Do Hot Tubs Attract Flies? (and how to get rid of them)

Water is always a source of attraction for bugs. But hot tubs have both hot water and chlorinated water, so does that make a difference? Do hot tubs attract flies? 

Having owned 4 of them, this is what I know:

Yes, hot tubs with people in them do attract flies. Flies are attracted to the salt and sweat of people but also carbon dioxide which we breathe out. In addition, body and hair oils or lotions attract flies as well, in addition to any food that may be consumed while in the hot tub.

But that’s just a quick snapshot.

So in this article, we’ll not only explore this more. But we’ll also look at how to get rid of them and what you can do to keep them away if you don’t already have a fly problem.

For the same reasons, hot tubs also attract snakes and rodents, and I dealt with this in a recent article that you can read on my website by clicking on the link. 

I know, it sounds pretty alarming, but it needn’t be. In this article, I look at what the big attraction is and what you can do to stop the pests from ruining your fun.

Do hot tubs attract bugs?

Hot tubs can attract a variety of bugs due to both the water and the heat. When you add people to the hot tub with their body oil and lotions and possible food crumbs, the issue only gets worse.

Ever wondered why, as soon as you light up the barbeque in summer, the wasps that were once happy buzzing around the flowers are now all over you and your family and friends? 

Well, they know you’ve got something they might be interested in and won’t go away until they’ve investigated the scene fully. Bugs love the stuff we eat and drink, and if they can’t get to the scraps on the floor, they’ll just go straight to the plate in our hands.

Hot tubs have a special attraction for bugs—water.

They all need to drink as we do, but they can’t differentiate between pond water and a hot tub until they try it. This is why many of them die—hot tub water is quite hostile to their internal organs.

In the early evening, as the sun goes down and the wasps and flies go to rest, many other insects become active, and your hot tub presents another attraction for bugs—lights!

That and the steam and humidity in the air above the tub are a welcome sight for many bugs.

How do I get rid of flies in my hot tub?

Dead flies will float to the surface, so it is easy to scoop them off with a small net. But you can also place jar or sticky tape traps around the area as well to catch live flies.

Flies will also get drawn into the filtration system, which is why you need to clean your filters frequently.

If you want to learn more about cleaning filters, check out this recent article on my website. Just click on the link to read it.

The best thing to do is to stop the flies from getting into your tub in the first place.

One way to do this is to set up traps around the area where your hot tub is situated. One of the best traps I have come across is the Henista Wasp Trap available on Amazon—click on the link to see how this works.

Although designed with wasps in mind, these are equally effective with all flying insects—you just use a different bait.

They also come fitted with a solar-powered blue LED light that attracts mosquitoes and other insects that come out from dusk onwards.

If you don’t want to spend too much on traps, you can make your own.

Take a plastic bottle, cut a ‘V’ shape in the side, about halfway up, and then push the plastic in just enough to allow the wasp or fly to enter. Put some sugary water in the bottle—about a small cupful should do it, with a little honey just inside the hole you cut.

You can either hang it from a tree or place it on a table close to the tub. The bugs will head straight for that rather than you.

Add a little meat or fish in there to attract more types of flying bugs—the more rancid, the better.

What can I put around my hot tub to keep bugs away?

Bugs hate the smell of cinnamon, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Using essential oils containing these fragrances, burning bug candles, or tiki torch fuel scented with any of these will deter most flying insects from the area around your hot tub.

Pine-Sol is another excellent product that you can use, which you can buy on Amazon.

Just click on the link to find out the latest prices. Mix water, vinegar, and Pine-Sol all-purpose cleaner in equal amounts in a spray bottle—add a dash of Citronella to give it added punch and scare off those mosquitos as well—and spray around the hot tub area.

As a multi-surface cleaner, you could also use Pine-Sol to clean your hot tub when the time comes. It contains biodegradable cleaning agents so that it won’t harm the surfaces.

You can also keep bugs away by placing something they like even more on a nearby table and hanging from a tree.

If they have a piece of meat to chew on, they are less likely to bother you. Just make sure it is inside a trap that they can get into but can’t get out of!

Do flies like chlorine?

There is no evidence that flies like chlorine; in fact, it is likely that ingesting chlorine actually kills them, but the smell might increase their awareness of both the water source and possible food source.

Flies have a great sense of smell and can detect odors from up to four miles away, so if you are throwing a party, expect some unwelcome guests from another neighborhood.

Some flies are attracted to the smell of decaying meat and pet feces, so it is important to clear any mess up immediately. Don’t leave anything lying around long enough for flies to lay eggs.

Other flies love the smell of fermentation, so if you like to make your own wine, you will know all about the problems fruit flies can bring.

Many flies like open water, whether for drinking or breeding purposes, so this is another reason you need to keep your hot tub covered when not in use and make sure the cover fits properly.

Keeping your outside space clean and tidy is an excellent way to reduce the problem and keep flies and other pests at bay.

Why are there so many dead flies in my hot tub?

If you get dead insects in your hot tub, it is most likely they were killed by ingesting the chlorine or other chemicals used to sanitize it. Keep the lid on when not in use to prevent this.

Flies are attracted to still water, so if you leave the cover off your hot tub when it is not in use, you will find flies hovering around.

Flies need water to survive, so they will land at some point to take a drink. However, they will not usually drown in this way because surface tension keeps them above water.

A badly fitting cover will also enable flies and other insects to enter your hot tub and become trapped. They don’t have the sense to know that the way out is the way they came in, so they get caught in the water and drown.

If there are drainage points nearby, you will get drain flies because this is where they breed. Avoid this by cleaning out the catch basin regularly. 

If you are averse to putting bleach down your drains, then you could try InVade Bio Drain Gel. This is a probiotic cleaner that kills the scum and organic debris in which the flies lay their eggs.

Click on the link to view this on Amazon.

Did I answer all your concerns about whether hot tubs attract flies?

I hope you will not be put off by the fact that hot tubs, like barbeques and other outdoor activities, can attract flies, vermin, and even snakes. Don’t forget; these are also attracted to many things inside your home too.

There is no escaping nature! You just have to learn to adapt and take in your stride.

If this is your first foray into the world of hot-tubbing, then you should check out this recent article on my site. Twenty-three essential things to know before deciding which one to buy.

Many people start with a plug and play type, inflatable or solid body, but whatever you choose, be sure to do your homework first.

If there is anything I’ve missed or you have other questions about hot tubs, drop me a line, and don’t forget to click on the links to other articles on my website.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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