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How to Get Rid of Flies

Jennifer L. Betts
red flyswatter and dead flies

Flies! They are the bane of every homeowner. Not only are they sly but getting rid of them can be nearly impossible. Find a few DIY tricks and commercial traps that are sure to get rid of your fly problem. Get ideas for keeping them out of the house and your yard fly free.

Get Rid of Flies in Your Home

Flies are a nasty problem that many homeowners don't have to deal with. Try a few methods to help you get rid of flies in a snap.

Make Your Own Fly Paper

While you can surely buy fly paper, it is easy enough that you can make your own. You'll need:

  • String
  • Scissors
  • Honey or syrup
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Brown bag
  • Hole punch
  • Pan
  • Old towel

Before you start creating your fly paper, you'll need to cut the bag into strips and punch holes in the top. You'll then:

  1. In a pan combine equal parts water, sugar and honey.
  2. Heat it up until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Put the string through the hole and tie it.
  4. Dip the strip in the honey mixture.
  5. Hang them to dry under an old towel to catch any drips.
  6. Enjoy watching your fly strips capture those little buggers.
Flypaper With Dead Flies

Make a Natural Fly Repellent

Vodka isn't only great to drink; it is a great fly deterrent. To keep those buggers at bay, make a vodka-based fly spray. You'll need:

  • Vodka
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Small glass spray bottle

With your alcohol in hand, it's time to make your natural fly spray. Simply:

  1. Fill the bottle with a cup of cheap vodka.
  2. Add 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil
  3. Go outside and spray around your windows, near your doors and around your garbage cans.

DIY Fly Traps

Homemade fly traps are a great natural way to deter flies. These typically require a container like a jar or mug. You also need to create a way for the flies to get in but not out. For example, you might use a paper funnel or plastic wrap over the opening. Then it is all about luring them in with sweet fruit or sugar water.

Grow a Natural Deterrent

There are a natural deterrents that flies just don't like. These include basil, mint and bay leaf. Growing these in your windowsills or placing them around your kitchen can be enough to keep the flies away. They are also great for when it comes time for cooking. Another plant that literally eats flies is the Venus fly trap. Keep one of these and the flies will literally disappear.

Venus Fly Trap Plant

Restrict Breeding Sites

Flies need a place to breed and good housekeeping practices can eliminate this.

  • Clean up food leftovers and dirty dishes that attract them by following a daily cleaning schedule.
  • Make sure to take out trash daily and use lids that seal.
  • Check all the rooms for food laying around. This is especially true if you have teens.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

Preventing fruit flies is half the battle by throwing away rotting fruit, washing produce immediately, and cleaning up spills. You can also refrigerate fruit so larva can't mature. However, despite your best efforts those flying menace have invaded your home. Don't despair. In addition to trying the fly traps and paper, you might:

  1. Place 2 cups of white vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Add a couple drops of a fruit scented dish soap.
  3. Sit it on a counter.

If that method doesn't work, you can also add a couple drops of dish soap to an old wine or beer bottle and leave it sitting on the counter.

Chemical Warfare for Fruit Flies

Looking for something specifically for those pesky fruit flies, give Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch a try. This commercial fruit fly trap is non-toxic and looks similar to a spice jar. To use, you just flip the top open.

Commercial Indoor Fly Control

In addition to natural methods, there are several commercial products that are on the market to get rid of flies in your home. You'll want to follow all the instructions when using a commercial killer or trap.

  • CatchMaster 904 - Clear Window Fly Trap - A sticky trap, you use this pre-baited trap on a window to catch house and fruit flies.
  • Fly Magnet - A reusable trap with bait, you just set it out and it attracts those pesky bugs.
  • KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap - Great for flies of all kinds, this indoor "bug zapper" uses UV light and sticky glue boards to trap flies.
  • Fly swatter: Available at any store, a fly swatter is a simple and easy low-cost killer.
  • Ortho Indoor Insecticide - Follow the instructions carefully and you can spray this in high fly problem areas.
Electric fly and insect killer

Prevent Flies From Getting in the House

While sometimes flies can't be avoided in your home, there are a few things you can do to keep them out or repel them.

  • Use an essential oil like rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass or lavender in the kitchen or near the windows to repel them.
  • Check your screens, windows, doors and vents for holes that they might be coming through. Seal cracks or holes in your windows and replace screens as needed.

Get Rid of Outdoor Flies

Flies aren't just an indoor problem. They usually start outside. To keep your fly problem down to minimal, give a few of these tricks a try.

  • Fill plastic bags with a little vodka and place them in discrete fly zones.
  • Spray outdoor furniture with an insect repellant. This might be enough to keep those irritating buggers away.
  • Put up a bug zapper.
  • Put garbage in bins with tight lids.
  • Rinse out and deodorize your garbage bins every few weeks.
  • Hang bundles of lavender around your house.
  • Grow nasturtiums, a natural bug repelling flower, under your windows and around your house.

The Problem of Flies

Flies are a nasty pest, especially in the summer time. While it feels like you'll never get rid of them, going beyond your trusty fly swatter can ensure that those pests bite the dust. Give these bug menace killing techniques a try.

How to Get Rid of Flies