I am interested in knowing how to keep flies away from an outdoor event.
By pmoy from Los Angeles, CA
Outdoor plug in bug zappers, fly strips, citronella and/or a little eucalyptus oil placed on cotton cloth.
If possible, kind of surround the immediate area with hanging ziploc bags, or similar clear plastic containers, nearly filled with water, and a couple very bright shiny pennies dropped in each one. The reason being, flies have eyes that will see these as "walls" and back off. If the area is very large, of course, that would be prohibitive, but for the closer area, where folks might be less active, or eating, and you do not want sprays or the smells of citronella, as some are allergic to some of these things, the bags work very well. You can also hang some brown paper bags, which have been stuffed with some wadded old news paper, and the bag itself crumpled also, then hang from branches, or close to trees, or buildings, etc. These appear, to flies, to be hornets nests, and they stay clear of them, also. I hope this makes for a pleasant party.
Place oranges studded with whole cloves around. I would also prespray area with bug/fly spray. The plastic big tip is a great one, just work that into decorations.
Shooaway - a battery operated tabletop device that keeps flies off your food and drink!
It works. It has holographic dots that refract light and acare flies from coming near your food. It being sold in 5 different countries in the world but is now coming to the USA. See our website shooaway-usa.com
We are planning a patio party and I dread dealing with flies. I am speaking mainly of those smaller-sized flies that buzz around in a little group, twirling about as if playing tag in the middle of our covered patio. They don't seem to be interested in landing on the food, but are frustrating nonetheless. Does anyone have any magic advice or suggestions?
Carole from Portland, OR
I have read that Lavender oil repels flies. You wipe it all over your areas that are open it will also smell pretty. You can find at a health food store. There is also the Ziploc bag filled 1/2 way with water these have to be hung all around your area though in order to work. Another suggestion is vinegar, but it has to be in a container where the smell can disseminate. There is incense you can use as well to keep flying things at bay. Good luck to you and I hope some of this works for you. (06/27/2007)
You could set up a fan or two outside to create enough of a breeze to keep them away. (06/27/2007)
You can use citronella candles, or the OFF Lantern, I bought the lantern at Wal-mart and put it in the middle of the table where the food is, and no bugs. Worked great. (06/27/2007)
I'm new here and love this site. What a great idea for sharing ideas.
I know this isn't going to help with any immediate needs for fly control, but I wanted to share this info with everyone for long-term pest control of all kinds. There are many plants and organic substances a person can incorporate into their everyday life to fend off a whole host of annoying pests, including; Fels Naptha and Boraxo soaps, castile soaps, growing lemon balm and catnip (natural sources of citronella). Mint deters certain pests, so do both pennyroyal and eucalyptus. Grow some flowers of the pyrethrin family (certain daisies including red painted daisy, chrysanthumums, and marigold), use neem products regularly (neem oil, bark, leaves, cake, etc), diomotaceous earth sprinkled in places where flies and other insect thrive (mainly where any type of decomposition of organic matter takes place, and wet areas), and especially in the garden.
Again, most of these are long term answers. Although, I guess if it were my party and wanted some instant answers, I might add in some potted plants as mentioned above to some of my surroundings. Might make a nice center-piece for tables to have some pretty, but useful flowers placed here and there. I see some pretty interesting suggestions that I might try, too. Like the vinegar idea. And water in Ziplock bags. But I think it's best to use a combination of methods rather than relying on one thing to work.
Hope your party goes/went well.
I just read about this recently. The tip was to use empty baby food jars with the lids on. You poke holes in the top of the lids (big enough for the little bugs to go into), then you put a little bit of vinegar and a little bit of water in the jar (fill about 1/2 way). Set in an area a little bit away from the food and where people are sitting and eating. Supposedly the little "gnats" love the smell and and taste. They will land go into the jar for a drink and then drown in the vinegar and water mix. Let me know if it works. I will be trying it in June for my daughter's graduation party. (04/30/2008)