Get Rid of Annoying Garage Flies [Tips & Tricks]

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Every summer, it happens: the annoying buzz of flies in the garage. Whether you’re trying to work, relax, or simply store your belongings, flies can turn your garage into a nuisance during these warmer months.

Usually, once you see one fly in your garage, more flies are coming.

Smelly garbage cans attract flies and other insects. You must act quickly to eliminate them before your garage becomes a breeding ground.

This article will discuss several ways to get rid of garage flies during hot summer months and make sure they don’t return.


Why There Are More Garage Flies During Summer

Garages become a hotspot for fly infestations, particularly during summer. Increased fly activity is not coincidental but a result of several interconnected factors prevalent during the summer. 

Here’s an in-depth look at why summer specifically paves the way for increased fly presence in garages:

Heat and Flies: Flies are ectothermic creatures, which means their body temperature is influenced by their environment. 

The warm summer temperatures are optimal for most fly species’ life cycles. This heat accelerates their metabolism, allowing them to mature from eggs to adults more quickly. 

Garages, being sheltered yet usually not as insulated or cooled as the main house, present an ideal warm environment that’s not too hot, perfect for flies to thrive in.

Humidity: Humidity, which is often higher in summer, plays a significant role in attracting flies. Many fly species, like the common housefly, are drawn to moist environments for breeding. 

Humid conditions, especially if there is poor ventilation, can create ideal breeding grounds for flies in garages. Stagnant water or damp spots can become potential sites for flies in garages to lay their eggs.

Summer Activities: Summer is synonymous with outdoor activities such as BBQs, picnics, and family get-togethers. These activities often lead to more organic waste. 

This includes leftover food, meat scraps, and sugary drink residues. 

If these are stored in garage trash bins or inadvertently left in the garage, they send out an open invitation for flies. 

The smell of organic waste, especially as it decomposes in the summer heat, is a powerful attractant for these pests.

More Garbage = More Flies: Garbage tends to accumulate more during summer. Even if the waste is bagged correctly, the slightest tear or opening in a trash bag can release odors that attract flies

Many homeowners keep their trash and recycling inside until trash day. This increases the amount of flies in garages if the waste isn’t managed appropriately.


How to Get Rid of Flies in Garages

There are several reasons you might have a fly infestation in your garage.

First, if you haven’t taken care of garbage or decaying organic matter, flies will be drawn to it and breed here.

If you are struggling to repel flies in your garage, there are a few things that you can do to get rid of them.

Here are some of the most common ways to get rid of flies in garages.

Another common reason is if there are any pet food dishes around that aren’t cleaned often enough, flies will find them, too. Flies flock to spilled liquids that have dried up around your garage and use them as breeding grounds.

One of the first things you need to do is find out what attracts house flies to your garage. This could be anything from food to garbage.

Once you have identified what attracts them, you can eliminate it.

Several places can attract garage flies:

  • Smelly trash cans in your garage
  • Areas of decay, such as pet feces and food remnants
  • Containers of water containing decaying matter
  • Outdoor compost piles
  • Dead house plants with potting soil
  • Other uncovered outdoor garbage containers
  • Spilled bottles of soda or beer
  • Fruit rinds, which attract fruit flies
  • Unused garage appliances such as microwaves, blenders, and coffeemakers
  • Open bags of pet food

If you see any of these issues in your garage, clean them up and get rid of them. You will eliminate the flies in your garage if you eliminate the attractant.

Clean Trash Cans

The first thing to do about getting rid of flies in your garage is to clean and disinfect your trash cans.

Flies will lay eggs anywhere they find a food supply. So, if you have a dirty trash can, flies will lay their eggs nearby. When those eggs hatch, the larvae crawl into the trash and find a plentiful food source that will allow them to mature into adult flies.

It’s not enough to hose out your garbage can once a year.

While that will clean off large clumps of food or animal waste, you’ll need something more powerful to remove the caked-on garbage.

There are dozens of chemical solutions available and several all-natural remedies as well. Whichever method you choose, cleaning your trash can regularly help prevent garage flies during the hot summer months.

If flies are still attracted to your garbage, you should get brand-new trash cans and start fresh.

Commercial Pesticides that Kill Flies

After you’ve found the source of the problem and addressed it, you can apply a residual pesticide to kill any remaining flies and prevent new ones from entering.

There are many residential pesticides on the market, so choosing one that fits your needs is essential.

Some of the most common ingredients in commercial fly sprays include:

  • Pyrethrum: Natural insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower.
  • Permethrin: Synthetic pyrethroid used to kill a wide variety of insects.
  • Piperonyl Butoxide: A chemical that is used to increase the effectiveness of pyrethrum and permethrin.

Read the label carefully before purchasing a pesticide, as many kill flies and other insects, such as roaches and spiders.

If you have any pets, keep them away from the area until the pesticide has dried.

You will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • Long sleeves and pants
  • Garbage bags
  • A microfiber cloth (optional)
  • Cotton balls (optional)
  • Spray bottle (optional)

To apply the pesticide:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves and a face mask.
  2. Cover the floor with garbage bags to prevent overspray.
  3. If there is a fan in the room, turn it off to not spread the pesticide around.
  4. Use your microfiber cloth or a rag to apply the pesticide to any surfaces you believe the flies are getting in, including doors, windows, vents, screens, and fans.
  5. Allow the pesticide to dry completely before re-entering the garage or turning on fans or vents.

You can use cotton balls soaked in the pesticide to plug up fly entry points.

If you want to use a spray bottle, dilute the pesticide with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once diluted, spray all of your entry points down with pesticide.


How to Keep Flies Out of Your Garage…Permanently

Once you’ve gotten rid of the flies in your garage, you’ll want to ensure they don’t return.

Here are a few tips to encourage a fly-free zone:

Seal Up Any Leaks

A major reason for a fly infestation in your garage is many entry points. The flies will never go away if they continue entering through cracks and other holes.

You will want to look in your garage for holes in the walls, floor, or ceiling that might let in flies or other insects. Fill these with caulk to prevent the pests from getting inside. This will ensure that the flies do not continue to enter.

Keep Your Garage Clean

Another reason flies continue to come into your garage is because of clutter or debris. Over time, food or other items can accumulate and decompose, attracting the flies.

Keep your garage clean by removing all items that you no longer need. If there are some things that you think you might need someday, be sure to store them in a clean location.

You will also want to sweep or vacuum the garage often to prevent food scraps, crumbs, or other items from attracting flies.

Keeping your garage clean and organized stops the flies from multiplying and keeps the ones already there from staying. It also helps prevent odors or other potential food sources.

Keep Trash Outside

Trash is another thing that can attract flies. If you have trash cans in your garage, take them out immediately after using them.

If you do not want to keep the trash outside your home, you will want to manage it better. Do not allow the garbage to sit in your garage or other areas for an extended period.

Increase Air Circulation (Add a Fan)

If you try everything in this article and still have problems with garage flies, it could be because there is not enough air circulation in your garage. Flies congregate in areas with high humidity and minimal airflow.

To solve the problem, simply add a fan to your garage. This will increase the airflow in your garage, making it an inhospitable place for flies.


Top Fly Repellents for Your Garage

Protecting your garage from flies isn’t merely about understanding why they invade but equipping yourself with effective repellents. 

There are many options, each offering different advantages depending on your preferences and needs. 

Let’s explore some of the most recommended fly repellents segmented into categories for easier reference.

Natural Repellents

1. Lavender: Not only is lavender pleasant to humans, but it’s also an excellent repellent against flies due to its strong fragrance. Planting lavender near your garage entrance or keeping dried lavender sachets inside can deter flies.

2. Rosemary: Another aromatic herb, rosemary, can be planted in pots and strategically placed around the garage. Its scent is repulsive to many pests, including flies.

3. Citronella: Often used in candles and torches to repel mosquitoes, citronella is also effective against flies. Consider getting citronella plants or even citronella oil to diffuse in your garage.

4. Lemongrass: Like citronella, lemongrass emits a scent that’s repellent to flies. You can grow it around your garage perimeter or use its essential oil as a natural spray.

Commercial Repellents

1. Commercial Fly Sprays: There are numerous fly sprays available in the market. While selecting one, ensure it is safe for indoor use if you plan to spray within the garage. Some brands also offer formulations specifically designed for enclosed spaces like garages.

2. Electric Fly Zappers: These devices use ultraviolet light to attract flies and then zap them with electricity. Ideal for garages, they can be hung or mounted on walls to keep the space fly-free.

DIY Methods

1. Soda Bottle Fly Trap: A classic DIY method. Cut a plastic soda bottle in half, invert the top half into the bottom half, and add bait like sugar water or fruit scraps. Flies will enter, attracted by the bait, but find it difficult to escape.

2. Essential Oil Spray: Combine water with a few drops of essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus. Spray this mixture around the garage, especially near entrances, to repel flies.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap: Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar, add a few drops of dish soap, and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke small holes in the top. Flies are attracted to the vinegar but get trapped due to the soap.

Practical Application

Natural Plants: If you’re using plants like lavender or rosemary, placing them near the entrances and windows of the garage is most effective. This way, the aromatic barrier is the first thing garage flies encounter.

Commercial Sprays: Always follow label instructions. If it recommends reapplication after a specific period, ensure you adhere to maintain effectiveness. Electric zappers should be placed where they aren’t obstructed for maximum fly attraction.

DIY Methods: For traps like the soda bottle or vinegar trap, position them in corners or along walls where flies like to frequent. For sprays, it’s advisable to reapply every few days or after heavy rains.

Combining these repellents lets you keep your garage virtually fly-free, making it a more pleasant and hygienic space.


Wrapping It Up

Flies in the garage during summer aren’t just a fleeting annoyance; they represent a combination of nature’s cycles and our own activities converging in an often-exasperating manner.

As we’ve delved into it, the warmth of summer coupled with the appeal of humidity and the remnants of our seasonal activities makes garages an irresistible haven for these winged invaders.

Yet, armed with knowledge and an array of remedies, from simple housekeeping tactics to potent repellents, we can retake our spaces.

The key is a balanced approach.

Instead of solely relying on repellents, understanding and addressing what draws flies in the first place—like excess moisture or accumulated waste—can make a substantial difference.

By cleaning regularly, and employing a mix of natural and commercial solutions, your summer can be characterized by the season’s joys rather than the constant buzz of flies.

Take back your garage, equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge, and enjoy a fly-free environment all summer long.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.

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