How to Get Rid of Flies When Camping? [Easiest Ways]

If you love camping, you know that at all campsites and at all times of the year, there is one unwelcome guest that you can find. Who else would it be but the pesky flies?! These insects can be so annoying that they might make you give up all types of outdoor activities.

But before you do that, let me tell you something – there are a few easy ways to keep flies away from you and your campsite. To succeed at this, you will need to do some planning and get a few items from home. Then, you will be able to get rid of all pesky critters by using only those few things you carried with you!

So, if you want to learn more about the easiest ways of keeping bugs and flies away from your campsite, you have come to the right place. Stick around for this guide – by the end, you will know exactly what you need to do to have a better camping trip the next time you visit the great outdoors!


flies on human hand

Natural Way to Keep Bugs Away When Camping

To get rid of flies, you can do many things. You do not even need to use any harsh chemicals. There are environmentally friendly ways to get rid of black flies and other annoying critters. So, let’s get right into the guide and see how to get rid of flies when camping:

Do Some Planning Beforehand

Before you go on a camping trip, think about the weather as well as the location of the campsite. Many campers do not know this, but flies do not like too hot or too cold weather. They tend to stay hidden at extreme temperatures. While those temperatures are not the best for camping, you can always use the situation to camp without having to worry about flies.

Remember that you should never visit campsites near still waters. The flies can get infected with various infections and bacteria from the waters. Then, they can get you infected by biting you or even flying close to you. So, steer clear of such infected places.

Keep a Clean Campsite

Food or garbage around your tent is a surefire way to attract many flies. Try to keep the campsite as clean as possible when you are camping. Keep the garbage away from your tent or cooking area, and consider going to the toilet as far from the campsite as possible.

If there is enough space, consider cooking away from your tent. That way, the food will keep the flies away from your sleeping area, so you will not have to worry about their buzzing keeping you awake at night.

Ignore the Flies

This is not the most effective way to get rid of black flies, but it is a good thing to have in mind. If you try swatting or waving away the flies, they will get angry and want to stay around to annoy you some more.

So, the best thing to do would be to ignore them. If you see a lot of flies buzzing around you, check to see if you have left any food or garbage near you. Remove that, and the flies will indeed fly away with it.

Get a Bug Zapper

Bug zappers are one of the more expensive ways to get flies to leave the campsite. Some zappers can be quite large and heavy, so they are not the easiest to take to a camp. If you are car camping, you will have the option to take one with you, but I cannot say the same for backpacking trips.

Still, the bug zappers are very effective. They can keep all insects away from your campsite for good. The only downside is that the zapper kills the bugs instead of repelling them, so think about whether you want to do that to them or not.

Use Fly Traps

Fly traps are also easy to get biting flies away from you. These are sticky tapes that attract the flies and capture them. The flies will have no way to remove themselves from the sticky tape, so they will not be able to get back to flying around you.

If you want to use a fly trap, get one from home. You can also make your own fly trap, which can be time-consuming.

Use Mosquito Netting

You can use mosquito netting and other mesh materials to keep flies away from you. For example, you can make an isolated room where the flies cannot get in. You can wrap the netting around your whole camp or tent and make it fly-proof!

The downside to this method is that you need a lot of materials and a lot of effort to set it up. You might even have difficulty finding places to attach the net in remote areas. So, keep that in mind.

Use Repelling Sprays

If nothing else works, a can of DEET will. Flies can be annoying and stubborn, so there is little that will keep them away from your campsite for good. But nothing will be as effective as a can of repelling spray – you can trust me on this one!

Once you spray the repellent over the tent and your sitting area, no flies will be approaching you. Still, the smell of the repellent can be pretty strong, so you might also find it a bit unpleasant to sit around in.

What Smells Will Keep Flies Away?

If you do not like the smell of DEET and other repellents, you can always make your repellent using essential oils. You can try mixing lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus essential oils. Any of the mentioned can be used as bug sprays.

Remember that you can also light a fire or some tiki torches and let the smoke drive away the bugs. None of the bugs, including flies, like the smell of smoke. So, you can use that to your advantage.

Why Are Flies Attracted to My Tent?

Do not think that you are attracting the flies – it is not. The human smell does not attract the bugs as much, but the food and the garbage the humans make do. So, ensure that there is no food or garbage near your camping area.

At the same time, go to the toilet away from the camping area where you are staying. As you might know, flies love the smell of feces. So, having human or animal feces around your tent will keep the flies around for a while.


That is everything you need to know on the best methods to repel flies during any camping trip. When you take your next trip, make sure that you follow the advice shared above to keep all those biting flies away from you!

I hope that you have an excellent, fly-free trip. Let me know in the comments below which repelling method worked best for you. Also, share other repelling methods that you know. I would love to read all about them!

Andrew Mullen

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