The Flies Are Back...An Updated Fly Bag Tutorial at Your Service!

Doodle T and Me!
by Doodle T and Me!
2 Materials
15 Minutes

Summer time means outdoor dining, which is great...except for the FLIES

It's time for a FLY WATER BAG UPDATE

Use this (new and improved!) trick for fly water bags to get rid of flies!

Ready to make fly water bags? Let's go!!!


  • Pennies - 3 per bag
  • Quart plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • TWINE! (Here's my update...rather than using Clear Fishing Line, which is difficult to work with and doesn't always securely hold the knot, TWINE stays secure and is easy to work with.)

Quart Plastic Bags - Amazon LINK.

Twine - Amazon LINK.


First: Cut a SMALL SLIT in the top of the bag on one side of the closure flap

This is an update...Cutting the slit on one side of the bag flap, rather than on both flaps, makes it easier to insert the twine, and to seal the bag flaps to stop water from leaking out.

Next: insert a piece of twine through the slit.

Pull the twine through the slit making a loop...

Tie a knot to secure the loop.

This is the hanger for the fly water bag.

Drop 3 pennies into the bag.

Fill with water...Almost to the top of the closure strip.

Seal securely.

Make enough fly water bags to enclose your outdoor entertaining areas. We started with 5 around the perimeter of the dining and seating areas of the patio.

Ready to hang outside in the sun...

But exactly how do no-fly water bags work?

The science behind fly water bags:

It’s all about refraction and a fly’s complex eyes…

Flies have a highly sensitive array of eyes which allow it to see in multiple directions at once. The insect’s head mostly consists of a pair of large complex eyes, each of which is composed of 3,000 to 6,000 simple eyes. These eyes can’t move or focus on objects like human eyes, but they provide the fly with a mosaic view of the world around them. A housefly bases its sense of direction on the direction sunlight comes from. Some entomologists believe that when these complex, sensitive eyes experience refracted light, the insect becomes confused and flies away.

The most effective bags are hung where the sunlight will filter through the water inside the bag.

The bag swinging gently works best to get the biggest reflection.

The pennies drop to the bottom of the bag...They aid in refracting the sunlight through the water...To effectively drive the flies away!

Now sit back and enjoy your outdoor living!

Flies be gone! Fly free!

For All the Magic - Jeanne of Doodle T and Me!

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 12 questions
  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Aug 03, 2022

    Question - would there be a reason this couldn't be done with, say, mason jars? I could see drilling a couple of holes through a mason jar cap, running the twine through, dropping in the coins, and then screwing on the cap. I was hoping for a little classier solution to the yard than Ziploc bags, and I already use mason jars with fairy lights outside. Thoughts???

  • San22071824 San22071824 on Aug 04, 2022

    The fly bags I bought trap the flies inside. Wouldn't that be better than just chasing them away?

  • Audrey Audrey on Aug 04, 2022

    Could you use aluminum foil instead of pennys. It's shinny.

Join the conversation
3 of 25 comments
  • Carolyn French Johnson Carolyn French Johnson on Sep 20, 2022

    I used these at our business for years also. Our door was always standing open in mild weather and this idea didn’t just cut down on flies it eliminated them. We ate inside and seldom had any flies come in. So simple & super effective.

    • Doodle T and Me! Doodle T and Me! on Sep 29, 2022

      Hi Carolyn - So glad the water bags work for you! Thanks for your comment - Jeanne of Doodle T and Me!

  • Doodle T and Me! Doodle T and Me! on Sep 20, 2022

    Hi Carolyn - I am thrilled that the Water Fly Bags work for you! Thanks for your comment - Jeanne of Doodle T and Me!