Picnic Ideas | How to Get Rid of Flies and Ants

July 4, 2013

Flies swarm and ants crawl to whatever food is being served at a picnic. Whether your outing is a special picnic for two on a blanket or a large family gathering under a shelter, ants and flies will find their way to any crumb or unattended food available. Thankfully, there are some natural ways to get rid of these pesky critters that won’t leave your guests inhaling smoke from citronella candles or pouring on the bug repellent.


Picnic Ideas for a Great Day!
Photo: Jeremy Noble
Wikimedia Commons

How to Get Rid of Ants at a Picnic

Planning ahead is the best option to get rid of ants before a picnic, of course you can use this picnic idea a bit differently at the time of the picnic. The only thing you’ll need is cinnamon.

For a large picnic area, you’ll need a large container of ground cinnamon like you’d buy at a bulk food store.

Sprinkle the cinnamon around the area.

Ants do not like the cinnamon and will avoid it. They will begin moving in the opposite direction, so be sure to circle the picnic area with the cinnamon along with circling the picnic bench legs and the table legs with the cinnamon.

If you’ll be using a blanket for a picnic, lay the blanket down and circle the area with cinnamon.

Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pick up the blanket and give it a good shake. Then, lay the blanket back down and proceed with your picnic. You’ll be shaking the blanket to rid any ants that may have been inside the cinnamon circle when you started.

Another way to get rid of ants in a picnic area you use regularly is to plant some basil. Yes, I mean the herb. You can plant the basil directly in the ground or in pots around the area.

Ants don’t like basil and will leave the area.

How to Get Rid of Flies on a Picnic

Getting rid of flies is a bit easier than getting rid of ants. At least, I think so. You’ll need some lemons and some whole or grated cloves.

A little while before you put the food out to serve, cut some lemons and add cloves to it.

You can place these in bowls around the food area, hang them from trees or porches, or you can even heat the lemon and cloves in water in a small slow cooker.

If you’re using a slow cooker, be sure to add water. Also, you’ll need to start the mix a couple of hours before the picnic so the citrus and cloves scent will have time to surround the area. The smell will be very inviting during all the warm weather months to get rid of flies.

Of course, you can use this recipe inside the house as a natural room scent too and get rid of any flies inside the house!


You may have your own ideas about getting rid of flies and ants at a picnic. Tell us anything you use and how it can help.

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