We’ve all had those moments when you’re reading a book outside or cooking some dinner, and you hear a buzzing in your ear. You look, and it’s a bunch of flies surrounding you, your plants, or your food. Let’s be honest; it’s frustrating and flies are hard to get rid of.
If you happen to have chickens, ducks, or livestock, then the flies can become an absolute nightmare. So, how can you get rid of flies on your homestead?
Follow these tips and tricks in this article to stop the constant buzzing in your garden and home.
Tips for Getting Rid of Flies Outside
First, you’ll need to determine the primary food source attracting the flies. Most of the time, there will be a specific area attracting these insects, such as piles of organic matter and food bins.
1. Detect the Food Sources
If you’re trying to build a sustainable and eco-friendly homestead, you’ll probably have compost piles around your property. Even though this is excellent for the environment, it can also act as the perfect breeding ground for flies.
If you have a bunch of house flies in your compost, something is off. You probably have the wrong mix of green to brown waste. A healthy compost will have soldier flies but not house flies hanging out in it.
It’s not only farms with livestock that experience fly infestations, but urban areas are also likely to struggle with controlling the number of flies if there’s accessible waste.
You’ll notice more flies appearing in summer, so monitoring food waste, trash, and compost at this time of year is crucial to avoid swarms of flies.
Walk around your space every few days and try to spot small clusters of flies. That way, you’ll be able to identify the most popular areas and quickly remove the waste.
Always pick up garbage at least twice a week to help keep on top of things. Here are some other things to do that will prevent flies from visiting your homestead:
- Always use tight-fitting lids on food or waste containers
- Do regular clean-up of livestock or pet feces
- Pick up leftover food
- Dry up areas of water
- Keep compost piles far away from home
If you maintain a frequent cleaning schedule, you should be able to spot any issues before the flies totally take over your property.
2. Welcome Natural Predators
Sometimes it’s easier to work with nature than to work against it.
Another way to get rid of flies on your homestead is to encourage the local wildlife to help keep fly populations down. Many birds and bats like to eat flies.
You can welcome birds onto your homestead by attaching birdhouses to the trees, providing birdbaths, and leaving food out in feeders.
If you have a pond, it’s also beneficial to have frogs. These amphibians love to consume adult flies and their larvae.
3. Use Traps for the Flies
Traps are a classic method to help get rid of flies on a homestead. There are several different types to consider.
You can use fly paper, another name for sticky insecticide-impregnated resin strips, or hang sticky ribbons. Most people use fly paper and ribbons around garbage bins to capture the flies that like to gather around the waste.
Just don’t use these anywhere your poultry or livestock can get stuck in them. If you’ve ever had to pull sticky paper out of your chickens’ feathers, you know what I mean.
Many people swear by lures, which you fill with water and stinky attractant. The flies go in but they can’t get out. These are reliable, effective, and organic.
Lastly, some gardeners use ultraviolet light traps placed outdoors in alleyways and trees to prevent flies from coming near animals and other compost piles.
4. Turn the Fans On
Flies hate the wind, so using fans is a smart way to get these insects to fly away to another spot. You can use fans inside and outside in small areas like patios or garden decks. A fan is super helpful in summer if you plan to eat outdoors.
All you need to do is set the fan up near a BBQ table, and you won’t have many flies landing on your meal.
The fans have to be fairly strong to work. A lazy ceiling fan won’t cut it.
5. Use an Electric Repellant
Repellant devices that emit repellants are effective at keeping flies and mosquitoes away. They only have about a 20-foot range, so they won’t keep flies off your homestead, but they can keep them away from the area where you’re working or hanging out.
Dealing With Flies Inside the House
The outdoor areas are not the only location in a home where you can have problems with flies. It’s typical to see flies around your kitchen and bathrooms. So, how do you get rid of flies inside?
These pests are attracted to the smell of food, so an open garage, rotting fruit, garbage disposal drains, and any uncleaned pet messes are like catnip to them.
As already mentioned, fans are great for indoor and outdoor use. Here are some other options for getting rid of flies in the house:
1. Seal Entrances
It can be hard to keep all the windows and doors shut in a house, especially if you have several members of the family living under one roof and it’s a hot summer’s day. However, sealing entrances is vital if you want to eliminate flies.
Always use screens on any doors or windows and consider installing mesh on any small openings like vents. Your mom was right when she told you to shut the door or you’ll let the flies in. Flies are attracted to the cooler environment and smells indoors and they’ll come right in.
You can also apply an adhesive to small holes where flies could enter and ensure garage doors don’t stay open for longer than a couple of hours. Ideally, you should leave them closed at the warmest times of the day and towards the early evening hours.
2. Keep Plants That Get Rid of Flies
Certain houseplants are ideal for protecting your home from these insects. A herb garden is fantastic for adding lovely scents to your home and limiting the number of flies entering through windows.
You can plant lavender, mint, lemon verbena, or basil to deter flies. Just remember to place the herb garden near a window as this is the busiest place for flies and is the first thing they’ll smell when they fly throw the window.
If you don’t want to plant herbs, you can make a DIY solution of vetiver and cinnamon essential oils and water and spray it around your home. Studies show that these are effective at deterring flies.
You should concentrate the mixture over your windowsill, door, and rooms where you commonly find flies.
3. Insecticides and Repellents
The final solution is to use insecticides and repellents on the flies. Any products with DEET or permethrin are considered the best option to get rid of flies.
However, most people don’t want to spray their home or themselves with chemicals. Try natural methods before using one of these products.
If you keep a tidy home, pick up leftover garbage, and use the right tools, you won’t have major problems with flies on your homestead. Just keep a fly swatter handy for the errant fly or two that evades your efforts.
4. Clean, Clean, Clean
You can never keep your house too clean when it comes to getting rid of flies. If you keep your garbages sealed, clean your kitchen and bathroom, as well as any pet messes, and address any leaks, you’ll deny flies a source of food.
Don’t forget things like dirty dishes in the sink, half-eaten bowls of pet food, and dirty shoes that have tracked compost or feces in.
What Not To Do
There are some fly control options out there that don’t work, but they keep getting sold to people despite the lack of efficacy. Here are a few things to avoid.
1. Don’t Bother With Candles
You see it everywhere, the claim that flies and mosquitos don’t like citronella candles that give off an aromatic scent. Manufacturers say the smoke and fragrance will deter these insects from coming near the candles.
This claim has been disproven repeatedly. These essential oil-containing candles might look good in your yard, but they won’t protect you from flying insects.
2. Forget Ultrasonic Devices
Once again, these high-pitch frequency emitting devices don’t deter flies. Save your money for things that actually work.
3. Ditch Zappers
Those UV-light emitting traps that zap flying insects work on the insects that are attracted to light like some moth species, but they don’t work on flies.