Keep Flies Away

How to Keep Flies Away When Camping

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For most people, camping is a long anticipated retreat from life’s daily hustle and bustle.

Unfortunately, a camping trip can quickly be ruined with the unexpected guests of flies and other pesky insects.

In order to enjoy your camping experience to the fullest there are certain things you can do to keep the bugs away.

Frankly, the extent of defensive action you need to do, is in direct correlation to the location of your camping site. For instance, some areas have more flies than other geographical locations while a different camping site may have no-see-ums that swarm the tent once the sun goes down.

Regardless, learning how to keep flies away is an essential must when camping.

Fly Strips

Fly strips are a tried and true way to get rid of flies. In fact, fly traps are one of the most ancient methods for eliminating flies.

Fly strips or fly paper is simply a sheet of paper coated with a substance that has a sweet aroma along with robust adhesive properties.

Fly papers provide an inexpensive and environment friendly way to keep flies away.
You can make your own fly strips by smearing paper ribbons (from paper bags) with corn syrup or honey and granulated sugar. But in honesty, it is much easier and just as cost effective to purchase fly paper that uses natural adhesives.

Just hang the fly paper near the entrance of your tent and also a few in the cooking area. Once the fly strips are loaded with flies, toss it in with your normal rubbish.

Trap Jars

Another excellent way to get rid of flies is with trap jars.

Like fly strips, you can make your own version of a fly trap. All you need is a Ball® jar, some honey or corn syrup, soda, sugar or any sweet mixture combination.

Place your mixture in the jar and then seal it with the lid. Next, poke a few holes into the lid so flies are able to get into the jar. Place the jar where the flies are most populated.

Empty the sugar liquid when it is filled with flies. Replace the sugar liquid with a new mixture if the flies are still a bother.
You can also purchase trap jars that are non-toxic and environmentally safe.

Again, like the fly strips, the traps are an inexpensive and effective way to trap flies naturally.

Citronella Candles

Citronella is believed to repel bugs such as flies or mosquitoes. As a result, citronella oil is considered a natural insect repellent.

Although citronella candles do not ward off swarms they do minimize the pesky bugs.
Today you can find numerous brands that make candles infused in citronella oil. The candles come in many sizes and shapes and can be placed in various areas around your campsite.

There are also citronella torches that not only repel flies and other insects but they give a nice ambiance affect.

Just make sure to extinguish all flames before heading to bed!


When you think of how to keep flies away most people would not think of lighting. However, all types of bugs are attracted to bright lights, flies included.

The best source is a bright white or ultraviolet light. Yellow and red lights are not as effective.

Place the lights upwind of your camp so the flies are drawn to the light and not your tent.

As well, you can put red LED lights on your headlamps and lanterns that can help protect you for mid-evening bathroom visits.

Make a Campfire

Campfires are not just for roasting marshmallows but they ward off flies and other bugs. In fact, the smoke from the fire is an amazing bug deterrent.

You can also add flammable material to your fire that creates more smoke such as damp twigs or greener leaves.

Another great burning material is sage. It is also believed that almost all insects do not like the smell of sage.

Eat More Garlic and Less Sweets

In honesty, what you eat can play a big role on how often the insects will bother you. Most insects love a sweet smell, especially flies.

So if you eat a lot of sugary products then you are more apt to attracting bugs. This is because whatever you eat will be secreted through your pores.

So instead of eating sweets or sugary beverages, try eating more garlic and onions.

In addition, avoid wearing perfumes or using fragrant products. Many agree that bugs are attracted to sweet fragrant products including soaps, shampoo, deodorant, aftershave and perfume.

In addition, zinc or vitamin B is said to be helpful in secreting an odor the flies and other bugs detest.

Never Leave Food in your Tent

Always avoid storing food in your tent.

It not only creates a nice living area for insects but it also attracts other animals like snakes, ants and more.

It only takes a few minutes to attract flies into your tent when there is food lying around. Make sure that you always zip up your tent, even if you are only leaving it for a short period. Zipping up your tent will greatly decrease the number of flies and other bugs that will enter your tent.

Always Keep Clean

One of the best ways to keep flies and ants away is to keep clean.

Make sure that trash is picked up all of the time and always wash your dishes after your meal to discourage critters and bugs. Another way is to make sure to keep your trash in a well-sealed trash bag that is durable.
A Screen Room

A screen room is a great way to avoid flies and insects. A screen room is basically a tent that has flyscreen walls. Most Coleman shelters come with mesh walls so that you can create a screen room, or they can be purchased as spare parts.

It won’t be quite the same feeling as sitting out in the open, however, it’s pretty close and you enjoy the full 360 view – so it isn’t too restricting.

Choosing a Good Campsite

Some geographical sites are more prone to flies than other areas. For instance, horse flies and deer flies like sunny areas and usually stay away from deep shade.

Fruit flies love ripened fruit and vegetables. They also will breed in trash containers and empty cans and bottles. So avoid campgrounds that are not maintained and kept clean.

Post-rain is generally when most insects hatch their eggs, it is also when the woods will be the buggiest, so, it is best to avoid campgrounds that are always wet or boggy.

Instead, select a campsite that is high and dry.