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Controlling Flies Outdoors

One part of the summer warm weather season that no one looks forward to is the return of nuisance flies and other flying and crawling insects. Good outdoor fly control takes some effort, but it is important, not just for your fly problems, but also for outdoor control of other pests.

No one wants their cookouts, picnics, and other outdoor fun ruined by pesky flies and other pests. General tips to help get rid of flies focus on sanitation, other controls (e.g., mechanical, chemical), and exclusion (to help keep flies from coming indoors) to help you keep flies under control.

Identifying Flies

Fly species share a few characteristics that make them members of the Diptera order. These insects have large, compound eyes and one pair of wings. Flies vary in size and color depending on their species. They also have different preferences in food and breeding locations. Flies are categorized as large or small filth flies based on these preferences. While some flies are more of a nuisance, others can contaminate food and bite. Flies tend to breed very quickly, which can lead to large infestations.

Why Do I Have So Many Flies Outside?

Flies breed very quickly, which is why infestations can become so large. Not only can flies lay about 100 eggs at a time, these eggs develop into adult flies in about 10 days.

The first step in outdoor fly control is to thoroughly check your property to determine where flies are breeding and living, and then to determine how they are getting inside your house. If you have a presence of flies in your patio or yard, something is attracting them, whether it's pet feces or garbage. 

  • Observe where flies are landing or resting, and verify what is attracting them.
  • Identify the species of fly you're dealing with. Are they Houseflies, Blow fliesCluster flies, or another type of fly? Where are they breeding? This will help determine what type of management tactics will be necessary.

Common Flies

Types of flies

There are thousands of fly species in the world, but some are more likely to end up in your space. These are the most common types of flies you will find in your home and yard.

  • Housefly: Houseflies have four black stripes on their gray body. They grow between 1/8ʺ-1/4ʺ. They feed and lay eggs on rotting food.
  • Cluster Fly: These flies have short, golden hair on their gray-checkered body. They range in size from 5/16ʺ-3/8ʺ. These flies enter homes when looking for a warm spot to overwinter.
  • Fruit Fly: Fruit flies are brown or black and about 1/8ʺ. They feed and lay eggs in rotting fruit and vegetables.
  • Blow Fly: These flies are metallic blue-green and about ½ʺ. They feed on decaying meat and lay eggs on decaying matter.
  • Horse Fly: Horse flies are dark in color with green or purple eyes. They grow between 3/8ʺ-1 1/8ʺ. Female horse flies feed on the blood from animals and humans.
  • Black Fly: These black flies are about ¼ʺ. Female black flies need a blood meal to produce eggs. They lay eggs on objects in moving water.

How Do I Get Rid of Flies Outdoors?

Flies buzzing around can quickly ruin any outdoor fun. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help keep these pests away.

  • Eliminate Moisture: Moisture can attract flies to your yard. Keep your gutters clean and working properly. Eliminate standing water and make sure there aren’t areas where moisture can collect.
  • Mow Your Lawn: Tall grass can retain moisture and it gives flies a place to hide. Regularly mow your lawn to deter flies.
  • Remove Yard Debris: Leaf litter, dead plants, and grass clippings are all ideal places for flies to hide and breed. Keep your yard clean and free of yard debris.
  • Clean Up After Pet: Many fly species feed and breed on decaying matter including pet droppings. Clean up after your pet frequently to avoid attracting flies.
  • Remove Trash: If you enjoy a meal outside, make sure to throw away any trash. Keep your trash bins as clean as possible and ensure they have tight-fitting lids.
  • Add Fly-Repelling Plants: There are some plant fragrances that flies can’t stand. Adding plants like mint, rosemary, lavender, and basil to your yard can help prevent fly activity.
  • Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: Our Flying Insect Killer kills flies on contact and it will create a repellent barrier.

How Do I Get Rid of Flies Indoors?

A fly problem in your yard can lead to problems in your home. Implementing the above outdoor control measures is important for keeping flies out of your house. Here are a few additional tips to help get rid of flies in your home.

  • Seal Entry Points: Ensure that door and window screens are in good condition. Caulk all cracks, crevices, holes around windows and doors where flies might enter. Don’t leave your doors or windows open if they don’t have a screen.
  • Eliminate Food Sources: Make sure you aren’t providing flies with food. Keep your food stored in sealed containers and keep produce in the refrigerator. Clean up crumbs and spills. Remove trash from your home regularly.
  • Eliminate Moisture: Check for leaky pipes or faucets and repair any you find. Using a fan or a dehumidifier can help to prevent moisture build-up.

    What is the Best Outdoor Fly Repellent and Fly Killer?

    Pest Control Products

    When choosing an insecticide it’s important to find one that’s effective but also family-friendly. That’s why we love using natural plant essential oils in our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products. Plants don’t like flies and other bugs any more than you do. The natural oils they produce to protect themselves are effective at killing and repelling pests.

    Our Home Bug Spray and Flying Insect Killer are both effective for spot-treatments. For personal protection against flies (and mosquitoes), try our Natural Insect Repellent.

    For longer term, more thorough coverage, you can treat wider areas of your lawn with effective hose-end plant oil-based pest control products like our Maggie's Farm Yard Bug Spray

    Find more information here:

    The Best Indoor Fly Killer Spray

    Tips for a Bug-free Cookout

    How do you control flies in your yard, patio, and home? We want to hear your tips and tricks! Leave us a comment below!


    For scientifically-tested, effective fly control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.

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