If you’ve got a fly problem on your hands and don’t know what to do about it, you’re in the right place. Flies can be incredibly obnoxious, especially when they’re in your lawn and you don’t know how they got there. Not only are they annoying, but they can also carry diseases that could be incredibly harmful to you and those who spend time around you.
So you may be asking yourself, how in the world did I end up in this situation?
What’s Causing My Fly Problem?
The first step in finding the solution for your fly problem is figuring out what’s causing them to congregate in your lawn.
The most obvious reason for why your lawn is full of flies is that there is an overwhelming amount of garbage lying nearby. Your garbage can could have been knocked over by a raccoon or a clumsy garbage man, or maybe you accidentally left food left out and forgot all about it. Either way, trash and food are a surefire way of attracting flies to your lawn. The hot summer weather also tends to bring out flies, so installing fans around the problem areas could help keep the flies at bay.
If you’ve got a pet, their bathroom habits may also be attracting flies to your lawn. An overwhelming amount of feces could start to pile up, becoming the perfect breeding ground for flies. As a result, it’s important that you constantly clean up after your pets and not allow them to use the same spots over and over again. Not only is that bad for your grass, but you’ll never be able to get rid of the flies if it continues.
If you typically feed your pets outside, their food may also be attracting unwanted pests. Flies are also attracted to water, so you may want to move your pet’s water bowls inside for the time being. Try to keep any fountains or bird feeders empty for the time being. You may be wanting to help out the other creatures in your backyard, but you may end up doing more harm than good.
Another reason for your fly problem could be that there’s a breeding ground nearby that you don’t know about. If they are close enough that your lawn is infested with flies, you should be able to spot the maggots without much difficulty. This could be caused by a rotting animal or food that’s been left out.
Your grass could be part of the problem
You may not know it, but certain types of grass attract more flies than others. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they also love tall grass in particular. So, if you find yourself lacking in the lawn mowing department, you may want to get to work.
How Do I Get Rid of the Flies in My Garden?
The good news is, you can get rid of flies, and while it helps to know the cause, you can still do something about it even if you don’t know.
Aside from mowing your lawn on a regular basis and keeping your pet’s food inside, there are some DIY remedies you can try before you resort to pesticides.
Creating an herb garden is a good alternative to pesticides and will not only get rid of your fly problem, but will also provide you with fresh herbs to use whenever you want. Flies tend to hate the smell of certain herbs, especially lavender, mint, and basil. Planting them around your yard will help keep unwanted pests away.
Cloves are also another way to get rid of your fly problems. Flies are naturally aversive to flies and putting cloves out in your lawn will certainly get rid of your problem.
While on the subject of gardening, you may also do well to plant a Venus Fly Trap in your lawn. The name is self-explanatory and is another natural alternative to using pesticides in your lawn.
If you’re keen on having friends over despite your fly problem, a good solution would be to simply have them all drink vodka. It’s not known why, but flies absolutely abhor vodka.
Those who may be on the craftier side of things may even want to venture out and create their own fly trap. You can do this by placing sugar water in a jar and then putting a cone over it to attract the flies. The flies will fall into the jar, but won’t be able to escape through the cone.
As much as you may not want insects in your backyard, there is one type of critter that you’d be better off leaving there – spiders. These eight-legged creatures prey on flies and the webs they create are natural fly traps.
Fly zappers in this case are also very useful. The light will attract flies and they’ll eventually meet their demise.
As much as you may want to host an event in your backyard, not only is it not a good idea to do it while dealing with a fly infestation, but the smell of meat will only attract more flies. However, if you must do it anyway, be sure to take all the necessary precautions such as covering up any food that’s been left out and leaving your meat to cook in an enclosed area. This way, you can avoid having any flies make contact with your food.
I’ve had good success with this flybuster fly trap (link to Amazon). It’s a safe and effective way to get rid of flies. It last thirty days or until full.
This BLACK+DECKER Electric UV & Killer is pretty awesome too. The UV light is non-toxic and the tray is easy to clean.
Health Repercussions of an Unruly Fly Problem
If your fly problem is left untreated, it could become a very serious health hazard for you and anyone else who lives near the infestation. Flies have been known to carry diseases such as cholera, salmonella, dysentery, and even parasites.
In fact, recent studies have found that flies are actually much riskier to humans than we ever thought before. Naturally, the closer you live to an urban city, the more you’re at risk of getting sick.
This is due to the fact that flies spend most of their time posted on feces or areas where there is biohazard waste present. Because of this, they become carriers of all types of diseases. Although flies don’t bite, you can catch their diseases by consuming anything that a fly has landed on, regurgitated on, and even defecated on. These are the types of unsavory health risks that flies can bring into your home.
Keeping Flies Away
If you’re worried about getting sick from a fly, there are some measures that you can take to ensure your safety.
The first thing is to make sure you’re not leaving any old food out to rot, and you’re keeping raw meat refrigerated. These are all things that attract flies, so leaving them in your house is essentially welcoming flies into your home.
Keeping your trash tightly sealed is another way to prevent a fly infestation. Flies thrive off of garbage, so make sure you’re emptying your trash regularly and even washing your trash can out every once in a while. If you’ve had a recent infestation, you don’t want to give them a reason to come back.
Make sure any areas where animals are present are also kept constantly clean and free of feces and urine. It would also be wise to install a fly screen to keep as many flies out as possible.
Other Types of Bugs You May Find in Your Lawn
Flies aren’t the only annoying insect that can be found lurking in your yard. Gnats, mosquitos, and fleas are all known residents of an unsuspecting homeowner’s lawn. You may not be able to see them right away, but the moment you step on your lawn, they start to buzz around your ankles and ears.
You can keep these insects away by attracting more birds into your yard to eat them. Try placing birdseed all around your backyard as a way to attract your neighborhood birds to feed on the all-you-can-eat insect buffet you just so happen to be hosting.
If the birds don’t work, you can always fight off these pests by putting bacteria in your soil. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis is a type of bacteria naturally found in soil that kills insects. If your soil doesn’t have enough of it, you can always head to a hardware store and buy the bacteria in a tablet, powder, or liquid form to spread on your lawn.
Flies are gross, unhealthy, and just plain obnoxious. You should no longer have to put up with them, so if all the previously mentioned tips and tricks don’t work, your best bet may be to call an exterminator. Exterminators can spray insecticide on your lawn that won’t affect your grass, but will kill off any unwanted insects.
Once your flies are long gone, be sure to keep up good hygiene habits to keep them from coming back. Take your trash out often, clean up after your pets, and don’t leave food sitting out. Following these instructions will have you free of flies in no time at all!