How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping?

As I write this, the Winter is almost over and the Spring is about to begin. It will soon be time to get the Camping gear out again and go on a trip. When we camped last year we were plagued by flies so I thought I’d do a little research into how to keep flies away when Camping to save my sanity this year.

You’ll be pleased to know that there are proven ways to repel and catch flies, which should make life more bearable when Camping. Here’s what we managed to find out.

What Methods Can I Use To Keep Flies Away When Camping?

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Tennis Racket Bug Zapper

All of the methods that we came across seemed to fit into neat classifications, there were a few that looked like Old Wives Tales, but we’ll try them out in Spring as their supporters are very convincing in their support of their effectiveness. Here are the main categories:

  • Methods to Repel Flies
  • Methods to Catch Flies
  • Methods to Kill Flies

Each of these categories could be further broken down into different sub-methods, as we’ll see below.

How Can I Repel Flies When Camping?

If we have decided that we are going to embrace our inner Buddhist and not harm any sentient being, we are going to have to repel the flies rather than kill or catch them. There are three main ways to repel flies when camping. we can either do it with an Electronic Device, with Chemicals or by using Natural Fly Repellents.

Electronic Methods To Repel Flies

Electronic Fly Repellents have become big business. Companies have caught on to us being driven insane by flies landing on our eyes and mouth when we are trying to eat our campfire BBQ, and they have invented Electronic devices to help us. There can range from the very expensive to the extremely affordable price ranges. Here are a few of the more popular ones available online and some of their Ratings and Reviews.

The Fly Repellent Fan

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Fly Repellent Fan

Fly Repellent Fan
It is claimed in the advertisement that by placing one or two of these on your Camping Table the blades of the battery operated Fly Repellent Fan will discourage flies from landing on your food as they swish past them putting them in danger.

5 Star Review
I saw these advertised and thought “yeah right!” I took a punt and bought one and it really works not a fly or wasp comes near when sitting in garden. I chose this one as you can plug them into a usb li-on battery power pack as well as normal batteries, i use my battery power pack all the time and just recharge it – rather than keep having to put batteries in – I do recommend this to make sitting outside more enjoyable

This Ultrasonic Battery Operated Pest Repeller
It emits a pulse every 8 seconds at a frequency that can’t be heard by humans and that is meant to repel Rodents as well as Flies.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Ultrasonic Fly Repeller

5 Star Review, although there were several lower ones.
 I have had good success using ultrasonic pest deterrents at home so I advised my friend to get one for his professional café kitchen as a preventive measure for insects and rodents. He already has traps and other measures in place but I have argued that if you can stop and prevent them from coming in in the first place, it must be a better solution. This ultrasonic repeller is completely harmless and unnoticed by humans. 

Chemical Methods To Repel Flies

Repell Shield
Let’s be clear, we are talking about chemicals to repel flies not chemicals for killing them here. Fly repellent sprays contain non harmful chemicals that are meant to ward off but not kill flies and other insects.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Natural Fly Repellent

Repell Shield claims that: Our alternative to fly traps indoor with its completely natural and organic formulation repels flies and insects naturally thus protecting the eco-system and does not cause any adverse effects for you or your pets.

5 Star Review
Really good and I use it more as a room freshener spray as it keeps the room and upholstery smelling really good. Due to it being summer and the windows being open flies travel indoors and the aerosol sprays can be too much on the lungs and with me having young kids they start sneezing a lot. After using this spray I haven’t noticed any flies indoors and no sneezes

Citronella Body Spray
This one is again a fly repellent not a fly killer and it is sprayed on yourself not around the room. It is meant to keep away Flies, Midges and Mosquitos. It has a lot of good reviews on the website too.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Body Spray Fly Repellent

5 Star Review

Love this product. It’s fantastic for repelling insects and mosquitoes. Used it for the first time on holiday this year and didn’t get bitten once, neither did my son. We normally get eaten alive, even when doused with the jungle formula brand of products. We’ve never found a more effective spray, and one that smells great too. Had family abroad ask me to get some for them after using mine as they loved the smell and protection it offered being an organic remedy.

Natural Methods To Repel Flies

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Citronella

Flies are reported to stay away from certain plants. Collecting these plants while foraging on your Camping trip and hanging bunches of them in your tent, or having a bowl with the leaves in is meant to be enough to keep flies away.

Plants that are reported to have insect repellent properties are:

  • Basil
  • Citronella
  • Cinnamon
  • Marigold
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Cloves
  • Lemongrass
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint

There are probably lots more but these are the main ones. As for their effectiveness, I have no idea. Although we used to have Citronella Candles in our garden in Spain and they worked for repelling flies, so there is probably something in it. It’s certainly worth giving them a try.

How Can I Catch Flies When Camping?

Mechanical Methods To Catch Flies

Fly Paper
Fly Paper is literally incredibly sticky strips of paper that you hang up around your tent to attract the flies and they get stuck to it when they land on it.

I’m not sure that having something that attracts flies is the best way to get rid of flies, but maybe that’s just me. They certainly work for getting flies stuck to them as I have tried them.

Fly Traps
Fly traps are generally designed to allow the fly to enter then make it impossible for them to get back out. Here’s an example of the ones we used to have hanging around our garden in Spain, they are very effective.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Mechanical Fly Trap

Electronic Methods To Catch Flies

There are devices on the market that have a sweet smelling material inside, they spin slowly and are designed in a way that as they revolve they trap the flies that land on them inside.

Very clever, but all the ones I could find needed a plug in power source, so they are limited to Campsite Camping. I’m sure someone will have invented a battery operated one, If not, It could be my million dollar idea!

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Electronic Mechanical Fly Trap

Natural Methods To Catch Flies

My daughter used to have a Venus Fly Trap Plant when she was young. Even though it caught the odd fly which was very entertaining, it wasn’t very prolific, so taking a load of these camping with you probably isn’t going to work.

Sweet Sticky Substances
Having a bowl of something sweet and sticky does work well for attracting and trapping flies. I have used this method before ad it is effective.

We used Sugar, Water and the Juice from a ripe Apple . The flies simply landed on the sticky liquid and got stuck in it.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Home Made Fly Trap

How Can I Kill Flies When Camping?

Mechanical Methods To Kill Flies

Fly Swatters
I have found Fly Swatters to be the most effective way to keep keep the sheer number of Flies down. They are a great tool for killing Flies, but they do tend to break easily if you get over zealous with your swatting.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Fly Swatter

Electronic Methods To Kill Flies

Bug Zappers
Bug Zappers have been around for a long time and they generally use a blue attractive light to get the Flies to land on the charged surface and release the capacitor charge which shocks and kills them.

How Can I Keep Flies Away When Camping - Bug Zapper

Chemical Methods To Kill Flies

Fly Sprays
Fly Sprays are effective for killing flies but are probably not good for the environment, so we rarely use them unless we have no other option and we are being infested. They contain some nasty chemicals so I’m not to keen to be breathing them in.

How To Keep Flies Away When Camping Summary

As you can see there are some humane ways to keep flies away and some far more inhumane ways to kill flies. The choice is obviously down to you and how you think about nature, the earth and the inhabitants of it, including Flies.

However, it is good to know that there are options available to you if you require them next time you are preparing for a Camping trip.