How to Get Rid of Hoverflies (10 Ways) - Absolute Gardener

How to Get Rid of Hoverflies (10 Ways)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on telegram
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
how to get rid of hoverflies

If you have always wondered “How to Get Rid of Hoverflies?” we’re here to help. Do you have a pesky swarm of hoverflies in your yard? This may be the time to call an exterminator, but before you do that, we’re providing you with 10 ways on how to get rid of hoverflies. We’ll talk about what is a hoverfly and where they come from, and then we’ll explore some organic methods for getting rid of them. If it doesn’t work out with the organic methods, at least now you know who to call!

how to get rid of hoverflies

What are Hoverflies?

Hoverflies are a type of insect that lives near or on flowers. There are over 150 species of hoverflies in the USA, and they can often be found buzzing around flowers including bumble, primrose, hollyhock, daisy, chamomile, marigold, clover and dandelion. The yellow-lime green coloured insects are about an eighth inch long and their larvae live in decaying plant matter like compost piles. They eat small insects and nectar from plants.

Hoverflies closely resemble honey bees but they have an orange face instead of black. Some species also have a yellow stripe on their back while others look plain brown.

Hoverflies can be found all over North America with the exception of the far north.

They are found in warmer climates and areas within 100 miles of coastlines. Their name is derived from their ability to hover over flowers, where they feed on nectar or pollen by sucking it up with a tube-like tongue called a proboscis. They can also be seen hovering around rotting fruit that is fruity and sweet.

Males hover around flowers from which they gather pollen to feed the females, who lay their eggs on or near a wide variety of plants in order for them to hatch into larvae so that they can eat their host plant.

10 Ways on how to get rid of hoverflies

Homemade Fly Repellent

There are a number of homemade fly repellents that will help you to get rid of hoverflies. One such recipe is to combine 1 cup of water, 5 cups of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of vinegar in a pan. Boil this concoction for approximately 15 minutes. This mixture should then be sprayed around the areas where the hoverflies are frequenting on walls, doorways, windowsills, and other areas where they can be found. Hoverfly’s dislike the smell and it won’t take them long before they find somewhere else to spend their time.


Hoverflies are a nuisance, but they’re also very hard to get rid of. One of the easiest way to get rid of hoverflies is with an insecticide spray that you can buy at any hardware store or garden centre. These sprays contain pyrethroid, which is a synthetic form of pyrethrum – the natural pesticide made from chrysanthemum flowers. It’s safe for humans and pets when used as directed on the label, so it’s worth considering this option if you want to avoid harsh chemicals in your home or garden!

Get the Quart Insecticide for just $35.40. 

how to get rid of hoverflies

Fly Trap

It’s easier to eliminate a hoverfly with a fly trap. A lot of people think about using insecticides which can be unpleasant and harmful to the environment. You could use a large jar and put the opening on the wide side and glue or tape it shut. There are also some commercial preparations available such as “Bug Ware.” This is a jar that contains sticky strips across the inside surface. The idea is that the flies will be attracted to the jar by smell, get stuck in the strips, die from lack of oxygen, and decompose.

Essential Oils

This is a simple, green way to get rid of that annoying hoverfly. In order to use this skillfully, you have to understand what its original purpose is and see if the plant or insect has been administered aggressively with GMOs. If they haven’t been subjected to environmental toxins then you could take them internally, apply them topically on your skin; or drink room-temp water nightly with a teaspoon of essential oil mixes like Lavender 3 drops and 2 drops Lemon.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another option that does not involve chemicals but rather nature’s repellent. Fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and water to make your own fly repellant. Fill the rest of the way up with more water so that you can use this mixture as a general household cleaner too!

Get them now from Amazon for only $12.50.

Close your Windows

Ensure that your windows are closed and curtains are drawn during the time of day when hoverflies most commonly enter a home. Try closing all the windows as they can’t fly in or out. This is especially for when you have many indoor plants. As for their larvae, close windows tightly and gaps that may allow them access to your house. For your windows, seal the cracks at the bottom of them.

Use a Wasp

A wasp can be used in your house to kill the hoverflies inside. The way to do this is by getting a jar that has holes around the top, filling it with water so that it is almost full and then dropping the wasp into the jar. The wasp will find its way out of the hole through which it entered and will fly around until it has killed all of the hoverflies (they will start falling on your floor).

Scrape Them

You can also try scraping them off your walls as this will help reduce their numbers. This is best done when they are in their dormant stage, which is usually when the temperature varies between +18°C and – 12°C.

You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck them off your walls. In order for this to work properly, you need to make sure that the bag of your vacuum cleaner is emptied soon because they will suffocate inside it (which is not advisable) and the bag may also get caught on your furniture.

Trim your Plants

One way to get rid of hoverflies is by trimming your plants. The plants themselves may attract them, but when you prune them, a plant’s natural defence mechanisms and chemical compounds do not as easily seep out as the plant would just release it in its leaves. This will help keep the hoverflies away because they will not be able to congregate near your house as often.

Use the Vivosun Gardening Hand Pruner Pruning Shear for only $6.99.

Keep them from Nesting

You can also prevent hoverfly nest from nesting near your house by removing any flowers or food sources that they may crave for such as dandelions and yellow-flowering plants (they will swarm to this type). Hawkmoths are also attracted by these types of flowers. You should also remove compost piles or rotting fruits and vegetables that may attract them.

The hoverflies will also be discouraged by using citronella, which is an oil made from the plant Citronella (or lemongrass). You can use it in a spray bottle or add some to burning candles and soap dispensers so that your house smells like this natural repellent.

Another way on how to get rid of hoverflies includes spreading a pesticide on the plant. This is not a recommended method since the hoverflies are attracted to the smell and will even stay there for up to 4 or 5 hours. Hoverflies also have a tremendous sense of smell and can detect pesticides from a mile away. It’s best to use organic methods when attempting to kill hoverflies.

how to get rid of hoverflies

Getting rid of hoverflies Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have so many Hoverflies?

The first step is to find out why you have so many. If the homeowner has a lot of plants around their home, then there’s a good chance that these bugs are attracted to them and will come for more from time to time in search of food.

What are Hoverflies attracted to?

Hoverflies are attracted to a wide range of things, but they mainly like plants.

Why are flies hovering on patio?

Hoverflies are attracted to the light on patios. They often fly at night and rest during the day when there’s less natural light.

How do I get rid of flies outside my patio?

One question that is often asked is “how to get rid of circling flies on patio?” See some effective ways to get rid of hovering flies on your patio:

  • Planting plants that don’t attract hoverflies.
  • Keep food away from the outside area if you want to avoid attracting them.
  • Get an insecticide or fly bait and apply it around the entry points where they’re coming in.
  • Put a fan out to suck them away from the area or place sticky paper where they’re landing.
  • Install screens on any doors, windows and vents that open outside your home so these bugs can’t get inside of it.
  • Get an insect trap that will capture flies while luring them with food and light.
  • Use a fly zapper to get rid of flies roaming around the area

Do Hoverflies bite?

No, hoverflies do not bite. They are of the insect family Syrphidae and they get their name because when feeding, they appear to “hover” over a plant or flower for a few moments before flying off again.

They don’t even feed on humans. In fact, most species are pollinators that play an important role in the ecosystem.

The hoverfly is harmless and only looks like a fly because of its mouthparts which it uses to suck nectar from flowers or liquid from rotting meat or other plants (which makes them useful for forensic scientists). Hoverflies are not attracted to humans unless they have become unwell but may be attracted to the sickly smell of the person’s sweat and skin.

How long do Hoverflies live for?

There is a wide range of life spans for hoverflies. Some can live up to as long as 50 days, while others only live about one week. Hoverflies are more likely to be around in the spring and summer months because they are attracted by flowers. During these seasons, some species will even mimic other insects that have stinging or biting parts in order to avoid being eaten.

Where do hoverflies live?

Hoverflies are not very picky about where they live. They tend to be found in gardens, fields and natural areas with flowers. Generally, hoverflies can only survive for a short time when it’s cold out because the flowers aren’t blooming.

One thing you might notice if your home has an infestation of hoverflies is that they tend to hover around the same places all the time. One of these areas may be your home’s window screens, which are usually very close to a flower-filled garden or field where the flies were probably first attracted.

Hoverflies will often enter homes through open windows and doors in order to escape predators that might follow them inside if they were hovering outside.

Another place hoverflies like to hang out is near humans and livestock since they are attracted by the warmth of our bodies, as well as some of the odours that we produce such as sweat or food cooking on a stove top.

how to get rid of hoverfliesConclusion

As you can see, there are many ways that hoverflies might find themselves inside your home. You may have to try a few different techniques to figure out what will work for the specific infestation that you are experiencing!

Hoverflies are often hard to get rid of because they have a very short life span and reproduce quickly. You can try spraying the outside with insecticides or covering window screens in something that will keep them out. Otherwise, you may also want to speak with a professional if you are dealing with an infestation in your home.

Other related articles:

Absolute Gardener is a reader-supported site. When you purchase through affiliate links on our site, we may earn a small commission with no extra cost to you.

Scroll to Top