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How To Get Rid of Hoverflies? – 11 Ways To Keep out Flowerfly

If you are searching for how to get rid of hoverflies then before that let me tell you that hoverflies are flower flies that belong to the syrphidae family. They generally feed on nectar and it also helps in pollination. These flies do not harm any human being but they are hovering around the patio or garden. It irritates many people . That’s why many people want to make sure these flies never come back. We also know that they are important for plants but sometimes they need to be removed from the garden.

How To Get Rid of Hoverflies – Getting rid of Hovering flies by spray, repellent or There are Natural ways like adding plants to your house while you may also find pesticide as a chemical solution to keep hoverflies away from your patio or garden. You may also use different sticky traps, bird feeders and many more things that work as an effective repellent for hovering flies. Also knowing the main reason behind why hoverflies come back would solve your problem on an immediate basis.

If you’re familiar with hoverflies, it’s pretty safe to conclude that your main concern would be to get rid of hovering flies; unless of course you want the hoverflies to stick around – although I doubt it! I have written 10+1 ways to get rid of hovering flies and you can read and it might help you in your mission to take them away from your patio or garden.

How to Get Rid of Hover Flies

1. Natural Repellents

  • Mint repels hoverflies so be sure to plant some mint in your patio or garden.
  • Citronella oil, which not only smells pleasant but also helps get rid of hoverflies at the same time.
  • Cloves or peppermint oil both do a great job of repelling hoverflies.
  • Human hair clippings. For some reason, hoverflies hate the smell of human sweat, and they will steer clear of anything that smells like it. Spreading human or animal hair clippings in your vegetable garden or around plants you want to protect will ward them off.
  • Garlic water. It’s important to note that, while garlic water will ward off these insects, it also affects other plant life negatively so use garlic water sparingly.
  • Vinegar trap. A dark bowl filled with vinegar is an ideal hoverfly trap. Pour water into the bowl at the ratio of one part vinegar to 10 parts water and you’ve got yourself a hoverfly killing machine! If you don’t want to kill them, adding brown sugar to the vinegar will attract even more of these insects than just plain old vinegar. How great is that? You get rid of them, they get to enjoy lunch…win-win!

2. Deter them with strong smells

We’ve put this one in here because it does work, but totally understand if it’s not something you could stomach!

    • Rotten flesh is best according to research conducted by scientists at Pennsylvania State University. This might seem like a strange way to get rid of hoverflies, but they are actually quite put off by it. If you find a rotting carcass, such as a dead rodent or bird, this should do the trick! Unfortunately, the downside to this method is, of course, the smell of rotten flesh! There is a possibility that, if you don’t keep the smell from wafting, this way of getting rid of hoverflies on the patio or garden is probably not suitable.

hovering flies

3 . Luring them with sticky traps

These can attract and catch many flies at once. You can make a trap by soaking some fly paper in a sugar solution to make it sticky, and then hang it up in the area where you have a problem with flies. Often this can be enough to get rid of hoverflies.

 4 . Natural Pesticide Spray

Here’s an easy recipe for making your own natural pesticide spray that will kill off any insects that are ruining your garden plant life.


  • 3 teaspoons of high concentration peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid
  • 2 liters of water in a spray bottle.

Simply spray this solution on the top and bottom leaves of any affected plants to get rid of aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and, of course, hoverflies.

 5 . Chemical pesticides

If you don’t want to use natural methods, there are commercial pesticides that you can buy from any local store. However, before using these, it’s important to read all instructions carefully. How you apply the chemicals is also important. How to get rid of hoverflies is really a matter of preference, but it’s important to not use too many chemicals if you don’t want your plants to die.

Bee-killing pesticides are especially harmful since they kill off the insects that help pollinate your flowers and garden plants: this could spell disaster for your garden.

You can use Neem oil that is safe and it may prevent insects, pests in garden.

 6 . Habitat modification

By changing what is in your garden or patio, you may be able to get rid of hoverflies. If there are a lot of places for them to dine in your garden, you may have a problem with the flies laying their eggs and continuing the cycle.

By modifying what’s in your garden, there aren’t as many places for them to lay their eggs or other reasons for them to stick around. Try planting daisies and marigolds. They hate the smell of these flowers, so this is an easy way to get rid of hoverflies in your garden.

If you don’t want to plant new plants or flowers, adding bark mulch to your garden will also help get rid of hoverflies. How? Hoverflies can’t lay their eggs in mulch like they can on the leaves of plants and flowers.

 7 . Getting rid of the larvae

If you have a lot of hoverflies in your garden or patio, one of the best ways to get rid of them is to get rid of the larvae. By doing this, you break the cycle and stop the problem from continuing. How can you get rid of hoverfly larvae? You could use insecticides or by using a biological agent, such as nematode worms. These organisms eat and kill other insects and work well on killing off hoverflies at this early stage of their development.

8 . Birds

If you have a bird feeder in your garden, encouraging birds to nest there will get rid of hoverflies. Birds such as blue tits, great tits and robins eat a lot of insects, including hoverflies.

9 . Bats

Bats eat a large number of insects, including hoverflies. If you see a bat near your home, consider putting up a bat box outside to encourage them to nest nearby. You can encourage bats to nest in your bat box by leaving out dried fruit or other snacks like bat mixes which you can buy from your local pet shop.

10 . Cats & Dogs

Both cats and dogs are effective at catching these pests, especially if they have a taste for eating insects! How to get rid of hoverflies is as easy as encouraging your pets to play and hunt around your garden or patio.

How can you encourage cats and dogs to spend more time outside? Leaving out some food or treats will help, as well as providing them with a water bowl or even a small pool for them to splash in! If they’re keen on catching insects, they’ll spend more time outside – perfect for dealing with this problem!

 Make sure that whatever method you use to get rid of hoverflies is safe and humane – don’t just harm or kill these insects without need!

Hoverflies can be beneficial insects in your garden or yard because they are pollinators, so in effect – in manageable numbers – they can be one of your garden’s best friends!

However, when they get out of control and congregate in high numbers you’ll probably want to get rid of them. If you are not a fan of these insects, these simple steps can help you get rid of hoverflies.

11 . Clean the Area

Hoverflies are insects that do not come for nothing, they must have the smell of something sweet near your patio or garden. Like rotting fruit or garbage where hoverflies get food from they smell these spoiled fruits that’s why they fly and sit there. Cleaning the patio or garden area and do not leave traces of sweet spoiled fruit or something hoverflies are attracted to. 

Some of the pests are attracted to the human sweat, the salty water on your skin or underarm. Hoverfly may sit on you because of salty greece water but they won’t harm you so don’t worry. It’s quite irritating when they keep tickling on your shoulder, hands or face. This is because of the salt smell, to get rid of the hoverfly  you can clean your face, get a bath, change clothes and hurry now they won’t sit on you.

Ultimately you need to clean the area so that they don’t get anything sweet or salty to get attraction in the first place. 

What Is A Hoverfly?

Hoverflies are members of the fly family known as Syrphidae. Hoverflies make up about 20% of all fly species.

Most hoverfly larvae feed on aphids but some are parasitic to ants or earthworms. Some species are predatory, hunting for slugs, snails and caterpillars. Adult hoverflies are also known to lay their eggs near aphids in order to control the infestation of these garden pests.

Types of Hoverflies

There are more than 800 species of hoverflies and I would be giving the some names from a most common insect family called syrphidae.

Sub family: Syrphidae Sub family: Microdontinae Sub family: Eristalinae
Toxomerini Microdon Callicerini
Bacchini Brachyopini
Syrphini Eristalini
Pipizini Cerioidini
Paragini Merodontini

How To Get Rid Of Hoverflies On Patio?

Patios are one of those special, relaxing and refreshing areas of the home; unless you’re infested with hoverflies! There’s nothing worse to shatter your peace and make you want to tear your hair out. But fear not, hoverflies are relatively easy to get rid of from patios. Probably the best method to get rid of hoverflies on your patio is to buy some gnat spray and follow what the instructions say. However, if you’re looking for a more natural solution, the steps below should help you get rid of hoverflies on patios and in surrounding areas:

Get rid of the eggs: Hoverflies lay eggs on any surface near a food source – meat or fruit – which is why they’ll pick your patio. The larvae hatch from the eggs and then grow into adults that fall into the food and eat it. Targeting these eggs will help to get rid of the hoverflies on your patio. How you do this depends on what eggs were laid, but here are some simple solutions:

  • Spray them with a solution containing 1 part dish soap and 9 parts water – the soap mixture will suffocate the larvae.
  • Soak several cotton balls in rubbing alcohol then scatter them around the patio. The larvae will attach themselves to the cotton ball, effectively killing them. 

Keep your patio clean: Hoverflies are attracted to dirty areas with spills or crumbs of food. This is why you’ll often see hoverflies hanging around the barbecue on your patio. Clean your patio regularly, avoid spilling food on it and keep garbage bins away from it to get rid of hoverflies.

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Wash the dirt off the floor: Hoverflies are also attracted to dirty areas, which is why they seem to hang around doorways. If you have any dirty footprints on your patio, use a broom to get rid of them. This should also get rid of any hoverflies that were attracted by the dirt.

Lay down some bait: Hoverflies are attracted to fruit and meat, so laying down some honey or fruit juice will help to lure them away from your patio. 

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Why Are Hoverflies In My Garden?

As far as garden pests go, hoverflies can be some of the most frustrating to get rid of. They are attracted to your garden because they are after a convenient food source. They seem to be particularly fond of the sweet nectar of flowers and they will hover around for hours at a time, drinking from several different plants close by. Over the last few years, they have become more and more prevalent in many parts of the world, including western Europe and North America. Their name is a bit misleading as they don’t fly as such but rather glide – so perhaps ‘glider flies’ is a better name for them!

Are Hoverflies good for the garden?

Hoverflies can be beneficial insects in your garden or yard because they are pollinators, so in effect – in manageable numbers – they can be one of your garden’s best friends!

However, when they get out of control and congregate in high numbers you’ll probably want to get rid of them. If you are not a fan of these insects, these simple steps can help you get rid of hoverflies.

Make sure that whatever method you use on how to get rid of hoverflies is safe and humane – don’t just harm or kill these insects without need! Every creature on Earth has a purpose and – like it or not – that goes for hoverflies too!

Final Thoughts

I know how irritating they are when you just roam in the garden or sit near the patio, but We also know they are important for pollination as they feed on nectar and help plants grow. But sometimes when they are in big numbers it’s too annoying so i hope you get different methods on how to get rid of hoverflies and it will help you to counter future flies on your garden or patio. 

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Amelia Clark

I have over 10 years experience in gardening and here I try to answer every question about plants and how you as a beginner gardener can able to solve various problems. Also If you would like to check our Designed Plant T-Shirts. Please do so.

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