9 Safe Ways To Keep Flies Away Outside (at picnics, BBQs, parties)

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Warmer weather is around the corner and we’re all ready to throw open the doors and feel the sunshine on our faces. 

We’re planning for outdoor parties, BBQs, and picnics… but we’d really prefer to leave the flies off the invitation list! 

Here are some tips for being able to celebrate in nature without flies crashing your party.

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Pop-Up Mesh Food Cover

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Citronella Essential Oil

Best natural repellent

9 Ways to Keep Flies Away Outside

How to keep away flies from an outdoor party

keep flies from food at outdoor party

We love an outdoor party to start off the spring season. But we don’t want to be dive-bombed by pesky flies! If you choose your lights and smells strategical, you are already miles ahead when it comes to keeping flies at a distance.

Keep the flies at ‘bay’

Did you know that bay leaves are a natural way to keep your outdoor party fly-free? Though we enjoy this balmy smell, this perfume is a turn-off for flies. Some other plants that are a natural deterrent are:

  •         Lavender
  •         Lemongrass
  •         Mint
  •         Rosemary

If you’re a Type A and like to plan ahead, you can strategically add some of these plants to your garden or around the foundation of your house. So when spring returns and you’re ready to start getting some sunshine, your plants are ready to stand guard! Check which plants will thrive in your area.

If you are a last-minute planner, you can add fresh fly-repelling posies to the table. This can be a beautiful addition to your decor, while also adding a pleasant fragrance. They will keep the flies away naturally and effectively! 

Cover it up

According to BBC news, flies can carry up to 600 different bacteria. No one wants this kind of dish added to the buffet! Food mesh covers are a great way to keep food fresh and untouched by fly feet. Mesh, collapsible, tent-style covers are some of our favorites because they allow heat to escape, while the food remains visible and fly-free.

Use yellow bulbs to repel flies

Yellow bulbs have shown to be effective to keep flies away. These bulbs can fit in place of a regular bulb, but instead of attracting flies like white light, the yellow bulbs are… well unattractive to flies. 

While they may not actively repel flies, the yellow bulbs seem to have about the same effect as if you left all the lights off. So, instead of choosing to eat in the dark to avoid the flies, you can string up some festive-looking mood lighting without worrying about creating a buzz in the fly-world.

How to keep away flies from a BBQ

how to keep flies away from

Dad’s at the grill and you’re ready to bite into that delicious BBQ. What you’re not ready for is sharing your BBQ with the neighboring fly! Here are some ways you can keep your food to yourself and fly-free.

Fly Zappers (DIY or Buy)

Flycatchers are an effective way to keep flies away naturally. We prefer this method to fly-tape, since fly-tape has been known to catch more than just flies, and we want to protect our bird and lizard friends.

Also, no one wants their view of nature interrupted by hanging strips of dead flies! You can buy ready-made fly zappers or you can DIY your own using a coke bottle, honey and vinegar.

Use fans and blow flies away

Outdoor ceiling fans are actually a terrific way to not only stay cool, but also keep flies away. The downward draft confuses the flies’ flight-path and sends them to another landing pad. So if you’re eating your BBQ on a covered patio, turning the fans on will kill two birds with one stone!

Make a sweet trap

If you’ve ever grilled at a park, you know the flies seem to have been trained to hover around in the covered patios. If the flies have you outnumbered, sometimes you may have to give in and call a truce. A couple of drops of pure honey (or sweet tea!) on a neighbouring table corner is usually enough of a bribe to keep them occupied. Also, be sure to keep lids on all your sugary drinks!

How to keep away flies from food at a picnic

keep flies away from picnic

Picnics are an excellent way to get out in nature and unwind. Dodging flies kind of spoils the romance, though. To keep it from becoming a party of 100, here are some ideas you can try on your next picnic date.

Light up citronella scented candles

Scented candles can be a great way to set the mood for a romantic picnic date. The candlelight is a relaxing addition, and citronella is a scent that signals flies to move on to another party. Smells that let the flies know to keep their distance are:

  •         Lemon
  •         Cinnamon
  •         Rose-geranium
  •         Citronella

The most common fly-repellent candles found are usually citronella. These can often be found in the gardening sections of your local home improvement stores or on amazon.

Use a Buzz-killer

Bug spray is one of the most effective ways to social distance from flies. You can choose from traditional bug sprays or alternative natural options. If you are a DIY fan, you can choose from oils like:

  •         Rose geranium,
  •         Spearmint
  •         Lemongrass
  •         Peppermint oils,
  •         Eucalyptus,
  •         Mint
  •         Lemon
  •         Cloves

Spritzing the surrounding area can create a nicely scented no-fly zone. Or, if you are planning to take a hike in nature, you can follow directions to dilute and create a combination of oils that can be used directly on the skin. This is a subtle way to tell flies to “buzz-off” and regain your personal space!

Put a lid on it

Tip-lids are a great way to cover up the enticing smells of your sauces and dressings at a picnic. What the flies don’t know, won’t kill them!

These tip-lid condiment bottles are an excellent way to seal it up and keep the buzz down as well as protecting your condiments from getting an added fly-flavour.

It is also a great idea to ditch the red cups and drink instead out of bottles with lids. The less the flies know about your tasty treats, the better for all!

Stay safe, have fun!

The sun’s out, the weather’s right, and we’re all ready to enjoy some outdoor dining and Vitamin D. We hope these tips will help you to be able to get back to nature without nature getting to you!

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