11 Easy Tips To Keep Flies Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Macro photo of a deer fly with a bright blue background

If you’ve come across this article, there’s a good chance you’re finding flies in your pool, and we completely understand how frustrating and scary that may feel. But don’t worry, as annoying as it is, there are easy solutions to help get rid of these flies.

Today we are sharing 11 easy tips to keep flies out of your swimming pool! Flies end up in your swimming pool for various reasons, but the main attraction is the moisture of your pool. Flies need moisture to survive and reproduce, and unfortunately, your pool is a prime target for these flying pests.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep these nuisances out of your pool. If you’re wondering how to get rid of flies in your pool – keep on reading to find out more!

Key Takeaways:

  • Flies are a common pest that ends up in swimming pools, especially in the summertime.
  • The moisture of your pool and surrounding environments can attract flies to your swimming pool area.
  • Keeping the area as dry as possible and utilizing fans and natural repellents can keep flies away from your swimming pool.

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So, Why Are Flies In My Swimming Pool?

Flies are in your swimming pool for a few reasons, and we will tell you right away that it’s not because flies like to go for a swim.

Wet Debris And Grass

Flies are attracted to the wet debris around your pool. Being in the pool often leads to water getting outside of the pool, and if this is the case, any extra-moist shrubbery or grass will attract flies.

Breeding Ground

Flies like to lay their eggs in water. I know, gross. Fly larvae are often found in water. But one reason a fly would lay eggs in your pool is that it may have been attracted to the surroundings, and in that case, the pool became the “added” bonus for a fly.

Yard Attractants

Flies may be in your pool because your landscape is not kept up. The truth is, if you haven’t maintained your landscape by trimming the grass, picking up food scraps from gardens, or pruning overgrown shrubbery, you may be attracting flies around your pool.  

Shiny Surface

Flies are attracted to shiny surfaces. During the day, from a fly’s point of view – your pool is like one giant reflective mirror – and they may end up in your pool just for this reason.

So, if you’re finding yourself in a not-so-fly situation, I bet you’re wondering what will keep flies away. And we’re ready to tell you!

11 Easy Tips To Keep Flies Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Close-up of a common house fly on a leaf near the swimming pool with water droplet.

There are many easy ways to get rid of flies in your swimming pool – and although it may feel daunting and like a never-ending problem, we promise there are ways to prevent and repel flies away and out of your swimming pool.

Flies seek out specific conditions, and the main reason why flies may be in your yard is that the conditions are attracting them to it.

So have no fear, Pestpointers is here, and we’re giving you all the best pointers you need to know about keeping flies out of your swimming pool!

1. Maintain The Landscape

Maintaining the landscaping around your swimming pool is the most long-term solution we can offer you in dealing with your fly problem. A dissertation paper from Oklahoma State University released flies at three different sites: one with a 3m wall, a 1.5m wall, and no wall. What they found was that flies tended to stick around longer at the 3m wall than at the others, meaning they prefer higher vegetation compared to trimmed.

Flies are also attracted to moist, organic material and decaying material. If you have a lot of grass, shrubbery, and vegetation near your swimming pool – you’re backyard has become the prime location for flies.

Regularly trimming grass, pruning overgrown plants and bushes, and picking any vegetables or fruit that you may have growing in your yard off of the plants, and especially off of the ground, is the best way to ensure that you’re not attracting flies to your yard.

2. Secure Garbage Bins

Another thing that you can do right away to keep flies out of your swimming pool is to cover up your garbage bins and put a secure lid on them when they are not being used.  

Flies like all the gross stuff, especially decaying food and grime – which happens to be what a garbage bin holds. So, if you leave your garbage bin uncovered, there’s a good chance that that’s what’s attracting flies to your yard and pool. The idea here is if your yard is unattractive to flies, they most likely won’t end up in your pool.

Also, if you’re noticing a lot of flies nearby and in your swimming pool, the first thing you should do is take notice of where your garbage is. If it seems too close, move it further away!

If you’re having trouble with flies getting into your garbage, head on over to our more detailed article about how to keep flies away from your garbage.

3. Add Birdfeeders To Your Backyard

If you’re noticing a ton of flies and other insects in your swimming pool, maybe it’s time to introduce a natural predator into your outdoor space – birds!

Birds eat flies and other insects, and if you have a surplus of flies in your swimming pool and surrounding yard, having birdhouses or birdfeeders around your outdoor living space will help naturally keep the fly population down.

Adding bird feeders like the Joyman Wild Bird Feeder in any neighboring trees, or stand-alone ones like this multi-feeder Best Choice Product – 6 Hook Bird Feeder, will be the perfect addition to help with keeping flies out of your swimming pool.

Here are a few bird species that especially like to dine on flies, and what will attract them to your yard:

Bird SpeciesHow to Attract Them
Barn SwallowProvide a mud source for nest building, open areas
Purple MartinInstall a birdhouse with proper compartments
ChickadeeOffer sunflower seeds, suet, and a birdhouse
SparrowUse mixed birdseed, provide shelter and nesting spots
BluebirdInstall a nest box with proper dimensions
WarblerCreate a bird-friendly garden with diverse plants
WrenOffer mealworms, suet, and a birdhouse

Birds aren’t the only natural predators of flies, either. For a complete list, head over to our article on the natural predators that eat flies.

4. Utilize Scents That Repel Flies

Like we said earlier, making your yard as unattractive to a fly as possible is the key to preventing and keeping flies out of your swimming pool, and one great way to keep flies out of your pool is by adding the scents flies hate throughout your backyard space!

There are a bunch of scents that flies hate, and there are many ways you can use scents to not only keep flies away but also elevate your outdoor spaces. Whether it’s by planting the fragrant plants alongside your pool or adding them around in pots, or by adding direct essential oil, we have some options for you below.

You can check out the different ways to use cloves to keep flies away here.

Here are some of the scents that flies hate, and how to use them! For a more complete list, read our guide on the 8 scents that flies hate.


Flies absolutely hate the smell of Citronella as it masks their ability to smell and will overwhelm their senses. They will naturally avoid a scent that masks their smell since they use their smell to find food and to keep away from predators.

We have a fantastic guide on why citronella works to repel flies that you can check out for a more in-depth look at this amazing natural fly repellent!

Using Citronella plants or oils will help keep flies out of your swimming pool. Since Citronella is so widely used, there are many Citronella candles you can purchase. If you’re looking for a Citronella candle – we absolutely love SuperSun Citronella Candles, which come in a 12-pack.

If you use torches in your yard, there is also Citronella oil that you can purchase that is used as fuel for your torches – FireFly Non-Toxic Citronella Tiki Torch Fuel. There are other candles that can keep flies away besides citronella. Check out are article on the best candle scents to help keep flies away for more detail!


Basil, one of the best-tasting herbs out there, is widely hated by the fly community. And, lucky for us, adding some Basil into the gardens that surround our pool will not only give us an abundance of basil but will help repel flies as well!

Planting basil in any vegetable garden or adding pieces of basil in garbage cans or dried basil sprinkled around the perimeter of your pool will keep flies out. For a more in-depth look at basil’s fly-repelling abilities, head over to our article on why basil works to repel flies.


Clearly, flies just like all the nasty stuff because they really hate all the best-smelling aromas! Cinnamon is another scent that flies hate that can be used to keep flies out of your swimming pool.

By using ground cinnamon and sprinkling it around the perimeter of your pool like a barrier or by placing cinnamon sticks sporadically throughout your yard and around your pool, you will deter flies from coming close to your poolside haven.

 Or hey – maybe this can be the perfect excuse to make an excessive number of cinnamon rolls? Sounds good to us!

Black Pepper

You probably already have this in your kitchen cupboard, making it an easy and hassle-free way to repel flies from your swimming pool. Black pepper can be used in a few different forms, including ground, whole peppercorns, and essential oil.

You can read more about the different ways to use black pepper to repel flies here. Black pepper can be used around the yard, your pool deck, and near your garbage cans to keep pesky flies away.


When we think of stress relief, lavender is one of the go-to’s and if your fly situation is stressing you out, well then there’s no better solution than adding some lavender to your outdoor space right now.

By adding lavender plants to the surrounds of your pool, or by adding lavender in an essential oil form like Ethereal’s Nature 100% Pure Lavender Oil you can deter flies from coming near your pool.

To use the lavender essential oil, soak cotton balls in water with 10-20 drops of lavender oil. Once the cotton balls are nice and soaked, place the cotton balls throughout your yard, gardens, or around your pool. Once flies catch the scent of lavender, they will surely fly on by.  You can read more about why lavender works to repel flies here.

If these scents aren’t working to get rid of the flies, vinegar is another effective scent in repelling flies! Check out our article on how vinegar can repel flies, too!

5. Remove Standing Water From Your Yard

Another way to keep flies out of your swimming pool is to remove any standing water that is in your yard, from puddles, splashes from the pool, or rain!

Standing water attracts flies and other nuisance insects so removing it as quickly as possible will help keep the flies unattracted to your backyard.

Here are a few ways to eliminate standing water in your yard:

  • Use a shovel to create drainage channels
  • Install a French drain system
  • Use a sump pump to remove excess water
  • Utilize a wet/dry vacuum to suck up standing water
  • Create a rain garden to absorb excess water
  • Adjust the landscaping to promote better drainage
  • Use permeable paving materials to allow water to seep into the ground

By aerating the soil in your garden and your lawn, you will be able to keep the water flowing and in turn, prevent any flies from coming around your swimming pool. If you happen to see a puddle of standing water, take a broom and spread the water out evenly so that the remaining can get soaked up by the soil.

6. Add Outdoor Fans

Adding wind to your backyard through fans will help keep flies out of your yard and out of your swimming pool.

Adding a fan to your backyard space and using it while you are outside will keep flies away from your swimming pool. Wind from a fan is too strong for a fly to take on and frankly, they’re not going to try to face these strong winds and risk their lives for no apparent reason.

You can add an outdoor only plug and play fan outside if you have any outlets available, or you can purchase outdoor solar fans that are meant to be kept outside and charged by the sun like the SDYXJ Portable Fan.

7. Add A Screen Around Your Pool

House fly being kept out with a screen

Although adding a screen around your pool may be a bigger job to take on than the rest, it definitely will be one of the most effective ways to keep flies out of your swimming pool.

Depending on where you live and how often you use your swimming pool, adding a screen or screen house around your pool will be the most effective way to keep flies and other insects out of your swimming pool.

8. Use Pesticides That Contain Pyrethroids

If your fly problem is really out of control, try using a pesticide that contains pyrethrin to keep flies out of your swimming pool.

Pyrethrin is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in chrysanthemums. Using a pesticide like Fox Farm’s Don’t Bug Me Pyrethrin Pesticide can be an easy method to solve your fly problem.

To use this pesticide, simply spray it around the perimeter of your pool or through hard surfaces in your backyard but not in the pool water. This can help get rid of any flies on contact while preventing them in the future.

However, we do ask that if you are unsure how to use a pesticide and your fly problem is overwhelming, contact a professional for guidance.  Our nationwide pest control finder can help you connect with a local professional.

9. Vacuum Your Pool Regularly

Keeping up with the cleanliness of your pool will help keep the flies out of your pool.

Vacuuming and skimming your pool often will help keep the water clean and the flies out! Pool water can easily become mucky, and if fallen leaves or pollen and other decaying material fall into it, this will attract flies and all types of bugs to your swimming pool.

10. Keep Your Pool Filter Running To Keep Flies Out

Filtering your pool water is also extremely important in preventing flies from your swimming pool. Not only does it clean your water, but turning the filter on will prevent it from becoming standing water, which flies tend to breed in.

After you swim, a lot of debris gets into the pool – think about the lotions and sunscreens you have on your body that get washed off in your pool! These can leave a layer of grease on the surface of your pool water and, believe it or not, can attract flies to the water.

It’s completely normal for oils and debris to get in the pool. Filtering your water is going to help keep flies out of your swimming pool by removing all the excess debris that attracts these little nuisances to your summer oasis.

11. Maintain Proper Chlorine and pH Levels

The CDC tells us that free chlorine levels should be at least 1.0 parts per million, and the pH of the pool should be between 7.2-7.8.

Using an algaecide in the pool is another effective way to prevent the buildup of algae and avoid attracting flies to the pool.

Maintaining proper chlorine, pH, and algae levels in the pool is an easy way to deter flies. When these levels are off, it can affect the water’s chemistry and even make your pool more attractive to these dastardly flying insects! JNW 7-Way Pool Test Strips are an excellent way to keep track of the most important levels in your pool.

The Three Types Of Flies In Your Swimming Pool

Flies are part of the taxonomical order Diptera, and there are three very common types of flies that we often see: House Flies, Fruit Flies, and Blow Flies. Each of these flies can end up in your swimming pool if the conditions are right.

Also, you can find a lot of these types of flies in your home! If you seem to be finding them in your home, check out our article on what’s attracting them and how to keep flies away!

House Flies

House flies are the pests that we see the most often. Adult house flies are up to ¼ inch long and are a dull gray color.

These types of flies typically lay eggs in decaying organic material such as garbage and debris. House flies eat overripe fruits and vegetables, sugar, and feces. Yuck!

Fruit Flies

Close-up of a fruit fly on a piece of fruit.

We all know and arguably hate those pesky fruit flies. Fruit flies are teeny tiny, about the size of a pencil tip, and are usually seen hovering over fruits and foods.

Fruit flies always show up when your foods start to decay, as they feed on decaying material. They are attracted mostly to bananas and pineapples and even will feed on candy and vinegar. Yes, my stomach is turning too.

Blow/Bottle Flies

Blow flies have to be the worst fly, in our opinion. They are the green and blue metallic flies that we often see outside feeding on rotten and decomposed materials. They are sometimes called Bottle Flies.

These flies are attracted to all rotten substances and even have a louder buzzing sound than your average house fly. They are stronger fliers and, therefore, much more annoying to get rid of! However, utilizing some of our tips above should keep them out of your swimming pool.

Wrapping Things Up

If you have flies in your swimming pool – it’s time to keep them out of your swimming pool for good. We know how annoying it is to have flies buzzing around, especially when you’re trying to relax in your swimming pool, and that’s why we want to help you!

To recap, here are 11 easy tips to keep flies out of your swimming pool:

  1. Maintain the landscape
  2. Secure garbage lids
  3. Add birdfeeders
  4. Use scents flies hate
  5. Remove standing water
  6. Add outdoor fans
  7. Add a screen around your pool
  8. Pyrethrin pesticides
  9. Vacuum the pool
  10. Use a pool filter
  11. Maintain proper pool water chemical levels

By following some of our simple steps and most importantly, maintaining your landscape, you will see a decrease in the number of flies you see roaming your yards and getting into your swimming pool.


Dubie, T. R. (2014). Influence of vegetation height on the dispersal of house flies (Musca domestica) from livestock facilties and filth fly activity associated with composted and non-composted beef cadavers. Oklahoma State University.

Khan, H. A. A. (2021). Toxicity, repellent and oviposition deterrent effects of select essential oils against the house fly Musca domestica. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology24(1), 15-20.

Kamaraj, C., Rajakumar, G., Rahuman, A. A., Velayutham, K., Bagavan, A., Zahir, A. A., & Elango, G. (2012). Feeding deterrent activity of synthesized silver nanoparticles using Manilkara zapota leaf extract against the house fly, Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae). Parasitology research111, 2439-2448.

Malik, A., Singh, N., & Satya, S. (2007). House fly (Musca domestica): a review of control strategies for a challenging pest. Journal of environmental science and health part B42(4), 453-469.


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