“I love to spend time on outdoor barbeque or having picnics with my families, especially in summer. However, the presence of pesky flies bothers us quite a lot, and I even try to cover the food when cooking, yet they keep droning and surrounding me, which just frustrate my interest on cooking outdoors. Just want to try everything to keep those annoying flies away. Do you guys have any effective ideas? Pls. help!”

The above is one question we get from readers. I think you must have encountered such  a issue. Below are the remedies for help.

How to Keep Flies Away



Place whole pieces of cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and hang it in your doorway or areas where you don't want flies. You can squeeze the cloves daily until they lose aroma. Replace them when necessary.


Lemon and Cloves

If you want flies to stay away from your food, trying using something they hate—lemon and cloves! Cut a lemon in half and stick some cloves into each half. Just put it around the bowls around the table where you have food as a decorative.


Pennies in Water

This is a strange method on how to keep flies away, but some people swear by it. Just fill a plastic bag halfway with plain water and place a few shiny pennies in it. Hang the bag in the doorway.


Oil and Vinegar

Use oil and vinegar as a natural fly repellent. Combine the following materials: half a cup of witch hazel, half a cup of apple cider (or white vinegar), and several drops of any essential oil (cedar, citronella, catnip, clove, eucalyptus, mint, lavender, or rosemary). Place the mixture in a spray bottle. Use directly on your skin to keep flies away.


Fly Papers

Papers coated with sweet fragrance attract flies. However, the paper is so sticky and it traps flies as well as other insects as they land on it.


Bug Vacuum

This is a small, powerful hand-held device that runs on batteries. Simply switch on the vacuum on and try to catch flies with it. The flies stick to an adhesive surface inside. Be sure to clean the vacuum after use to get rid of the flies’ eggs.


Herb Spray

Boil a cup of water. Add 4 tablespoons dried citronella, lavender, cloves, peppermint, or spearmint. Boil for two more minutes. Remove from heat and let herbs steep in the covered pot lukewarm. Strain and combine with ½ cup rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Place in a spray bottle and refrigerate. Spray on your skin to keep pests away.


Natural Fly Strips

Cut a piece of cloth into strips 6 - 12 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. On each strip, place several drops of essential oils like clove, citronella, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary or mint. Hang these strips where flies tend to hover.


Vodka Bags

Do you know that flies hate the smell of vodka? It is one way you can try on how to keep flies away. Some people make vodka bags to drive away flies, or you can also apply some vodka on the uncovered parts of your skin to keep flies away.


Fly Swatter

This is a thin, flexible plastic mesh with a handle used to swat flies as they land on a flat surface. How to keep flies away? Simply crush flies mechanically against a hard surface.


Fly Traps

Disposable traps containing fly attractants are activated when water is added. The fly attractant dissolves in water and produces a sweet smell which they can’t resist. Flies go inside the bag and drown in the water.


Electronic Fly Zapper

Bug zappers emit white light and attract flying insects. An electric grid near the light kills the insects that come into contact.


Commercial Insect Sprays

Many commercial chemical sprays kill flies and prevent further growth in number. These work very quickly, but many believe that they may have toxic ingredients that are harmful to people and the environment.


Plants that Repel Flies

Some plants can help you solve your problem on how to keep flies away naturally. Try to grow a mini garden with these plants that can help you keep those pests away:

Basil. Basil plants can be grown outside or near your room. They will not only repel flies, but mosquitoes and other insects as well.

Bay leaf. Grow bay leaf plants outside during summer, and you can bring them indoors during winter to repel flies. Alternatively, you can just put some dried bay leaves in a bowl of water in your room to keep flies out.

Lavender. Lavender smells delicious, but it scares off flies. Grind leaves into powder then sprinkle over furniture. Grow it in a small container or in your mini kitchen garden.

Mint plants in your room will scare away flies, fleas, and ants. Tansy is also known to repel ants, flies, fleas and moth.


Preventive Measures

If you have any broken windows, doors, or screens, replace or repair them. Flies can enter your home even through tiny holes or cracks in your windows. Make sure your doors and windows are tightly shut and that the screen edges fit snugly so flies can’t pass through.


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