How to Get Rid of Flies

getting rid of a fly

A fly infestation in your home can not only be annoying but also dangerous. Flies transmit diseases such as Cholera, Salmonella, Tuberculosis and more. They may also transmit the eggs of parasitic worms. To protect your family and home from these disease-ridden flying insects, you should know what attracts them and what repels them. 

In this post, we talk about how to get rid of flies, so keep reading.

Signs of a Fly Infestation

Seeing a couple of flies inside your home is no big deal. However, when their numbers increase and simply swatting them doesn’t do much, you have a fly infestation on your hands. It needs immediate attention and treatment as it can get very gross, very fast. Here are the tell-tale signs of a fly infestation in your home: 

  • Seeing many flies inside or around your house. Keeping garbage bins outside can attract flies. Once they are around your home, you can be sure that at some point they will enter your home. So, do not underestimate the flies in your yard.
  • Dark spot clusters. Look for them on windows and window frames and sills. You could also spot them on any light-coloured surface in your home. Curtains, tablecloths, towels, even your laundry can have dark spots if it’s left hanging to dry.
  • A sudden increase in their numbers. That means that flies are reproducing fast inside of your home and you should take immediate measures.
  • Finding maggots around your garbage. That’s where most often flies would lay their eggs which later turn into maggots. Flies can lay up to 900 eggs, which can hatch within the next 48 hours. 
  • Clusters of flies in one spot. For example, near water or light. When there’s an infestation, you are bound to see several that have landed on the same place at once.

Read more: Types of Flies in the UK

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What Attracts Flies

When autumn begins and the temperatures begin to lower, flies come inside your home in seek of its warmth. However, the peak time for infestations is during the summer when they are most active and reproduce rapidly. 

But what attracts flies to your house? Flies are attracted to many things inside and around your home. The house fly is attracted mostly to garbage, filth and waste organic matter. This means that pretty much everything that is usually in your garbage can - rotting organic products, food scraps - is their breakfast buffet.

Furthermore, house flies are attracted to other flies’ specks. If there are any in your home, clean them immediately.

Liquids that are sweet or fermented, such as expired juices, spilt juices, rotting fruit also attract flies in large numbers. Fruit flies, house flies, cluster flies and blue bottle flies are also drawn to sweets. 

Other things that attract flies:

  • Pet dirt, food and water
  • Dead and rotting animal carcasses
  • Water
  • Light and warmth
  • Decaying vegetation in your garden

Read more: Fly lifespan

How to Get Rid of House Flies

To get rid of house flies you can use several methods, including a natural fly repellent. You can even manage to stop the problem before there is one. In this part, we talk about what repels flies and the things you can do to stop a fly infestation.

Homemade Fly Traps

Homemade fly traps are a good alternative to store-bought ones. If they are made well, they can get the job done as well as a commercial one. Here we will mention two very efficient types of traps you can make on your own and use in your war against flies.

To make most of the traps, you will need something sweet and something sticky or tricky.

Fly trap № 1:

  1. One of the most efficient fly traps is to use a jar and the bottom part of any plastic bottle but turned upside down and placed inside of the jar. 
  2. Fill the jar with sugar water or juice, then place the bottle’s top inside so the mouth points to the liquid. 
  3. Place the trap where you need it the most. The flies can get inside of the jar through the small hole of the bottle but cannot find their way back out. They end up drowning. 

Fly trap № 2: 

  1. Fill a shallow bowl with apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1-2 tablespoons of sweet-scented dish soap and mix well.
  2. Place the bowl where you see flies the most and see the magic work.  the sugar and sweet aroma draw them, but when they drink it, they die.

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What Plants Keep Flies Away

If you’re a fan of indoor plants or have a garden, you can take advantage of that. Learn what plants keep flies away and you can use them inside and outside. Planting any or all of the following plants can help you ward off flies from your house and your garden.

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Bay laurel
  • Tansy
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Marigold
  • Catnip

You can plant some around the edges of your garden. Also, plant the flowers in pots and place on window sills. And best of all, you can have your own mini herb garden in your kitchen, which will serve you a double purpose - provide fresh herbs and keep flies at bay

What Smell Do Flies Hate

Just like there are smells that attract flies, there are also some that repel them. Knowing what smell do flies hate can help you in the fight against them. Luckily, the smells they hate are some of the ones people like. Mostly they dislike clean and fresh smells, which are also strong.  

So here are the smells that flies detest: 

  • Vodka
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Cloves, especially in combination with lemon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Camphor or Citronella smoke

Using these scents you can make your own DIY fly repellent sprays, or simply use air fresheners with them. 

Read more: How to get rid of horseflies around the swimming pool.

Professional Fly Control

While the above-listed methods may work for repelling and getting rid of flies in small numbers, for proven and severe infestations professional fly pest control is the best option. There are several methods for dealing with flies and eliminating them from a property. 

There’s a standard chemical treatment where powerful insecticides are used to treat an infested property and kill all flies. Another option is heat treatment, which consists of heating the area to a temperature where flies in any life stage won’t be able to survive. 


While the above-mentioned DIY methods can help banish some of the flies, the best thing to do is prevent an infestation altogether. There are several things you can do:

  • Eliminate their water and food sources.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly closed and the area around them clean.
  • Find their entrance and block it. Be it installing new window and door screens or blocking tiny holes in window frames, you should fix the problem, whatever it is.
  • Place fly traps in strategic places. Such are near windows and doors, near garbage cans, even near your pet’s food and water bowls but not above them.

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Consider that we give information on possible ways to get rid of flies. However, we cannot guarantee that all of the above approaches will work for you.

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