How to get rid of black flies
As wonderful as Spring is, it brings with it a couple of annoyances; pollen and black flies. There really isn’t much we can do about pollen. It is a necessary evil. No pollen, no fruit. Black flies, on the other hand serve no discernible purpose. The question is how to get rid of black flies without creating a toxic environment for other creatures we adore? I have found three effective ways to trap and kill black flies without the use of toxic chemicals.
First, you need a fly trap. Now if you have ever tried those annoying fly tapes that stick to everything but flies…well that is not an effective trap. An effective trap is one that will catch mostly flies, not bother you, won’t harm your pets or kids, and is easy to set and forget.
You can make your own trap using 2 liter soda bottles and bait or you can purchase a ready made reusable trap like the Starbar Captivator. I have used both methods and as long as you have a good bait, both work really well. I currently use the Starbar because it looks nicer than a soda bottle full of dead flies and it is easy to clean and reuse.
To use a soda bottle simply cut the bottle in half about 3/4 of the way up from the bottom. Put the bait in the bottom half and insert the top with the cap off inverted into the bottom. If you are using a good bait, the flies will come to the bottle, climb in and become trapped. A 2 liter soda bottle can hold hundreds of flies. Eventually you will want to discard this and make a new one.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to make a soda bottle trap – they can be very effective.
For bait you can use a piece of rotting potato with a dash of vinegar. The vinegar will keep bees and other beneficial insects from entering the trap. You can also use old table scraps of meat and veggies, dog poop, or even a bit of yeast mixed in sugar water. These all work pretty well. I’ve found that the best bait for collecting the most flies in the least amount of time is Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant. This stuff costs about $12 for a bottle and the bottle will last you all summer. Combined with the Starbar Captivator, this is the most effective method I have found to get rid of black flies. The Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant works so well because it contains pheromones that attract flies and it doesn’t stink. The flies smell it but we don’t. I have three of these traps set up and even though I live on a farm, there are practically no flies bothering me.
Now you know how to get rid of black flies without killing friendly insects, the hassle of poisons, or the smell of stink baits. If you are handy you can make great traps yourself. However, I do recommend Starbar Captivator if want a hassle free easy to clean trap. I also recommend the Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant in any trap.
I got both of these at Amazon.com for about $12 each. You might be able to find them locally at a hardware store or lawn and garden center. I have not seen these at Lowe’s or Home Depot and I can tell you from experience that the traps they sell simply do not work as well.