How to Get Rid of Flies Outside on Porch or in Backyard

Flies can be a nuisance when they invade your outdoor living spaces. Getting rid of flies on your porch, patio, or in the backyard takes some diligence, but there are effective methods to reduce their numbers and keep them away. Here are some tips on how to get rid of flies outside.

Keep Your Outdoor Areas Clean

Flies are attracted to food, garbage, pet waste, and other organic material. Keeping your outdoor areas clean and free of these attractants is key.

  • Pick up any discarded food or drinks immediately. Don’t leave pet food or water sitting out.
  • Take out garbage frequently and keep trash cans tightly sealed.
  • Pick up after pets promptly and dispose of the waste.
  • Eliminate any standing water where flies can breed.
  • Keep compost contained in a sealed bin and turn it regularly.
  • Clean grill drippings and wipe down outdoor dining areas after use.

Use Fans

Flies don’t like wind. Setting up fans on your porch or patio can help discourage flies from congregating. Oscillating fans that cover a wide area are most effective. Just be sure to position fans so they don’t blow food aromas towards you.

Install Fly Screens

Screens on windows, doors, and porches can help block flies from entering your outdoor living areas. Make sure screens are in good repair without any holes or gaps for flies to sneak through. You may want to install screen doors specifically for summertime use to let in fresh air while keeping flies at bay.

Use Fly Traps

There are various types of fly traps that can help reduce their population outside:

  • Fly paper strips catch flies on an adhesive surface. Hang these around your porch or patio away from food areas.
  • Bottles or bags with attractant bait lure flies in where they eventually drown.
  • Electric fly traps use UV light to draw in flies and zap them. Position out of reach of people.
  • Trap bins contain liquid bait that flies can reach but not escape from.

Follow trap instructions for proper placement. Be sure to clean traps regularly for optimal effectiveness.

Apply Fly Deterrents

There are some DIY fly deterrent options you can make at home:

  • Make your own fly paper by coating strips of cardboard with a sticky substance like corn syrup or vegetable oil.
  • Create a fly repellent spray from apple cider vinegar, water, and a few drops of dish soap. Apply to window and door frames.
  • Hang zip bags filled with water and a few pennies. The refracted light helps keep flies away.

Natural fly repellents like lemongrass, mint, bay leaves, and cloves can also be planted around your yard.

Use a Fly Swatter or Zapper

When flies do make it inside, have a fly swatter handy to quickly dispatch them. Electric fly swatters or bug zappers also eliminate flies on contact for a high-tech approach. Just be cautious of zappers around food prep areas.

Call in Pest Control

For severe fly infestations, pest control professionals have commercial-grade insecticides, baits, and traps to significantly reduce fly populations outside. They can also identify and eliminate breeding grounds.

Prevent Flies from Returning

To help keep flies away long-term once you evict them:

  • Use weather sealing to identify and fill any gaps around windows and doors.
  • Install door sweeps under exterior doors and screens behind vents.
  • Replace any damaged screens that allow flies to enter.
  • Consider installing air curtains over entrances.
  • Use overhead fans to disrupt flies from landing.

With some diligent sanitation, exclusion tactics, and fly elimination methods, you can reclaim your outdoor living space and enjoy your patio, porch and backyard free of annoying flies. Maintaining cleanliness and using preventive measures will help deter future fly problems outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep flies off your porch?

  • Use fans, screens, fly paper, and fly traps around your porch to control flies.
  • Eliminate food sources and standing water where flies breed.
  • Spray natural repellents like mint, lemongrass, and cloves on your porch.
  • Install a screen door to allow fresh air flow while keeping flies out.

What scent keeps flies away outside?

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus and tea tree oils can repel flies when used outdoors. Citrus smells from lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit peels also deter flies.

What home remedy kills flies outside?

  • Make a natural fly spray from apple cider vinegar, water, and dish soap.
  • Put out bowls of vinegar around patios and porches.
  • Plant mint, lemongrass, lavender, basil and marigolds to repel flies.
  • Set out dishes of soapy water to trap and drown flies.

Do coffee grounds keep flies away?

Used coffee grounds can help repel flies when scattered around your patio, garden and other outdoor areas. The caffeine and aroma deter flies from landing and breeding there. Reapply after rain or watering.

What scent do flies hate?

Flies hate the strong scents of essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender and citronella. Other scents that deter flies include vinegar, citrus peels, garlic, and cloves.

What plants keep flies away?

Some plants that help repel flies outdoors include lavender, mint, lemongrass, basil, marigolds, chrysanthemums, thyme, citronella grass and rue. Plant these around your yard and garden spaces.


Controlling flies outdoors requires diligence but there are many effective options. Start by eliminating breeding grounds and food sources. Use fans, screens, traps and natural repellents to manage existing fly populations. For severe infestations, contact a pest professional. Prevent future fly problems by sealing gaps, installing screens and using repellent plants. With regular monitoring and exclusion tactics, you can successfully evict flies from your outdoor living areas.