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How to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio? [A Detailed Guide 2023]

The summer comes, and we are ready to enjoy our outdoor porch parties, but then … a swarm of nasty circling flies hits us out of nowhere.
I can feel the annoyance but believe me when I say that it is not going to be a problem anymore.
Today, in this article, we will learn how to get rid of circling flies on patio with the most efficient and effective methods. So, buckle up, and get ready for the ride.
Here we go!

How to get rid of circling flies on patio?
How to get rid of circling flies on patio?

Why Do Flies Circle Around the Patio?

As we all know, summer is the season for all pesky flies, mosquitoes, roaches, and other vermin, but if we talk about flies, you will mostly find them circling around porches, patios, and backyards.
Why is that?
Because it seems like such a norm, people don’t usually care about the reasons. While in fact, it is crucial to know the reasons so that you can apply relative solutions to the problem.
Also, you might wonder from where such a large number of these flies even come.
This might surprise you, but a female housefly can lay up to 500 eggs in several batches over a three to four days period. So, they’ll keep on coming if you don’t deal with the things inviting them.
That said, let’s discuss what causes circling flies on the patio.
(If you directly want to jump towards the solutions, feel free to navigate through the content table presented above.)

1. Debris & Decaying Organic Matter

To be straightforward, flies love to hover around trash, debris, and decaying organic matter.
So, if you have trashcans or outdoor compost bins sitting open near the area or dead or decaying plant and animal matter or pet waste lying around the site, you’ll have to face a visit of circling flies on your patio.
The reason is that flies love places where they can feed on decaying matter, lay eggs, or seek a suitable breeding mate.

2. Light Bulbs

You might know this already if you have seen moths flying around flames or light bulbs.
Like moths, hovering or circling flies are also phototactic — they love light, to put it simply.
There are various theories for why insects exhibit phototaxis. One of the theories highlights that ultraviolet lights attract flies because of their comparison with UV light reflected from flowers (as flies are attracted to flowers for that reason as well).
As most standard household bulbs or porch lights emit low-dose ultraviolet radiation, flies will love to circle around.
Therefore, we recommend replacing the UV light bulbs on your patio with warm yellow ones.

Moths flying around a light bulb
Moths flying around a light bulb

3. Standing Water

Standing or stagnant water is a common breeding place for mosquitoes, but it also makes a house for flies, termites, cockroaches, and other pests. Some resources also highlight that drains and shallow water makes a perfect breeding spot for moth flies and drain flies.
Therefore, if you have water standing in your fountain, bird baths, plant pots, or backyard, it can invite circling flies to your patio. Now you know why these circling flies are hovering around your property.

Why Is It Crucial to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio?

You might think that this question doesn’t make any sense because it is obvious that these pesky flies are such a nuisance that anyone would want to get rid of them.
But that’s not the whole picture.
Yes! These annoying little creatures also have something else up their sleeves.
They are evidently suspected of spreading at least 65 different diseases, including typhoid, cholera, anthrax, and tuberculosis.
As our outdoor dining space is filled with food and drinks (which can serve as vectors for disease-causing microbes if infected), getting rid of the circling flies on the patio is much more crucial.

Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio
Housefly sitting on a shrimp

With all that aside, let’s now learn how to get rid of circling flies on patio.

How to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio?

Following are the tips and tricks on how to get rid of circling flies on patio.Feel free to use a combination of different methods to ensure relief from these nasty creatures.

1. Keep Your Patio Clean

Keeping your patio clean and free from debris and decaying organic matter is the first step to getting rid of circling flies.
As long as the area around or near your patio has standing water, pet waste, dead plants, open compost bins, and trash cans lying around, you won’t be able to get rid of the circling flies even if you follow other methods.

  • Fill your trash in sealed trash bags and keep the lid closed on your trash cans and compost bins.
  • Quickly dispose of any dead or decaying plant and animal matter near your patio.
  • Also, immediately remove pet waste and food or drink spills from your patio.
  • Do not let water stand in a place near your patio for a long time. Frequently change the water in bird baths and plant saucers. Also, keep the water fresh if you have a fountain or an outdoor swimming pool.
  • Keep your outdoor plants free from pests, and mow your lawn regularly to keep it organized.

You can follow these simple tips to keep your porch area neat and clean.

Keep Your Patio Clean
Happy little girls picking leaves with their grandmother

2. Take Help from Natural Predators

Yes! You can take the help of natural predators to get rid of circling flies to some extent.
The natural predators of flies include birds, bats, frogs, and spiders.
You can invite birds to your patio by placing bird feeders and bird baths at different places near the area.
Bat houses can also be a good investment if you want to go a step further.Some people might also want to add a pond to pet some frogs, but keep in mind that stagnant water provides a house for flies and other insects as well.

Take Help from Natural Predators
A bird sitting on a birdbath

3. Plant Carnivorous Plants

Another efficient method that you can try to get rid of circling flies is planting carnivorous plants.If you’ve never heard of them, carnivorous plants are specialized plants that capture and digest insects and small animals for their survival. They all work on the same basic principle of luring, trapping, and killing the insects that fall for them.
Common carnivorous plants for flies include Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula), Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes), and Sundews (Droseras).
You can plant them outdoors near your patio and let them do their work!

Plant Carnivorous Plants
Fly sitting on a pitcher plant

4. Use Fans

Using fans is the most straightforward way to get rid of circling flies on the patio.Flies prefer to fly in still air.
Therefore, if you place a couple of fans on your patio, the constantly moving air will confuse the flies, they’ll fly far from the area, and then you can enjoy your outdoor time in peace. Let’s look at another easy method.

5. Insect Repellent Candles

This trick works wonders in repelling the flies as well as providing you with a soothing environment.
For instance, citronella candles are the mainstream insect-repellent candles that people use to keep mosquitoes at bay. Still, you can also use them to tackle those nasty flies circling around your patio.
While dining outdoors, just burn a few table-top citronella candles.
Citronella candles are made from distilled lemongrass oil. As a result, their fresh, lemony scent will fill the patio with a beautiful citrusy aroma while keeping the flies away.

Citronella candle flame
Citronella candle flame

6. Plant Fly Repellent Herbs

Another related method is to plant fly repellent herbs near or around your patio. Fly repellent herbs include Basil, Mint, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Lemongrass, Rue, Wormwood, Bay Laurel, Bay Leaf, and Tansy. As you can see, there are a bunch of options to choose from.

If you are looking forward to embellishing your patio with some plants, consider adding some of these herbs as well. Doing that will also help you deter some circling flies from the area.

7. Use Homemade Insect Repellent

This method is for you if you are up for a DIY hack!
A homemade insect repellent is super easy to make. All you need is some vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar — both work fine), dish soap, baking soda, sugar, and water.
There are two ways to use this repellent:

  • As a bait
  • As a spray

Let’s learn both.
Following is the procedure if you want to use this mixture as a bait:

  • Fill a bowl with 3–4 inches of vinegar.
  • Add half a cup of water.
  • Now add ¼ cup of sugar.
  • Finally, add a few drops of dish soap.
  • Gently stir the mixture and leave it near your patio.

The mixture will lure the flies in, and they’ll get trapped because of the dish soap. However, the method is pretty slow, and you’ll need to replace the mixture once it gets filled with dead flies (ew!).
To make the spray:

  • Fill a cup with water.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar.
  • Now, add a teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Finally, add a few drops of dish soap, and you’re done.

Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it around your patio. It’ll keep the circling flies away for some time.

How to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio
Woman spraying insect repellent spray outdoors

8. Use Pine Sol

Flies hate the smell of pine. Therefore, the Pine-sol solution makes an effective deterrent against circling flies. Also, you can use it in a variety of ways.
Most surfaces can endure Pine-sol solution. So, you can just mop your porch, deck, or patio area with a Pine-sol solution. A 50-50 solution of concentrated Pine sol with warm water will work for most surfaces.
However, for wooden floors, add ¼ cup of concentrated Pine-sol in a gallon of water to make the solution.
If you want to spray your patio with a Pine sol solution, mix equal parts of Pine-sol, water, and vinegar into a solution, and spray it around the area. You can also add a bit of citronella oil to the mixture as a cherry on top!

9. Fly Swatters

If you want to kill some time, you can hunt the flies using fly swatters. Plenty of fly swatters are available in the market; the electric ones work best. However, keep one thing in mind. Swatting flies like this can result in a lot of dead flies lying around. So, be ready to do a clean-up afterwards. Also, do not opt for this method while some food is lying around. You don’t want to accidentally eat some dead circling flies.

Asian woman using electric swatter
Asian woman using electric swatter

10. Flypaper

Flypapers are sticky paper strips lined with a sweetly fragrant and sometimes poisonous adhesive that lures, traps, and kills the flies.
You can easily find these strips online or in local utility stores. They are ideal for getting rid of circling flies on patios.
All you need to do is cut out long flypaper strips and hang them around your patio. They’ll quickly attract and trap a large number of circling flies. Once they catch the flies, and there is no room for more, throw them away, and replace them with new ones.
However, refrain from using this method if you also have bats flying around.

How to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio

11. Fly Traps

For our final method, we’d like to highlight the use of fly traps. Fly traps are specially made to take care of outdoor fly infestations. These traps are mainly available in the form of bags filled with attractive bait that flies can’t resist. They are lured in by the scent and get drowned in the solution.
People consider it one of the most efficient and effective methods to eliminate circling flies on the patio.
It can catch and kill thousands of flies at a time.
You can buy a number of these fly traps to hang around the perimeter of your patio, and don’t forget to replace them with fresh ones once they are entirely used.

How to Get Rid of Circling Flies on Patio
Yellow bag for catching flies

That would be all!
Now you know how to get rid of circling flies on patio.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

1. What are circling flies, and why do they appear on my patio?

Circling flies are small, dark-colored flies that hover and fly in circles around a specific area, typically on outdoor patios or decks. These flies are often attracted to rotting organic matter, such as decaying food, animal feces, or compost. They can also be attracted to standing water, damp soil, or pet food left outside. Once they find a suitable food source, they lay eggs on it, and the resulting larvae feed on the decaying matter.

2. How can I get rid of circling flies on my patio?

There are several effective ways to get rid of circling flies on your patio:

  1. Clean up any sources of rotting organic matter, such as food scraps, pet feces, or compost. Dispose of these items in a sealed trash can or compost bin.
  2. Keep your patio area clean and free of debris. Sweep up any fallen leaves or other organic matter regularly to prevent buildup.
  3. Use a fly trap to capture circling flies. You can purchase these traps at most home improvement or garden stores or make your own using a jar filled with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and a few drops of fruit juice.
  4. Apply an insecticide spray to the patio area. There are several commercial insecticide sprays available that are effective in killing circling flies. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid spraying in areas where people or pets may come into contact with the spray.
  5. Use a fan to disrupt the flight patterns of the circling flies. The strong breeze from a fan can make it difficult for the flies to maintain their flight pattern, causing them to move to a different area.
  6. Consider using natural repellents, such as essential oils or plants that repel flies, such as basil or mint. Place these repellents around your patio area to discourage circling flies from gathering.

Overall, the most effective way to get rid of circling flies on your patio is to eliminate their food sources and maintain a clean, debris-free environment.

3. How can I prevent circling flies from returning to my patio?

The best way to prevent circling flies from returning to your patio is to eliminate their food sources and maintain a clean environment. Be sure to dispose of any rotting organic matter in a sealed trash can or compost bin, and regularly sweep your patio to prevent the buildup of debris. You can also use natural fly repellents or insecticide sprays as a preventative measure.

4.  What are some natural fly repellents that I can use on my patio?

There are several natural fly repellents that you can use on your patio to deter circling flies. These include essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender, which can be mixed with water and sprayed around your patio area. You can also plant herbs like basil, mint, or lemongrass, which have natural fly-repelling properties.

5. Is it safe to use insecticide sprays to get rid of circling flies on my patio?

Insecticide sprays can be effective in killing circling flies, but it is important to use them safely. Always follow the instructions on the label carefully and avoid spraying in areas where people or pets may come into contact with the spray. Consider using natural fly repellents or fly traps as a safer alternative.

6. How long does it take to get rid of circling flies on my patio?

The time it takes to get rid of circling flies on your patio will depend on the severity of the infestation and the methods you use to eliminate them. In general, it may take a few days to a week to see a significant reduction in circling flies. However, it is important to continue to maintain a clean environment and use preventative measures to keep them from returning.

Let’s head toward the conclusion.

Before you go …

Circling flies have always been such a nuisance that some people can’t even spend some quality time on their outdoor patios.
I hope this guide turns out to be a blessing for those painful souls.
So far, we have discussed the potential reasons for circling flies on patios, why it is crucial to get rid of them, and the methods you can opt to eliminate them as efficiently and effectively as possible.
With that said, let’s conclude the talk.
Do let us know if you like the article. Also, feel free to share it with people who might want to get rid of these pesky creatures.


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