7 Natural Ways to Get rid of Deer Flies [Homemade Deer Fly Traps]

Deer flies are large flies belonging to the genus Chrysops. Their size ranges from 5 to 12 mm in length which is larger than the common house flies but smaller than horse flies. Deer flies are normally black or yellow and black in color with the occasional grey.

They have brightly colored eyes and striped wings. There are 250 species of deer fly and they are found all over the world. They prefer bright warm places and avoid dark places and densely vegetated areas.

Deer flies are bloodsuckers like mosquitoes and are considered as pests. Female deer flies feed on blood while the males prefer pollen and plant nectar. Deer flies lay their eggs in damp marshy or muddy places near water. Deer flies can carry disease-causing bacteria.

The rare disease Tularemia which affects the eyes, skin and lungs is caused by deer flies. A deer fly infestation is seen as a hazard and we have therefore listed several methods to control it.

7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Deer Flies Naturally

1. Homemade Deerfly Rotator Trap (DIY)

One of the best ways of getting rid of deerflies is to trap them using a rotator trap coated with sticky Tanglefoot. Deerflies are attracted to moving, colored objects. Lured by the rotating trap the deerflies get stuck to the tanglefoot and die.

If you have deerfly infestation on your property simply set up this trap where the deerflies are normally seen. You can check the video to see the process.

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Weld the two steel plates together as shown in the video.
  • Weld the support pipe to the top of the steel plate and to the turning rod.
  • Attach the Barbecue Rotisserie motor to the support steel pipe.
  • Use the extension cord to plug in the motor to an electrical socket nearby.
  • Coat the two Solo cups with Tanglefoot.
  • Attach them to each end of the turning rod.
  • Place the trap in the area where you have seen deerflies.
  • When switched on, the turning rod rotates. The moving cups attract the deerflies which get stuck to them on contact.
  • Use the citrus cleaner to clean off the tanglefoot coating once the job is done.


Tanglefoot is extremely sticky so take care not to get it on your skin. If that happens use the citrus cleaner to clean it off.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, peppermint and eucalyptus are considered good repellents of deerflies. Deerflies hate the strong scent of essential oils and avoid going near them.

For this method, you can create a mixture of different essential oils and spray near the area where you have seen deerflies. This not only deters deerflies but your house will smell wonderful. Essential oils are easily available in stores. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Identify the areas where you have spotted deerflies on your property or in your house.
  • Mix 20 drops lavender, 10 drops lemon, 5 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops peppermint, 3 drops clove and 2 drops citronella with 2 ounces carrier oil.
  • Pour the mixture in the spray bottle.
  • Spray along the identified areas.
  • Repeat when the scent begins to fade. 

3. Wear a feather

Deer flies usually go for the head and neck. If you are working in your yard or garden try this method. Wear a hat with a feather attached to it.

The deer flies will ignore your body and swarm around the feather. Instead of a feather, you can also attach a fern to your hat.  Deer flies are most attracted to blue color, so use a blue-colored feather if you have one.

Required Material:

  • Feather

Step by Step Process:

  • Tie or glue the feather or fern to your hat.
  • Wear it when you work in the garden or yard.

4. Drive Trap

You can create a trap for deer flies using a plastic nursery pot coated with Tanglefoot or other sticky substances. Using a bright blue pot catches more deer flies than red or black colored ones. When placed upside down on a rod the pot shakes and rotates.

However, to catch deer flies the pot has to move through space. For that, we hold the rod or attach it to a lawnmower or other vehicle and drive around the property. The deer flies get attracted to the moving blue pot and get trapped in contact with the sticky substance.

Required Material:

  • 6-inch plastic nursery pot
  • Rod
  • Tanglefoot
  • Lawnmower or other four wheeled vehicle

Step by Step Process:

  • Apply a coating of Tanglefoot to the nursery pot.
  • Place the pot upside down on the rod.
  • Attach the rod to your lawnmower or other vehicle.
  • Drive all around your lawn or property.


Tanglefoot can stick to your hands, so be careful while applying it.

5. Hat trap

You can trap deer flies just by walking around your garden. All you have to do is wear a hat trap. This trap consists of a sticky plastic cup attached to your hat.

Wear the hat and just walk around your deer fly-infested yard or garden. The deer flies will be attracted to the moving cup and get trapped on its sticky surface.

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Apply a coating of Tanglefoot to the plastic cup.
  • Attach the cup to your hat.
  • Wear the hat and walk around your garden or yard.
  • Dispose of the dead deer flies stuck on your hat.
  • Remove the sticky coating using the citrus cleaner.


Tanglefoot can stick to your skin if you are not careful. Use the citrus cleaner to remove it.

6. Umbrella Trap

This method is similar to the hat trap method but can catch more deer flies. It consists of attaching tanglefoot coated cups on an umbrella. Walkthrough the infested areas while twirling the umbrella. The deer flies will get caught in the sticky trap.

Use this method in the morning to trap as many deer flies as possible. You will not be disturbed by deer flies for the rest of the day. Since deer flies are most attracted to the blue color you can buy blue cups for this purpose. You can go through the video also if you need more clarity.

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Cover the plastic cups with transparent plastic wrap. This way we can dispose of the wrap containing the dead deer flies and reuse the cups.
  • Apply a layer of tanglefoot coating to the plastic wrap on the cups.
  • Glue the cups on top of your umbrella.
  • Walk around the infested area twirling the umbrella.
  • Throw away the plastic wraps with the dead deer flies.


Avoid getting tanglefoot on your skin as it can be hard to remove. Use the citrus cleaner to remove it in case you do.

7. Wear Light Colored Clothing

Apart from moving objects deer flies are also attracted to dark colors. If you have a deer fly infestation it would be wise to avoid wearing dark-colored clothes. Wear white or light-colored clothes if you are venturing out into the infested area.

Wear a light-colored bandanna around your neck as deer flies almost always target the face and neck. It would be even better if you wear a netted hat that protects your entire face and neck from getting bitten.

Required Material:

  • Light-colored or white clothes
  • Light-colored bandanna
  • Netted hat

Step by Step Process:

  • Wear the clothes.
  • Tie the bandanna around your neck to protect yourself from getting bitten.
  • If you have a netted hat wear it.

3 Natural Ways to Prevent Deer Flies

We have looked at some of the best natural methods of getting rid of deer flies. Now let’s talk about natural ways of preventing them from visiting your property.

1. Eliminate breeding areas

Deer flies lay eggs near water. If you have standing water on your property, it provides a breeding place for deer flies. An open fish tank in your yard is one such example.

Remove any standing water from your yard. If there is soggy soil on your property it would be prudent to get it to dry. This can be done by adding sand to it. Without a place to breed deer flies would go away.

2. Window screen

Deer flies prefer to live in moist areas which is the reason they normally do not enter homes. However, they have been known to accidentally enter homes.

Keeping windows and doors shut is a good way of preventing this from happening. Installing window screens is a good idea as it not only prevents deer flies but other bugs and insects too.

3. Avoid bright lighting

Deer flies are attracted to bright lights. That is why you see them hovering around porch lamps and other outdoor hanging lights. Reduce the number of bright lights outside the house. This will remove one of the attractions for the deer flies.

Top 5 Natural Deer Fly Repellents Available Online

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of deer flies, check below-listed options:

Final Words:

Deer flies are blood-sucking insects that carry various diseases. They are rightly regarded as pests. Deer fly infestation is regarded as highly dangerous and to combat it, we have listed several natural methods in this article. We hope you find them useful.