Do you love to spend time outdoors in spring and summer?
It’s refreshing to spend time outside after the winter. You can open your windows and let the fresh air circulate through your house, clearing the stale air. This might be the best part of spring cleaning.
As much as you enjoy the spring and summer, an increase in pests is a disadvantage in these warmer seasons. Flies are a major nuisance around your home during these months. While you sit outside to warm up in the sun, you’re bothered by flies. Similarly, when you open the windows and doors to air out your house, flies will get in.
Even though flies won’t bite you, they can still bring disease-causing bacteria into your home. They spread their feces and eggs on your kitchen countertops and on your dirty dishes in the sink.
How can you get rid of flies in and around your home?
You don’t want to spray pesticides all over your house, especially since flies are often attracted to food or areas in your home where you prepare food. If you have children or pets, you don’t want them encountering harmful pesticides on a regular basis.
Don’t worry! We have some tips and tricks to show you how to get rid of flies at home. If flies are attracted to your home during the warmer months, you’ll love some of these strategies.
What Attracts Flies to Your Home?
So, why are flies attracted to your house, anyway?
Flies are attracted by garbage and rotting food. One of the best ways to deter them from gathering around your home is to clean religiously. Don’t leave food waste in your kitchen trash can for long periods of time and clean your house thoroughly.
Pets and pet waste also attract their share of pests. Flies’ favorite place to lay their eggs is in poop, and if you have pet poop around your home, you could be attracting flies. If you have cats, make sure you scoop the litter box regularly.
If your house is drafty around the windows and doors, you’re making it easy for flies to enter your home. Loose seals around the windows and doors make your home vulnerable to more pests than just flies. Check your screens for holes and don’t forget to caulk around the outside of your window frames.
Remember, a clean and well-maintained house with tidy occupants won’t attract pests like flies.
Tips and Tricks on How to Get Rid of Flies
Now that you know why flies might be entering your house, we can discuss some ways to discourage them. Many of these methods don’t involve harmful pesticides and are safe to keep near children and pets.
1. Homemade Traps
Possibly, the most well-known home remedy for getting rid of flies is the dish soap trap. It’s effective and simple, using basic household items you probably already have handy.
You’ll need a wide-mouthed container, like an old butter tub or a jar. Pour in an inch of dish soap, preferably a soap with a fruity scent. Top it with an inch of
water. Flies will be attracted by the scent of the soap and drown in the water.
Another useful homemade trap is constructed from an empty 2-liter bottle. You cut off the top of the bottle, turn the cut top part upside down, and reattach it to the rest of the bottle. You can then use sugar or vinegar inside the bottle as bait.
Flies are attracted to the bait and enter the bottle. Because of the narrow opening, they can’t get back out, so they’re trapped. You can empty the trap of the dead flies periodically.
This trap is ideal for outdoor settings when you want to keep flies away from your food. Be careful with what bait you choose, though. Wasps can also be attracted to the same bait.
2. Homemade Fly-repellent Spray
Another popular way to get rid of flies is through homemade fly-repellent sprays. You can make them at home with a few simple ingredients. While some of these ingredients probably aren’t readily available around your house, they’re easy to find at the drugstore or supermarket.
You’ll need an empty spray bottle, first. Fill it with water and add either cayenne pepper or some essential oils. You can find cayenne pepper in your grocery store spice aisle. As for essential oils, flies are repelled by mint, lavender, basil, and lemongrass. You can find these essential oils in the natural remedies section of your supermarket.
Shake the spray bottle to mix your additive of choice into the water. You can spray this mixture around your windows and doors to repel flies. You’ll need to reapply your spray every few days to maintain effectiveness.
If you have flower beds around your house, you can employ yet another natural fly-repelling technique. Plant some herbs! Flies don’t like mint, lavender, or basil. Alternatively, you could plant marigolds, if you don’t want to plant herbs.
In lieu of a flower bed, you can plant your herbs in pots. Make sure you place them near your door and in areas where you like to spend time outdoors. You can even put pots of herbs inside your kitchen to repel flies from critical areas if they do get inside the house.
Unlike the fly-repellant spray, herbs and marigolds will repel flies while they’re alive and flourishing. So, take good care of them, and you’ll have a permanent fly-repelling barrier to keep the pests away from your home.
4. Commercial Fly Traps
Once flies are inside your house, you can take a more direct approach to getting rid of them. Flypaper is the most well-known of the commercial fly killers on the market. You can purchase it at any supermarket. It’s relatively easy to set up in the locations where you know flies like to congregate.
You can hang it up, and flies will be attracted to it. They’ll stick to it and won’t be able to get off. After a while, you can throw away the fly-covered paper and re-hang a new piece.
Additionally, you could buy a fly light. This device is like a bug zapper, but it doesn’t use electric grids to kill the flies. Instead, a fly light attracts flies using UV light. The flies are trapped on flypaper or sticky pads. You can discard the dead flies once they’re collected on the pads.
Some fly lights also emit pheromones to attract flies from further away than the UV light reaches. UV light doesn’t bend around corners, so this feature makes the fly light more effective. You’ll find fly lights in and around restaurants since these devices are highly efficient and clean ways to get rid of flies.
5. Bags of Water
The last method might sound odd, but it’s effective as well. You can hang clear plastic bags filled with water around your doorways to dissuade flies from coming near your house. It’s unclear how this works, but experts think the flies are confused by the way the water reflects light.
If you try this method, make sure the bags are sturdy and won’t leak. Fill them halfway full of water. Also, hang them securely in a location where they won’t fall on someone if they come loose.
This admittedly looks strange to passersby. If the aesthetics bother you, hanging up old CDs will have the same effect.
How to Keep Flies from Coming Back
So, once you get rid of the flies in and around your home, how do you keep them from returning? Remember what attracts flies to your house, such as organic waste, pet waste, and drafty windows and doors.
Organic waste should be disposed of outside your house as soon as possible. You could freeze organic waste like fruit and vegetable matter or meat bones. On your designated trash pick-up day, take out the frozen organic waste. This will prevent the food from decomposing in your garbage can and attracting flies.
Keep fruits and vegetables in the fridge instead of on the countertop. Even though some fruits and veggies are best when left out of the fridge, when your produce gets overripe, it attracts pests. Once you notice your produce passing the point of perfect ripeness, put it in the fridge.
Clean your floors and countertops. The garbage can isn’t the only place flies can find food. They’re also attracted to crumbs and food messes on your counters. Make sure you clean thoroughly and regularly.
Also, make sure your windows and doors have good seals. Not only will this help you keep your air conditioning and heating bills low, but also, you’ll keep the flies and other pests from being able to sneak into your home.
Now that you know how to get rid of flies in and around your home, you’re prepared to enjoy the warm breezes of spring and summer. Armed with your new knowledge, you can keep your home free of pests all season long.