Skip to Content

7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Hoverflies

7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Hoverflies

Share this post:

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It might look like a bee or wasp at first glance, but once you look closer at its single pair of wings and mesmerizing hovering flight pattern, you’ll know it’s a hoverfly.

Hoverflies, also known as flower flies, don’t have stingers, so you don’t have to worry about them harming you. These bugs also feed on pollen and nectar.

Despite their essential benefit to the environment as organic aphid predators in their larvae stage, they can quickly become a nuisance when growing in swarm size.

Stick around to learn several methods you can implement to deal with the increasing infestation.

Should You Harm Hoverflies?

Despite their bad rep, hoverflies are ecologically beneficial flies. They play a supportive role in organic gardening and pest control.

Flower flies pollinate plants, and the larvae feed on aphids such as mealy bugs, mites, scales, and other pests that harm plants.

Although hoverflies might worry you because of their uncanny resemblance to wasps, they won’t hurt you since they can’t bite or sting.

For this reason, we suggest letting them live in your garden if possible. They’ll do more good than harm.

How to Get Rid of Hoverflies

Fortunately, there’s more than one way you can eradicate the hoverfly population congregating on your patio. Take a look at the following methods below.

1 – Use a Fan

Patio With A Fan

If the hoverflies are on your patio, and you have an outlet, plug in a fan. They don’t like the strong airflow pushing them around and will likely leave and find another home.

You’ll also 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. Several different items work as a natural repellent for hoverflies. Bonus: They’ll get rid of other types of pesky flies as well.

The best part about using natural repellents is that you won’t need to worry about them harming your pets or children either.

Vinegar Repellent

Mix equal parts of vinegar, soap, and water in a spray bottle. Spritz the area where the hoverflies are living. It’ll send them to another yard.

Lemon and Cloves Repellent

For this method, cut a lemon in half and stick multiple cloves in it. Then, set it outside near the area where the hoverflies are living. The citrus scent will deter the flying bugs.

Citronella Smoke Repellent

You can use citronella oil or citronella candles to ward off these flies from visiting your patio or garden. The smoke and pungent citronella scent will send the flower flies away quickly.

Citrus Fruit Peels Repellent

Citrus fruit peels also act as a deterrent for all kinds of flies. You can place them wherever the hoverflies gather, and they’ll move away.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Essential Oils Repellent

A mixture of apple cider vinegar, mineral oil, dish soap, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and basil oil will keep the hoverflies from visiting your patio again. 

You’ll want to consider that it does have an exceptionally strong smell, so we suggest keeping this concoction outside.

3 – Use a Fly Trap

Fly Trap Strip Attached To Plant

You can also use fly traps to get rid of your hoverflies—this method will kill them, though. 

Nonetheless, if they’re invading 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. Poke some holes in the plastic with a toothpick. The sugar will attract the flies into the trap.

Vinegar Trap

Vinegar works well as bait for hoverflies. Start by cutting a soda bottle in half. Then, fill it with vinegar and a drop of dish soap.

Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke some holes in it. The flies will get lured in by the vinegar. Once they try to get out, they’ll be trapped by the soap bubbles.

Fly Trap Plants

Enlist the help of carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap or the Sundew to kill the flies for you. They’re relatively easy to grow as well.

Fly Tape

Buy sticky fly traps and hang them up. It’ll draw the flies in. These fly traps are covered in a substance, like corn oil, that attracts bugs. They’ll trap and kill the hoverflies.

Fly Zapper

You can hang a fly zapper on your patio. The hoverflies will fly right to it and die upon contact as the product uses electricity to zap them.

4 – Get Rid of Plants with Nectar and Pollen

Close Up Of Hoverfly On A Flower

The one thing hoverflies are after in your yard are nectar and pollen-filled flowers. Aside from food, these blooms are supplied with several nooks and crannies to keep their eggs.

If your yard is filled with these flowers, you’ve essentially created a haven for the flying bugs. 

For this reason, you can take out a portion of the flowers. Alternatively, you can plant hoverfly-repelling plants, like lavender, mint, and basil.

5 – Clear Garden of Pests

Eliminating a hoverfly’s prime source of nutrition is another way you can get rid of them. That source usually comes from aphids lurking in your plants.

You can remove the tiny pests using high-pressure water blasts, picking them out by hand, or applying horticultural insecticide.

6 – Attract Predators

Hoverflies have a natural predator, namely birds. You can attract them with bird feed, nests, and native flowers. They’ll help prevent the hoverfly population from growing out of control.

In addition, spiders can trap and feed on them. If you can tolerate them out in the garden, they serve a useful purpose. You can attract spiders by laying out a loose layer of mulch made up of grass clippings and dead leaves.

7 – Use Insecticide

If all methods above fail, you can use insecticide to control the growing hoverfly population. We recommend this as a last solution because insecticides tend to impact your soil’s fertility and overall plant growth.

Some options can also pose health risks for surrounding children and pets. Nonetheless, the spray will ultimately get rid of the hoverflies gliding around your patio.

Final Thoughts

You’re likely dealing with a substantial population of hoverflies near your patio or getting into the house. Subsequently, you’ll need to contain the infestation.

You can also use natural homemade deterrents like essential oils and citronella smoke that will send them away rather than kill them. Plus, placing a fan in their direction will blow them out of your property.

If all else fails, you can resort to buying sticky traps or making sugar water traps. They’ll draw in and trap the hoverflies.

This method should only be used if you have a severe infestation because these insects are beneficial to your garden and ecosystem.

Share this post:

David d

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.

Sandra Hancock

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.

Collin James

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.

Sue Martin

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!

bd miller

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?