Asked on Jun 9, 2013

Why are flies gathering on my covered patio in the same spot?

VijayIdelisa ValentinLaurie Bartlett
+68

Answered

Hi Hometalk Peeps...I have a problem on our back covered patio. Every year in the same spot we get tons of flies ....We put up one of those fly traps before that traps them in a plastic bag filled with water....Problem is the same trap that kills them actually attracts them....I just want to know why they are always there in the first place. Do they like covered patios?
43 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 9, 2013

    Is there a moist area around your patio? Do you keep your trash cans near there?

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jun 9, 2013

    There are daisy plants that flies LOVE. Do you have plants near by that could be attracting them?

  • Christine @ Little Brags
    on Jun 9, 2013

    Hi guys, thanks so much for replying to my question. @Barbara Thomas we do not have daisys around. In fact I have a bunch of lavender plants in pots on the back porch because I read that flies no not like the smell of them. Unfortunately it does not work. @ @Douglas Hunt well we have our Dogs water dish in the area. Although I never saw any flies near his water bowl. We have a raised TREX deck, maybe it is moist underneath that...not sure.....

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jun 9, 2013

    Sorry I don't know what could be the problem. However, Ortho makes a spray you attach to your hose and it kills all bugs, spiders, ticks. Maybe there's something like that available. When I'm stumped I go to Lowes. LOL good luck!

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 10, 2013

    @Christine @ Little Brags that has to be soo annoying! I feel for you! I hate it when we have one or 2 in the house and for some reason they keep flying in a circle..around and around and around..and I am not good at getting them unless they land somewhere. Wow, I hope someone has an answer. Maybe a spray would get the existing ones, but then more would come in, so I am thinking that is not the solution. There is some fly behavior that is attracting them. I am really curious, so keep asking, like your county extension service? Arboretum? maybe they can direct you to someone who knows. I would like to know also.

  • You need to move your fly traps away from the area. Much like those light zappers. if you place them to close to where you sit the bugs feast on you before they get zapped. Flies are no different. Put any attractant and trap away from the area in which you want to enjoy.

  • Jeanette S
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Has something been spilled there? Turn on a box fan when you want to sit out there and the flies won't bother you.

  • Christine @ Little Brags
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Thanks guys for all of your feedback...the idea of a box fan sounds great!!!

  • Amanda
    on Apr 19, 2014

    Sorry to chime in late, but incase anyone else who reads this is interested.... I heard that they like the low pressure of air that a covered patio/porch have. I also have a covered patio and there really isn't much you can do unless you buy plants they don't like, change the environment (fans) or enclose it with those bug netting curtains.

    • Ute Van Sitteren
      on Jun 8, 2019

      You’re right I have the same. As soon as the temp changes and the air pressure they come flying in. I have a Ceiling fan now. They just fly two feet lower right under it :-). It’s a safe haven I guess. At least they stay in their little circle and don’t sit on my food or me ... no magic out there I was hoping to find !

  • Amanda
    on Apr 19, 2014

    Oh your welcome. It seems like nothing gets rid of those pesky things. ;D Alternative methods I heard worked were filling a ziploc bag with water and hanging them around your patio, or a few old cds/dvds hanging around. The logic behind that is that their eyes have many individual facets, each representing a separate light-detecting unit. And apparently the water bags, or cds really screw with their vision. I haven't tried any of these methods, because I didn't want to hang little bags of water around, and just decided to custom (curtain) my patio with outdoor mosquito/bug netting.

  • Bernice H
    on Apr 20, 2014

    I just "searched" asking why do flies fly in a circle inmy house, or patio? Lots of interesting info, but the circling is not conclusive, but you may find some info on why there are so many on the patio etc. lots to think about.

  • Kat1521651
    on Apr 8, 2015

    I tried the ziploc bag filled with water and it seemed to attract more. The flies invited their friends to come hang out by their new pool. I've had pest control companies out and no one knows why they show up every year, with the warm temps. Drives me crazy.

  • Stu1872514
    on Jun 26, 2015

    Some kind of chemical around

  • Capernius
    on Jan 28, 2016

    I still say, a bug zapper & a 6 pack of Pepsi = great entertainment. :-) try the fans first....then if that don't work, search the internet for plants that flies do not like...if neither of them work, try the first one...bug zapper.

  • Annie Robinson
    on Jul 31, 2016

    I have the same problem on a covered back deck! Same spot daily, we zap them with electric fly swater and new ones return!

    • Bernice H
      on Jul 16, 2019

      No don’t believe this is it ..after doing research..it’s a certain behavior. My friend has this at the entry way to her house..I have to bat them away before entering,tho now I’m not sure if they would go in the door...hmmm.it is darker in the entry way and even darker in her front door living room. Idont see them do this where there is lots of light,just near the ceilings where it is darker.

  • Roslyn M. Elliott
    on May 21, 2017

    It has to do with the lack of moving air i have been told. I visited the Clorox plant one time and they have a testing room with flies and fly spray. They have the bait on poles and they noticed the flys would walk up the poles because basically they are lazy and dont want to use their wings, so they had to grease the poles to make them fly. I am thinking it might be something like that, they like the still air of the patio. I put in a small fan to blow across my porch, one of those little 6 inch ones and they don't come in as long as it is running. I also have a horse corral fly trap about 10 yards away, but they are stil there. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR! The only thing that works is the fan. We also had a mist hose one year and they definitely don't like getting wet.
  • Rebecca L guertler
    on May 21, 2017

    maybe the food that you drop the scent still there wash your patio it should help

  • Jodi
    on May 30, 2017

    I just noticed that I have a fly problem. I just happened to look out the window and noticed all these "dots" on my grill cover. I went outside to investigate and the grill cover was covered in flies. I went to swat at one and it didn't move. I swatted at some others and they didn't move either! I looked around the yard some more and I counted at least 20 from the patio, to the grill to the side of the house. I killed the ones I could reach. It was so weird how they didn't even move at all. I have never been able to kill a fly no matter how hard I tried - they are usually just too quick. This is really strange. Anyone have any idea why these flies are here and why they are not moving?
  • Shanna Zimmerman
    on Jun 16, 2017

    Wow! Kinda creepy how its happening to so many people! I've lived in this house 16 years, patio covered last 7 years. This is the FIRST time I've had this cluster of small flies show up every day this Spring, flying in circles, never lighting on anything I can see, for just the hours in middle of day. They buzz around 3-4 ft off the ground. I've put up fly strips and water traps....without catching a one!!?? I've washed and disinfected my cement pation, made sure the freezer it working well and clean, (it is), and there are no leaks, (there aren't). Put a fan on a pole out there and that works well enough while we're sitting at the patio table. This is strange, right? Never happened in the past.
  • Jan
    on Jun 25, 2017

    I have a screened patio and about a week ago, flies started showing up. I have no visible opening anywhere. I have lots of plants on the patio and a metal garbage can that is always closed. I also do not put anything perishable in the garbage can. I have no idea where the flies are coming from. My pest control man came out yesterday and sprayed, but the flies returned with a vengeance. The flies have now quadrupled. What can I do?
    • User
      on Sep 22, 2018

      Jan, I am so sympathetic. I have an open patio and after a terrible last year with tremendous flies (I believe, after a Spring of very heavy, unusual rain), this year I get 5 or six scattered about. But as soon as I kill these six, six more appear from nowhere. How do they reinforce? How do they communicate to their leader? I don't know; I just know they are a bother, and there is no solution. I've tried natural and unnatural sprays, & all remedies recommended from everyone and nothing works. My backyard is almost all cement decking with a pool and contained plants. I kill them with a swatter and my hand needs rehabilitation as a result. I guess the answer is just to…SCREAM!

  • Anthony
    on Jun 26, 2017

    It is good that some of us examine nature at its best. I notice them on my entry door on the concrete this morning. God's creation is wonderful I must say. We do know they are attracted to vibration and light from the morning dawn of the day. They do act very strange almost like they are lazy but I think it is more to them matting cycles in time. Go look at the life cycle of a fly it will amaze you. Heat is very needed for them to move freely. I notice this morning it is very cool and they are disoriented big time.
    • Connie Minton
      on Sep 5, 2018

      The vibration is a good point you made.I had a serious problem with flies everywhere.Whenever a door was opened,many were coming in the house,as if they waited right at the door to be able to enter.Last week I noticed that a window was vibrating I don’t know for how long but I fixed it.I also noticed when I did,that I hardly see any more flies.Either a strange coincidence or they really are attracted to vibration

  • Patrick
    on Jul 1, 2017

    I habe the same problem. The circle around my covered porch and carport. My neighbor has the same setup and he has no flies. I used a bug fogger, the kind with a propane tank attached mainly used to kill mosquitos. It does kill and disperse the fly pack for a short period. But they always reappear within a couple weeks.
  • Patrick
    on Jul 1, 2017

    And if you google "hover flies" you can learn more. Basically they don't harm anyone, they don't land on you, they don't bite but they are a visual nuisance. So far, I've found nothing that permanently gets rid of them.
  • Patricia Chartier
    on Jul 1, 2017

    I'm having the same problem with the flies we swat and kill 20 andand 30 more come back we bought fly strips and didn't catch even 1. I heard mosquitoes are bad this year because of the wet winter maybe that helped the flies too?
  • Michelle Boaz
    on Oct 14, 2017

    I have the same problem! We have a big covered deck and under the deck is dirt. So over time leaves and whatnot have blown under there and are now decomposing. This is where they breed, thus, where they gather and drive us nuts. It’s too big to rake out under the porch and I have tried leaf blowers and even our compressor to blow its out but without much luck. Maybe I’ll try that house fly killer stuff.. any other thoughts?

  • Fauxgal
    on Oct 16, 2017

    Spray the area down with white vinegar.
  • Kathy Rademacher
    on Oct 25, 2017

    We have the same problem down in NZ. There's always one or two that circle in a particular area of the living room. Plus a whole gang that hang around the covered patio door. The floor is tiled so no dirt under the deck to breed in. Going to wash all the windows soon then will try the vinegar & a fan. PS we've already tried the penny in a bag of water trick with no luck.
  • Wendy
    on Apr 29, 2018

    I own a commercial cleaning business and my husband owns a commercial roofing company and found with both thoughts combined that there is a build up of moisture under the roofing that is not significant enough to harm dam to roof but enough to cause a condensation moisture and this is what attracts the flies. Got to consider the type of roofing materials used when building a patio
    • Sheryl
      on May 21, 2018

      Never had the problem with our green plastic patio roof, only started when we took that down and matched to the house roof, wood and roofing tiles. Now hover flies galore for years!
  • Stephany murphy
    on May 2, 2018

    We have the same problem. every year they appear under the covered patio and just swarm. We have tried fogger, spray, water in plastic bag both with venigar and pennies. nothing gets rid of them. Don't know what else to do. Don't have any moisture lots of plants and shrubbery though. Can't detect where they are coming from. very annoying. We bought a fly trap from Home Depot catches lots of flies but not so much these swarmers.
  • Boa33373634
    on May 7, 2018

    I have a mass of them that like hanging out in our front porch area, which is a deep niche. No dead animals around, no plants, no standing liquids, nothing. Just a hundred big fat flies swarming like a scene out of the Amityville Horror. When I first opened my front door I thought I had walked into a bee hive. Not pleasant for guests. Our garage is right nearby with stinky garbage bins and there are non flies in there at all. So I looked into it. My porch friends are called CLUSTER FLIES. They do not grow on dead carcasses and eat garbage like house flies - but they look similar to house flies (bigger) and they "cluster" in swarms in certain niches and enclosures like attics. They can be easy to swat because they are fat and sluggish. Sometimes they are called attic flies. I'm going to try getting a Cluster Buster. https://www.amazon.com/Gardeners-Supply-Cluster-Buster-Trap/dp/B007PFAIAK

    • Vijay
      on Sep 24, 2019

      Hang fresh lavender flowers with twig.. will be gone 100%

  • Vikki
    on Jun 13, 2018

    I tried hanging the CDs out on my porch and it seems to be working pretty well at least they're staying away from that area.
  • Stephanie Nelson
    on Jun 18, 2018

    One of those huge jumbo fly swatters works great if they’re lingering indoors or inside a screened patio. But outdoors, it’s so hard to get ahead of the mother huggers!! I’m gonna get a spray bottle of vinegar and a box fan along with a jumbo swatter to get some extra exercise swinging at ‘em!
  • CJ
    on Aug 2, 2018

    a couple days ago I noticed flys all over my large deck. On the railing, furniture, siding, on everything. Other than my usual flower pots, my (new decking put on last summer) everything is clean and in good condition. No one seems to have an answer why or what to do. I am going to try spraying with white vinegar.

  • Giuliana Cortese
    on Sep 24, 2018

    We have the same problem on one window in my child bedroom. It has happened for a couple of years. I sprayed and cleaned the window but they were back in few days. Really horrible and we can not open the window. I will try the cd hunting in the wind. The flies seem to like the window because it traps the sun in the afternoon but it is also the coldest and more humid side of the house. Not sure what the solution is yet!

  • Karly Bradbury
    on Apr 23, 2019

    If you’ve got the same ones I do, I’ve been trying to identify these suckers for YEARS! Finally figured it out: Little House Fly http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7457.html#LITTLE


    They aren’t gnats and traps, sticky things, and water bags don’t work. Looks like a good fan isn’t the best solution with these ones.

    • Laurie Bartlett
      on Aug 12, 2019

      Yes! Thank you! This is exactly what we have and now I know why fly traps are not working at all. Not sure if that's a typo but it sounds like a fan IS the best defense.

  • Cassie Davis Anderson
    on May 15, 2019

    I live in Northern California and these types of flies show up every spring a summer. They are not Hover Flies or Cluster Flies. They are small and just circle around and around right outside my front door where we have a large awning. The area is shaded all day and the flies hang out there during the day and disappear as the day cools and night comes. They are not yellow and black striped like Hover flies and they are not large like cluster flies. They are smaller than house flies and bigger than fruit flies. They look more like a house fly in coloring and eye shape. But they never seem to land on anything, ever! We don’t have flowering plants in the front of our home or garbage cans. I just cannot figure out what they are or where they come from?! They don’t bite and are really just more of an low grade annoyance. Passing through a swarm of flies every time you want to go out or in the house is annoying but not painful. It is annoying when they get inside too as they just circle round and round at the center of the room. Ugh. I’d happily relocate them if it was possible. Mostly, I just want to know what kind of fly they actually are.

    • Bernice H
      on Jul 16, 2019

      Ha ha I appreciate what you’re saying. As I posted above, they go round and round and round and round not going anywhere, don’t they ever get tired? They don’t land on anything. Again my best solution has been a FAN on the patio directed at the ceiling which also gives us moving air. In the house I have only had one and it Went around and around close to the ceiling. DrOVE my cat crazy . I don’t know what issues other people have around here , many have patios that are covered. But my friend has a dark covered entryway at the apartment building she lives in and you just have to swat your way through. They disband while you’re swatting them and you make a quick entry into the house.🤪

  • Nan
    on Jul 1, 2019

    Same problem in our our covered patio. They bite my dogs. I have tried many repellents (basil, lemongrass, clove, mint, vodka etc ) to no avail! Sticky yellow fly sticks work, but are unsightly. Electronic light zappers are no help, because they are not attracted to the blue/white light. Old fashioned fly swatters work but some days I swat over 200 flies! Got a zapper racquet which sometimes kills the slow speed flies during their copulation. Bag traps work, but stink like death. My neighbor complained because the wind blows in his direction. My research so far tells me that there is very little we can do about those buggers other that swatting, occasional racquet zapping. and those yellow sticky things. I refuse to enclose my patio with screens.

  • Gary Holesak
    on Jul 14, 2019

    So we just have to suffer? We don't want to spray anything because of our pets....it is on our covered deck...so there might be some moisture underneath...we water the plants a lot....

    • Bernice H
      on Jul 16, 2019

      Seriously..try a FAN to keep air moving....point it at the ceiling where they are flying. It worked well for us..let us know. It’s a certain behavior they have. Not connected to garbage ,moisture..I believe it is like dead air up there and darker. Maybe they get disoriented and confused? And just keep going round and round and round..why don’t they drop from exhaustion? Or hunger? 🤪🥴😳

  • Laurie Bartlett
    on Aug 12, 2019

    I think Karly is right. Little House fly. Smaller than regular house fly, hovers around our head level on porches, doesn't really try to come inside, not attracted to typical fly traps. Fans sound like the only things that work.

  • Idelisa Valentin
    on Sep 7, 2019

    I sprayed three different times, Clorox, vinegar and insecticide and all are white and dead.

  • Vijay
    on Sep 24, 2019

    Hang fresh bunch of Lavender purple flowers attached with twig.....it worked for me 100% gone within 24hours.

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