8 Tips How to Get Rid of Black Flies While Camping (That Actually Work)

How to Get Rid of Black Flies While Camping

Camping is a great way to enjoy the beautiful world around us, whether we use it for personal leisure, time with family, or a short getaway with friends. Unfortunately, black flies love camping, too.

Black flies can, and will, take over your campsite and use it as their own. Not only that, but they’re annoying, and they bite.

There are a few different ways that you can go about protecting your campsite from these unwanted visitors.

If you’re prepared with the right materials and you’re schooled on what to do if black flies crash your party, you’ll be able to ward them off.

Keep reading for eight tips for how to get rid of black flies while camping… that actually work!

Keep It Clean…Your Campsite That is

One of the most simple first steps to take is to make sure you are picking up after yourself. While flies might be a bother to you, always flying around you and occasionally sneaking in a quick, painful bite, you may not always be the problem.

Many bugs, mainly black flies, are attracted to the food, trash, and other waste you might leave behind.

If you always clean up your campsite, you will significantly reduce the risk of attracting excessive flies.

Carelessness can be more trouble than having to take extra time at the end of your camping trip to pick up old trash. Save yourself that trouble by preventing flies from receiving any accidental invitation to your campsite.

Related reading: How To Get Rid of Wasps In Your RV (Easy Tips)

It’s also helpful to have an area that’s designated for eating, and far away from your sitting and sleeping area.

Even if you do your best to maintain a clean campsite, there’s always going to be crumbs and spills.

These are both favorites of black flies. So keeping the eating and lounging areas separate is one way to ensure the flies will leave you alone while you’re relaxing.

Familiarize Yourself with the Climate of your Campsite

Most people are going to have a schedule for their camping trip, including the time of the year that they are going to go.

There are times where black flies are much more prevalent than other days in the year. Make yourself familiar with the conditions of the place you are going camping.

While extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, may not be ideal for camping, anything in between has a chance to attract many flies.

However, they usually show themselves in warmer temperatures, so a nice, cold, autumn weekend might be the perfect time to go camping.

There are also “seasons” for black flies. This is usually right after they hatch.

Before you commit to camping in a specific region, make sure you investigate and do your research to see if that’s high time for black flies.

Read also: How to Avoid Bug Bites While Camping: 8 Tips That Really Work

Never Leave Home without Bug Spray

Bug spray is proven to work. While many folks aren’t the biggest fans due to the chemicals involved, it’s one of the most tried and true methods of preventing black flies.

They are repelled by the particles that come off your skin after applying bug spray.

Bug spray is indeed likely to have quite an intense aroma that many people are not fond of.

However, there are lots of options for different scents, as well as bug sprays with fewer chemicals.

If you’d prefer a chemical-free bug spray, lemon and citronella oils are both effective in keeping bugs away.

You can make your spray that’s natural and environmentally friendly by mixing these two essential oils, along with a scentless carrier oil.

Vinegar is another natural bug repellant. It doesn’t smell nearly as good as essential oils, but using it to clean surfaces or spraying around the perimeter of your campsite is an effective line of defense.

Use Fly Traps

Flytraps are an easy and effective way to catch many black flies. They consist of a sticky substance that, when flies land on it, makes it impossible for them to escape.

However, in keeping with the cleanliness of your campsite, you will want to keep an eye on the trap so that it does not become too full of trapped flies.

If you cannot find a pre-made fly trap, constructing one of your own is very simple.

All you need is vinegar or another type of adhesive-like, sticky substance and something like a bottle with the bottom cut off so that flies enter the bottle and get to the bottom, where the vinegar would be placed to trap them and further prevent them from escaping.

Try Fly Nets to Provide a Barrier

Fly nets are a great way to distance yourself from flies without having to kill them or come in too close of contact with them.

Many tents – which you might likely use during a camping trip – come equipped with a built-in fly net, but suppose you would like a larger area to be covered.

There are large canopies made out of fly netting that you can purchase, which can cover a whole area where you could spend some quality time enjoying the outdoors.

Don’t Poke the Bear… of the Flies

Provoking flies is a surefire way to get them angry. As is evident with all bugs, flies do not enjoy being messed with.

Ignoring flies instead of swatting at them will lessen the likelihood of getting them all riled up and on the attack.

This is not to suggest that you should let black flies buzz all around you, but if you follow any other steps we have suggested, you will not have to worry about their presence.

Just know that any attempt to whisk them away without other means will probably be a futile attempt.

Hang a Transparent Bag of Water

Flies move with the light. A bag full of water reflects that light and confuses the flies, not necessarily repelling it, but sending it off to another location.

A simple bag of water is another way to get rid of flies without having to cause unnecessary harm if that is a concern of yours.

If you plan ahead, make sure to include a few large, clear baggies with string handles attached. Or, layer a couple of grocery store bags one inside the other.

Fill them with water and hang them from a tree that’s close enough to attract the flies from your campsite, but far enough that they won’t want to come back.

Light a Fire

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire… and flies don’t like smoke. Even the smallest amount is usually enough to keep black flies at bay.

If you’re in an area that doesn’t allow campfires, tiki torches or small candles are also useful.

Both of these come in a citronella variety, which is one of the oldest black fly repellants around. It repels the flies without harsh chemicals, so that’s a bonus.

Final Thoughts

There are many at-home remedies that people claim are great ways to get rid of black flies, but many of these so-called “remedies” are just myths.

We have provided tips and tricks you can use to get rid of flies while camping that actually works.

It is unlikely that anyone likes the idea of flies swarming around and getting in the way of a camping trip.

These pesky creatures can be a bother while cooking food, sleeping, or performing any outdoor activities that come with camping.

There are many ways to take care of this problem, from trapping the flies to avoiding them with screens. Try these tips to find which method is the best for you.

Reference: DIY Fly Trap

Jessica Gilmour

Jessica is co-founder of RV and Playa and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the Beach- and RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since December 2017, Jessica playful writing style helps make learning about RV a bit more interesting. Nothing is as freeing as being on the beach (Playa), lacing your feet with the sand, having the water lap your legs and becoming one with nature.

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