How to Get Rid of Flies

House flies -- they invade our homes, spoil our picnics and keep us swatting all summer long. But you know what? It doesn't have to be that way. Here's how to get rid of flies quickly and naturally.

Eliminate Food Sources

Flickr / Anivas

Try to see your house the way a fly sees it. Dirty dishes in the sink, unlidded trash cans and compost bins, pet food bowls -- they're all a source of food, if you're a fly. Go through your house room by room, and do what you need to do to shut down the buffet.

Clean Up After Your Pets

Pet dog

Need a reason to stay on top of your pet-related chores? Here it is: Flies lay 75 to 150 eggs at a time, and they prefer to lay those eggs on poop. Since it takes as little as 24 hours for those eggs to hatch, you could be looking at 150 more flies tomorrow, for every dog pile that you leave in your backyard today. Yikes! Scoop up after your pets on a daily basis, and keep their cages clean, so your backyard doesn't turn into a fly breeding ground.

Figure Out How They're Getting In

Energy Efficient Windows
Getty Images

It's normal for some flies to get in with the opening and closing of doors, but if you have a lot of flies in your home, you need to figure out how they're getting in. Examine your window screens for tears, and patch or replace any that are damaged. Then, take a look at the caulk around windows and door, and recaulk as needed. Finally, inspect the weather stripping around doors, and make the necessary adjustments or replacements.

Make a Fly Trap

Round up the flies in your house, or keep them away from your next picnic by making a homemade fly trap out of a soda bottle. Here's how.

Make Fly Paper

Fly Paper in the window
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Fly paper may not be pretty, but it sure does the job. Pick some up at the store, or make your own at home. Then, hang it up, and watch the flies flock to it.

Hang A Bag of Water

Ever seen a bag of water hanging over someone's door? It's there to keep the flies out. No one knows exactly how it works (it's thought to be visually confusing to the flies), but it definitely works. Just fill sturdy bags (like freezer bags) half way with water, and tack one up over each of your exterior doors.

Use Plants to Keep Them Away

Fresh Mint Plant Potted
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Flies don't like lavender, mint, lemongrass, basil or tansy. Use them as foundation plantings around your house, or stick them in flower pots by your front and back door.

Note: Mint and tansy can be invasive, so you may want to keep them in pots. 

Make Fly Repellent Spray

3 Bottles of Essential Oils
Moncherie / Getty Images

Stock up on essential oils that flies don't like -- lavender, clove, mint, lemongrass, basil -- and use them to make your own fly repellent spray. To mix, just fill a spray bottle with water, and add enough essential oil to fragrance. Then, spray it in your kitchen and around your doorways to keep the flies out. Reapply regularly to maintain the effect.

Note: Label your fly repellent, so others now what it is, and store it out of the reach of children and pets.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies