Hoverflies are irritating little pests that can deny you some quiet and peaceful time on your patio. There are several reasons why these flies could be finding your patio attractive.
First off, they are always searching for food and sugary liquids, which they are likely to find if you frequently eat around your porch.
Secondly, your flower-bearing plants such as mustard, dill, and sweet alyssum could be attracting them.
Whatever be the reason, hoverflies can be a potential danger to you and your children and pets as they transmit diseases. What’s more, they are an absolute eyesore.
So what should you do to get rid of hoverflies on your patio? We discuss valuable tips in the sections below.
What Are Hoverflies (Allograpta oblique) And How Long Do They Live?
How should you differentiate the hoverfly from a swarm of many other flies you will find in your garden?
Hoverflies have a black body with yellow stripes. Their shape and size are similar to wasps. Their size varies from ¼ to 1¼ inches.
Other garden insects that appear like them include bees, fruit flies, and the yellow jacket.
Even though hoverflies can be pretty frustrating, most gardeners consider them beneficial.
They predate on common garden pests attacking your vegetables. Their larvae are voracious eaters of aphids and can finish off 80 percent of their population in no time at all.
They could be an effective biological control method against pests.
Typically, hoverflies build nests in trees. They share some characteristics with other insects in the garden, such as bees, ants, hornets, and termites. However, they do not bite or sting.
The flies usually lay their eggs around aphid colonies. Some hoverflies lay their eggs in septic water and prey on aquatic insects.
Hoverflies live no longer than two weeks, with adults dying within twelve days after emerging from their chrysalis.
Hoverflies are also known by other names, such as syrphid flies or drone flies.
How To Get Rid Of Hoverflies Around Your Patio?
If you have these uninvited guests around your patio, we show you how to get rid of them.
You can improvise and combine any of the below methods that you find compelling. Let’s get moving.
1. Clean Your Patio
Hoverflies love to roam around gardens in search of food. The flies can also find their way into your patio if food leftovers, sugary drinks, or open trash cans are lying around.
Dirt or garbage offers a conducive environment for the flies to lay their eggs.
You should keep your deck and the surrounding environment clean. The habitat will become unfavorable for them this way, causing them to migrate.
2. Set Fly Traps Around Your Patio
Setting traps is another easy way to get rid of hoverflies on the patio. Build a fly trap using pieces of paper and glue.
Hoverflies will find the piece of paper aromatic. Once they move close, they will land on the glue and get trapped. You can collect the flies and dispose of them.
You can also use a sugar-water fly trap. This is an easy DIY project.
Prepare a sugary solution of three spoonfuls of sugar dissolved in a gallon of water. Put this solution into a medium-sized container.
Make some holes in a plastic wrap and cover the container. The flies will try as much as possible to squeeze themselves in but won’t find a way out.
3. Blow Them Away With A Fan
A powerful fan is effective in blowing away the hoverflies on your patio. If you have one on your patio ceiling, turn it on at full speed.
The flapping generates an air current that blows the hoverflies away. You could also deploy a battery-powered portable fan or a free-standing fan around the sitting areas.
4. Burn Oil Torches
The other way to fix the hoverfly menace in your patio is by burning oil torches. Use fragrances that repel the flies, such as citronella oil.
You could also combine camphor with neem oil and burn it off similarly.
5. Plant Repellent Plants In Your Patio
Common herbs like lavender, bay leaves, catnip, and marigolds are good hoverflies repellents for the patio.
Hoverflies detest their strong smell and will not hang around long enough.
6. Use Homemade Repellents
You can also prepare simple repellent recipes at home to keep the insects away.
Some ideas to explore include the use of
- A homemade spray containing vinegar, soap, and water
- Citrus peels
- Using half a lemon sprinkled with cloves
7. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils derived from eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender oil come in handy to repel hoverflies from your patio.
Pour a few drops of the oil on pieces of paper and place them around your patio.
The scent from the essential oils is too strong for flies and will keep them away.
8. Use Insecticides
You can use insecticides as a last resort if all else fails. Traditional pesticides are highly effective though their toxic ingredients make them hazardous to animals and children in the garden.
Common pesticides for use are in spray and powder form. Apply them sparingly in your patio to get rid of hoverflies while ensuring safety for your pets and children.
9. Use Attractants
Hoverflies usually seek nectar and pollen from flowers of some plants, as we mentioned earlier. You could plant some of these away from your patio to distract them.
Though hoverflies can be quite irritating, they are considered beneficial because of preying on other garden pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and mites.
We have listed some no-brainer DIY solutions to help you get rid of them. You can use the solutions independently or combine them depending on your specific needs and the degree of infestation.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.