, are wondering the same thing. You might have seen maggots suddenly appear with no flies around. The short answer is no. Maggots are fly eggs that only become flies at the pupal stage. A fly must have laid her eggs for the maggots to appear.

What Is a Lifespan of a Fly?

Typically, houseflies pass through the egg to the adult stage very quickly. Their life expectancy can be anywhere between 15 to 30 days, depending on their living conditions. 

Are Flies Decomposers?

Yes. They thrive on and eat dead matter, feces, and garbage, and by doing so, they break down these matters into simpler parts. 

Prevent Flies Outdoors by Knowing These Tips and Tricks

No need to fret when you encounter flies in your backyard. Knowing the tricks on how to get rid of backyard flies can be your potent weapon to deal with these pests all year round! If you’re also interested in repelling insects in your garden, check out these tips!

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