If there's anything that can ruin a great day at the beach, or picnic on the patio, it's flies. Citronella candles and torches are good, but some people are very sensitive to the citronella and don't like to breath in the fumes. We have discovered a great, natural deterrent to those winged beasties: lemons and cloves.
Flies do not like the smell of citrus oil, cloves or some other herbs like basil or mint. So when we eat outside we slice a lemon and arrange the slices on a plate. Then we insert whole cloves into the lemons. Don't be stingy with the cloves! If there's lots of food or company, we make multiple plates full of lemons and cloves and place them strategically around the barbecue area and on the table.
Of course, you will always have those singleminded, stubborn flies who won't be deterred by anything, but the fragrance of lemons and cloves will keep many at bay and make for a much more enjoyable outside feast. Plus there's no concern about chemicals causing a reaction in guests, children or pets.
Enjoy the great outdoors!