We all have them. They swarm our homes, backyards, chicken coops, and anywhere else they please.
You know what am I talking about: flies.
Flies are a necessary evil when it comes to summer months. We love the heat, love the gardening, but hate the flies.
If they’re driving you bonkers this year, don’t fret. I have over 30 different options to share with you to help you get the fly population around your home under control.
Here are your options for getting rid of flies both indoors and outdoors around your house:
1. Vinegar and Dish Soap
Vinegar and dish soap is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Flies are naturally drawn to vinegar. Place some in a bowl and add a few drops of dish soap.
The flies will go into the bowl to get the vinegar, and the dish soap will kill them in the process. When your bowl becomes full, be sure to empty it and reset the trap until there are no signs of flies.
2. Bottle Trap
The next time you finish off a two-liter, save the bottle. Cut the bottle in half and place apple cider vinegar in the bottom part of the bottle with some dish soap.
From there, turn the top part of the bottle upside down to make a funnel. The flies will draw to the vinegar and go into the funnel. But they won’t be able to find their way out. When the trap is full, take it outside to empty it, and reset it until you see no further evidence of flies in the trap.
You can choose to suspend the bottle in the air with string. Also, you can place a UV light over the trap to draw flies because they like the light.
3. Plant Wisely
There are certain plants you can place around your home to deter flies. You can also cut from these plants to provide their scent indoors as well.
4. Paper Funnel Trap
The paper funnel trap is another one which has been around for years. It seems to work well and is easy to make too.
Place an old wine or vinegar bottle in the areas where you know you get a great deal of activity from flies. Fill the bottle up ¼ of the way with apple cider vinegar. Roll a piece of paper up to where it creates a funnel.
Be sure to place the narrow part of the funnel down into the bottle. The flies will enter through the broad part of the funnel but won’t be able to escape back through the funnel.
5. Ginger Spray
Ginger is a scent flies don’t like. If you want to keep them away, create a spray with ginger as the base. Put a few sprinkles of ginger into a spray bottle.
Add a cup of water to dilute the ginger mixture and spray areas you see flies gathering. This should make them disperse. Be sure to reapply as needed.
6. Hot Pepper Spray
Flies don’t like hot pepper either. You can make a spray with hot pepper as the base to deter them or sprinkle cayenne pepper around an area they gather around.
Add a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper to a spray bottle and dilute with a cup or two of water. You’ll spray the mixture in areas where flies like to congregate.
7. Essential Oils Spray
You can plant these herbs around your home or make a spray from the essential oils. Like with the other sprays, place a few drops of essential oils into a spray bottle and dilute with approximately two cups of water. Spray areas where flies like to gather.
8. Ceiling Fans are Friends
Did you know your ceiling fans, box fans, or any other type of fan can help keep flies away from your home or encourage them to get out of your home?
Well, by turning these fans on it makes things difficult for flies. They can’t maneuver as well because of the strength of the wind from the fans. The wind makes them want to flee the area. I don’t use screens in my windows at times but will turn on my ceiling fans. I rarely have any flies in my home for this reason.
You can choose to use the essential oil of a eucalyptus plant, or you can grow eucalyptus around your house. Either way, flies don’t like the scent.
If you choose to make the spray, add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to a spray bottle. Add two cups of water to the bottle to dilute the oil. You can add one cup of vodka if you choose. This is optional.
Apparently, flies don’t like vodka but if you don’t have any vodka, you can still use the spray without it.
Geranium is another scent flies try to stay away from. You should use the essential oil and turn it into a spray.
Like the other sprays, you’ll add a few drops of geranium oil into a spray bottle and dilute it with two cups of water. You can add vodka to the spray if you choose. Apply to areas where flies are gathering to deter them.
11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is excellent for a ton of different things. When you work with children on a regular basis, you know germs spread like wildfire and head lice can spread among children quickly too. I work with kids regularly and will apply tea tree oil to my clothing because lice don’t like it.
Well, flies don’t like tea tree oil either. You can make a spray by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle and diluting it with two cups of water. Again, add a cup of vodka to the spray if you desire.
12. Milk Jug Trap
The next time you finish off the milk, don’t toss the jug. Instead, use it to catch flies. You can choose to dangle the jug in the air or place it on a table where you know flies will find it.
Cut the jug in half and swirl honey around the inside to make the sides sweet and sticky. If there’s any remaining honey after the sides are covered, drain it out.
Place rotten apples in the bottom of the jug and cover the jug with plastic wrap. Be sure to put holes in the plastic wrap with a fork. This will allow the flies to get in, but they won’t be able to escape.
When the trap is full, discard the flies and reset it to catch more.
13. Fly Strips
When I’ve struggled with flies making their way into my home because they were drawing to my porches, I turned to fly strips.
Be careful when applying them because there are some strips which dangle from the ceiling and some you can attach to your door frames.
When they tell you they’re sticky, they aren’t kidding! Keep this in mind when applying them to keep people from walking into them.
Whichever option you decide to go with, fly strips draw in the flies, and they are stuck to it instantaneously. Be sure to remove the strips when full and apply fresh ones.
14. Suck Them Up
If you have flies swarming in a certain area in or around your home, consider sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner.
Plug in your vacuum cleaner and point the wand in their direction. The suction from the cleaner should pull them in. Be sure to empty the canister outdoors if any survive. You don’t want to release them back indoors.
Catnip is amazing. It’s great for making a tea, cats enjoy it, and it’s great as a fly repellent. If you grow catnip, you can turn it into a spray.
Either use the oil of the catnip or use the leaves themselves. If you use catnip leaves, it’s a good idea to put them on the stove in water and bring them to a boil. Let the leaves steep for 30 minutes to an hour.
When the scent is strong, pull the leaves out of the pot and put the remaining water in a spray bottle. Or if you use catnip essential oils, you can put a few drops in a spray bottle. Be sure to dilute the oil with two cups of water.
Apply the spray where the flies are drawn to discourage them from gathering there. Reapply as needed.
16. Clean House
Keeping a clean house both inside and out is vital to keeping the flies away from your home. Be sure to empty your trash regularly, clean up any animal waste in your yard, and remove any dead plants from inside or outside of your home as well.
Finally, if you have areas of moisture in your home, give these areas attention. For instance, if you have wet sponges or mops, be sure these items are either discarded or placed outside to dry before being put away.
17. Seal It Up Tight
Flies will enter your home through tiny spaces. If you have gaps in your windows or doors, these are great ways for flies to enter.
If you see areas like this in your home, consider adding insulation to them, caulking the areas, or adding more weather stripping.
18. Lemon and Cloves
If you’re going to be hosting an outdoor event and worry about flies wrecking the party, this could be a great solution for you.
Cut a lemon in half and fill it with whole cloves. Strategically place these lemon halves around the food or areas outside which flies tend to draw.
The lemon and cloves are both scents flies try to stay away from. This should give your food and party guests a break from flies for the event. Be sure to place the lemons out at least 30 minutes in advance.
Another way to have peace during an outdoor event is to set glasses of water around the food and other areas where guests will gather.
After the glasses are in place, add a penny to each glass. This is a method which has been around for many years.
No one is exactly sure why flies don’t like the copper in pennies, but they don’t. The copper should be effective in keeping flies at bay.
When you hear of citronella, most people’s minds go to it being a way of keeping mosquitoes away. However, they can be used to keep flies away too.
The trick is to use citronella candles. Flies don’t like the smell, but they avoid the smoke at all costs. If you're hosting an outdoor event, be sure to invest in citronella candles to keep the flies and mosquitos away.
21. Sliced Cucumber
You’ve probably heard pigs won’t eat cucumbers. And cats are scared of them too, but would you ever imagine flies wouldn’t like cucumbers either?
Well, they don’t, which is why setting bowls around your home or strategically placed for outdoor events might be a great idea.
Flies don’t like the scent of cucumbers. When you slice them the aroma escapes and deters them with little to no fuss.
22. Cinnamon Candles
Apparently, flies are super sensitive to smells. They don’t like the scent of cinnamon either. For this reason, it’s a good idea to place cinnamon scented items all around the inside and outside of your home.
You can use cinnamon scented candles, cinnamon-scented air fresheners, or you can make a spray with cinnamon essential oils to spray around the inside or outside of your home.
23. Water Bags
This is another trick which is fairly commonly used to deter flies from the home or for outdoor events. You fill a plastic bag which will seal with water. When the bag is sealed, hang it up in your doorways or other higher areas.
When flies see this, we aren’t exactly sure what they see, but we know they don’t see a bag. Instead, they see something which causes them to flee instantaneously.
24. ACV and Witch Hazel
Apple cider vinegar has many wonderful uses. Witch hazel has many great uses as well. It shouldn’t be a surprise when you combine the two; you get another great solution for keeping flies away.
You’ll add ¼ cup of witch hazel and a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle. You can also add approximately 30 drops of eucalyptus oil to the mixture as well.
Spray doorways and windows in your home with this concoction to keep flies away. You can also spray troubled outdoor areas with this as well.
25. Milk Trap
This is a great option for keeping flies away if you raise a dairy animal, have access to goats’ milk, or find a sale on milk one week.
Add one pint of milk to a saucepan. You’ll add ½ cup of sugar and a ¼ cup of ground pepper to the saucepan as well.
Bring the pan to a low boil and turn it down to simmer. Let the mixture simmer in the pot for approximately 10 minutes.
When finished, put in a bowl where the flies can find it. If you worry about the flies escaping, you can add plastic wrap over the bowl and poke holes in the top with a fork.
However, when the bowl is full of flies, be sure to empty it outside and reset the trap until there is no further evidence of flies in your home.
It may sound old-fashioned but every now and again; you should go old school. Instead of relying on traps, take out some aggression by swatting those pesky flies.
You can use a traditional fly swatter or use an electric fly swatter. Either way, swatting flies should make you feel a little less annoyed by their invasion of your home, and it’ll get your exercise in for the day as well.
27. Salt Gun
I was unaware of what a salt gun was until speaking with a friend one day. She and her husband had purchased one as a gag gift for their adult son.
Come to find out, they use it around their house all the time now to kill off pesky flies. They say it works well and is fun too!
28. Venus Flytraps
Many people assume Venus flytraps are these vicious little plants which will gnaw your arm off. In reality, they are attractive plants and aren’t aggressive like the cartoons portray them to be.
They aren’t the most efficient fly killers, but they can help to lower the fly population in your home. You could place a plant or two in areas where flies flock.
This would allow your plant to feed, and your home to be less invaded by flies.
29. Beneficial Nematodes
There are certain beneficial insects you should consider adding to your lawn and garden. Beneficial nematodes are one of those which should be added.
These are microscopic bugs which work for up to a year and a half on your property. They’ll go into the ground and eat fly larvae. Anywhere you know flies are breeding (under chicken coops, areas with feces or animal feed, etc.), you place the nematodes.
This may not stop the current population you have, but it should help prevent future generations of flies from breeding near your home.
30. Citrus Peels
Flies don’t like the smell of citrus. When you finish eating an orange or a grapefruit, don’t toss the peel. Instead, place it in a bowl around your house.
If you have a specific area where flies flock to, put the bowl in this area. In the past, flies would flock to my back deck.
This would be an area where a bowl of citrus peels would come in handy. If you have a certain doorway flies enter through, place the citrus peels around the vicinity of the door as well.
This is a slower process but could come in handy if you’re planning on swatting flies. The next time you walk into a room and see flies buzzing everywhere, pull out the hairspray.
By spraying the hairspray towards the flies, it causes their wings to stick and disables their flying ability. When the flies are down, use your trusty flyswatter to kill them off and get them out of your home.
32. Keep the Lights Low
If you want to make your home less desirable for flies, keep it darker. Flies prefer light. Light is what draws them.
When your home is darker, they don’t care for it as much. By pulling down the shades and closing the doors, you’re taking steps to protect your home from flies.
33. Malt Vinegar
If you have malt vinegar on hand, it can be put to use to keep flies away from your home. Place the malt vinegar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
When it has finished boiling, allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. From there, place the malt vinegar in a bowl and move it to an area in your home which is deeply impacted by flies.
Flies don’t like the scent of the malt vinegar, and the bowl of the warm malt vinegar should be enough to drive them away.
34. Cool House
Flies adore warm weather. If you keep your home cooler on the inside, you’re immediately better defended against flies.
By keeping your house at 72 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, your home is going to be much cooler than the warm summer temperatures flies love.
Finally, onions are a great defense against flies. You can cut an onion in half or finely chop it and place it in a bowl around the inside of your home to deter flies.
Flies don’t enjoy the scent of onions and will try to stay clear of it if they can help it. This is a frugal and straightforward solution to keeping flies away from your home.
Well, you now have 35 different methods to keep flies away from your home both inside and out.
Hopefully this will help you to have a little peace within your home and enjoy some great outdoor gatherings without these pesky uninvited guests ruining your gathering. Best of luck to you!