While flies may not bite, they can surely transmit hundreds of diseases, which is a good enough reason to be afraid of them. Now, you can still block them and keep them out of your indoors, but what about the outdoors, like your patio or backyard?
Especially in the summertime, if you are planning a picnic or barbeque in your backyard with friends and wish to enjoy some outdoor time, be prepared to get annoyed by those buzzing pests. But there are some truly effective ways in which you can prevent them from swarming on your property and, most importantly, contaminating your food.
Today, we will discuss what attracts flies the most and what are some natural ways in which you can repel them. We will also give you some tips for building habits that will help you keep your backyard fly-free.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What Do Flies Look Like?
There can be a bunch of different flies coming into your backyard. Here are the most common ones and their identification.
1. House Flies
They are dull greyish in color and have four dark stripes on their body. They are commonly ¼ inch long. During the day, you can spot them in areas less than five feet from the ground, whereas at night, they move to ceilings, light fixtures, tall plants, etc.
2. Green Blowfly
They have a very distinct metallic green, blue, and brassy hue on their body. They are commonly spotted around rotting things.
3. Cluster Flies
They are tiny flies with no distinct visual appearance but, as the name says, have the habit of staying in a cluster. They are more visible when the days get shorter, and the temperature starts falling.
4. Fruit Fly
This small fly is usually tan in color and has big red eyes. They are highly drawn to the fermenting smell of fruits and vegetables.
5. Drain Sewage Fly
These tiny flies have furry bodies and wings, and their color can vary from brownish-grey to black. They have a set of long, distinct antennae covered in hair. They are very weak and can usually be found hovering above a drain, dirty garbage can, clogged gutters, moist compost, etc.
What Attracts Flies to Your Backyard?
Prevention is always better than cure, so before we start discussing the remedies to get rid of flies from your backyard, let’s start by understanding what might have brought them in the first place.
Here are some of the things that flies get highly attracted to. Check how many of these are in your yard so you can remove them.
1. Uncovered Garbage
Uncovered garbage bins and improperly disposed wastes are major attractions to flies. Especially wet garbage bins, as they provide the perfect warm and moist abode for flies to lay eggs and food to feast on.
Therefore, if there is a garbage bin near your backyard that isn’t closed properly or not emptied from time to time, it will make a nesting harbor for flies, so every time you sit outside with food or drinks, flies will swarm you.
2. Animal Droppings
If you have pets and they often poop around your yard, it can also be a major reason why flies are attracted to your yard. Animal dropping has a soft and moist consistency that flies like to settle in. Also, it is another cozy spot for them to lay eggs.
3. Rotten or Overripe Fruits and Vegetables
If you have a backyard garden where you grow vegetables like potatoes and onions or have sweet fruit trees like peaches, apricots, avocados, guavas, and papayas, it can attract flies to your backyard.
Especially if you don’t harvest the fruits and vegetables on time and leave them to overripe and decompose, it will attract flies. The rotting fruits release chemicals like ethanol and yeast that attract fruit flies.
4. Liquids with a Pungent Smell
Liquids with a very pungent smell that resembles the smell of fermentation are a big source of attraction for flies. So look in your backyard if you have any vinegar, wine, beer, or syrup bottles that are left half emptied there.
5. Uncovered or Leaking Drains
If you have none of the issues mentioned above, the problem might be a little bit deep. If your home’s drainage system has a leak or isn’t covered properly, it can also be a source of attraction for flies. So check for sewer lines and whether they are properly covered and cleaned or not.
6. Heat and Light
Flies reproduce in warm conditions, so if your backyard provides them with sufficient heat and light, it can be a huge attraction for them. Besides, there are certain types of UV bulbs that attract flies and insects, so if you are using those, you will see the flies buzzing around them.
7. Sugar Syrups and Other Damaged Food Products
Sugar syrup is a universal nectar, and not only flies but many other insects are drawn to this sweet and sticky substance. Apart from that, if you have similar sugary food products that have gone out of date, keeping them in your backyard can also be a reason why flies are bothering you so much.
What are the Signs of Fly Infestation?
If you are worried that your backyard is infested with flies, look for these signs:
- Small dark clusters of spots that are the size of a pinhead.
- Seeing flies almost every day.
- Spotting maggots. These are the larvae of the flies that look like small grains of rice. They are mostly found in trash cans, carrion, feces, or rotting food.
6 Tips to Get Rid of Flies in Your Backyard
Now that you know the possible reasons why flies have become a frequent visitor in your yard, here are some tips that you can use to bid them goodbye forever!
1. Find the Attraction and Remove it
To effectively get rid of flies in your backyard, start by identifying what’s attracting them. Flies are often drawn to decaying organic matter like food scraps, trash, or pet waste. Ensure that your trash cans have tight-fitting lids. Regularly clean up fallen fruit, as overripe fruit can offer magnetic attraction for flies.
Apart from that, keep your outdoor dining area clean and clear of food residues. Regularly empty and clean any compost bins, as they can also be possible breeding grounds for flies. By eliminating these attractions, you’ll reduce the fly population naturally.
2. Use All-Purpose Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning is a powerful tool in the fight against flies. Use all-purpose cleaning solutions to wipe down outdoor surfaces, especially those where food is prepared or consumed.
Pay close attention to tables, countertops, and grills, as flies are attracted to food odors and residue. Regular cleaning will not only remove the source of attraction but will also disrupt their breeding sites.
3. Host Fly Enemies
Consider introducing natural fly predators like parasitic wasps or nematodes to your backyard ecosystem. These insects can help control fly populations by targeting fly larvae.
They are safe for the environment and won’t harm humans or pets. You can purchase them from garden supply stores and release them in your yard as a long-term, sustainable solution.
Having birds in your backyard might also do the trick, so try placing some bird feeders and birdbaths to attract them. However, ensure that the bird bath’s water is clean and frequently changed.
4. Use Flytraps
Flytraps, such as flypaper or electric fly zappers, can be effective in capturing flies. Place these traps strategically in your backyard, focusing on areas where flies congregate the most.
Electric fly zappers are more useful for large fly infestations. These traps emit UV light to attract flies and then zap them upon contact.
5. Use a Stand Fan
Flies can’t stand a strong gust of wind and have trouble navigating amid strong air currents. So you can utilize a stand fan in your outdoor living spaces to create a breeze that discourages flies from landing and bothering you.
This simple and eco-friendly method can significantly reduce the fly nuisance during your outdoor activities.
6. Use Essential Oils
Certain essential oils are known for their fly-repelling properties. Mix a few drops of essential oils like citronella, eucalyptus, or lavender with water in a spray bottle and apply it to your outdoor seating area.
These scents are unpleasant for flies and can help keep them at bay naturally. Reapply the mixture as needed, especially after rain or if the scent diminishes.
By implementing these natural remedies and tips, you can enjoy a fly-free backyard and make your outdoor experiences more enjoyable for your family and guests.
No. It’s best to avoid chemical insecticides in your backyard, especially in areas where you and your family spend more time. Inhaling those chemicals can pose health risks and harm beneficial insects.
Instead, opt for natural remedies and non-toxic solutions to minimize fly populations safely.
To prevent fly infestations from returning, maintain good hygiene in your backyard. Regularly clean up food scraps, empty trash cans, and keep an eye on potential breeding sites.
Also, continue using natural deterrents like essential oils to keep flies away from your outdoor spaces.
Yes, fly predators and nematodes are generally safe for pets. They specifically target fly larvae and don’t harm humans or other animals.
However, it’s a good practice to consult with your veterinarian or a pest control expert to ensure that these biological control methods are suitable for your specific situation or not.
In conclusion, it is always better to resort to natural remedies for deterring flies, as they are also less harmful to us. Often, those chemical-filled fly-repellent sprays can be more dangerous for us than the flies.
The best way of keeping your backyard fly-free is by identifying and eliminating fly attractions and maintaining cleanliness. Flytraps stand fans, and essential oils can be additional tools to enhance your fly control efforts.
So, using these methods not only ensures a more pleasant outdoor experience but also promotes a healthier and safer environment for you, your family, and your pets. Take these steps to enjoy a peaceful, fly-free backyard and make the most of your outdoor spaces.