Why Is My Lawn Full Of Flies And How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Flies are a common sight more or less everywhere as they’re some of the world’s most widespread insects. The occasional fly is commonplace both indoors and outside, but when their numbers increase and they become attracted to areas of your garden such as your lawn, you may find yourself asking ‘why is my lawn full of flies?’

Lucky for you, nothing is without cause in nature, and removing the cause will take care of the flies. Read on the learn about the things that attract flies the most and how to remove them.

Why Is My Lawn Full Of Flies?

Flies only stick around in places where life is sustainable. This means that there is likely to be food around, and since flies often feed and also reside on decomposing organic matter, this can be a result of your lawn containing one or more of the following:

Overgrown Grass

1. Overgrown Grass

Overgrown grass has nothing to do with food, but flies like it because they breed in it. If there’s plenty of overgrown grass and decomposing matter in your yard, it’ll soon become a fly hotspot.

Standing Water

2. Standing Water

Another breeding ground for flies, standing water often provides food too. In practice, this usually happens if there’s a puddle in the yard or if the soil is soaking in water after heavy rain.

Some people build small decorative pools, and while those definitely add a nice touch to the yard, they’re hell to deal with when it comes to flies.

Compost Bins and Rubbish

3. Compost Bins and Rubbish

The decomposing matter is by far the most effective way to attract flies. So, if you’re composting in your yard, although you might be doing it for the most sensible of reasons, flies will see it as food.

When it comes to actual rubbish, some people throw food leftovers into their yards. Flies can smell this and they won’t say no to a feast.

Animal Faeces

4. Animal Faeces

Many people use animal feces as a natural fertilizer. While it is definitely effective, animal manure is great to fly food and you’re bound to attract a swarm to your yard. Modern fertilizers are treated specifically to avoid this problem.

Another problem with animal feces comes in the form of pet feces. If you have a dog (or dogs), it’s likely that they do their business in the yard. Anything that doesn’t get picked up will definitely attract flies.

outdoor cooking

5. Outdoor Cooking

Flies can and will eat human food – be it cooked or uncooked. A barbecue will definitely attract flies (and other animals too), and you can count on them bothering you while you’re cooking, but also bothering your company while eating.

In addition, an unwashed grill that is left out after the party has finished will be a highly attractive bait for flies. Be sure to clean it up and tidy it away ready for when it’s next needed to avoid any unwanted infestations.

Organic Fertilizers

6. Organic Fertilizers

The biggest difference between synthetic and organic fertilizers is that synthetic fertilizers have been processed so that they start releasing nutrients as soon as they’re in the soil.

Organic fertilizers are not processed in the same way and can take longer to start breaking down and releasing nutrients. Organic feeds often have more of an ‘organic’ odor which can be an attractive proposition for flies. 

How To Get Rid of Flies On My Grass Naturally

Whilst it’s almost impossible to prevent flies from entering your yard, there are a few things you can do to deter them and get rid of them from your lawn.

1. Mow Your Lawn Regularly

Mowing your lawn often will keep the area between grass blades broad. This means that flies won’t have a place to hide and breed. 

Additionally, aerating your lawn twice yearly will help to keep flies at bay too. Not only does aeration improve lawn growth, but it also makes the water drain faster. This significantly lowers the chances of standing water building up, which can definitely attract flies to your yard.

2. Cut Back and Tidy Overgrown Areas

If there’s a particularly wild area in your yard, make sure to keep it as tidy as possible. Bushes and tall grasses are great breeding grounds for flies.

3. Empty And Replace Stagnant Water

If you have a pool in your yard, be sure to clean the water regularly. Most water-cleaning products have natural insect deterrents that will keep flies away. Alternatively, replace the water with fresh regularly.

Where you won’t be using the pool for some time, for example, if you’re away from home or unlikely to use it in winter, I recommend emptying and cleaning it ready for the next use.

4. Secure Lids on Compost Bins and Rubbish

Compost piles can be difficult to protect from flies. Some people keep open compost spots and they’re completely defenseless when it comes to flies. The alternative is using compost bins, which can be closed.

However, even closed compost bins are often invaded by flies, as these tiny insects will find their way through the tiniest of holes.

When it comes to rubbish – it’s best to pack it as tightly as possible. Closing trash bags properly and securing lids will minimize the smell let off by anything that’s decaying inside. 

5. Clear Pet Poop Regularly

When it comes to animal feces, I recommend cleaning up after your pets regularly to avoid attracting unwanted flies. Use poop bags and dispose of them in rubbish bins that get emptied regularly.

6. Plant Scented and Aromatic Plants

Ironically, the things that smell nice to us are actually natural deterrents to many insects. The most popular plants are natural fly deterrents are those with aromatic scents such as rosemary, sage, and lavender. 

I recommend planting these types of plants around your yard both in the ground and in decorative pots. Not only will they deter flies, but they also look and smell great and, have a culinary purpose.

7. Make a Homemade Fly Tray

The most effective fly traps include a method of attracting the flies and keeping them stuck or contained and unable to break free of their own accord. 

While you can buy these in most home maintenance stores, you can also make a simpler, cheaper, and highly effective version yourself.

Simply pour some honey, sugar water, beer, or a combination of all of these ingredients into a bottle. Most insects, including flies, will be highly attracted to the sweet scent and won’t be able to find their way out. 

8. Burn Citronella Candles

Citronella candles can help to deter mosquitoes and flies from your patio area and are most commonly burned in the evening when these pests are highly active. 

Whilst the smell of citronella will help to keep pests away from your al fresco dining table for a couple of hours, they will not keep flies away from your entire yard for good.

9. Encourage Predators

A very effective way of keeping flies away from your yard is by keeping natural fly predators close. The most common wild fly predators are spiders, frogs, lizards, and birds.

Whilst spiders are less effective in your yard (compared to in your house where they can catch flies in their webs), frogs and lizards are great fly hunters and you definitely shouldn’t shoo them if you see them.

Birds, however, are the masters of insect hunting as many bird species feed exclusively on insects. Don’t attract them to your yard with too much bird feed though, as this will encourage them to only feed on the food you provide instead of eating the flies.

Other Methods of Removing Flies From Lawns

Here are a few additional ideas in case nothing from the list above works.

1. Using Insecticides

Insecticides can be very effective if used properly. If you’re planning on tackling a fly infestation yourself with the use of insecticides then always be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and check with your local environmental agency as many areas have very restricting rules for insecticide use.

If in doubt, I recommend calling in the professionals and checking their license details to ensure they are registered to apply the insecticides in your yard.

2. Hanging Fly Traps

Hanging sticky fly traps is a great way to kill flies – they have a naturally attractive odor to them, so flies can’t ignore them. If it doesn’t ruin the natural beauty of your yard, you can hang them on tree branches.

Can Flies Be Beneficial?

Believe it or not, there are fly species that are very useful to the garden. For example, long-legged flies are insect predators, often feeding on aphids and small insect larvae, which means that they’re keeping your plants free from small pests.

Hoverflies are another useful fly species. They’re similar to wasps because of their yellow and black markings, but they’re harmless to people and pets. These flies are pollinators, while they also feed on aphids and common insect pests.

You may also be interested in Does Irish Soap Keep Flies Away

FAQ Why Is My Lawn Full of Flies?


Verdict: Why Is My Lawn Full Of Flies

Flies are always attracted to areas that can offer food and good breeding grounds. In practice, these areas are often overgrown with plenty of animal feces and other naturally decomposing matter, which is great food for flies.

To minimize the number of flies in your yard, you have to keep it tidy and keep the grass short. Areas of standing water need to be cleaned or completely emptied to avoid stagnation while introducing natural predators and insecticides should also help to keep flies away.

The best way to keep flies away from the yard is to remove anything they may be attracted to eat. Flies are highly unlikely to infest an area if they don’t have a sustainable food source.