When the summer comes around, we welcome the warmth with open arms. It’s time for holidays, picnics outside, fresh breezes through open windows…and flies. Yes, flies suddenly become the most irritating things around and somehow manage to slightly spoil our summer vibe. They seem to endlessly be buzzing around the windows trying to figure out how they get into the house in the first place. They land on our kitchen tops, our nicely prepared food and even worse, on us. Trying to swat them becomes the ultimate challenge between man and fly – they seem to outthink us by moving at the speed of light before we even lift the rolled up newspapers used to get it.
Of course, having flies buzzing around isn’t just irritating. They fly and crawl on almost anything – most commonly faeces – and whatever they land on they pick up and carry on their legs opening up chances of spreading disease and infections. In addition they lay eggs often and pretty much defecate on anything they touch which is why it’s important to not have them flying around your home.
There are many effective ways to get rid of flies in the house using home remedies. You can use repellents to deter them or construct traps to attract. Either way, getting rid of flies is the ultimate aim and here are some ways to help you do that.
Using Fly Repellents To Get Rid Of Flies
One way to get rid of flies is to use a repellent in various forms. Despite seemingly wanting to land on anything going, flies are quite fussy when it comes to certain smells and flavours. Since flies taste through the hairs on their legs, they are very sensitive to landing on things they don’t take a fancy to so try these home-made repellents to deter the flies.
1. Basil and Other Herbs and Plants
There are some strong-smelling plants the flies just do not like. The most common one is basil which is good news for us as not only is it easy to get hold of in shops, it also has anti-bacterial and ant-viral properties creating a healthy environment for your home. Just place your basil plant anywhere in the house, preferably near any open window to deter the flies. Other plants that flies take a dislike to are lavender, mint, bay leaf, tansy and wormwood.
2. Essential Oils
Flies absolutely hate the smell of essential oils, in particular Eucalyptus and Lavender. Lavender oil has been used for centuries as a insect deterrent including for clothing to prevent moths from eating away at them. You can buy essential oils from any good homeopathic shop but you can also make your own.
- Infuse fresh lavender with a carrier oil (an oil that is pale in colour and low on scent as to not overpower the smell of the lavender).
- Allow to infuse for 48 hours in a warm place, shaking periodically.
- Once done, strain the plant from the oil and place in a container. You can place the oil around the house or alternatively you can use it as a spray to spread the smell around the house.
3. Plastic Water Bags
This is a clever trick to repel those pesky flies. Hanging a bag full of water outside windows and open doors can deter flies away because of the way a fly sees it. Since a fly has a remarkable amount of lenses in each eye, this gives them the ability to detect light patterns and movement. A bag of water is reflecting light all over the place therefore confusing the flies and causing them to stay away. It’s pretty easy to make too.
- All you need is a large plastic bag (preferably a zip lock)
- Fill it up to 2/3 with water and tie string firmly around the top making sure it is tight and unable to slip off.
- Hang the bag outside any openings such as doors or open windows.
Camphor is another natural way to get rid of flies and can be bought online or from any homeopathic store. It has a very strong smell that, you guessed it, flies absolutely hate. Like basil, it contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties as well as deterring insects and it comes from the wood of the Camphor Laurel tree. You usually buy it in blocks or tablets which you then place on a heated surface like a hot plate or a heat diffuser. Place these around the home preferably under open windows to let the aroma float out and send the message to the flies.
5. Fresh Orange Peel
Orange peel is a wonderfully cheap way to get rid of flies as well as encouraging us to eat more oranges. Citrus extracts are actually used in a lot of commercial bug repellents due to its ability to deter insects. With its great fresh fragrance, orange peels can be left around the house on windowsills and beside doors to help stop flies from entering. Make sure that the peel is fresh and replace them once they’ve dried out. Make sure to rub the skins every now and then to release more of the smell and allow this remedy to last longer.
6. Cloves In Citrus Fruit
Since we know citrus fruit (especially oranges) are a pet hate for flies, then another great way to get rid of them is to use a combination of citrus fruit and cloves. Sometimes a Christmas tradition, inserting cloves into an orange is really easy and they can be placed anywhere in the home.
- You can use most citrus fruit including lemons and limes
- Insert 10-15 cloves into the fruit. You can leave the fruit as a whole or you can cut the fruit in half to allow more of the citrus fragrance out into the air giving a good warning to the flies.
- Place around the house or hang them up with string or ribbon around windows.
Using Traps To Get Rid Of Flies
Another way to get rid of flies in your house is to use fly traps. Although this doesn’t stop the flies from entering our home, it will draw them away from food or kitchen tops. Here are some different types of traps you can make and use around the house.
1. Vinegar Fly Trap
Vinegar attracts flies so it is a great way of luring them in and away from the rest of the house. To make a vinegar trap all you need is a some apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar, a glass, a plastic bag and a rubber band.
- First pour a small amount of the vinegar into the glass, put the plastic bag over the glass and secure with the rubber band.
- Cut a hole in the centre of the bag at the top to create an opening for the flies – make sure that the hole is big enough for the flies to enter but not big enough for the flies to escape. You can do this by pushing the plastic bag down into the glass to form a kind of funnel.
- Place the trap anywhere where flies enter the house.
2. Homemade Fly Strips
Fly strips are a well-known way of catching flies. Although strips can be easily bought in shops, making your own is extremely easy.
- All you need is some brown paper or card cut into strips
- Mix 1/4 cup of golden syrup with 1/4 cup of sugar to make it very sugary.
- Punch holes in the top of the strips and thread some string through creating a loop to hang them up.
- Paint the sugary substance onto the strips and let it dry.
- Hang these anywhere around the house.
3. Venus Fly Trap
A wonderful and natural way to keep flies at bay is to purchase a Venus Fly Trap. Not only are you adding a plant to your home but it is fascinating to watch the plant at work. Venus Fly Traps can be bought at any good garden centre and are relatively cheap so you can even buy a few to sit around the different parts of the house.
4. The Wine Trap
It turns out that flies like a bit of wine. If you’re the same and have some wine lying about, then you can make a quick and easy trap. Flies are attracted to anything fermented. That’s why you often find flies around rubbish and rotten food.
- Find some white or red wine (flies aren’t fussy)
- Pour about a cup of the wine in a container and add some washing up liquid. This will act as a poison when the flies drink the wine.
- You can create a funnel by making a cone out of paper with a hole snipped into the end. This will allow the flies to enter but not escape.
- Place the container where flies will seek it out After a while you will start to see flies floating on the top of the liquid.
5. The Honey Trap
Honey is notoriously good for trapping flies with its sweet aroma and sticky consistency and if you don’t have honey to hand then jam can work equally as well. The best way to make a honey trap is to:
- Get a large plastic bottle and cut it in half.
- Fill the bottom half with a mixture of honey (or jam) and water around an inch or two.
- Turn the top half upside down and place it into the bottom half of the bottle creating a funnel. This will make it easy for the flies to enter but difficult for them to escape.
- Place the bottle outside your window or door, or alternatively, in the house where flies are most common.
6. Homemade Fly Killer Spray
Not so much a trap, but if you want to be proactive and not leave it up to traps to catch the flies, then you can make your own fly spray. The sprays we buy in the shops are full of chemicals and generally should be used in a well-ventilated room. But you can make your own effective spray that will zone in on irritating flies with the help of your washing up liquid. Washing up liquid acts as a poison without any harsh chemicals that can affect us.
- Get an empty spray bottle and put in around 10 drops of washing up liquid.
- Add two cups of warm water, screw on the top and gently shake.
- Spray directly onto the flies if you can get to them fast enough!
Featured photo credit: ChameleonsEye via shutterstock.com