Summer will always have quintessential experiences like colorful fireworks, grilled hotdogs, and the coconutty scent of sunscreen.  Unfortunately, it also comes with an abundance of house flies to pester you and your family.  They’re not invited to the picnic or the party!

What Really Happens When a Fly Lands on Food?

You’ve heard the horror stories.  But what actually happens when a fly lands on your food or picnic table? Some common misconceptions are overblown.  For example, it’s not completely true that a fly will always poop or vomit on your food when it lands.  While nauseating and somewhat exaggerated, it does still have some merit. When a fly lands on food it intends to eat, it will do three things:

●       Vomit an enzyme to soften the food.

●       Use its snout to slurp the food.

●       And possibly poop.  

Of course, these all sound disgusting and will make you want to throw that hot dog away as fast as possible.  However, the real danger is the bacteria flies carry on their body. A fly is attracted to food, food residue, garbage, rotting animals, and even feces.  Particles and germs can attach themselves to the wings, mouth, and tiny hairs of the fly’s body. 

Even if a fly lands for just a moment on your food, it can leave behind a variety of filthy particles and germs. Your digestive system was made to deal with unwanted germs, but who really wants to ingest them in the first place?  It’s even better to keep flies away from your picnic.

How Do You Keep Flies Away?

The obvious first step to protecting food is to do your best to keep foods covered and insects of all types out.  But flies may still buzz and swarm around your picnic or party spread. 

There are a variety of chemical sprays, citronella candles, and other man-made items that can help keep flies away from your home or outdoor event, but not everyone is comfortable handling chemicals on their own.  If you have a serious fly problem, call May’s Exterminating for a plan of action.

For more natural – or non-chemical – remedies, there are quite a few options you can test to see what works best for you and your home.

Herb Garden- Fragrant herbs like basil, mint, or lavender have been known to deter flies with their intense aromas.  The herbs can come in handy for you and your home, too!

Lemon Grass Oil- Flies hate the smell of lemongrass, and by adding a few ounces of this essential oil and water into a spray bottle, you can spray areas in your house where flies have been most prevalent.

Bags of Water & Shiny Pennies- The jury is still out on this method, but the theory is that it creates an optical illusion for the fly.  The reflection of sunlight on the pennies and the water will confuse the fly and make it think a spider web is close by.  Flies will by instinct intentionally avoid the area.  Try and see if it works!

Cayenne Pepper-  The intensity of cayenne pepper can thwart off many pests and insects, so it is no surprise that flies particularly hate it too. Just create a water mixture in a spray bottle, and spray liberally in the areas where flies are most prevalent.  Cayenne pepper is a natural substance but be aware that if it gets in eyes or nasal passages, it can cause irritation.

Flies do not have to ruin the July picnics and festivities.  Simple methods to repel them can help create a no-fly-zone for you and your family.