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How To Keep Flies Away From Food At A Picnic

Norah Clark
Fresh fruit outside at a picnic.

One of the best ways to know how to keep flies away from food outside, is to cover food with mesh or lids, setting up fans to create airflow, placing aromatic herbs or essential oils (like basil, mint, or citronella) nearby, and keeping the outdoor dining area clean to remove attractants.

When the temperature is warmer in the summer, it attracts bugs and flies to your tasty picnic food. It’s probably the one thing that I don’t love about picnics! They always seem equally as attracted to the food as we do and can be so annoying trying to swat them away!

Thankfully, stopping insects from flying around your picnic isn’t as difficult as you think; simply be prepared! I’ve got a few ideas and natural solutions from my experience on how to deter flies during your picnic.

From pop-up covers for portables and portable solutions to essential oils repellents. I will offer everything I have found to work when keeping flies away. If you don’t like fly repellent sprays made from chemicals, well, I’ve got a great solution with eco-friendly ways that will be equally as good!

How To Keep Flies Away At A Picnic – 7 Ways

Flies are much more annoying at a picnic or an outdoor celebration. Flies are naturally attracted to food and can be extremely annoying when trying to keep food warm while keeping flies at bay!

Although a constant buzzing of flies around your face can be annoying, it’s crucial to remember that flies may also transmit diseases.

In reality, flies have been recognized to carry over 100 pathogens, including salmonella and E. coli.

Girls, you will be glad to hear that a few of my suggestions to help get rid of flies will also enhance the aesthetic of your picnic. Read on to discover the best ways to keep flies away from your picnic!

1. Timing Your Picnic To Avoid Flies

The timing of the picnic could be a crucial factor in a fly-free picnic. The typical fly is active during the daytime heat after they have the chance to warm up and disappear towards the end of the afternoon. This is why an early brunch gathering in the morning can be a great option to stay clear of flies completely. It’s the same for a picnic in the late afternoon together once the flies are gone all day.

Beware of these times for peak fly time. It can help you stay away from the scorching heat during the summer heat.

2. Cover Your Food To Keep Flies Away Outside

Food attracts flies, and as we’ve said before, flies transmit disease. Therefore, the most important thing to avoid is food contaminated by flies. Using a handy cover for picnic foods is an excellent option to take advantage of the great outdoors while protecting food from insects.

It is possible to use pop-up tents for food to cover multiple dishes or mesh covers of various sizes to ensure that you don’t squash your food. If you’ve got food served inside bowls, this entertaining and sustainable 10- Piece Bowl Cover Set is ideal for keeping food fresh and covered. It’s great to have an item that is reusable instead of relying on disposable plastic wraps that are not recyclable. They also provide a better seal.

3. Essential Oil Candles To Get Rid of Flies Outside

Natural candles can be an excellent organic method to repel mosquitoes and flies. They also make a lovely addition to your picnic. They can bring romanticism and a pleasant scent to your picnic while keeping insects at bay.

There’s a fantastic array of scents to keep the flies at bay. Find candles that are infused with natural oils like:

  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass
  • Basil
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Cloves

Make sure to use natural soy candles made from natural ingredients that come with lids to allow you to transport them easily and reuse them repeatedly.

4. Use Portable Tent Screens As A Versatile Way To Keep Flies Away

An easy-to-set-up portable screen tent can create the perfect barrier between you and insects and provide shade simultaneously. Set the picnic in the screen tent and enjoy the outdoors without being concerned about bugs.

The pop-up design is convenient and means you can set it up in only minutes. It can be used to store food items or make it the location for your picnic. Put a cute boho picnic table in it, and you’ll have a beautiful place to enjoy a boho picnic style without the bugs. Add fairy lights to the inside, and you will have a beautiful bug-free nighttime picnic. A stunning idea for Valentine’s Day picnic.

5. Use Bug Repelling Plants To Keep The Flies Away

Another option to avoid hazardous chemicals which are more natural than essential oils is to use fresh herbs. Planting plants in your backyard to keep flies out, and you can make use of herbs at your picnic to deter insects and create a beautiful scene. Put a few miniature pots of plants you can buy at the market around the picnic area to keep away flies.

They’ll look beautiful, and you can pick a few leaves to garnish your last-minute dishes or add to your picnic drinks.

If you don’t wish to spend time with potted herbs, just grab a few fresh ones and spread them on your table. They’ll still look beautiful and also act as repellent.

The best herbs to repel bugs

Here’s a list of plants that you can utilize to repel flies.

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaf
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Lemon
  • Eucalyptus

6. Use An Electric Fan To Stop Flies From Messing With Your Picnic

A battery-powered, simple, portable fan is a positive scenario. It’ll keep you cool and keep the flies away. Flies are incredibly sloppy in windy conditions, so they try their best to stay clear of violent airflow. If you set up the portable fan and create an air barrier, flies are hesitant to traverse.

7. Spark Up The Grill And Cook Over A Fire To Keep The Bugs Away

Sand between your toes, an enticing hamburger, and the sound of laughter filling the breeze – there’s nothing as relaxing as a beach picnic with your friends and family. But bugs and the beach are a match that’s made for heaven.

A simple method to keep the flies away is to ignite a charcoal grill. The heat of the fire and the smoke that comes emanating from the grill create an atmosphere that flies and other insects can’t stand.

Flies and other insects are more inclined to be drawn to hot food rather than cold foods at a picnic.

These portable grills make an ideal beach picnic companion for classic BBQ-styled dishes like burgers and hot dogs. The best part, the portable grill acts like an insect repellent!

It’s not a good idea to be fighting with bugs for hours on end when they’re trying to unwind and unwind, so be equipped with the natural and effective methods to keep flies away. From enthralling essential oils to tent-friendly solutions, with just a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to take your next picnic out without any pests.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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