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How To Get Rid of Flies Around Your Patio

Whenever you’re out on your patio, you’re bound to run into some insects and wildlife. This is their home, too, and it’s going to be nearly impossible to rid your outdoor space of flies completely; however, infestations can become pesky and reduce the amount of time you want to spend in your outdoor space.

Luckily, this article will cover five tips for those looking to reduce the number of flies around your patio so that you won’t need to constantly be swatting them away from your face, food, and furniture.

How to Get Rid of Flies Around Your Patio

Getting rid of flies and larvae doesn’t need to cost you a fortune or require complex solutions. By implementing one or more of these tips, you’ll immediately see a reduction in the number of flies around your patio. These tips will help you control fly populations right away by reducing the number of larvae in your patio area, further controlling the number of flies.

1. Clean Your Patio Frequently

Clean patio
Clean patio | image by Stevie Rocco via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The more cluttered your patio becomes, the more insects you’re going to attract. Once you allow dirt and excess furniture to build up in your outdoor space, you’ll find a dramatic increase in the number of insects pestering you.

You can decrease the number of insects in your space simply by keeping your home consistently tidy. It may sound crazy to say you should be cleaning outside of your home, but it works!

Start by assessing what you do and do not need on your patio. If you have excessive furniture that you don’t use, get it off the patio. This gives insects less space to live, breed, and hang out. If you’re going to use cleaning materials like glass cleaner or polish for furniture, try to use something with a more pungent smell.

Any use of essential oils will ward off insects, and as a major plus, if you spray the oil directly onto your furniture, the flies will have fewer available options for their larvae.

2. Use Grain Alcohol

If you’re still finding that flies are a significant problem, tap into your liquor cabinet. Flies do not like the smell of alcohol and will be deterred by its presence. The ideal liquor to use is a clear grain alcohol, like vodka.

To maximize the impact of your vodka, pour a small amount into a Ziplock bag that is only partially closed. Use some rope or wire to hang this bag near your patio, and you’ll ward off any flies in that area.

This is not the most aesthetically pleasing solution for flies; however, you can set up some of these vodka bags when you’re not enjoying the space to permanently deter some of the flies that would otherwise be living around the patio.

One of the most significant benefits of using this method is that it’s non-toxic and won’t potentially kill or harm any other animals in the area. If you opt to use bait spray or insecticides, you’re likely to kill off vital species like pollinators.

These chemicals can even cause illness in your pets and small children. That’s why it’s ideal to exhaust all of your natural options first.

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3. Make or Buy Fly Strips

Fly strips
Fly strips | image by Ryan Albrey via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Fly strips can not only be placed around your patio but also on trees or bushes that the flies seem to swarm around. This will knock some of the flies out of the population and reduce breeding in your patio region.

Fly strips are available for purchase in most large retailers and are also non-toxic. These are safe for other animals and won’t give off any fumes or aggressive chemicals.

If you like to take on DIY projects, you can make your fly strips as well! Start by cutting up some cloth and moistening the strips with essential oils that are known to repel flies; some examples include:

  • Lavender
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary

Then tie these strips around your patio. You can tie them in trees, onto fence lines, and even around your furniture. Since these are non-toxic, if you use essential oils you enjoy, this can also be a way to add a pleasant fragrance to your patio.

4. Use an Insect Repelling Candle

When you’re outside, it’s a good idea to use an insect repellent candle. These are usually made with citronella oil and effectively ward off flies, mosquitoes, and other pests that could fly around your patio. Here are some long-lasting outdoor citronella candles that will help keep insects away while they’re burning.

Citronella Candles Outdoor Large Patio Candle, Outside 3 Wick Bucket Candle 100 Hour Burning for Table Backyard Camping Indoor, Soy Wax Scented Candle Gift for Women Wedding, 2 Pack 17OZ

If you pair this method with one of the previous methods, you’ll effectively reduce the fly population around your patio and ward off any stranglers while you’re sitting outside. This is also a great tip to use before implementing something more invasive, as it may be all you need to get rid of the flies.

5. Use a Fan While Outside

In addition to using a candle while outside on your patio, consider using a fan. Fans deter insects because they make it hard for them to fly. Living in a warmer climate may also increase your comfort from the heat while effectively reducing pesky flies.

Set your fan up so that it points towards you and your guests, and you’ll notice that most insects are unable to get close to you. This will not prevent flies from swarming in other areas around the patio; therefore, you may also need to introduce fly strips or alcohol to the surrounding region to ward them off for good.

Using a fan is a great thing to try if you’re desperate for a quick fix since most people already have a fan lying around their homes. However, the more of these tips you combine, the more effective you’ll find you are at getting rid of the flies around your patio. If you want, you could get a more heavy-duty outdoor fan for the job.


When we aren’t traveling or enjoying the outdoors away from home, we often like to hang out in our own backyards. Often on the patio or deck. Aside from these 5 tips for getting rid of flies around your patio, there are a few other options. You could invest in a bug zapper like this one, but it has mixed results for large flies.

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Depending on where you live, flies are just something we have to deal with in the warm weather. Most importantly, keep your patio area clean and free of food unless you’re eating. Always keep trying new tactics to keep them at bay!

Thanks for reading!