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+ servings
lighting a gel can to show how to keep flies away outside
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5 from 11 votes

How to Get Rid of Flies Outside

This outdoor dining entertaining hack is one to bookmark! It turns out that getting rid of flies outside is as simple as buying a common $3 item.
Prep Time2 mins
Total Time2 mins
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Outdoor
Keyword: how to get rid of flies
Servings: 1 candle
Cost: $3


  • Stick lighter


  • 1 Sterno Canned Heat
  • 1 decorative candle vase optional


  • The flies are instantly deterred once the Sterno gel is lit. And they will stay away as long as the gel keeps burning, which is several hours. 
  • Keep in mind that if you have a large gathering or an 8 person table like ours, you'll need a Sterno can every few feet. 
  • To dress it up, I removed the outside label and placed it inside a heat-safe decorative vase before lighting it. 
  • Not only does this serve as decor for your tablescape, but it's also a great way to make sure that no one happens to bump into the can of Sterno since it gets very hot to the touch. 
  • All Sterno cans come with tight-fitting lids that you remove before lighting the gel. But be sure to save them so that you can reuse the canned heat for other outdoor dining occasions.


Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flies:
  • Use spices and herbs such as rosemary, citronella, cinnamon, basil, lavender, and mint as part of your table decor to help keep the flies at bay. It's a double bonus that natural citronella torches and candles will also help to keep mosquitos away, too. 
  • Fill a clear glass with water and drop 4 to 5 old pennies inside. It seems really strange, but it works! Turns out that adult flies are afraid of bugs bigger than them and will be turned away by this. 
  • Just like the water glass idea, you can fill clear bags with water and several pennies to hang away from the table setting to reach the same effect.