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I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time indoors when the weather warms up. When the summer sunshine starts to peek out from around every corner, you know that great evenings in the backyard are here. If you have big plans for your outdoor space, you don't want mosquitoes, pests, and flies ruining all the backyard fun. You need a great fly repellent to keep your yard nuisance-free.
How do you keep flies away? There are loads of natural bug repellents and herbs out there to get rid of flies. Fortunately, if you don't have a green thumb, there are also a lot of products for other indoor or outdoor areas that can help. Knowing when and how to apply them is easier than you think!
Fly Repellent Options
There are a lot of organic repellents that the avid home gardener can suggest to deter pests. From lemongrass oil to peppermint to apple cider vinegar, you can easily DIY your own fly repellant with natural ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. These can be made into oils to spread on your skin before an evening outside, warding off insects and preventing the discomfort that comes from being covered in mosquito bites.
However, these au natural pesticides are effective but often come with a downside. Although they do great as a layer on your skin, they are not as efficient over a large area as some commercially-made chemical pest repellent sprays. But that doesn't mean they aren't effective!
For easy use, stick to the stuff that is bottled and ready to go. There are natural fly repellents out there as well as more conventional ones. Most conventional stuff is not DEET-free, but the CDC and EPA assure that it isn't a problem for human or pet health. Although DEET has strong chemicals in it, it doesn't have any health risks when used correctly. To safely use it, make sure not to apply DEET to skin under clothing, don't put it on already irritated skin, don't use a huge amount, and make sure to wash it off your skin and clothes when you go back inside.
The other thing to look out for when using DEET is making sure that it's not ingested. To avoid this, don't put it on the palms of your hands or fingers or on places like doorknobs that you'll likely touch with your hands. Young children shouldn't put commercial fly repellent on themselves, and adults should avoid putting it around their eyes or mouth when applying it. As long as you're using DEET safely, it should do a great job of keeping you bite-free with no negative effects!
The good folks at Home Depot have a lot of great advice about how to keep flies away. Mostly, their suggestions start with stopping a fly problem before it begins. Sounds easy enough, but *how* do you do it?
1. Starbar Captivator Fly Trap
Best Under $15
If you're looking for a non-spray option, the Starbar brand is a great way to go. This fly trap works like many things in life: through attraction.
The solution sends out a scent to those frisky male flies that are looking for a mate (which, let's be honest, is pretty much all of them). The flies go straight in, get trapped, and you get to go about your day without swatting through the air.
2. Wondercide Pest Control Fly Spray with Natural Essential Oils
Best Natural Option
For outdoor options, a pre-treatment lawn spray like Wondercide is a great place to start. Wondercide is a plant-based brand offering bug sprays, lotions, and insecticides that are great for house fly control. It also does well at keeping gnats, fruit flies, and horseflies at bay too. As far as natural insect repellent goes, this stuff is super easy to use.
Wondercide can cover up to 5,000 square feet of yard. You can apply it twice over a 7 to 10-day period. It's as simple as hooking the spray bottle up to your hose, pointing, and then spraying the repeller onto your grass. It boasts an impressive 2 to 3-month usage.
This stuff is aces when it comes to fly prevention. Reviewers recommend starting the treatment before fly season begins.
3. Cutter Backyard Insect Repellent Concentrate
Best for Mosquitoes & Fleas
The Cutter brand may not boast the same granola-type traits as Wondercide, but they are well known for having products that work. The usage instructions are basically the same as Wondercide: spray up to 5,000 square feet of the backyard by attaching the bottle to your home's hose.
Cutter has a super-effective reputation, thanks to active ingredients such as Picaridin, Citronella, and DEET. The downside to using these ingredients to repel flies is that they're often harmful to aquatic species (through run-off) as well as bee populations.
That said, the Cutter brand is one hard-to-beat fly and mosquito repellent. Just like Wondercide, you can spray it on before summer starts and enjoy up to three months of bug-free paradise.
Check out these effective fly repellents and other great backyard products on Amazon.
This post was originally published on May 12, 2021.