How To Get Rid Of Flies: Natural And Effective Options

Flies are everywhere. In fact, entomologists have named over 100,000 species of flies on earth. Not only are flies annoying, but they also carry germs and diseases. Though flies are a tasty treat for frogs, they are not good for us.

The following article will provide you with a variety of tips to repel and eliminate flies. I’ll also share with you some great homemade recipes to drive those pesky bugs away from your kitchen and garden.

How To Prevent Flies From Making Your House Their Home

The best way to get rid of flies is to eliminate the things they eat. This means giving your house a good examination.

Clean Your Home

You may need to clean your home more often to rid yourself of those buzzing pests. The kitchen is a fly haven. Start by making sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink because flies love leftover foods and will literally lay eggs on your dishes.

  • Wipe down your counters. During food preparation, you are likely to leave crumbs. Throw them in the trash.
  • Keep a lid on the trash can and compost bin and take them outside frequently to dispose of or add to the compost pile.
  • If you are a baker like me, make sure you clean up any sweetener (such as sugar granules) from the counter and floor.

Clean up After Your Furry Friends

Cleaning up after your pets is also important to reducing the fly population. Make sure to discard any uneaten food in their dishes. Clean their dishes just like you do your own.

Jay Wennington / Unsplash

Dispose of dog waste in a secure trash can. Scoop the cat’s litter box daily. In addition, clean small pet cages (e.g. guinea pigs and rabbits) frequently.

You may not consider your fish aquarium or turtle habitat a fly hangout, but it likely will attract mosquitoes. Make weekly changes of water. This habit will benefit your aquatic pets and make sure their homes do not foster mosquito larvae.

Check Door And Window Openings

One of the biggest ways that flies get in the home is through openings around the windows and doors. Examine your screens for holes. You may need to repair or replace the window screens.

Michael Mroczek / Unsplash

In addition, the spaces where the window and door meet the wall can pull apart leaving room for flies to enter. Calking these spaces will help keep out unwanted pests and help with weatherproofing.

How To Get Rid Of Flies Naturally

Once you’re proactive about preventing flies from entering and breeding in your home, it’s time to get rid of the ones that are already there.

Related Post: Homemade Fly Traps

Anywhere from 10 to 20 generations of flies can reproduce in your home every year. There are a variety of things you can do to catch flies.

Store-Bought Sticky Fly Paper

An oldy but a goody is sticky fly paper. Though it’s ugly and not something you may want hanging over your dining room table, sticky fly paper works. It catches flies quickly without any chemicals or odor. Consider hanging fly traps in areas that are out of the way.

Ame’s DIY Sticky Fly Paper

You can also make your own flypaper. Though making your own isn’t going to save you a ton of money in the long run, you can choose to make sticky paper out of something that blends into your decor. You do not have to do boring strips of paper!

For instance, my kitchen walls are painted yellow. I use yellow construction paper and I cut it in the shape of a flower or butterfly. Nothing fancy.


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • construction paper
  • hole puncher
  • string or ribbon


  1. Mix the sugar, honey, and water in a quart-sized saucer.
  2. Heat the mixture on low, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Cut out colorful shapes that are 4 to 6 inches wide.
  4. Use a hole puncher to place a hole in the top of your shape.
  5. Tie a matching string or ribbon to your object (for hanging the flypaper from the ceiling).
  6. Place your construction paper shapes in the mixture. Saturate them as you would a piece of French toast.
  7. Flip the paper to cover the entire piece in the sticky mixture.
  8. Lay your sticky fly paper on a cookie sheet to dry.

Once your sticky paper is dry, hang them from the ceiling in areas where you have a fly problem.

Herbs That Repel Flies

Many herbs actually repel flies. Though the following herbs may smell great to us, the flies cannot stand them. You can even use herbs to make a homemade fly spray that will make the flies think you smell bad.

Related Post: Repel Mosquitoes With These 7 Plants

Many herbs are suitable as indoor plants or planted in pots to set on your porch or deck. Sweet basil, oregano, rosemary, and lemongrass all do well in containers.

herbs in a planter
janeyhenning / Flickr Creative Commons)

My favorite fly repellent is lavender because I love the way it smells. The other great thing about lavender is you can dry it and place it in cloth bags. These sachets can then be stored in your dresser drawers or closets to repel a variety of bugs.

Tansy Fly Repellent

Tansy is another smelly, fly-repellent herb to grow in a container. Do note though, that tansy is toxic to many pets so make sure to keep it out of reach. The leaves of the tansy plant can be dried to make a homemade fly repellent.

tansy flowers
Summers Day 333 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Simply dry the leaves of the tansy plant in the sun. Then place a cup of dried leaves in a cup of hot water. Let the mixture steep for two hours. Strain out the leaves and place the leftover liquid in a spray bottle. This liquid is safe to use on your body, just avoid your face.

Biological Controls

Biological controls refer to the act of using predator insects that prey on other insects to reduce the population. Several species of Chalcidid wasps (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) eat houseflies.

I have used these in my barn with great success. You can release them in your yard as well, especially if you have pets. These wasps will not sting humans or pets — only flies!

Drink Them To Death

Vodka makes a great homemade fly trap. And afterward, you can have a toast to your flies’ untimely end.

Flies Only recommends mixing the following ingredients in a spray bottle:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil blend

You can then apply this to your skin to repel the flies.

Create A Smoke Screen

Using citronella candles outdoors is another great way to tell those pesky flies to scram. These candles create smoke that repels the fly and impairs their sense of direction. The bad news is the smoke may also bother you.

citronella torch
Sarah-Rose / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Citronella candles work well if you are planning an outdoor party or barbeque. You can let them smoke before guests arrive to rid the area of bugs. Then tuck them in a corner to burn unobtrusively when they arrive.

Related Post: Natural Insect Repellent

You don’t have to rely on expensive and harmful chemicals to rid your home of flies. Use these natural tricks and be fly free.

Written by Ame Vanorio

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