Flies can be real bug bearers in the home. Whether houseflies, fruit flies or buzzing gnats, they can become a real nuisance in your personal space. Especially during hotter summer months, they have a way of infiltrating our homes and overstaying their welcome.
But fear not. We have done our research and put together some useful tips to help prevent flies from entering your home, as well as effective home remedies to get them out should they make it in. We’ve also included some of the best products you can buy to deter these unwanted guests. Read on for the full low down for a fly-free home.
For tips on preventing other creepy crawlies from taking over your home, check out our helpful guides, including tried and tested tips to help keep spiders away from your home and how to stop ants from coming into your home.
Five tips to stop flies entering your home
First things first, let's try tackling the task of keeping flies away. Follow these preventive measures to help reduce the risk of these pests entering your home:
- Cover food: Always keep food covered and sealed to prevent flies from being lured in. That includes bowls of fruit, plates with leftovers on, or slightly opened cereal boxes or partially filled pots in the kitchen. The smell and crumbs of food are tempting to flies. This also goes for pet food.
- Avoid rotting fruit: Rotting fruit is a breeding ground for houseflies. The moisture it produces is irresistible to them, and larvae can hatch within eight hours at room temperature. Ensure you regularly inspect your fruit bowl to prevent this from occurring. Overly ripe fruit should be stored in the fridge to prevent their sweet aromas from attracting flies.
- Maintain cleanliness: Keep surfaces in your house clean, such as your kitchen worktops - wipe down once you have finished using them to eliminate any temptation of potential food sources for flies. Remove any crumbs or food debris from your table as well as this will attract them. For tips on how to keep your house sparkling clean, check out our spring cleaning checklist: Top tips on spring cleaning your home.
- Empty the bin frequently: Ensure you empty your bin on a regular basis, and always keep the lid closed to prevent flies from appearing and keep unpleasant odours (which can tempt them) enclosed.
- Close windows and doors: Although harder to do in summer months, try and keep windows and doors closed when possible to prevent flies from entering your home.
The best home remedies to get rid of flies
If flies have already made themselves comfortable in your home, you can quickly eliminate them using several home remedies. We’ve rounded up some of them below:
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- Cloves and lemon: Insert cloves into half a lemon, place near entry points, and repel flies with this aroma.
- Essential oils: As well as making your space smell nice, essential oils also work as a deterrent to flies, especially lavender and eucalyptus. Apply a few drops of the oils to your pillows or add to a diffuser to fill your space with a not-so-friendly to flies. scent.
- Laurel oils: Add a couple of drops of laurel oil to water, soak a cloth in it, and place it on your windowsills to ward off flies. They dislike the scent, so it will deter them from entering.
- Cayenne pepper: Add cayenne pepper to warm water to create an effective fly repellent. Place a bowl of this mixture in areas where you don’t want flies and watch it work its natural powers. Chilli powder also works in the same way.
- Scented plants: Certain house plants can emit scents that work to repel flies. These include geraniums and lavender. This Lavender House Plant will not only look chic and natural in your home but help keep the flies at bay.
The best homemade fly traps
Another remedy to remove flies from your home is creating your own fly traps. This simply requires a couple of tools - here are two methods to making them:
- Homemade fruit fly trap: To combat fruit flies, create your own trap by mixing water, fruit juice, and vinegar in a bowl, plus a drop of dishwashing liquid. Place a bowl of the mixture wherever the flies are buzzing around in your house - the vinegar and juice will cleverly attract the flies, but the dishwashing liquid will break the surface tension of the water, causing the flies to drown in the mixture.
- Homemade fly paper: You can also make an effective fly trapper using various other ingredients. Heat approximately 750ml of sunflower oil in a pot, and add some honey and resin to the mixture until it becomes sticky in its texture. Dip narrow strips of baking powder into the pot, then allow them to dry and cool off. Place the finished flypaper in areas where flies frequently appear.
The best products to get rid of flies
Done enough DIY? When you need a reliable solution to deal with fly problems, there are plenty of effective products available to buy. Here are just some of our recommendations:
- Pest-Stop Plug-in Insect Fly Killer, £9.99 at Robert Dyas: Simply plug in this device and ward off any flying pests in your home. The lingering flies will be attracted to the LED light, kill them off and keep your home fly-free. Non-toxic, it’s safe to use in a home with pets and children.
- Zero In Window Fly Screen, £3.75 at Amazon: Add this fly screen to your windows and create a barrier to prevent flies from getting into your home. Easy to install and adjustable to fit any size frame, this is the perfect solution for keeping flies out while maintaining a constant airflow, particularly essential in summer months.
- Pest Control Flies Insect Trap, £7 at B&Q: Take control of the flies invading your home with this insect trap. The bugs will be attracted to the sticky glue surface and quickly get caught as a result. Fast and effective, and pesticide and odour free.
- Zero In High Voltage Flying Insect Killer, £59.99 at Robert Dyas: A slightly pricier spend but worth the investment, this insect killer uses an electric UV light to attract and kill flies. Simply hang the device up, or leave standing on the side, and the flies will quickly be zapped up hassle-free.
- Incognito Room Refresher, £8.99 at Holland & Barrett: Pop this room refresher in your home, remove the lid to activate the fragrance and keep flies away for good. The fresh pine and citrus aroma will deter flies while also refreshing your home.
- Rentokil Window Fly Traps, £2.99 at Amazon: Stick these fly traps onto the windows across your home and prevent flies from getting past. Affordable and simple to use, these will effectively control household pests and are insecticide free. This pack contains four stickers.
If you want to see more household tips and recommendations, head over to our household section. Here you can check out our guides on how to stop ants from coming into your home and tried and tested tips to help keep spiders away from your home.
Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.