How to Get Rid of Flies While Camping?

how to get rid of flies while camping

If you love camping during summers, you’re familiar with the noises of flies and the constant battle to keep them away.

Some things can be very irritating on a camping trip like a swarm of flies. 

Depending on the species, they can have painful bites, pollute your food, and make an endless buzzing noise that will drive you and your fellow campers nuts.

 Avoiding and eliminating those flies is the main concern for many campers.

In this article, I will tell you about how to get rid of flies while camping.

How to Get Rid of Flies While Camping

Reasons Why you Need to Avoid flies

This seems obvious, but it’s a fact that flies are incredibly annoying and no one enjoys having something buzzing around in their tent at night.

In a worst-case, flies can carry diseases that can not only ruin your trip but leave you with unpleasant symptoms after you get back home.

The following are some points, which will surely force you to avoid flies at any cost.

  • Flies feed themselves on animal (and human) waste. That waste gets into their digestive tract and all over their body, making them a carrier for the disease.
  • Flies will land on food that has been left out, transmitting all the bacteria present on their body to food. If the food is consumed raw, that bacteria will be moved in your body.
  • Typhoid, cholera, polio, dysentery and pink-eye can all be carried by a common housefly. Luckily, most of these diseases are not widespread in developed countries, but it shows how dangerous these critters can be.
  • Biting species like the Deer and Horsefly can carry blood-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, the effects of these diseases last for years.

7 Tips for Eliminating Flies at Your Campsite

Plan for the Seasons

Depending on the climate in your state, it runs for a month or so sometime between mid-March and mid-June.

Those annoying critters make camping during the spring season unbearable, so most hikers just choose to stay out of the woods for a month.

Ask a ranger in your district when the flies are out in mass, and they’ll probably tell you some dates to plan around. 

Keep the Surroundings Neat and Clean

While species like Deer and Horse Fly prefer to dine on your flesh and blood, most flies are just fond of the leftovers we leave behind after an evening meal. It’s always smart to wash your camp dishes as soon as you’re done eating.

This not only prevents flies from forming a cloud over your food table.

Seal up any packages of food and place them in an airtight cooler, if you can, and never leave food inside your tent.

Use Repellant or Create One

DEET (diethyltoluamide) insect repellant isn’t just effective against mosquitos; it also keeps flies at bay. 

The chemical confuses their sense organs and prevents them from finding their food source (you).

 If you’re uncomfortable using DEET on your skin and clothing, you can make your repellant with essential oils like citronella, peppermint and even vegetables like onions or garlic. 

It’s not quite as effective as DEET, but it’s better than going without repellant.


One of the best ways to eliminate flies from your campsite is to bait them in. 

Flypaper and commercial traps use sweet-smelling attractants to draw in the flies and then prevent them from getting away.

While it might be a little disturbing to have containers of dead flies around your campsite, but at least they’re not buzzing in your ear.

You can create a DIY fly trap by cutting a 2-litre soda bottle in half, filling the bottom section with vinegar or a sugary liquid, and then turning the top section upside down inside of it. Flies will go down the nozzle, but it’s almost impossible for them to get back out.


This is by no means an ideal way to eliminate the flies at your campsite, but it might be one of the more amusing ones.

 A few companies make devices that look like a tennis racquet but have a bug-zapping metallic mesh across their interior.

Just hold down the zapping button and start swinging it in the direction of flies. A satisfying pop will let you know when you’ve eliminated one (or ten) of them.

Bed nets

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to fight the flies, and your ideal option is to just run away from them. 

You can set up a bed net, a tall canopy made out of mosquito netting that a few people can sit underneath.

It will feel like you’re isolating yourself from the wilderness, but sometimes those flies are just too much to deal with.

Choosing Your Campsite

Every type of fly has a preferred habitat like biting flies seem to like bright, open areas where they can easily see their prey. 

Most non-biting flies enjoy the shade where they can find damp, rotting food to feed upon.

Give attention to your tent placement, cooking area, and fire pit location and then think about where the flies will be at different times of the day.

Flies Come with the Territory

You do have to remember that flies are a part of nature, and any trip into the forest is probably going to involve at least a few of them.

They are so annoying, and it’s good if you take some precautions to limit how many you have to deal with, but don’t let their buzzing prevent you from enjoying your campsite.

If one bites you, wash the area with soap and water, and move on with your day. 


Though it’s not possible to completely get rid of flies anywhere, you can reduce them to some extent. In my opinion, the most effective way to protect yourself from flies is to use bed nets.

I hope these tips will help make your camping experience better, and keep the flies away.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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