How To Get Rid of Hoverflies | 9 Effective Ways


Flies are hands down one of the most frustrating pets of all time. Not only do they carry a lot of air-borne diseases, but they are also responsible for making our living conditions unhygienic. Hoverflies are hands down one of the most common types of flies that infest and infiltrate the backyards of your home. 

However, they have varying habits, feeding choices, and even appearance. These have a bright black and yellow colored appearance that grows up to 10 mm in length, making them a lot smaller than most of the other flies you likely come across in your house or backyard.

While it is true that their existence has beneficial impacts on nature, they aren’t the best to have around your home, especially when they are in groups. So, how to get rid of hoverflies? If you are just as confused as everyone else with the same problem, we have your back.

Also read: How to Get Rid Of House Flies

Read on to find the best ways to eliminate these pesky hoverflies from your house.

What are Hoverflies?

Hoverflies are hands down one of the most common types of garden insects that have a similar appearance to a wasp or housefly. They have a striped appearance, even black and yellow spots throughout their bodies.

They are incredibly frustrating since they infest very quickly and can easily damage gardens, especially when it comes to flowers and fruits in the garden. The unique thing about these pests is their abundance. There are over 6000 species of hoverflies found in the United States alone.

However, although these pests are bad for your garden, they are good in a way too. They feed on insects and other pests like aphids, wasps, etc. So, if you are protecting your trees and plants from further infestation, they might be of help.

List of Ways to Get Rid of Hoverflies

Now that you know about hoverflies let us look into how you can eliminate them. Ideally, you can’t expect to pick and kill one after the other manually. Not only is it time-consuming, but it is entirely futile as well.

So, we have done some research and found lucrative ways that work.

1. Try Lemon & Clove Repellents

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It goes without saying that when it comes to getting rid of pests or insects, nothing works better than repellents. However, most synthetic repellents in the market are filled with harsh chemicals. If you have kids and pets in the house, those become a no-go straight off the bat.

What you can do is try out natural repellents instead. The combination of lemon and clove as a homemade repellent works amazingly. And, it is hands down the easiest way to get around to doing things.

All you have to do is cut a lemon in half down the middle and then prick the cloves into the lemons. Once done, place them around the areas where you see the hoverflies. The pungent smell should keep the flies out.

2. Install a Fly Trap

Flytraps work for almost every kind of fly and pest infiltrating your home. Typically, we’d recommend that you use a naturally made flytrap, either using glue and paper, or you can opt for the sugar solution trap too.

The latter works far better and stays effective longer than glue traps, which lose efficacy after a few hours once the glue dries out.

For the sugar solution trap, you need to mix some sugar in water and leave it in the areas where the hoverflies come the most. The flies will be lured in by the sugar, and the water will make it difficult for them to get out. You should keep the trap’s mouth close and only have a small opening.

3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

When talking about homemade repellents, the apple cider vinegar solution also deserves a spot on the list. It works like magic, not to mention that it has very potent results too. It is a safer alternative and is quite affordable too.

All you have to do is take a bowl and add one cup of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water and a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix everything to form a solution and transfer it to a spray bottle. Once done, use it to spray down the areas where the flies frequent the most.

Ideally, when it comes to how to get rid of hoverflies, this is one of the most effective ways in the lot.

4. Be Strategic

As we said, hoverflies have good and ill intentions in your garden. Not only will they keep the unwanted pests out, but they also support pollination. So, if you want to keep the hoverflies population high in the garden but want to keep them isolated, we recommend using strategic methods.

When planting the nectar-filled plants, plant them somewhere isolated in the garden so that the hoverflies don’t interfere with the rest of the garden. 

5. Citronella Oil 

Citronella Oil

If you aren’t aware of citronella oil, it is an extremely aromatic and highly potent essential oil made from a combination of different lemongrasses. While getting your hands on the oil can be difficult, you will find a lot of citronella oil candles in the market.

Lighting one and placing it inside the house will ensure that the hoverflies don’t enter your home. However, since the oil is very pungent and has strong fumes, we’d not recommend keeping it lit throughout the day.

6. Try Other Essential Oils

Essential Oils
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The strong scent of various essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender isn’t the hoverfly’s favorite scent. So, the easiest and most humane way to get rid of them from your home would be by spritzing these oils around the perimeter of the house and the garden.

The pungent smell from these oils leaves the flies overwhelmed with the scent, thereby pushing them out of your house and even preventing them from coming back in the future.

7. Use a Fan

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Okay, this might seem silly, but it can work wonders. If the hoverflies infestation has gone out of hand, we’d recommend that you keep a blowout fan handy in your garden. The high intensity of these fans is enough to drive the flies out of the garden and prevent them from returning. 

If you find the hoverfly trying to nest, you need to do it very promptly before things turn for the worse, and you can’t control their infestation any further. Fans also deter these flies from damaging the nearby plants.

8. Eliminate All The Food Sources

Some houses have plants and fruit trees that are the best food sources for the hoverflies. Even when you aren’t actively keeping food out, the flies will find something or the other to munch on. If the infestation has gone out of hand, and you need to control it immediately, we’d recommend getting rid of all the food sources, including the nectar-filled plants.

Clean out the entire garden before things take a turn for the worse. Ideally, if you have fallen fruits, a dirty garden, and lots of unwanted items around the garden, pick them up and get rid of them immediately. 

9. Try the OG Insecticides


Although we do stress using natural repellents, they don’t show notable results right off the bat. In such cases, your last resort would be synthetic repellents or insecticides. There are quite a few available, both in spray or powder form. 

However, when using such products, make sure you keep your children and pets out of the areas to ensure they are safe. Once the products are in hand, spray them around the garden and the house’s perimeter to prevent these flies from infesting the adjoining areas.

Finding how to get rid of hoverflies can be complicated, especially when their numbers are alarmingly high. You want to ensure that you have all the right resources to implement them and eliminate the flies as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is end up having to co-exist with these disease-carrying flies in your backyard. We hope these potent tips help you effectively navigate the issues and eliminate the hoverflies.

Also read: How To Get Rid of Drain Flies? | 8 Easy & Effective Fixes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are Hoverflies Attracted To?

Hoverflies are primarily attracted to nectar-filled plants, weeds around the garden, and an unkempt garden. So, if you have a messy and unclean garden, it serves as a breeding ground for the flies.

How Long Do Hoverflies Stay?

Hoverflies typically have 12 days lifespan, which is the maximum that they can stay in your garden. Even in a short period, they have the potential to nest and breed.

Do Hoverflies Bite?

No, hoverflies don’t bite humans, so you won’t have to worry about stings like the bees.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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