Does This Beautiful Wine Bottle Outdoor Decor Really Work For Pest Control?

Are you constantly troubled by flies in your outdoor area? A clever and stylish solution from a TikTok user might be just what you need: hanging wine bottles. Not only do they serve as an effective deterrent for flies, but they also add an aesthetic touch to your space.

The idea originated from a user looking to keep flies away from her chicken run. The method is simple: drill the bottle cap onto the top of the shed or any suitable outdoor structure. When flies become a nuisance, just open the bottle and fill it with water. The underlying principle here is that the light reflecting off the water inside the bottle disorients and repels flies. These pests, with their sensitive eyes, are confused and overwhelmed by the reflected light, prompting them to fly away.


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This is an alternative to hanging a CD or hanging a plastic bag to keep flies out of your home. While anecdotally claimed to be effective, particularly by southern restaurant owners and residents, others aren't easily convinced and say that science doesn't back it up.

How hanging wine bottles allegedly repel flies

One prevailing theory explaining the effectiveness of the water bag hack and consequently why the wine bottle hack in deterring flies relates to their reliance on light for navigation. The concept hinges on the fact that glass bottles alter the path of light, which normally travels in a straight line. This bending of light creates confusion for houseflies, whose eyes are highly sensitive to movement.

One 1997 study found that transparent water bags repelled over 30% of the house flies tested compared to clear bags containing yellow water. Meanwhile, some experts like Dr. John Hopkins, an entomologist with the University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture, disagree. He tells THV11, "There's no scientific evidence. In fact, there have been some studies that proved the other way."

For example, a 2021 study published in the Insects journal mentioned that authors from published field studies on water bags and their ability to deter flies aren't convinced of the hack's effectiveness.

Alternatives to the wine bottle fly deterrent hack

If you're considering the wine bottle hack as a method to deter flies, following the water bag technique's logic, removing any labels from the wine bottles is essential. This ensures maximum reflection of sunlight, which is crucial for the hack's effectiveness. The labels, if left on, could obstruct the light and diminish the reflective properties of the glass.

Additionally, it's vital to note that since this method depends on the reflection of light, its effectiveness may be limited in outdoor areas that lack sufficient sunlight. In such scenarios, the absence of direct light could reduce the impact of this hack, as the key mechanism relies on light-induced disorientation of the flies.

Instead, experts recommend another solution that can be relied on. For example, certified entomologist Scot Hodges shares with Fox News that "The root cause and solution to all fly problems is sanitation. Most flies feed on dead or decaying organic matter, which is what typically causes the flies to appear." There are also other ways to deter flies. For example, you can add plants that can repel flies to your home.