Will the Cover Attract Flies? How to Maintain a Metal Raised Bed to Prevent Flies?

A common concern among gardeners and homeowners is whether the cover will attract flies. Understanding this relationship is crucial for maintaining a clean and pleasant outdoor space. In this article, we will explore the subject of Garden bed covers and their potential connection to flies, debunking any misconceptions along the way.

raised garden beds

What is a cover?

A cover refers to any material applied to the soil surface around plants, providing a range of benefits. It can be organic, such as wood chips, straw, or compost, or inorganic, like rubber or stone. The main purposes of covering are to improve soil health and plant growth by retaining moisture, regulating temperature, suppressing weeds, and enhancing soil fertility.

So, the question now is whether the cover will attract flies? The answer is yes, covers can attract flies. Flies are drawn to the decaying organic matter and moisture present in covered beds. To minimize fly attraction, it's essential to use appropriately aged covers, maintain the proper thickness, monitor humidity levels, flip and aerate the covers, consider alternative cover types, and keep the surrounding area clean. These practices will help reduce the fly population and retain the benefits of covering in the garden.

Understanding Flies

Before delving into the relationship between covers and flies, it's essential to have a general understanding of flies themselves. Flies belong to the order Diptera and are characterized by a pair of wings. They play important roles in various ecosystems, including pollination and decomposition. Common types of flies encountered by homeowners include house flies, fruit flies, and blowflies.

Flies are attracted to specific conditions that provide them with food sources, breeding grounds, and favorable odors. Factors such as decaying organic matter, garbage, and certain types of odors may be enticing to flies and lead to their presence in an area.

Linking Covers to Fly Attraction

The belief that covers attract flies is a common concern among gardeners and homeowners. While this perception exists, analyzing the factors that lead to this belief is crucial. Covers themselves do not directly attract flies; instead, flies are drawn to specific conditions that may be associated with covers, such as decaying organic matter or excessive moisture content.

Scientific research and studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between covers and flies. These studies consistently indicate that flies are primarily attracted to actively decomposing organic matter, rather than the cover material itself. Flies naturally gravitate to areas where they can find suitable opportunities for breeding and foraging.

Debunking the Myth

Debunking the myth that covers themselves attract flies is crucial. Covers are beneficial additions to garden beds and landscape beautification, providing many advantages for plant health. However, it is the decaying organic matter found under or within the covers that attracts flies. If properly maintained, the cover itself will not create an inviting environment for flies. The key is addressing the conditions that may attract flies, such as promptly removing decaying materials or adjusting moisture levels.

raised garden beds

Fly Prevention and Control

To maintain a fly-free outdoor space, it is essential to implement effective prevention and control measures. Some practical tips include proper waste management, such as sealing garbage bins and regularly cleaning up pet waste. Regularly inspecting and clearing any decaying material beneath and around the covers also helps minimize fly attraction. Keeping the garden or outdoor space clean, such as promptly clearing spills or fallen fruits, is crucial.

In addition to these measures, other fly control methods can be adopted. Using insect repellents can provide temporary relief from fly infestations, while traps can help capture and control their population. Opting for environmentally friendly options and following instructions carefully are essential.


Covers themselves do not attract flies. Flies are naturally drawn to decaying organic matter, which may be present under or within the cover, making them more apparent. By understanding the relationship between covers and flies, gardeners and homeowners can dispel myths and focus on proper cover maintenance to minimize fly attraction.

By implementing practical fly prevention and control measures, such as proper waste management and cleanliness, a fly-free outdoor space can be maintained. Remember, covers provide many benefits for plant and soil health and, with proper care, can be enjoyed without attracting flies.