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Summer outdoor cooking and keeping flies away

Does anyone happen to have an advice on how to keep those unpleasant and intrusive beyond measure flies away? We have an outdoor cooking nook that we like to use in the evening during summer and the presence of flies bothers me enough to discourage me from using it even when it is very hot. I always take care to cover food throughout the cooking process, but they still bother me with being around. Thank you.

Flower-bee
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Sit2
Sam1148 added over 2 years ago

I've heard many myths about this...such as hanging plastic bags filled with water...which is false. Some tiki torches with citronella might help, or some nice silvery 'windsock' like pinwheels or hanging spinning decorations could help or a box fan to make some rapid air movement. The best way is to do your entertaining after sunset.

While it's not most attractive solution..the tried and true fly-paper strips work well, they're cheap. Be careful when opening them tho, there's a over sized thumb tack like roofing nail in the top which you can you use to hammer them in a wood beam. Or you could get normal 'fly paper'---if you don't have cats. A feed supply store will have those and the hanging strips at home-depot.


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Summer of Eggplant added over 2 years ago

I don't think anything is foolproof, but we use a fan on the patio with some mosquito sticks, they look like incense, we light them and stick them in the ground all around the patio and add in some citronella candles. Sometimes we spray the yard with anti-mosquito spray. But if you are having a tasty dinner I doubt you can keep them away. It's a shame. I just cover everything with tea towels..

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susan g added over 2 years ago

For future summers, look into plantings that may discourage them.

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susan g added over 2 years ago

"The most effective anti-pest plants are: Citronella Grass, Catnip, Rosemary, Marigolds, Peppermint, Garlic, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavendar,
Artemisia, Basil, Pennyroyal, Rue, and Tansy."

Read more: How to Repel Flies and Mosquitoes Organically | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4666955_repel...

A quick search turned up this list, and other articles that look helpful. At the least, you'll have an attractive area. I think I'd go for the culinary herbs so that you could get double benefits!

Chris_in_oslo

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 2 years ago

Are you near dairy cattle? Most of the places that I've tried to eat and been plagued by flies have all been near dairy cattle. I'm unfortunately familiar with those flypaper strips that Sam1148 mentioned, and mostly I've used them indoors. They work. But my advice with them is to be careful where you place them--you don't want anything to drip into your serving dishes. (Sorry for that little vision.) The only general advice I've heard for outside is to keep everything as overly clean as possible and to keep a breeze going.

Buddhacat
SKK added over 2 years ago

Embarassing to share and I must.
I learned this stuff about flies because we had an infestation in a house we moved into when my daughter was 3. (She is 23 now and survived.)

The first question to answer is what kind of flies are they? House flies love manure and garbage and rotting fruit and vegetables. Blow flies are those huge ugly ones tht like all of the above plus dead animals. And we had blow flies and from there discovered dead mice in the attic.

And fruit flies are those little annoying ones and they like fruit and vegetables and drains.

Until you figure out the kind of fly, and the environment that is feeding it, you won't be able to have peace.


Flower-bee
Droplet added over 2 years ago

Thanks everyone for your input. S of E, I too keep things covered with kitchen towels and have to peek sometimes to remember what was where. Thank you for the list of plants Susan. I remember having read somewhere about pennyroyal and I have also seen it being sold as an essential oil; might just make a spray with it. I am not near dairy cattle but there are neighbours in the proximity that keep chickens and dogs and cats too. It is the common house fly I was talking about.

Flower-bee
Droplet added over 2 years ago

I also read an advice by an elderly lady who says to cut a lemon in quarters, stick a clove in each piece and place the pieces around. Apparantly they hate the smell of cloves, as this was mentioned in several other places. Just thought I'd share it. And sorry to have brought up an unpleasant question.

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susan g added over 2 years ago

Caution on pennyroyal oil: it is an abortifaciant, particularly for cats. You do often see it in natural insect 'discouragents'. Good option is something neem based, such as one from Neem Aura. That's worked really well for me against ants in the house, lasting about 2 weeks, and food and people and pet safe. Garden centers are carrying neem products since it is good against lots of insect pests. Love the lemon/clove advice! (How about a spray with oil of clove, and lemonade on the side?)

Flower-bee
Droplet added over 2 years ago

Thanks for that info too, Susan. I didn't know, but will keep it in mind now. I assume only the essential oil acts as an abortifacient and the plant itself would be alright to grow ? I have heard of neem. I will see if I could use it in one of those plug in diffusers; and plug a fan nearby.

Sit2
Sam1148 added over 2 years ago

@droplet they sell these mesh "food umbrellas" to cover food on a picnic table to keep out flies.
They have various sizes..big one for almost the entire table. And little pop-up ones for a individual dishes.
http://www.amazon.com/Set...

Also look into scented 'bait traps' with a attractant and 'one way' funnel type entrances for the flies. But place those away from the eating area because to catch the flies--they have to attract them first.

Flower-bee
Droplet added over 2 years ago

Sam, ideally I just wanted to find a way to keep them away. I would really rather not have them sticking to or into things. But thank you though. Those mesh covers are handy.

Flower-bee
Droplet added over 2 years ago

I would also like to apologize to everyone for the nature of the question. Soon after I posted it I realized that I probably made a mistake as far as appropriateness and due to the length of the discussion that followed it kept popping at the top of the question row, so I'm sorry guys if you were looking for dinner inspiration and had to pass by it.

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susan g added over 2 years ago

Not a problem! Asking, that is. The beasties are a problem and undermine your wonderful food experiences. And we all have something to learn here.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx added over 2 years ago

Well my kitchen light fixtures attract and serve as a killing field for flies and other assorted flying pests. I can't stand it.

Dana added 7 months ago

What is a good idea is instead of trying to repel the flies, attract them away from where you are eating. Say you were eating on your deck, get a bright light and move it around 50 yards away add some garlic cloves to the table and presto! Bug free meal!

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