The arrival of fly season is heralded by the appearance of these pesky insects in and around our homes. While we’re all for nature, we could do without the critters that carry diseases and invade our personal space. Fortunately, getting rid of flies outside doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Eliminate Food Sources and Breeding Areas
The first step in getting rid of flies is to eliminate their food sources and breeding areas. Flies are attracted to garbage, so be sure to keep your trash can lids closed tight. If you have pets, store their food in containers with tight-fitting lids as well. Keep your yard free of rotting leaves and fruit that has fallen from trees. Flies will also lay their eggs near water sources, so be sure to empty any outdoor pet bowls or birdbaths at least once a day. Fix any leaks in your gutters or irrigation system to prevent standing water from accumulating.
Encourage Natural Predators
There are a number of natural predators that will help keep the fly population in check. Bats, for example, eat large numbers of insects, including flies. If you live in an area where bats are plentiful, encourage them to take up residence near your home by installing a bat house. Birds also eat large quantities of insects, so adding a birdfeeder or birdbath to your yard can help reduce the fly population. Ladybugs, lacewings, and dragonflies are also effective predators of flies and other insects.
Trap the Flies
Another effective way to get rid of flies outside is to trap them with a homemade fly trap. To make one, mix equal parts sugar, water, and vinegar in a bowl. Then add a drop or two of dish soap to break the surface tension of the mixture so the flies can’t escape once they land on it. Pour the mixture into a jar or bottle and set it out where you’ve seen most flies congregating. The flies will be drawn to the sweet smell of the sugar water and will crawl into the container in search of it—but they won’t be able to get back out again because of the dish soap.
Candles can also help keep flies away from your outdoor living spaces. Citronella candles are made with citronella oil, which is effective at repelling flying insects like mosquitoes and gnats as well as flies. You can buy citronella candles at most home improvement stores or online retailers—or you can make your own by adding citronella oil to beeswax candles . For best results, place candles around the perimeter of your outdoor space so that any incoming flies will be repelled before they have a chance to land on surfaces or annoy you and your guests..
Make DIY Fly Strips
If you want a more permanent solution, you can make your own fly strips using paper towels soaked in sugar water or honey mixed with dish soap. Just be sure to hang them away from any areas where people will be spending time—you don’t want anyone accidentally sticking to one!
No one likes dealing with flies—especially when you’re trying to enjoy some time outdoors. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them for good. Try eliminating their food sources and breeding areas, encouraging natural predators, trapping the flies, lighting candles, or making DIY fly strips. With any luck, your yard will be fly-free in no time