Summer is here, and with it comes the joy of spending time on your patio. However, like many homeowners, you may have noticed an unwelcome guest – the hovering fly.
These pesky insects can be a nuisance, constantly buzzing around your head, landing on your food, and generally making your time on the patio less enjoyable.
Hovering flies, also known as syrphid or flower flies, are a group of insects belonging to the family Syrphidae. They are known for their ability to hover midair, often in front of flowers or other potential food sources.
Not only are they annoying, but they can also carry diseases, making them a concern for your and your family’s health. This blog post will provide tips and strategies for getting rid of these pesky flies so that you can enjoy your patio in peace.
What attracts hoverflies
Patios are often used for outdoor dining and cooking, which can attract flies with the scent of food and the presence of liquids like drinks and condiments. Also, patios can provide shelter and warmth for flies, making them a desirable location to congregate. Flies hover around patios for a variety of reasons.
One of the main reasons is the presence of food and other organic matter. Flies are attracted to the smell of food, such as burgers, hot dogs, and other items often served on patios. They are also attracted to other organic matter, such as rotting fruits and vegetables, which can be found in gardens or compost piles nearby.
Another reason that flies and mosquitoes hover around patios is the presence of moisture. Flies thrive in damp environments, and patios are often close to water sources such as swimming pools, fountains, or sprinklers. This provides them with a source of moisture to survive and reproduce.
Additionally, flies are attracted to warmth and light. Patios are often sunny and warm, making them an ideal environment for flies to thrive. The warmth and light also attract other insects, such as bees and butterflies, which provide a food source for flies.
Lastly, flies are attracted to the presence of other flies. Once a few flies have found a food source or other attraction on a patio, they release pheromones that attract other flies. This creates a cycle of attraction, leading to a buildup of flies around the patio.
Overall, flies hover around patios because of food, moisture, warmth, light, and other flies.
What can I spray around my patio to keep flies away?
There are several options for sprays that can be used to keep flies away from your patio.
- Essential oil sprays: Essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, and citronella have natural repellent properties that help keep flies away. You can mix a few drops of these oils with water in a spray bottle and apply it around your patio to create a barrier of protection.
- Homemade vinegar spray: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply it around your patio to deter flies. The strong smell of vinegar can be unappealing to flies and will help keep them away.
- Commercial insect repellent sprays: There are a variety of commercial insect repellent sprays available that can be used to keep flies away from your patio. These sprays often contain ingredients such as DEET or picaridin, which are known to be effective in repelling flies.
It’s important to note that these sprays may need to be reapplied regularly, especially on hot and humid days, to ensure they continue to be effective. Additionally, it’s important to follow the instructions on any commercial insect repellent sprays to ensure proper use and safety.
How to get rid of hovering flies on patio
Hovering flies, also known as horse flies, can be a nuisance on patios during summer. These flies are attracted to light and are known to bite, making them a potential health hazard. However, there are several ways to get rid of them and keep them away from your patio.
Use fly traps
Fly traps are a great way to catch and remove flies from your patio. These traps use bait to attract the flies and then trap them inside, preventing them from flying around.
- Purchase fly traps specifically designed for outdoor use. These can be found at most hardware or garden stores.
- Place the traps where flies are commonly seen, such as near patio furniture or outdoor food and drink stations.
- Make sure the traps are positioned to allow flies to enter easily but not escape.
- Use a lure or bait to attract the flies to the trap. Some traps come with a built-in lure, while others require you to add your own bait, such as apple cider vinegar or sugar water.
- Check the traps regularly and dispose of any trapped flies. Empty and refill the traps as needed.
- If the traps are not catching many flies, try moving them to a different location or using a different type of bait.
Keep in mind that fly traps are not a permanent solution and will require regular maintenance to maintain their effectiveness.
Use fly repellents:
There are several types of fly repellents are available, including sprays, candles, and plug-ins. These products emit a scent that flies find unpleasant and will avoid. Some repellents and ways to use them include
- Citronella candles: Light citronella candles on your patio to keep flies away. The strong scent of citronella is known to repel flies and other flying insects.
- Essential oils: Mix a few drops of essential oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemongrass, with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around your patio to keep flies away.
- Fly traps: Hang fly traps on your patio to attract and trap flies. These traps use a sticky substance or bait to lure flies inside, where they become stuck and unable to escape.
- Fly repellent sprays: Purchase a commercial spray and apply it around your patio to keep flies away. These sprays often contain natural ingredients such as citronella and lemongrass.
Apply the repellent according to the instructions on the packaging. Cover all your patio surfaces, including tables, chairs, and railings. Repeat the repellent application as needed, usually once a week or as directed on the packaging. Keep your patio clean and clear of food scraps or garbage to prevent flies from returning.
Keep the area clean:
Flies are attracted to garbage, so it’s important to keep your patio clean and free of food debris. Make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs right away and keep trash cans sealed.
- Clean up any food or drink spills and dispose of trash or food scraps.
- Remove any standing water or sources of moisture, as these flies are attracted to damp areas.
- Keep your patio and surrounding areas free of debris and overgrown plants, as these can provide shelter for the flies.
By keeping your patio clean and free of potential food and shelter sources, you can effectively reduce the number of hovering flies on your patio.
Use Fly zapper
Purchase a fly zapper specifically designed for outdoor use. These typically come as hanging or freestanding devices emitting a UV light to attract flies.
- Place the fly zapper in a central location on your patio, making sure it is positioned at least a few feet away from any seating or dining areas to avoid bothering guests.
- Turn on the fly zapper and allow it to run for several hours or overnight to attract and zap any hovering flies in the area.
- Check the fly zapper regularly to remove any dead flies accumulated in the tray or collection area.
- Repeat this process as needed to maintain a fly-free patio. It is important to clean the zapper regularly to ensure its effectiveness.
In addition to using a fly zapper, you can also take preventative measures such as keeping food and garbage sealed and covered and eliminating standing water around the patio to reduce the number of flies in the area.
Use natural predators:
This is another good way to control the population of hovering flies is to introduce natural predators into the environment. This can include birds, such as sparrows and swallows, and insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings. These predators will feed on the flies and help to reduce their numbers.
You can attract them to your patio by providing feeders or nesting boxes. Maintaining a healthy ecosystem with diverse plant life can also help reduce the number of flies by providing food and habitat for their natural predators.
Also, beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are as well known to feed on hovering fly larvae and adults. You can attract these beneficial insects to your patio by planting flowering plants that provide nectar, pollen, and other food sources.
Lastly, providing a water source, such as a shallow dish filled with water and pebbles, can also be helpful.
Installing screens on your patio can help keep flies out. Make sure to keep the screens closed when not in use.
To install screens to keep flies off your patio, you will need first to measure the dimensions of the area you want to cover. Next, purchase the appropriate type and size of screening material and any necessary hardware, such as screen frames or fasteners.
Once you have all the materials, you can then install the screens by attaching them to the frames or directly to the patio structure with the hardware. It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you are using. Steps to follow include
- Measure the area of your patio where you want to install screens. Take note of any door or window openings, as well as any areas that may require special attention.
- Purchase screens that are specifically designed for outdoor use. These screens are typically durable, weather-resistant materials such as fiberglass or polyester.
- Measure and cut the screens to fit your patio area. Be sure to leave enough excess material to accommodate door or window openings.
- Install the screens using a staple gun, making sure to secure the screens tightly to the frame of your patio.
- Check that the screens are securely in place and make any necessary adjustments.
Use plants that repel flies:
There are several plants that are known to repel flies, including basil, bay leaves, catnip, citronella, lemongrass, marigold, mint, and thyme. These plants have a strong scent that flies find unpleasant. Planting these around your patio can help keep flies away.
These plants can be grown in pots and placed around the patio to help keep flies away. Additionally, you can also try using fly-repellent sprays or burning citronella candles.
Using plants that repel flies can be an effective way to get rid of hovering flies on a patio. Some examples of plants that are known to repel flies include:
- Basil: The strong scent of basil is known to repel flies and other insects.
- Lavender: Lavender is another plant with a strong scent that repels flies and other insects.
- Marigolds: Marigolds are known to repel a wide variety of insects, including flies.
- Citronella: Citronella is a plant commonly used in mosquito repellent and also repels flies.
- Rosemary: The strong scent of rosemary is known to repel flies and other insects.
Planting these plants around your patio or using the dried herbs in sachets or oil diffusers effectively repel flies and other insects.
Eliminating standing water:
Flies breed in standing water, so it’s important to eliminate any sources of standing water around your patio. This includes empty flower pots, clogged gutters, and old tires.
- Drain or remove any standing water sources: Standing water is a breeding ground for hovering flies, so the first step in getting rid of them is to eliminate any sources of standing water on your patio. Drain any puddles or pools of water, and remove any containers or objects that may hold water, such as flower pots or bird baths.
- Clean gutters and downspouts: Clogged gutters and downspouts can also cause standing water to accumulate on your patio, so make sure to keep these areas clean and free of debris.
Doing these will keep your environment clean and will keep flies away from your patio. With these, you can enjoy your patio without these pesky pests.
Mowing your lawn regularly:
Flies are attracted to tall grass and weeds, so keeping your lawn trimmed can help reduce their numbers. Mowing your lawn regularly can help reduce the population of hovering flies on your patio, as they typically lay their eggs in tall grass or other vegetation.
Keeping your lawn well-trimmed and maintaining a neat landscape can also help discourage these flies from breeding in your yard. However, to get rid of them permanently, consider identifying and eliminating the breeding source and consider using pesticides if necessary.
Using a fan:
Flies are weak fliers and can’t stand the wind, by using a fan on your patio will help to keep them away. To get rid of hovering flies on your patio using a fan, follow these steps:
- Position the fan in an area where the flies are commonly found. This could be near a food source, such as a barbecue or outdoor dining area.
- Turn the fan on to a medium or high setting. The stronger the breeze, the more effective it will be in keeping the flies away.
- Use the fan to create a barrier of air around where you want to keep the flies away. The flies will not be able to cross the barrier so they will stay away from the area.
- If the flies are particularly persistent, you can move the fan around the area to create a moving air barrier. This will make it harder for the flies to find a way through.
- Once the flies are gone, you can turn off the fan and enjoy your patio without any annoying flies buzzing around.
Note: Keep in mind that hovering flies are attracted to dirt and waste, so keeping your patio clean and free of food scraps and other debris is important.
Overall, removing hovering flies on your patio requires a combination of methods. By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy a fly-free patio and spend more time outside without the annoyance of flies. Remember to regularly check and maintain any traps or repellents you use to ensure they are working effectively.
In conclusion, there are several ways to get rid of hovering flies on a patio. Some effective methods include flying traps, fly strips, and swatters. Additionally, keeping a clean patio and removing any food or standing water sources can also help reduce the number of flies.
Chemical pesticides can also be used but should be used with caution as they can be harmful to humans and other animals. It’s important to note that using a combination of these methods may be the most effective way to get rid of flies on your patio.