Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
If you have ever had an invasion of houseflies in your home, you know just how disturbing it can be. Not only are the insects noisy and annoying, but they can carry viruses and bacteria.
There are many sprays on the market that claim to kill the creatures, but what about if you don’t want to introduce all those chemicals into your home? This article will examine natural ways to get rid of flies.
Your first step is to find out how the pesky insects are getting inside your home. Most of the time flies enter through cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, damaged screens, or open doors and windows. After finding and securing possible entry points, look for any areas close to your house that could be attracting the flies.
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Here are a few possibilities:
- Standing water
- Debris-filled gutters
- Garbage cans with poor-fitting lids
- Animal waste
- Rotting plants
- Piles of wood, grass, or leaves
Although you couldn’t even begin to get rid of all the flies on your property, you can limit the population that lives near your house by cleaning up these potential breeding grounds.
The typical lifespan of a housefly is 15 to 30 days, depending upon living conditions and temperature. They can reproduce quickly and in large numbers inside your home, leading to a big problem if you don’t take action.
While the smell of basil may give you visions of an Italian dinner, flies hate it. Plant basil near your entryways or on your windowsills to deter flies.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Sprinkle cayenne pepper along windowsill edges or use it to make an insect spray. Mix together one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne in a spray bottle. Then spray the solution in areas where flies are congregating.
Flies also dislike the smell of cinnamon. You can deter them by packing small bowls of this aromatic spice in areas where you have seen the insects buzzing.
4. Citrus Fruit
Citrus oil is a natural insect repellant and is an ingredient in many commercial sprays. You can place citrus peels in a mesh bag or in a small open container in areas where you see flies. Replace as needed.
Insert multiple cloves in lemon halves to give a double whammy to flies. They dislike both the citrus smell and the odor of cloves. Place the fruit pieces on windowsills.
Consider a pot of lavender near your doorway, or place fresh lavender near possible fly entrances. Or, if you like the smell of lavender, use it in a diffuser to ward off flies.
7. Lemongrass Spray
Keep the flying pests at bay with this DIY natural bug spray. Mix 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil with 2 ounces of hot water in a spray bottle. Spray along windowsills and entryways, or anywhere else you see flies.
8. Eucalyptus or Rosemary
Hang bunches of fresh eucalyptus or rosemary from the ceiling to ward away flies.
9. Citronella Candles
10. Bags of Water
Have you ever seen a bag of water hanging from a porch ceiling? Here’s the idea behind this age-old fly remedy: A fly bases its movement upon light, so the refracted light coming through the water can confuse the fly.
Some people add pennies to the bag to further the refraction. To flies, the pennies look like the eyes of a predator. Does it work? According to Snopes, the jury is out on this one. Maybe it’s worth a try?
Many other herbs and flowers repel flies, including catnip, bay leaves, and marigolds. The key is placing these aromatic plants in the areas where the pests are entering your home to keep them at bay.
Unfortunately, once flies are in, they’re in. If you need to be armed with more than a trusty fly swatter, here are ways to trap the flies that are already in your home.
11. Plastic Bottle Fly Trap
Here are directions to make a simple fly trap using a repurposed plastic bottle and a few other ingredients you probably have on hand for a homemade fly trap.
12. Vinegar and Dish Soap
You can attract and kill flies with this simple process. Pour about an inch of apple cider vinegar into a glass jar. Add a few drops of dish soap. Cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap that you secure with a rubber band. Then poke a few small holes in the top of the wrap.
The flies will be attracted to the vinegar and will fly through the holes to get to it. However, the dish soap film will prevent them from getting to the vinegar, and then they won’t be able to get out of the jar.
13. Light Trap
Flies are attracted to light, so you can use that instinct to your advantage by installing a light trap. This video shows you how to use one. Here are some light traps for flies that are available on Amazon.
14. Sticky Traps
These non-tech traps use very sticky paper to attract and trap flies. They come in various forms, including this ribbon style. You also can make your own sticky paper traps if you would prefer. This article explains how to make the traps with paper bag strips, honey, sugar, and water.
15. Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Trap
The recipe for this trap goes back a few centuries. Mix two cups of milk with a quarter-cup of sugar and four tablespoons of black pepper in a pan and simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes. Carefully pour the mixture into bowls that you set in infested areas. The milk and sugar attract the flies while the pepper chokes them.
Now that you have some ideas for getting rid of flies, have you ever wondered how a fly is able to move away from your swatter to safety at the last millisecond? They can see you coming. Those same compound eyes that make them leery of those water-filled bags provide them with close to a 360-degree field of view!
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