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How to Get Rid of Flies

Large green flies on rotting food.

I find flies to be one of the most annoying insects. They are constantly buzzing and always seem to fly around your head. They also seem to be challenging to kill. This article is going to help you rid yourself of these annoying little pests. First, I want to share some interesting information that may help you when trying to get rid of your fly problem.

While flies cannot move their eyes, they can see 360 degrees around them due to their compound eyes. They are also able to detect motion seconds before it happens, which is why they are often able to move out of the way of your swat. It is incredibly frustrating. Flies, like many other pests, come out in the warmer months, just when we all want to be outside and active. They are also attracted to the items that people often like to behind when they have been active outside, such as leftover food and trash.

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A close up of a house fly on a leaf.

In an effort to find effective ways to once and for all help you rid yourself of these pests, I reached out to some experts for help. Many of those in the field of pest control share a wealth of information on their websites.

They are all receptive to questions and provide a variety of ways to contact them from phonecall, chat, and a form online. They provide much of the same information as posted on their website and all offered to come out and perform a free inspection and quote. I have included the recommendations of those with whom I interacted with in my article below.

How to Get Rid of Flies

A close look at a bunch of house flies.

As many of you probably already know, flies are more than just annoying. They have nasty habits which make them perfect carriers of diseases, such as salmonella and e.coli. All of the companies with whom I spoke recommend using their professional services to effectively control flies and other pest problems. They all guarantee your complete satisfaction with their services. Ehrlich recommends an approach that they have termed ERDM.

ERDM stands for exclusion, restriction, destruction, and monitoring. This process includes making sure that doors and windows operate in such a way that flies do not even enter the home. In addition, this includes learning and employment practices within the home that repel flies instead of attracting them.

It is beneficial to find a treatment plan that works to kill the flies that may enter your home, or around the perimeter of your house. Professionals recommend that you employ their inspection services on a regular basis to ensure there are no problem areas.

How to get rid of flies outside the house

Flies are considered a source pest, which means something attracts them and they will stay around until the object of their affection goes away. Joshua’s Pest Control acknowledges what most of us already know, which is that flies are dirty pests attracted to trash.

A trick they suggest to help you remove flies from outside your house after you have removed the trash is to clean your trashcans. You should use a strong cleaner and water on your trashcans. You may also want to use a little bleach to remove the foul smell. You want to invest in a trashcan that has a lid that fits tightly.

Trash is not the only item that attracts flies. They use organic matter in which to lay eggs. This includes items such as decaying fruit and vegetables and dead plants. You should get rid of these items as soon as they begin to die. Sometimes you see flies inside your house but the source is really on the outside.

There may be fruit that fell or pet waste in the yard that is attracting flies to your house. Flies like to lay their eggs in places such as these and they hatch ever faster when the weather gets warm. Those eggs hatch and quickly begin laying their own eggs and the cycle starts all over again. Before you know it, your yard is infested with flies.


A cluster of fresh basil on a wooden surface.

Bay Leaves

A bunch of fresh bay leaves placed in a wooden bowl.


A lovely illustration of clusters of fresh lavender.

Joshua’s Pest Control also provides hints on natural ways to get rid of flies on the outside of your house. There are some plants you can grow in your garden to help keep the flies away. You could consider growing basil that is easy to maintain and can survive in just about any climate. Bay leaves are perfect for warmer months and can easily be brought inside when necessary.

Lavender is perfect to hang in bundles all-around your house or you can let it grow naturally in the yard. If you grow mint near opening such as door or windows, it helps to keep away flies and other pests, such as ants.

You can make your own environmentally friendly solution to naturally keep away flies.

Get a glass jar and fill it with apple cider vinegar and put a paper funnel in the jar. The scent of the apple cider vinegar attracts the flies to the jar and the paper funnel stops the flies from flying out of the jar.

It is pretty easy to confuse flies, which works to your advantage when you are trying to repel them from your home. Usually getting rid of them from the outside of your house will keep them away from the inside of your house. Often times, you can be smart in keeping them away. If you can keep them away, then you will not have to worry about killing them.

It may surprise you to learn that handing a bag that is full of water on the outside of doors and windows can work well to keep away flies. As mentioned before, flies have a lot of lenses in each eye, which allows them to see a large amount of light and movement. Water in a bag reflects a tremendous amount and it confuses flies, which works really well to keep them away from your home. The best part of this is it is simple to make and fairly inexpensive, too.

You need a large plastic zip-lock bag. Fill the bag so that 2/3 of it is full of water. Tie a string around the top of it and make sure it is tight and firm so that it does not slip off the top of the bag. Once you have done this, hang the bag outside of all doors and windows.

How to get rid of flies inside the house

A housefly on a rotting piece of fruit.

It is incredibly important that you remove flies from inside your house as quickly as possible. It is important to keep your home as clean as possible to keep the flies away from your house. Scraps of food, garbage, and food that is leftover often attract flies. If you put food away in tightly secured containers this can help prevent it from attracting flies.

Terminix suggests some tips of ways you can protect your house from flies sneaking into it. They recommend that you look for cracks in the foundation, walls, and floors or your house. If you see any, you should seal them immediately. You should make sure that all of your doors and windows have screens to keep flies from getting inside.

If you already have screens in place, you want to make sure that they do not have any holes. Flies are small and can get into the smallest of spaces, so make sure your screens are properly secured.

You can create your own fly traps to help rid your home of flies. These are simple to use and easy to make yourself with some items you may have around the house. You can make a soda bottle trap or a soap dish trap.

The soda bottle trap requires a two-liter soda bottle, a sweet liquid, and scissors.

Clean an empty two-liter soda bottle. Cut the top third part of the bottle carefully with scissors. This is the part of the bottle where the label typically is found. After you cut off the top, pour a sweet liquid, like sugar water, into the bottom third part of the bottle (the part that was left after you cut off the top).

Then take the portion you cut off earlier and turn it upside down, so it looks like a cone and place it in the larger part of the bottle (where you poured the sweet liquid). Flies will be able to get into the bottle, but will not be able to find their way out of it.

The soap dish trap is just as easy to make. All you need it a shallow dish bowl and fill it with about an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Add dish soap that has a fruity scent to it. Leave the dish out to attract flies. You can leave it uncovered or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. If you decide to cover it with plastic, poke some holes in it so you attract flies to the scent.

How to get rid of flies in garbage disposals and drains

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Not only are flies annoying, disgusting, and disease-carrying, once you have an infestation, it can be challenging to remove them. Once they have found a way in, they can reproduce in many places. They really are not particular about where they land, lay eggs, or even what they eat. They prefer areas where there is moisture or rotting material.

This is why you find them around trash cans, drains, and outside bathroom facilities. It also means you can find them in your garbage disposal and dish drain, especially if they do not empty well and hold water. Once you know the source for the flies, you must attack it aggressively.

This is a point where many professionals, including Ehrlich recommend you use their services to help rid yourself of these pests. They survey your entire premises and come up with a treatment program that will control your specific fly infestation needs. There are many different types of flies and they have slightly different habits, so they may require adjustments to treatment.

In addition to changing some of the habits in your home, you may also require baits, sprays, or dusting powders. There are aerosol insecticides that provide fast action to remove flies. They often contain synergized pyrethrins, tetramethrin, or resmethrin (also called SBP-1382). They are safe to use around people, food items, and pets. They are often used in areas where there is going to be a picnic or event outside with food.

If you would like a spray that kills flies, but you are not excited about spraying chemicals in your home around your pets and children, there is some good news. You can make your own fly spray. This type of spray irritates flies and is actually poisonous to them, but it is not harmful to humans and pets. You can actually make it with a product that you use at home every day, which is dishwashing liquid.

All you have to do is get an empty spray bottle and put in close to 10 drops of your dishwashing liquid. Then you add 2 cups of warm water to the bottle. Screw the top of the bottle on and shake it gently to mix the water and the dishwashing liquid. Once you have done this, you can spray this directly on the flies. The key is to be fast when you want to spray it on the flies. Flies are incredibly fast and anticipate your moves before you make them. It is important to be fast when you want to kill flies.

Electronic fly killers may also work for your home. This is a safe and chemical-free way of ridding your home of pesky flies. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and effortless to maintain.

Products that you should avoid when eliminating flies

A swarm of houseflies congregating on the screen.

While there may not be products that you should absolutely avoid when it comes to eliminating flies, there are products which you should look at more carefully before you decide to use them. Many treatments are considered pesticides or insecticides and contain chemicals. These chemicals may be harmful to humans and pets if used inside the home.

The substances are called permethrin and tetramethrin are poisonous and should be considered before using inside your home. When these types of sprays are used, there should be proper ventilation and all people and animals need to leave until the area can be fully ventilated.

Many of these products are only effective in the short term. Flies have incredibly short life cycles and become resistant to these types of products. While you may have killed the fly, you may not have killed the eggs that they left behind. Those eggs become flies quickly, so you find yourself in this constant cycle of spraying and releasing more chemicals into your living area.

Another point to consider is that many of these sprays act to paralyze and interfere with the nervous system of the fly. A fly’s system works so quickly and their digestive system is able to break down the ingredients in many of these sprays and it allows them time to recover from the paralysis that the spray has caused. In this manner, it may seem as though the sprays do not work, or that you have to continue to use the repeatedly for them to be effective.