Top 5 Best Fly Repellents (**2021 Review**)

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Home > Product Reviews > Fly Products > Top 5 Best Fly Repellents (**2021 Review**)

The warmer it gets, the more you will be annoyed by pesky flies.

Eventually, you’ll start asking around if there is any way to repel flies and your search has finally brought you – here.

You’re in luck. There are ways to repel flies.  In this article you’ll learn:

  • What fly repellents are and how they work
  • How to use fly repellents to keep them away from you and your pets
  • The best available fly repellents for your money

Ready to see which repellent will scratch your itch?

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

Best Overall
Overall Rating
Best Service
Overall Rating

Farnam Tri-Tec Fly Repellent

  • Fast-acting repellent spray for horses
  • Works on several flying pest types
  • Long-lasting protection

Hot Shot No-Pest Strip

  • Kills for up to 4 months
  • Kills a wide range of insects including nearly all flying insects
  • Controlled-release technology

Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil

  • Repels mosquitoes, houseflies, and stable flies
  • Easy DIY repellent
  • Temporary solution

Left Coast Premium 100% Pure MCT Oil

  • Multi-purpose
  • Tested and shown to be effective
  • Possibly more effective than DEET

Table Of Contents

    Top 5 Best Fly Repellents

    Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?

    1. Farnam Tri-Tec Fly Repellent
    2. Hot Shot No-Pest Strip
    3. Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil
    4. Left Coast Premium 100% Pure MCT Oil
    5. Pending


    What Are Fly Repellents?

    Fly repellent goes by a number of different names. It’s commonly known as bug spray, mosquito repellent, or any combination of the three.

    Like its name, fly repellent comes in various forms, all of which have the same effect. Fly repellent is any chemical, chemical mixture, herbal remedy, or essential oil that flies find offensive or distasteful.

    Read Also: What are the top sprays to keep flies away from horses?

    Fly repellents can be applied by one of several methods, except being applied directly to your skin.

    Some fly repellents come premixed in a spray bottle. They are sprayed onto your clothes, shoes, hats, and gloves to repel flies, mosquitoes, gnats, etc. Some come premixed. Others are DIY.

    Cloth Application
    Some fly repellents can be mixed in warm water then applied by dipping a soft cloth in the mixture and wiping it on the surface you want to protect. Essential oils are often used this way.

    The last application method is to light them on fire and let the smoke from them fill the air around the area you wish to protect. Because smoke dissipates rapidly, the torches or candles have to be kept continually burning. As soon as they go out, the protection vanishes.

    Read more: Safety facts about burning citronella candles

    All of these fly repellents are typically utilized while outdoors. If you’re dealing with a fly infestation in your home, other methods such as a fly trap, zapper, fly swatter, homemade fly traps, or other home remedies, may be better suited for your pest control issue.

    How Do Fly Repellents Work?

    Fly repellents do exactly what the name would suggest: Repel flies.

    Repellents don’t kill flies. Instead, they drive flies away from you.

    If you’re interested in killing flies, bug spray is not the answer.

    Read more: What is an effective fly killing method?

    Before going any further it is important to note that mosquitoes are classified in the order Diptera, the true flies.

    This means that any pesticide, pest control product, or pest repellent that works on mosquitoes will also work on “ordinary” flies and vice versa, regardless of pests listed on the label.

    In this article, the the terms “fly repellent” and “mosquito repellent” will be used interchangeably.

    All the products reviewed here are natural ways to repel flies and discourage them from landing on you or the areas you treat.

    The one exception is DEET, which is man-made rather than natural, but even it doesn’t kill the bugs. DEET does kill grass so be careful about using bug spray around your feet when you’re standing on a golf course or your front yard.

    Aside from DEET, all of the repellents reviewed here are eco-friendly and won’t harm the environment.

    Other quick tips to keep flies away and make your repellent more effective:

    • Clean up leftover food and drinks when outside or picnicking
    • Steer clear of smelly garbage cans
    • Avoid other attractants

    How Do You Find The Best Fly Repellent?

    You do exactly what you’re doing right now. You come to the experts and let us help you. We’ve spent years in the field as licensed pest control technicians killing and repelling bugs of all kinds.

    From crawling under houses to kill termites to wearing hazmat suits and respirators when we’re fogging for bed bugs and everything in between, we’ve done the hard work for you.

    Compare Pest Control Companies Near You

    Are Fly Repellents Effective?

    The only correct answer is, “Yes, but . . .”

    Yes, fly repellents keep flies at bay but only if you use them correctly. The thing to remember about repellents of any kind is that they work on a percentage basis.

    That is, they will repel a certain percentage of the bugs that approach you, but not all of them. That is why researchers are constantly trying to improve repellent products.

    This is also to say that fly repellents are only effective against certain kinds of flies. Horse flies, for example, aren’t repelled so easily. Mosquito repellent is more effective on bugs like gnats and house flies.

    It also depends on location. The kind of protection you need in the Amazon is different from what you need in your own backyard.

    This isn’t an argument against fly repellents. It is simply an acknowledgment of the truth: there is no such thing as a repellent – of any kind – that is 100% effective. Anyone who says differently is uninformed or lying.

    How To Best Use A Fly Repellent?

    The most important thing you should know is not to put repellents on your skin. Even the essentials oils, which are all-natural, can be too concentrated to be safely applied to bare skin.

    The only exception is if the label specifically says it is approved for application to your skin. Otherwise, don’t.

    Treat your clothes, hats, shoes, and gloves with repellent to keep flies away. Pay attention to the label to find out how long it will last before you have to reapply it.

    Products containing DEET and Picaridin will last anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the concentration.

    Repellents based on essential oils or other plant-based extracts similar to home remedies will generally only last about 2-3 hours at a time. After that, you’ll have to reapply them.

    Because some repellents, particularly DEET, may harm the grass or plant life around you, be careful about spraying your lower legs and feet. Don’t let the spray reach the grass or bushes. You might wind up killing them.

    Are Fly Repellents Safe Around My Pets And Children?

    It depends. As a general rule, they are safe as long as you follow the directions. However, there are always a few people in any given population group who may have an allergic reaction to a particular repellent.

    When in doubt, only spray your children’s clothes.

    For your pets, always keep the repellents away from their muzzle, eyes, and ears. Spray it lightly on the outside of their fur or hair and don’t rub or massage it into their coat. Let it dry where it is.

    Use only a little bit the first time and watch them for any adverse reaction. If they don’t have any problem then you can go ahead and treat them a little more, but don’t overdo it.

    Fly Repellents Reviewed

    As a quick recap, here are the five fly repellents we looked at.

    1. Farnam Tri-Tec Fly Repellent
    2. Hot Shot No-Pest Strip
    3. Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil
    4. Left Coast Premium 100% Pure MCT Oil
    5. Pending


    Related Articles

    Farnam Tri-Tec Fly Repellent

    Now you can protect your horses from biting flies with this full-strength insect repellent from Farnam. It also works on:

    • Gnats
    • Mosquitoes
    • Lice
    • Deer ticks

    Plus, several types of biting flies, including:

    • Horseflies
    • Stable flies
    • Horn flies
    • Deer flies

    Farnam Tri-Tec Fly Repellent provides long-lasting protection for up to 14 days. This pyrethrin-based formula is safe to use periodically for biting insects, and it’s easy to mix and dissolve in a spray bottle for uniform application.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Fast-acting repellent spray for horses
    • Works on several flying pest types
    • Long-lasting protection
    • Easy to mix and spray
    • For dry weather conditions, only

    Hot Shot No-Pest Strip

    Let’s face it, it can actually be pretty tough to get rid of flies. This is even harder when you are trying to enjoy the outdoors without having unsanitary flies landing in practically everything.

    Swatters, sprays, and zappers can only do so much, therefore, a product like No-Pest Strips by Hot Shot is a good remedy to try out for stubborn hard-to-reach flies. These pest strips work by releasing a toxic gas when suspended from a structure that then flows through the surrounding air.

    The toxic vapor is a strong gaseous insecticide known as dichlorvos that poisons a wide range of pests once the vapor reaches the respiratory system of flies. This chemical will kill insects within seconds of exposure, but the potency is very strong, and these strips should never be placed in areas where humans and pets will breathe the air longer than 4 hours per day.

    With that said, your fly population will be diminished quickly and effectively once the strips pass the vapor through the atmosphere. Each strip lasts up to 4 months and can treat an enclosed space measuring 10 feet by 13.

    A perfect solution for indoor fly infestations.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Kills for up to 4 months
    • Kills a wide range of insects including nearly all flying insects
    • Controlled-release technology
    • Incredibly effective
    • Not very safe
    • Only works well for enclosed spaces

    Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil

    Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus) has been tested and shown to be an effective repeller of mosquitoes, house flies, and stable flies. You can use Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil to make an effective DIY fly repellent spray by adding 20 drops of it to 1/2 cup of warm water.

    Put the mixture in an 8-ounce spray bottle to create your own fly spray. Spray it lightly on every surface you want to be treated. In addition to giving your protection from flying insects, it adds a nice scent to everything you spray it on.

    It is an essential oil though, which means it will only last for a couple of hours. Then you’ll need to reapply it.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Easy-to-use
    • All-natural oil
    • Shown to be effective
    • Only lasts for 2 hours

    Left Coast Premium 100% Pure MCT Oil

    Left Coast Premium 100% MCT Oil is NOT an essential oil so be careful what you purchase, as there are essential coconut oils on the market. Instead, this is a set of specific fatty acids that are extracted from coconuts.

    Testing has shown that medium-length fatty acids have repellent properties for flies and other insects. The tests are just over a year old and seem to indicate these fatty acids might last longer and be more effective than DEET. More tests need to be done to confirm it though.

    It’s also sold for use in cooking and making smoothies.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Shown to be effective
    • Food additive for health
    • Long-lasting
    • Needs more testing
    • Not as effective as other methods
    Compare Pest Control Companies Near You