One of the big dilemmas of having a glorious outdoor lunch on Christmas Day (apart from the heat) is the constant threat of flies buzzing around and landing on your food.
If you’ve ever spent a Christmas lunch with the family swatting flies off the food, then you’ll know all too well how frustrating it can be.
But what can you do to stop the flies apart from swatting, fly netting, sprays or covering the food?
Well, it turns out there are plenty of clever ways you can keep the flies away.
Here are six tips to stop those pesky flies from buzzing around your Christmas lunch.
1. Coins and a glass of water
It might sound a little odd, but putting some coins in a glass of water can actually keep the flies away. The theory is the flies think the coins look like the eyes of a much bigger bug (one that could eat them). Apparently, once they go to land on the water and see the coins, they fly away and keep a wide berth away from the glasses of water. Try putting a few glasses of water with coins on your Christmas lunch table, you might be pleasantly surprised by how effective it can be! This trick also works if you have a bag of water with pennies in it around your home.
2. Citronella candles
This one is a very well known trick. In fact, many shops sell citronella candles as insect repellants. Not only do flies hate smoke, they hate the odour of citronella in generally. In fact, it’s so effective that as soon as you light a citronella candle and the smoke starts, the flies will give the area a wide berth.
3. Use herbs with rich aromas
There are a range of herbs that flies can’t stand, particularly because of their strong scents. Try planting herbs such as elder, basil, lavender, tansy, wormwood, rue or mint around your home or put them in little pots and use them as centrepieces for your Christmas lunch table. Apparently the flies will steer clear of the area these herbs are growing. If you don’t feel like gardening, you can use dried herbs to keep the flies away. Try tying them up in muslin bag, or hanging the dried herbs around your home instead.
4. Orange and lemon peels
Have you ever noticed how a lot of insect repellants use citrus oils such as lemon and orange? Well, it’s because flies can’t stand the scent of citrus! Apart from spraying citrus oils (which might not be a good idea around food), you can leave out orange and lemon peels. Just grab the fresh peels and set them on a plate or dish on the table, it should keep the flies away!
Read more: How to easily get rid of fruit flies
5. Turn a fan on
Apparently, insects can’t stand fans. So, if you’re having lunch under a ceiling fan or you can move a pedestal fan near your Christmas lunch table, turn them on. Not only will the fan cool everyone at the lunch table down, it’ll also keep those pesky flies off the Christmas ham!
6. Make your own fly sprays and repellants
There are so many different DIY fly spray and repellant recipes out there for you to try. From citrus oils to alcohol here are a few different sprays you can make yourself. Just make sure you don’t spray anything on your eyes and if irritation occurs, wash the spray off immediately.
7. Vodka fly repellant
You may like vodka, but flies can’t stand it! That’s what makes it such an effective fly spray and repellant. All you need to do is mix one cup of vodka, two teaspoons of aloe vera juice and one teaspoon of lemon or eucalyptus oil. Put the mix of ingredients in a spray bottle and either spray it on your skin or spray it around the room (before you serve lunch). The flies should stay away and leave you to enjoy your meal in peace.
8. Lemongrass oil fly spray
Lemongrass oil, with its citrus aroma, is great for keeping flies away. All you need to do is mix 20 to 25 drops of lemongrass oil with half a cup of hot water and spray it around the room/area to keep the flies away. This spray also makes a great air freshener!
9. Apple cider vinegar and witch hazel fly repellant
This is another great fly repellant! Just mix quarter of a cup of witch hazel with quarter of a cup of apple cider vinegar and add 30 to 60 drops of eucalyptus oils. Then, just spray it on your skin – making sure to not get any in your eyes or mouth!