Are you tired of chasing houseflies out of your home? Well, you are not alone in this mission. Many people are doing the same thing every day.
Houseflies are one of the most common insects that people have to deal with. These tiny flies live almost everywhere that there are people.
They are not the neatest of insects, and they thrive on dumps, sewers, garbage heaps and all sorts of moist decaying matter.
As these insects thrive in places that are teeming with pathogens, they carry disease-causing agents with them from place to place. They are known to transmit at least 65 diseases and infections, including cholera, dysentery, typhoid, conjunctivitis, and many more.
The worse part about these insects is that they multiply quickly. They have a short life cycle – just 6 days if conditions are right and a female can lay an average of 120 eggs at a time.
Hence, it’s important to control the growth of houseflies as soon as you notice them in your home.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of houseflies.
1. Limit the Food Sources
All insects, including houseflies, need a source of food to thrive and breed. Hence, limiting their food sources is one of the most effective methods for controlling their growth.
- Do not allow any kind of manure, garbage, grass clippings, weed piles or other decaying organic matter to accumulate in your yard or garden area.
- Use well-sealing garbage receptacles to prevent houseflies from looking there for food.
- Keep trash cans clean.
- Dry out maggoty garbage or dispose of it in fly-proof containers.
- Do not keep rotting food out in the open in your kitchen.
- Keep sinks and kitchen counters clean.
- Clean up pet waste immediately.
2. Close Off the Entry Points
For houseflies to enter your home, there must be some entry points. To prevent them from getting indoors, you must seal them off.
- Use window and door screens. Make sure the screens are tight-fitting without holes.
- Keep doors and windows closed, and seal any openings at the top or bottom.
- Seal the openings around water or gas pipes.
- Use screens on ventilation holes, too.
3. Plastic Bottle Fly Trap
Plastic bottle fly trap is an easy to make trap for houseflies. It is effeceint and can be re-used as and when needed.
The flies get attracted due to the scent of the bait. They flow down the funnel but cannot fly back up. Eventually, they get trapped in the water and drown.
- Cut the top off a plastic bottle (like a cold drink bottle).
- Place some bait at the bottom and water to it so the flies don’t escape. You could use a piece of meat, minced fish, rotten fruit, honey, or just some sugar as bait.
- Put the top of the bottle upside down on the bottle (like a funnel).
- Place your plastic bottle fly trap in areas where flies frequent. It works both indoors and outdoors.
- Let the bait sit for about a week, then replace it as it may start smelling bad.
4. Use Flypaper
Whether store-bought or homemade, flypaper is another simple and effective tool for catching large numbers of adult flies.
You can buy some flypaper and hang it up in areas where the flies tend to congregate. Once the flies get into the trap, you simply need to discard the flypaper.
You can also make your own flypaper.
- Cut strong brown paper into strips about 2 inches wide and 6 to 10 inches long.
- Make a hole at the top of each strip and thread a piece of string through it.
- Prepare a syrup by mixing ½ cup of sugar and ¼ cup corn syrup.
- Allow it to cool a little, then using a brush, apply yhe syrup on each paper strip, coating both sides well.
- Hang the strips over a baking tray and allow them to dry.
- Once dry, hang your sticky flypapers where the houseflies are seen the most.
Similarly, you can spread honey on a double-sided tape and hand it where you see most flies. It will help trap the flies but on the downside, it may invite bees and wasps.
Note: Do not hang these traps directly above areas where you will be preparing or eating food.
5. Use Cloves to Deter Flies
While you might use clove extensively for cooking due its aromatic scent, this is exactly what the flies hate. They cannot tolerate the strong scent of this spice.
Cloves, when used with lemons, are particularly effective at repelling flies.
- Cut a lemon into half.
- Insert 7 to 8 cloves in each half of the lemon. Make sure the bud remains upwards.
- Put these clove filled lemons on a plate.
- Place the plate near points of entry for flies.
You can also put cloves in a muslin bag or cheesecloth and hang them near fly infested areas.
6. Hang Plastic Water Bags to Repel them
It might sound rather odd, but this remedy actually works. When you hang these bags on the entrances of your house, flies will not come in.
The exact reason as to why this remedy works is still not clear. One reason is that due to their eye structure, flies take the water bags to be spider’s webs. So they avoid coming close to the area.
Another reason is that the reflection from water disorients the flies and created an optical illusion for them. They are unable to understand it and often bang themselves into the bags.
- Fill a 1 gallon sized plastic bag halfway with water.
- Put a few pennies or other shiny coins in it.
- Secure the mouth of the bag with a knot, thread, tie or rubber band.
- Just hang this water filled plastic bag near your entryways, garage doors or any other such outdoor entrances where they can reflect sunlight.
7. Drive Them Away with Lemongrass Oil
While most strong-smelling essential oils can be used to kill and repel flies, lemongrass essential oil is one of the best options to try.
Lemongrass essential oil works as natural insecticide and insect repellent to drive away flies from your home. Also, this oil is safe for humans.
- Pour ½ cup of hot water into a clean spray bottle. Add 20 to 25 drops of lemongrass essential oil to it. Put the cap on and give it a good shake to mix the ingredients. Spray this solution around places where you have noticed the flies the most.
- Put a few drops of lemongrass oil in a diffuser and place it in a room where flies are a problem.
Along with lemongrass oil, you can use essential oils of citronella, clove, camphor, geraniu, thyme, eucalyptus, basil, lavender, peppermint, neem, and cedarwood as natural fly repellents.
8. Banish Them with Basil
Basil has a nice fragrance, but it’s one that houseflies do not like. Hence you can use this herb to deal with houseflies.
- Plant basil in pots and put them near your doorways to keep away the flies.
- Bundle up some dried basil leaves in a muslin cloth or cheesecloth, and hang it in the housefly-infested area or near your entrances and windows, etc. Along with basil, you can also add herbs like lavender, mint, eucalyptus and cloves in your herb sachet.
9. Homemade Fly-Repellent Spray
You can easily make a highly effective fly-repellent spray at home by using regular household items from your kitchen like your high-strength floor cleaning solution and liquid dish soap. You can also add hot sauce to the mixture.
The cleaning solution and dish soap contain strong ingredients that harm the insects’ cell membranes and also dissolve their waxy coating, thus causing death via dehydration.
Plus, hot sauces like Tabasco repel and kill flies as the sharp pepper sting keeps houseflies away and the high capsaicin content severely damages their central nervous system.
- Take an empty 32 oz plastic spray bottle.
- Fill half the bottle with a high-strength floor cleaner.
- Pour 2 caps or 4 tablespoons of a liquid dish soap into the spray bottle.
- Optionally, you can also add 2 tablespoons of hot sauce.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water.
- Stir vigorously with a disposable wooden stick.
- Spray it directly at the invading houseflies and watch how they drop dead in a matter of minutes. You can also spray it on your windows and doorways to prevent houseflies from entering
Make sure to shake the solution well before each use.
In addition to keeping the flies away, this solution will also keep your house smelling nice and fresh due to the citrus-scented cleaner.
10. Use Camphor to Drive Away Flies
Camphor has potent antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and insecticidal properties that make it an effective agent against houseflies and other pests.
- Light 2 camphor tablets in a fly-infested area. It will produce smoke which will drive away the flies. If you don’t have camphor, you can light a citronella candle.
- Another option is to pour hot water in a bowl. Add 2 camphor tablets and stir. Leave the bowl in a fly infested area. The scent will still be strong for the flies but won’t affect you much.
Note: Do not use camphor around pregnant women.
- You can also prepare a homemade fly spray using essential oil. Combine 4 cups of cold tea, 3 bottle caps of any antiseptic liquid, 2 tablespoons of mineral oil, and 1 teaspoon each of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, cedarwood oil, tea tree oil and citronella oil in a spray bottle. Shake it well and spray around your house to repel houseflies.
- Swat flies with an electronic paddle swatter. You can also use electronic fly light traps.
- Carnivorous plants that are available to purchase can effectively control a population of flies.
- Light an incense stick to deter almost any flying insect by filling the air with smoke.