Hoverflies are also known as flower flies, and they are seen feeding on pollen and nectar. Their coloring often creates confusion because they look similar to wasps.
However, they do not have stingers, so they will not harm you. Their larvae are organic predators of aphids, and they can be beneficial to your garden. In fact, many people try to attract these flies for this reason.
Should You Harm Hoverflies?
Hoverflies are actually helpful flies that are important for organic gardening and pest control. They pollinate plants, and the larvae feed on aphids such as mealy bugs, mites, scale, and other pests that harm plants.
Although the hoverflies might worry you because they do resemble wasps, they will not hurt you and they cannot bite or sting. If it is possible to let them live in your garden, they will do more good than harm.
How to Get Rid of Hoverflies
However, if you want to get rid of the hoverflies, there are methods that will help you do so. Take a look at the following ways to get rid of the hoverflies around your home.
1 – Use a Fan
If the hoverflies are on your patio and you have an outlet, you can use a fan. They do not like the fan, so they will leave and find another home.
You will need to be persistent and keep the fan on during the day until the hoverflies move to another location. If they return, turn the fan on again.
2 – Make a Fly Repellent
Another option is to make a fly repellent. There are many different items that work as a natural repellent for hoverflies, and they will get rid of other types of pesky flies as well.
The great thing about natural repellents is that you will not need to worry about harming your pets or children.
Vinegar, Soap, and Water: Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle, and you can spray the area where they hoverflies are living. It will send them to another yard.
Lemon and Cloves: If you cut a lemon in half and stick cloves all over it, you can set it outside near the area where the hoverflies are living.
Citronella Smoke: You can use citronella oil or citronella candles to deter these flies from visiting your patio or garden. The smoke will send them away quickly.
Citrus Fruit Peels: Citrus fruit peels also act as a deterrent for all kinds of flies. You can place them wherever the hoverflies are congregating, and they will move away.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Mineral Oil, Dish Soap, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, and Basil Oil: This is a strong concoction that will deter hoverflies and many other flying pests. It does have a very strong smell, so you will want to use it outside.
3 – Use a Fly Trap
You can also use fly traps to get rid of your hoverflies, but this will kill them. However, if they are in your house or taking over your patio, you may have no other choice.
These are different fly traps that are effective and will solve your hoverfly problem.
Sugar Water Fly Trap: You can dissolve some sugar in water in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Make some holes in the plastic, and the flies will go in because they are attracted to the sugar.
Vinegar Trap: Vinegar works well as bait for hoverflies. You can place vinegar in a soda bottle that you cut in half, and add a drop of dish soap. Cover the top with plastic wrap and make some holes in it. The flies will go in to get the vinegar and get stuck by the soap.
Fly Trap Plants: There are carnivorous plants such as the Venus FlyTrap or the Sundew that will kill the flies for you.
Fly Tape: You can buy sticky fly traps that you hang up, and the flies will be drawn to them. They are covered in a substance such as corn oil that draws the flies. They will get stuck on the trap and die.
Fly Zapper: You can hang a fly zapper on your patio, and the hoverflies will be attracted to it and die when they touch it. It uses electricity to zap them.
4 – Provide Plants with Nectar and Pollen
Although hoverflies can be annoying, the best thing that you can do is to provide them with plants where they can feed on the nectar and pollen. Hoverflies are beneficial to your garden, and their larvae will help reduce pests.
If you strategically plant plants that attract the hoverflies, they will not bother you or fly over to the patio.
Hoverflies resemble wasps because they have a yellow and black body. However, they will not bite or sting you.
They feed on pollen and nectar, and they are important for pollination. They lay eggs near aphids, and their larvae eat garden pests. In fact, many people try to attract hoverflies to their garden for this reason.
If you have a population of hoverflies that are near your patio or getting into the house, you may need to contain them. One choice is to place plants that attract them away from your home.
You can also use natural homemade deterrents that will send them away. They do not like fans or the smoke from citronella.
If all else fails, there are different fly trap options, and any of them will be successful. You can buy sticky traps or make sugar water traps. They will draw the hoverflies in and they will not be able to escape.
This method should only be used if there is a severe problem because these insects are beneficial to your garden.
Hoverflies do have a natural predator, birds. As long as you don’t have too many hoverflies, the birds in your garden will help to prevent this population from growing out of control.
In addition, spiders can trap them and feed on them. If you can tolerate them out in the garden, they serve a useful purpose.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.
Tuesday 3rd of August 2021
I commented here before but it isn’t here. I have lots of theses flies, hundreds if not thousands, they are everywhere. Our patio has a fairly strong breeze that is almost constant, doesn’t seem to affect them at all. I would try the vinegar and other smelly stuff but I’m not sure where they live since they are EVERYWHERE.
Friday 5th of March 2021
My hover flies are attracted to something under our low house. Any ideas as to what this might be? I don’t want to hurt them, but since they (about 10 at least) have taken over, birds seem to have disappeared. Bit of a puzzle.
Sunday 10th of January 2021
Hoverflies are beneficial and totally harmless. However, their striking resemblance with their harmful cousins, wasps, puts them at a disadvantage as most people can hardly differentiate between them. As such people need to know how to get rid of hoverflies to position themselves on the safe side.
Friday 4th of September 2020
I want to reiterate what the person has said above. Given that hoverflies are so beneficial, it is upsetting to see you have mentioned a method that kills them. Most people react badly to them because they look similar to wasps. In the UK, scientists reckon there are many more hoverflies pollinating plants than there are bees. We need to keep them and educate people (as you were doing in the first part of your article.
Tuesday 31st of May 2022
@Linda, I do not want to walk through a swarm of hover flies just to get to my front door every day. Beneficial or not, they are a nuisance under my carport where there is absolutely no plants at all.
Monday 24th of August 2020
I simply cannot understand why you would even consider a post such as this. Who in their right mind would want to get rid of hoverflies? There is absolutely no need to suggest ways to get rid of them as this will simply encourage the ignorant in their misconceptions. Far, far better simply to emphasise the fact that we do NOT want to be rid of them due to the tremendous benefit they provide and to educate those who require it. Unfortunately, most people tend to view the commercially farmed honeybee (an invasive species in the US, detrimental to native pollinators) as the pollinator to favour simply because it receives such hype from commercial beekeepers; high time the profile of other pollinators, such as hoverflies, solitary bees and social wasps etc was raised to reflect their importance.
Tuesday 31st of May 2022
@Pen, I have dozens hover flies that hang out under my carport. They annoy everybody who tries to walk up to my front door. There are no plants there at all, but they are annoying and a nuisance. So yet, I do not want to have to walk though a swarm of them to get into my house.
Monday 16th of May 2022
@Pen, it’s easy for you to say all that about those annoying hoverflies because YOU don’t have them taking over you patio, so until you do, don’t give anyone your feedback, we don’t care!
Monday 29th of March 2021
...because, beneficial or not, I don't want a cloud of them enjoying the shade of our front porch or kitchen. It looks disgusting. I want to now how to discourage them from choosing those places to hover and instead stay outside in the garden where they are of use... get it?