Flies are not only annoying, they’re major carriers of disease. They are known to transfer more than 100 pathogens that can result in illness, including cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and dysentery.
They collect those pathogens on their legs and mouths when feeding on trash, faeces and other decaying material.
Plus, some types of flies, such as sciarid flies, can damage both your houseplants and your garden plants. They continuously breed by laying eggs in the top of the compost, and tiny larvae feast on damp organic matter and algae within the compost mix. They also destroy the tiny roots of newly germinated seedling.
Flies like whiteflies, fruit flies, bulb flies and fungus gnats tend to suck the cell content out of the plants, feed on fruits and vegetables or their larvae feed on the plants’ roots.
Their feeding may result in plants with poor or stunted growth, wilted or discolored leaves and reduced crops.
Given all that, it’s no wonder so many people look for quick ways to eradicate them, but the problem is that chemical solutions and sprays for doing so are not the best idea as they’re typically filled with harmful ingredients that can negatively impact children, adults, pets, wildlife and the environment.
Instead of going down the chemical elimination route, try using a natural remedy to get rid of these frustrating pests. Before you get started, be sure to check all your screens and make any necessary repairs and replacements to prevent giving them an easy way in.
Also, ensure your trash and garbage is well sealed so that you’re not providing food or breeding sites for your unwanted house guests.
No one should have to live with these buzzy critters in their house or garden – here are fourteen genius tricks to get rid of flies who are already inside and how to keep them away from both your home and garden.
1. Vodka-based Repellent
Flies hate the smell of vodka, which is one of the reasons why this alcohol-based recipe is a great natural product to assist in getting rid of them.
In a glass spray bottle, mix one cup of vodka with two teaspoons of aloe vera juice and a teaspoon of organic lemon eucalyptus oil. Then spray the solution in all the areas that you know are infested with flies.
It’s good to also apply it to areas that might not have flies yet in order to discourage them from going there after leaving the spot they’re already in.
This blend is also safe to add to your skin if you find that they tend to latch on to you, or if you’re suffering from allergy problems caused by flies.
2. Lemon Stuffed with Cloves
This technique works well for both indoor and outdoor situations and anecdotal evidence suggests it is an effective way of repelling flies.
All that needs to be done for this method, is to place whole cloves in a half lemon, and wedge in as many of the cloves as you can fit into the flesh. Place the lemon half in a bowl, and let it do its job.
If you plan on having a barbecue or picnic outside in your garden, be sure to set this up at least 30 minutes prior to sitting out there.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
Whether the fly problem you’re dealing with is indoors or outdoors, this natural, easy to make fly trap is one of the most effective methods out there.
Simply get a bowl and fill it three-quarters of the way with apple cider vinegar and add in a drop of dish soap.
The dish soap allows the liquid in the bowl to have a more firm surface that eventually causes the flies to fall into the vinegar without them being able to predict what’s happening.
Just be sure to remove all other temptations for the flies on the table or counter that the trap will be placed on, so that there isn’t any distraction away from the bowl.
4. Fragrant Herbs as a Repellent
Another way to completely deter flies from your garden is to plant aromatic and fragrant herbs such as lavender, basil, and mint.
If you are growing vegetables outdoors, it can be helpful to put in bunches of these herbs surrounding your produce as it would effectively discourage the flies from hanging around.
If you aren’t able to grow any herbs, the dried form of any of them will work just fine if they are bundled and tied inside of a cheese cloth. Then, just hang them in the affected areas.
5. Pennies in Water
This old Latin American trick ensures that flies will stay away, even if it doesn’t seem like pennies would be an instinctive repellent.
Simply place glasses of water around the food that you feel is in danger of being attacked by the flies, and throw in about four or five pennies in each one.
You’ll likely be shocked to find that the flies will come nowhere near your meal as long as the glasses are there, as they hate being around the copper that’s in pennies – while it’s not known exactly why, some believe the insects think that the pennies are the “eyes” of a much bigger, more dominant bug looking at them.
6. Milk Sugar Pepper Traps
This type of trap has been found to work wonderfully with all flies, but it’s especially effective for combating fruit flies.
First, take a saucepan and heat up one cup of milk, three teaspoons of sugar, and one tablespoon of pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer for five to 10 minutes and then pour the mixture in a shallow bowl. Now, place the bowls around the infested areas.
The flies will immediately be attracted to this mixture and drown right after landing in the bowls. After a day or two, be sure to clean everything out and dispose of all the dead flies.
7. Electric Fly Swatters
Electric fly swatters are one of the best inventions on the market for those who are surrounded by flies and want an immediate termination method.
These swatters are typically shaped like small tennis racquets and emit a white UV light that attracts the insects to the device, which makes it an easy way to catch them since you don’t have to worry about running around and chasing them.
The electric swatter kills the bugs right on contact and drops them into a collection tray, or right on top of the floor where they can be easily swept up and away.
Don’t worry, these tools come with a protective layer on the outside that prevents people and pets from getting hurt if they accidentally touch the surface of the swatter. The electric part is within the inner wires, so only something as small as a fly can even come in direct contact with it.
8. Lemongrass Oil Repellent
Flies hate the smell of lemongrass, which means that it is yet another fantastic natural resource for eliminating flies from your home and garden.
To get the most out of this technique, heat up about a half cup of water and add in about 20 to 25 drops of pure lemongrass oil. Put it all in a spray bottle and spray all of your doors, windows, and infested surfaces.
Not only does this mixture repel flies in a very effective way, but it also will make your home smell good and give it an aroma with a hint of fresh citrus.
9. Citronella Smoke
Even though citronella candles are known for being a great mosquito repellent, it’s been found that they are equally effective for getting rid of flies too.
Flies hate smoke, and with the added scent of the citronella candle flies will soon scatter.
Camphor candles or oil works just as well as any citronella product, but both of these are highly recommended for indoor and outdoor fly problems. It’s helpful to allow the candles to work up to half an hour prior to sitting or working around an area that you might think is infested with these insects.
This set of three candles take advantage of the fly-repelling properties of both citronella and lemongrass.
10. Sugar Water Trip with Paper Cone
This natural method for getting rid of flies is one of the easiest, most cost effective, and simplest to put together.
All you need is a jar with a little bit of sugar water on the bottom, and a paper cone to insert inside the jar upside down. First, cut a small hole in the tip of the cone before putting it in the jar, and make sure that it isn’t touching the liquid at all. Then leave the trap where you believe it will attract most flies, and as they go down the cone towards the sugar water they will not be able to get back out again, trapping them inside the jar.
It’s good to change out the jars and empty them out every couple of days until you feel that all the flies have been eliminated.
11. Slices of Cucumber
Flies famously hate the smell of cucumbers, so one of the best ways to deter them from laying eggs in your garbage is to put slices of cucumbers right on top of the can.
This will discourage them from going anywhere near the trash, which can be especially helpful during those hot summer days. In addition to that, placing cucumbers around all areas of “risk” for flies will keep them away before they even have a chance to seek out and discover the places they might want to lay their eggs.
12. Cayenne Pepper
Many types of animals, including pests, have strong feelings against hot cayenne pepper powder, so it’s not all that shocking that flies aren’t a big fan of it either.
To use cayenne pepper as a repellent, simply mix some up with water and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Use liberally on areas with lots of flies, and it will kill them off in no time.
Don’t be afraid to use it everywhere, as it’s a safe and non-toxic solution for eliminating flies in both your home and your garden.
13. Cinnamon Air Fresheners
Flies absolutely hate the smell of cinnamon, so keep this in mind if you have a problem with this pesky pest the next time you’re in the hunt for a new air freshener.
While you can purchase one with this scent, most store-bought fresheners come with a host of chemicals, so it’s best to purchase pure cinnamon essential oil and use it in a variety of ways.
You could add a few drops to your favorite diffuser and allow the diffuser to permeate the scent throughout your home, or you could add 5 drops to a glass spray bottle, fill with water and mist it around your home.
14. Plastic Water Bags
This natural fly remedy is a very easy one to get set up, as all it takes is clear plastic bags and some water. Fill each bag with water about three-quarters of the way and tie a knot at the top to hang in various doorways around your house.
When flies come along, they don’t see bags of water but what appears to be a spider web or something that disorients them.
This is a popular method for many outdoor produce vendors to use, so it will surely work in your house or garden too!