How to Keep Flies Away From Food at an Outdoor Party

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How to Keep Flies Away From Food at an Outdoor Party
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An outdoor party is a great way to enjoy warm weather and celebrate holidays and other special occasions. Unfortunately, serving food outdoors tends to attract pesky flies that can make the food unappetizing and annoy your guests. Implement these outdoor fly control measures to help keep your gathering free from flies.

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Fly-Repelling Scents and Herbs

Some scents naturally repel pests like flies and mosquitoes. The most well-known is citronella. You can light citronella candles on the dining tables or set up citronella tiki torches around the yard. Some other essential oils that can repel flies include clove, eucalyptus, lemongrass, mint and rosemary. Select the one you have on hand and apply the oil to strips of cloth. Then hang the strips around your yard to help repel flies.

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If flies are an ongoing problem, consider designing a garden that includes a selection of fly repellent plants. Lavender is a beautiful perennial that features purple blooms. It has a pleasing scent for humans while repelling flies as well as mosquitoes and moths. There are also several herbs that not only keep flies away from your yard but are also wonderful to use in your recipes. Some great options include basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

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Fly Traps and Swatters

Another popular method of outdoor fly control is to set up fly traps. You can purchase them from your local store or make your own. Mix a solution of sugar and water in a jar or container. Then, using sturdy paper, create a cone shape, making sure the top is wider than the top of your jar. Cut the tip of the cone so there is a very small opening at the bottom. Place the cone on top of the jar with the tip pointed down toward the liquid.

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Flies are attracted to the sugar water and when they fly in to reach the sugar, the cone keeps them trapped in the jar. Since this method actually attracts flies, you want to position the fly traps a short distance away from the food and gathering area.

You can also use fly swatters to get rid of flies that decide to ignore your other fly control methods. A handheld fly swatter is easy to use or you can purchase an electric swatter that zaps the bugs. There are also electric fly traps that you can hang near your patio.

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Other Outdoor Fly Control Methods

Flies don't like windy conditions, so consider setting up oscillating fans around the tables. However, depending on the weather and the food you are serving, this may not be practical for your party.

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Make sure that all food has a lid or net cover to keep unwanted pests from landing on it. Instead of open pitchers, serve drinks from enclosed drink dispensers. If you have lights set up for an evening or nighttime party, position the lights as high up as possible. This is because bugs are attracted to the lights and it will help draw them up away from the food.

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