How to Keep Flies Away From Food at an Outdoor Party

Written by mary sharp
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How to Keep Flies Away From Food at an Outdoor Party
An outdoor party with food is lots of fun, but buzzing flies can be annoying and unhealthy to have around food. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

An outdoor party with food can be a great way to spend quality time with friends and family and to celebrate special occasions, but nothing can ruin an event under the stars like flies circling and landing on the party food. It makes the food unappetizing to the partygoers and annoys everyone who has to constantly swat away the pests. Luckily, there are several easy and inexpensive ways to keep flies away from the food at an outdoor party.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Three to four medium-size bowls
  • White vinegar
  • Orange peels
  • Fly repellent (or mosquito repellent) candle

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  1. 1

    Before bringing the food outside, set up the table where it will be placed.

  2. 2

    Pour white vinegar into two or three bowls, about three cups per bowl, and place the bowls at the ends and/or centre of the table. Put a sign next to the bowls informing partygoers that this is not food for them, but rather bug repellent. The white vinegar is a natural way to repel flies.

  3. 3

    Take another empty bowl and fill it with orange peels. This is another natural fly repellent. If you don't have oranges, peel some lemons and use lemon peels. This works just as well.

  4. 4

    Take one or more fly repellent candles, available at any outdoor store, and place them around the party area. According to, these specialised candles contain citronella oil, which is a natural fly repellent.

Tips and warnings

  • Even if someone at the party doesn't see the signs and accidentally tastes the vinegar, it is edible and will not harm the person.
  • Sprays designed to repel or kill flies can be useful, but these sprays have harmful fumes and should not be used around large groups of people or food, so it's best to not use them before or during the party.

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