How to Get Rid of Flies in House:30 Easy Ways

Are you tired of constantly swatting at flies buzzing around your home? These pesky insects can be more than just a nuisance – they can also pose health risks by spreading bacteria and disease. But don’t worry, with a few simple steps, you can effectively get rid of flies in your house and keep them from coming back. In this article, we’ll explore 30 easy ways to get rid of flies in the house. Whether you’re dealing with a small infestation or a full-blown invasion, you’ll find practical tips and tricks to help you eliminate these unwanted pests.

Understanding House Flies

Before we dive into how to get rid of flies, let’s take a moment to understand what we’re dealing with. House flies, scientifically known as Musca domestica, are small, grayish insects with four dark stripes on their thorax.

They have large, compound eyes and a single pair of wings. The life cycle of a house fly consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female flies can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime, which hatch into maggots within a day.

Life Cycle StageDuration
Egg12-24 hours
Larva (maggot)3-7 days
Pupa3-6 days
Adult15-25 days

So, what attracts these pesky critters to your home? Flies are drawn to food sources, particularly sugary or fermented substances. They also like moist, warm areas where they can breed, such as:

  • Garbage cans
  • Drains
  • Compost piles
  • Animal waste
  • Rotting fruit or vegetables

Keeping your home clean and free of these attractants is key to preventing fly infestations. Not only are flies annoying, but they can also carry harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. They can cause serious illnesses if ingested.

How to Get Rid of Flies
How to Get Rid of Flies Indoors & Outdoors

Types of House Flies

There are several common species of flies that you may encounter in your home, each with their own unique characteristics and preferences:

  • Common House Fly: This is the most prevalent species, known for its gray color and four dark stripes on the thorax. They are attracted to a wide variety of food sources and can breed in various locations.
  • Fruit Flies: These tiny flies are drawn to fermenting fruits and vegetables, as well as sugary substances. They often breed in drains, garbage disposals, and moist areas around the kitchen.
  • Drain Flies: Also known as moth flies, these small, fuzzy flies are commonly found near drains and sewage systems. They thrive in the organic matter that builds up in pipes and can indicate a plumbing issue.
  • Cluster Flies: These larger flies are known for their sluggish behavior and tendency to gather in large clusters, especially in the fall when they seek warmth indoors. They often enter homes through small cracks and crevices.

Understanding the type of fly you’re dealing with can help you target your prevention and elimination efforts more effectively.

30 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Flies in House

Now that we’ve identified our tiny foes, let’s explore the arsenal of methods at our disposal to combat them.

1. Seal the Fortress

The first line of defense against flies is to prevent their entry. Take a walk around your house and look for any potential entry points. Are there gaps around your windows or doors? Small cracks in the walls? These are like open invitations to flies.

DIY tip: Use caulk to seal small cracks and weatherstripping for gaps around doors and windows. Not only will this keep flies out, but it’ll also help with your energy bills. Talk about a win-win!

Remember, flies can squeeze through openings as small as 1/8 inch, so be thorough in your inspection. Pay special attention to areas where utilities enter your home, like cable lines or pipes. These often-overlooked spots can be prime entry points for flies.

2. Screens Are Your Friends

If you enjoy the fresh air but not the flies that come with it, screens are your best allies. Install screens on all your windows and doors. For those of you who are handy, this can be a fun weekend project. If DIY isn’t your thing, consider hiring a professional – it’s an investment in your comfort and peace of mind.

When choosing screens, opt for those with a tight mesh. The standard is 16 mesh per inch, which is sufficient to keep out most flies. For extra protection against smaller insects, you might consider 20 mesh screens.

Pro tip: Don’t forget about your chimney! If you have a fireplace, install a chimney cap with a screen. This can prevent flies (and other critters) from entering.

3. The Power of Plants

Nature has its own fly repellents, and they come in the form of certain plants. Herbs like basil, lavender, and mint not only add a lovely aroma to your home but also help keep flies at bay. Place potted plants near entry points or in areas where flies tend to congregate.

Pro tip: Crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin for a natural fly repellent when you’re outdoors.

Let’s dive deeper into some fly-repelling plants:

  • Basil: This culinary herb is a powerhouse against flies. Its strong scent is particularly effective against house flies and mosquitoes.
  • Lavender: Not only does it smell wonderful, but lavender is also known to repel flies, moths, fleas, and mosquitoes.
  • Marigolds: These bright flowers contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insecticides.
  • Chrysanthemums: Like marigolds, these flowers contain pyrethrum and are excellent at repelling a variety of insects.

Consider creating a small herb garden in your kitchen window. It’ll serve double duty as a fly deterrent and a handy source of fresh herbs for cooking!

4. Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

This classic DIY trap is both effective and easy to make. Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap. The vinegar attracts the flies, while the soap breaks the surface tension, causing them to sink.

To make this trap even more effective, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke small holes in it. This will make it easier for flies to get in, but harder for them to escape. You can also experiment with different types of vinegar or even wine to see what works best in your home.

5. The Sticky Situation

Flypaper or sticky traps might not be the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but they’re undeniably effective. Hang them in areas where flies are most active. Just be careful where you place them – you don’t want to accidentally walk into one yourself!

If you’re concerned about the appearance of traditional flypaper, there are now more discreet options available. Some come in the form of clear window stickers or decorative spiral hangings that blend better with home decor.

DIY option: Make your own sticky traps using strips of yellow paper (flies are attracted to the color) coated with a mixture of corn syrup and sugar. Hang these around your home for a more natural and customizable approach.

6. Light Them Up (or Down)

Flies are attracted to light, so use this to your advantage. During the day, keep your curtains drawn in rooms you’re not using. At night, use yellow “bug lights” outside instead of regular white lights. These are less attractive to flies and other insects.

Understanding the science behind this can help: Flies are attracted to UV light, which is present in sunlight and most artificial lights. Yellow lights, however, don’t emit UV rays, making them less appealing to our buzzing foes.

You can consider installing motion-sensor lights outdoors. This way, you’re not constantly attracting insects to your home, but you still have light when you need it.

7. Essential Oils to the Rescue

Essential oils aren’t just for your diffuser. Many of them, like eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint, are natural fly repellents. Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and spritz around your home, focusing on entry points and problem areas.

Here’s a simple recipe for a homemade fly-repellent spray:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (choose one or mix: eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, or lemongrass)
  • 1 tablespoon of vodka or rubbing alcohol (helps the oil and water mix)

Shake well before each use and reapply as needed. Not only will this help keep flies away, but it’ll also leave your home smelling fresh and clean!

8. The Old-Fashioned Fly Swatter

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. A good old-fashioned fly swatter can be surprisingly effective. It’s also a great way to get some exercise and work out any frustrations!

When using a fly swatter, aim slightly behind the fly. They have quick reflexes and will often move backward when they sense danger. By aiming behind them, you increase your chances of making contact.

For a more eco-friendly option, consider an electric fly swatter. These battery-operated devices electrocute flies on contact, providing a quick and mess-free solution.

9. Keep It Clean

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: a clean house is less attractive to flies. Regularly clean up food spills, take out the trash, and keep your drains clean. Pay special attention to your kitchen and dining areas.

Cleaning hack: Pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down your drains once a week to keep them clean and odor-free.

Let’s break down some specific cleaning tips:

  • Wipe down counters and tables immediately after meals
  • Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator or in sealed containers
  • Clean up pet waste promptly
  • Rinse recyclables before putting them in the bin
  • Use tightly sealed garbage cans, both indoors and outdoors

Remember, flies can smell food from a considerable distance, so eliminating these odors is key to keeping them away.

10. The Venus Flytrap: Nature’s Fly Catcher

For a unique and natural solution, consider getting a Venus flytrap plant. Not only are they fascinating to watch, but they’ll also help control your fly population. Plus, they make for great conversation starters!

Venus flytraps are surprisingly easy to care for. They need:

  • Lots of sunlight (at least 4 hours of direct sun daily)
  • Distilled water or rainwater (they’re sensitive to minerals in tap water)
  • High humidity
  • Poor, acidic soil (avoid regular potting soil)

While they won’t solve a major fly infestation on their own, Venus flytraps can be an interesting and educational addition to your fly-fighting arsenal.

Sticky Traps for fruit flies
Sticky Traps for fruit flies

11. DIY Fly Strips

If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own fly strips using paper and a sticky mixture of corn syrup, sugar, and water. Hang these around your home for a more personalized (and less unsightly) version of commercial fly strips.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Cut strips of brown paper or cardboard
  • Mix equal parts corn syrup, sugar, and water in a bowl
  • Dip the strips in the mixture, allowing the excess to drip off
  • Hang the strips to dry (place newspaper underneath to catch drips)
  • Once dry, hang the strips in the problem areas

These homemade strips are biodegradable and free from harsh chemicals, making them a great eco-friendly option.

12. The Bag of Water Trick

This old wives’ tale has some merit. Hang clear plastic bags filled with water and a few pennies near entry points. The theory is that the light refraction confuses and deters flies. While the science is debatable, many swear by this method.

Some people believe that the refracted light looks like a spider’s web to flies, causing them to stay away. Others think that the reflections resemble the compound eyes of larger predators, scaring the flies off.

While there’s no concrete scientific evidence supporting this method, it’s a harmless and inexpensive trick to try. At worst, you’ll have some interesting decorations; at best, you might see a reduction in flies!

13. Electric Fly Zappers

For a more high-tech solution, consider an electric fly zapper. These devices attract flies with UV light and then electrocute them. They’re especially useful in outdoor areas like patios or decks.

When choosing an electric fly zapper, consider:

  • The coverage area (larger zappers cover more space)
  • Whether it’s indoor or outdoor use (or both)
  • The method of fly disposal (some have removable trays for easy cleaning)
  • Energy efficiency (LED options use less electricity)

Remember to clean your zapper regularly for optimal performance. Some models even come with cleaning brushes to make this task easier.

Safety note: Keep these out of reach of children and pets.

14. Natural Predators

If you have outdoor fly problems, encourage natural predators like birds and bats. Install bird feeders or bat houses to attract these fly-eating friends.

Different birds have different diets, but some common fly-eaters include:

  • Swallows
  • Purple Martins
  • Flycatchers
  • Warblers

For bats, consider installing a bat house. A single bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects per hour! Just be sure to place the bat house at least 12-15 feet high and away from bright lights.

15. Citrus Peels

Flies dislike the smell of citrus. Place lemon, lime, or orange peels in areas where flies are a problem. As a bonus, your house will smell fresh and clean!

To maximize the effectiveness of this method:

  • Use fresh peels for the strongest scent
  • Replace the peels every few days as the scent fades
  • Try simmering citrus peels in water on the stove to disperse the scent throughout your home
  • Rub citrus peels on windowsills and door frames for an extra barrier of protection

You can also make a citrus spray by boiling citrus peels in water, letting the mixture cool, and then straining it into a spray bottle. Use this natural spray around your home for a fresh scent and fly-repelling properties.

16. The Power of Carnivorous Plants

While we mentioned Venus flytraps earlier, there’s a whole world of carnivorous plants that can help in your fly-fighting efforts. Consider adding these fascinating plants to your home:

  • Pitcher Plants: These plants have deep cavities filled with digestive fluid. Flies are attracted to the sweet nectar around the rim, slip in, and can’t escape.
  • Sundews: These plants have sticky tentacles that trap flies and other small insects.
  • Butterworts: Their leaves are covered in a sticky substance that traps flies.

Not only do these plants help control flies, but they also add a unique and interesting element to your home decor. Just imagine the conversations you’ll have when guests notice your fly-eating plants!

Care tip: Most carnivorous plants prefer high humidity and indirect sunlight. They also need nutrient-poor soil, so avoid regular fertilizers.

17. The Fan Trick

Here’s a simple yet effective method: use a fan. Flies are not strong fliers and struggle against air currents. Place a fan near entry points or in areas where flies congregate to create an inhospitable environment for them.

This method works particularly well in outdoor settings like patios or decks. A strategically placed fan can help keep your outdoor dining experiences fly-free.

Energy-saving tip: Look for energy-efficient fans or consider solar-powered options for outdoor use. This way, you’re not only keeping flies at bay but also being environmentally conscious.

18. Fly-Repelling Sachets

Create your own fly-repelling sachets using herbs and spices. This method not only helps deter flies but also leaves your home smelling wonderful. Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Mix equal parts of dried lavender, mint, and cloves in a bowl.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil (eucalyptus or tea tree work well).
  • Place the mixture in small fabric pouches.
  • Hang these sachets near windows, doors, or in problem areas.

You can also place these sachets in drawers or closets to keep your clothes smelling fresh and fly-free.

DIY bonus: These sachets make great gifts! Consider making extra to share with friends and family who might also be battling fly problems.

19. The Clove and Lemon Method

This age-old technique combines the power of two natural fly repellents: cloves and lemons. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take a whole lemon and cut it in half.
  • Stick several whole cloves into each lemon half.
  • Place these on plates or in shallow bowls around your home.

The strong scent of cloves combined with the citrus aroma creates an environment that flies find unappealing. Plus, it’s a natural air freshener for your home!

Tip: Replace the lemon-clove combinations every few days to maintain their effectiveness. You can compost the old ones, making this an eco-friendly option.

20. Ultrasonic Repellents

For a high-tech, non-toxic solution, consider ultrasonic repellents. These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are unpleasant to flies and other insects but inaudible to humans and most pets.

When choosing an ultrasonic repellent:

  • Look for models that cover the square footage you need
  • Check if they’re suitable for indoor or outdoor use (or both)
  • Read reviews to ensure effectiveness

Note: While many people swear by these devices, scientific evidence of their effectiveness is mixed. It might be worth trying in combination with other methods.

21. The Vodka Spray Solution

Believe it or not, vodka can be an effective fly repellent. Its strong smell and alcohol content make it unappealing to flies. Here’s a simple spray recipe:

  • Mix equal parts vodka and water in a spray bottle.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil for extra repelling power (and a nicer smell).
  • Spray around windows, doors, and other problem areas.
Coffee
Coffee

22. Coffee Grounds: Not Just for Your Morning Brew

Used coffee grounds can be a great fly deterrent. The strong smell is off-putting to flies, and it’s a great way to repurpose something you might otherwise throw away.

Here’s how to use them:

  • Let your used coffee grounds dry out completely.
  • Place them in shallow dishes near entry points or problem areas.
  • Replace every few days to maintain effectiveness.

As a bonus, coffee grounds are great for your garden! After using them as a fly repellent, you can sprinkle them around your plants as a natural fertilizer.

Eco-friendly tip: This method is a win-win for reducing waste and controlling flies. Talk about sustainable pest control!

23. The Plastic Bottle Trap

This DIY trap is both effective and satisfying to make. Here’s how:

  • Cut the top third off a plastic bottle.
  • Invert the top part and place it inside the bottom part, creating a funnel.
  • Fill the bottom with a mixture of sugar water and a drop of dish soap.
  • Place the trap in problem areas.

Flies are attracted to the sweet solution, fly in through the funnel, and can’t find their way out. The dish soap breaks the surface tension, causing it to sink.

Crafty idea: Get creative with your traps! Paint the bottles or decorate them with non-toxic materials to make them blend in with your decor. Who says pest control can’t be stylish?

24. The Cucumber Slice Technique

Believe it or not, cucumbers can be a powerful ally in your fight against flies. These humble vegetables contain an acid that flies find repulsive. Here’s how to use them:

  • Cut a cucumber into thin slices.
  • Arrange these slices on a plate or in a shallow dish.
  • Place the dish in areas where flies are a problem.

The best part? Once you’re done using them as fly repellents, you can add the cucumber slices to your salad or water for a refreshing treat!

This method is not only effective but also produces zero waste. It’s a win-win for both pest control and the environment.

25. The Fly-Repelling Paint Job

Did you know that certain colors can deter flies? Flies are less attracted to cooler colors, particularly light blue. Consider painting your porch ceiling, window frames, or even outdoor furniture in this fly-repelling hue.

Some interesting color facts:

  • Light blue is thought to confuse flies, as they perceive it as an open sky.
  • Darker colors tend to attract flies more, as they associate them with shade and potential food sources.

If a full paint job isn’t feasible, consider adding light blue accents to your decor. Throw pillows, curtains, or planters in this color can serve a dual purpose of fly control and stylish design.

26. The Basil Spray Solution

We mentioned basil plants earlier, but let’s take it a step further with a homemade basil spray. This aromatic herb is a natural fly repellent, and its scent is pleasant for humans. Here’s how to make your own spray:

  • Boil 4 ounces of water and add a good handful of fresh basil leaves.
  • Let the mixture steep for several hours.
  • Strain the liquid into a spray bottle.
  • Add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil for extra potency.

Spray this solution around windows, doors, and other entry points. Not only will it help keep flies away, but it will also leave your home smelling wonderfully fresh!

After making your spray, don’t throw away those basil leaves! They can still be used in cooking, adding a delicious flavor to your meals while you fight flies.

27. The Fly-Repelling Wind Chimes

This method combines aesthetics with fly control. Create your own fly-repelling wind chimes using materials that fly dislike. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • String or fishing line
  • A sturdy stick or rod
  • Items to hang: Strips of aluminum foil, old CDs, or small mirrors

The reflective surfaces disorient flies, while the movement and occasional sounds further deter them. Hang these chimes near entry points or in your outdoor living areas.

Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Fast
Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Fast

28. The Cinnamon Solution

Cinnamon isn’t just for baking – it’s also an effective fly repellent. The strong smell overwhelms the flies’ senses and keeps them at bay. Try these cinnamon-based solutions:

  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon around windowsills and door frames.
  • Simmer cinnamon sticks in water on the stove to disperse the scent.
  • Create cinnamon-scented sachets to hang around your home.

Seasonal tip: During the holiday season, incorporate cinnamon-scented decorations into your home. You’ll be festive and fly-free!

29. The Optical Illusion Method

Flies have compound eyes that are easily tricked by certain patterns. You can use this to your advantage:

  • Cut out several black circles (about 2 inches in diameter) from paper or cardstock.
  • Stick these circles on a white or light-colored surface near windows or doors.

Flies perceive these circles as other flies sitting still, which makes them wary of approaching. It’s a simple, non-toxic way to keep flies away.

DIY opportunity: Get creative with this method! You could create artistic patterns using these circles, turning your fly control into a unique piece of home decor.

30. Professional Help

If all else fails and you’re dealing with a severe infestation, it might be time to call in the professionals. A pest control expert can identify the source of your fly problem and provide targeted solutions.

When choosing a pest control service:

  • Look for companies that use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, which focus on long-term prevention and use pesticides as a last resort
  • Ask about their methods and any chemicals they use
  • Check for proper licensing and insurance
  • Read reviews from previous customers
  • Get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services

Remember, a good pest control professional should not only eliminate your current fly problem but also help you prevent future infestations.

When to Call a Professional Exterminator?

If you’ve tried all the above methods and still have a severe fly infestation, it may be time to call in a professional exterminator.

While a few flies in your home may be a nuisance, a severe infestation can indicate a more serious problem. Here are some signs that it’s time to call a professional:

  • Large numbers of flies: If you’re constantly seeing flies throughout your home, despite your best efforts to eliminate them, you may have a severe infestation.
  • Maggots: If you find maggots in your home, it’s a clear sign of a fly infestation. Maggots are the larval stage of flies and indicate that flies are actively breeding in your home.
  • Persistent odors: If you notice a strong, persistent odor in your home, particularly near drains or garbage areas, it could be attracting flies and providing a breeding site.
  • Difficulty controlling the infestation: If you’ve tried multiple DIY methods and the fly population doesn’t seem to be decreasing, it’s time to seek professional help.

A professional exterminator can assess the severity of your fly infestation, identify breeding sites, and develop a targeted treatment plan to eliminate the problem effectively.

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