How to get rid of houseflies.

How to Get Rid of Houseflies Naturally (DIY Home Remedies)

So, you need to get rid of some annoying houseflies buzzing around your home.

Are you tired of them in your kitchen tainting all your food?

Or are you sick of them swarming your outside yard?

This page covers the following topics:

  • Why you have houseflies
  • Where they’re coming from
  • How to control them naturally
  • How to prevent houseflies from coming into your home and garden
  • Other methods to eradicate, eliminate, and kill flies
  • And more

Bookmark this page for easy reference.

And if you have any questions, drop a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Sound good? Let’s send those houseflies home!

What’s a housefly?

A housefly is that annoying little bug that constantly buzzes around your kitchen, landing on your food, touching your cup, and constantly hovering around your face when you’re trying to eat outdoors.

Even though they have a small size, they’re known to transmit foodborne bacteria and viruses which can get you sick.

Not only are they a nuisance when they buzz in your face, but they’ll also leave behind tons of germs everywhere they land. And they come in swarms.

Houseflies are a very common pest found all over the US.

They’re found in homes, apartments, farms, food processing plants, sewage plants, garbage facilities, and even labs. They’re found all around the world, including the Arctic, tropics, Asia, Europe, Africa, and even Australia.

They can withstand many different environments and temperatures, which is why they’re so prevalent, abundant, and found everywhere.

They exist where humans exist. And then some.

They’re also a very common pest in india. The warm temperatures and humid environments provide these flies a place they can readily breed.

Appearance

Housefly appearance macro.
Everyone has seen one before.

Houseflies are usually black, but also may be gray or silver. They have large wings and a pair of beady red eyes, which can be seen with the naked eye.

Upon closer examination, you can see that they’re slightly hairy. They also have lines down their thorax and six limbs.

Houseflies are 6-7mm in length. Females are larger and have a wider spread between the eyes. Males are smaller and have compact eye spread. They both have compound eyes and three simple eyes with a pair of antennae that usually aren’t visible.

But who cares about how they look? We just want to kill them and keep ‘em out.

Life cycle of a housefly

Houseflies are capable of breeding huge numbers in a short period of time, which is why you see them swarm your home all of a sudden.

Houseflies have a very basic lifestyle that allows them to reproduce quickly. They start with male and female mating.

After the female gets pregnant, she can lay up to 500 eggs in batches that average around 125 eggs each time. Females are capable of producing eggs multiple times.

Where do houseflies lay eggs?

The eggs are deposited in organic matter such as your trash, food waste, feces, and plant matter. Maggots (the white worms) hatch within a day depending on environmental conditions like temperature.

The larvae then feed on the matter they’re surrounded by. Each magot is 3-9mm in length and pale white with visible segments. There’s no visible head. They’re thinner at the mouth and taper down. Maggots have no legs and will develop for 14 days up to 30 days in cooler conditions.

Food availability also affects how fast maggots turn into houseflies. Larvae avoid light and stay in dark places. Farmers often find them in manure as they can dig through the feces easily and have plenty of food.

They prefer dark, moist, warm, and nutrient rich substrates.

What do maggots look like?

Housefly maggots.
While not exactly like grubs, maggots are smaller are size.

Maggots will then seek out a dry, cool place to pupate.

This happens after their final instar (third) as they spin a cocoon. The pupal case has rounded ends about 1.2mm in length and is formed by shedding their skin. It changes colors over time. You may see pupae that are red to yellow to darker gray shades as it evolves.

The maggots then emerge in 2-6 days at higher temperatures (95F). Cooler temperatures can triple the time it takes to pupate and complete metamorphosis.

Where are maggots found?

Larvae need warm conditions and moisture to grow. If either of these conditions are removed, they can still eat and grow, but at diminished rates.

This is why they’re often found in cattle, goat, horse, swine, and other rich manure. You may find them coming from your trash or other waste in your house.

The adult then emerges from the pupa and the life cycle is complete.

Sexual maturity

Males become sexually mature after 16 hours and females take 24 hours, so they can quickly produce huge heaps of flies within a short timeframe.

Their overall lifecycle can be finished in just 7 days in warm temperature with perfect conditions. Humans provide suitable environments for houseflies to thrive and breed.

Common household flies

Types of houseflies.
These pests are similar to other flies.

Since all flies are very similar in appearance, it can be hard to tell them apart.

And they all can be found in buildings living with humans in unsanitary conditions. It’s kind of necessary that you find what pest you have first.

There are many different types of flies that can be found in the house:

  • Housefly
  • Cluster fly
  • Blow fly
  • Black fly
  • Fruit fly
  • Hoverflies
  • Tachinid flies

Obviously, you’ll get confused between the different species if you don’t know anything about flies. It’s important to actually know which pest you’re dealing with in the first place.

Though most repellent methods work for all of them, zeroing in will help let you know which fly you actually have in your home.

What attracts houseflies?

The list of house fly attractants are endless.

Here are some common household waste products that they just can’t get enough of:

  • Rotting trash
  • Waste fruits and veggies
  • Plant waste
  • Dog and cat feces
  • Damp organic matter
  • Organic soil (soil fungus)
  • Food waste
  • Meat products
  • Dairy products
  • Sweet smelling waste
  • Trash disposals
  • Compost bins
  • Dumpsters
  • Baby diapers
  • Aquarium waste
  • Baby diapers

Pretty much anything smelly or putrid will attract houseflies. These pests aren’t picky and will eat, reproduce, and lay eggs anywhere they can. This is why they’re so prevalent and found everywhere. Any of these will bring a ton of flies outside your home.

Why do I have flies in my house?

Housefly outdoors.
Houseflies in the home is exactly how they got their name.

Flies are attracted to anything that’s rotting or putrid. Trash, dead animals, bugs, and damp organic matter.

You probably have something outside your home that provides this environment for them (such as your trash or compost) that tends to attract them. And then it just takes a single fly to sneak into your home.

This is usually why you may find so many flies outside your house. Damp organic matter of any kind attracts flies.

How did a fly get in my room?

Probably from the outdoors. There could be a source of flies nearby that are just hatching.

Or there could be garbage, food waste, bugs, plant matter, pet waste, fruits and veggies, or something else entirely that’s attracting the flies. It just takes a single fly to make it through your home’s walls and then eventually into your room.

Or it could’ve come into your house directly through your window screen.

Do flies go to sleep at night?

Flies typically sleep whenever they get tired.

And they hang upside down by nature. If you see a fly at night hanging upside down on your ceiling, you probably caught a sleeping fly. Depending on the species, they may sleep during the day or night.

Where do flies lay their eggs in a house?

Houseflies lay their eggs in areas with moist and organic matter.

This is usually your trashcan or trash receptacle. Flies breed and deposit their eggs in areas that contain plant foliage, dog feces, cat litter, trash, or food waste. You’ll often find flies around your sink, kitchen, trash cans, or around pet waste.

Houseflies usually breed in fresh manure, which comes from baby diapers and pet waste. They also breed around damp garbage, organic materials outside of your home, damp waste, veggies and fruits, and plant matter.

You should note that houseflies that fly into your home usually come from these infested areas outside.

Houseflies don’t build nests in the home.

But they will lay eggs in the same general area. Usually, if the material smells like trash and is putrid, that’s a perfect environment for attracting houseflies.

Why are there so many flies all of a sudden in your home?

The main reason behind is that simply because the eggs laid by the female all are deposited around the same time. If you suddenly see a swarm of houseflies around your home, this usually means that they all hatched at the same time.

Since dozens of eggs are laid simultaneously, this should be no surprise that they hatch together.

Where are they coming from?

Houseflies outside.
They come from the outdoors.

The most common source of flies are from the outdoors. When you have a bunch of favorable environments outside your house in your garden, this is just a breeding ground for houseflies.

Houseflies come from two sources:

  • Outside your home (such as your garden or patio)
  • Breeding areas (trash cans, sinks, and waste bins)

Let’s go over each place in detail.

First, houseflies can enter your home from outside. This means your patio, yard, or outside your windows or doors.

They can fly through damaged screens, door gaps, or any other crevice because they’re drawn to the scent of food waste or they’re just wandering around. Certain things outside your home can draw them to your yard like trash cans, dog waste, or a poorly maintained garden.

Think about it.

Flies buzzing around your home are just waiting to sneak through a crack into your house. This is why you should do what you can to keep the OUTSIDE of your home in check to prevent them from coming INSIDE your house.

Does that make sense? Most homeowners try to stop them from coming in when the problem exists outdoors. The only times you should resort to in home prevention is when you can’t control the outdoor environment, like an apartment, condo, or HOA restrictions.

Second, houseflies may deposit eggs in your food waste. The main culprits are those big trash cans you drag out to the street every Tuesday. These are harborage areas for bacteria and viruses and houseflies absolutely go berserk for these receptacles.

Depending on where you keep your trash, this can be a source of houseflies. If you keep your trash can in your garage, chances are that houseflies are already inside it and breeding.

They lay eggs in the waste, maggots are hatched, and the life cycle perpetuates. There are flies buzzing around the room just waiting to get inside the trash.

And every time you open the trash, some sneak in and some get out.this is just a magnet for houseflies. This is how they get into your house and often the source of where they’re coming from.

Similar to trash disposal, they can also come from unwashed dishes that have been left out overnight, dirty kitchen drains, sinks, and even bathtubs. All of these are sources inside your home that can breed houseflies. The WHO recognizes them as carriers of diseases that can affect the skin and eye.

How to get rid of houseflies naturally

How to get rid of houseflies.
You can get rid of them using a variety of DIY home remedies.

Here are some ways you can get rid of them at home DIY style.

Remember that there’s no single solution and the “best” way depends on your house fly problem.

You’ll have to try a bunch of ‘em out and see what works for your situation.

This is where the work comes in, but be persistent and you’ll eliminate them from your property- or at least bring their population down.

Clean up

Keeping your home tidy and neat is the number one method of keeping houseflies out.

The main reason why they’re even in your home in the first place is that they were attracted to something- food, water, trash, or other waste.

Of course, there’s always the off-chance that they just made their way into your home or apartment by accident.

But for the majority of cases, houseflies could detect an attraction originating from your room, kitchen, porch, or garden and this brought them to your home.

You can start by cleaning up your home.

As broad as this sounds, this basically means that you need to start basic cleaning practices, which will reduce the number of scented baits luring flies.

Here are some things you can do to keep flies out.

Wash the dishes

Unwashed dishes quickly attract houseflies, vinegar flies, and other pests.

You should never leave your dirty dishes on the table or in the sink for more than an hour or two.

Delaying the washing just makes it harder to scrub and attracts more flies to your home. Dishes start decomposing and emanating a garbage smell that flies can detect. This is when they’ll start buzzing around in circles outside on your patio until they find their way into your home.

So wash your dishes right away after eating. And NEVER leave them out overnight. This is just asking for a fly infestation.

Take out the trash

Another basic tip to get rid of flies that everyone should already know. Garbage and trash bins are breeding areas for houseflies, so you definitely don’t want that inside your home at any point.

As soon as your trash can is full, tie the bag and take it out.

Also consider buying a trash bin with a secure lid so that it holds in the waste scent and doesn’t bring in flies. This goes for all the trash cans around your home- not just your kitchen.

Clean your sink

Sink disposal is another major source of fly attractant. Food waste leads to smelly sewage which brings in houseflies and flies in the drain.

You may also find vinegar and fruit flies hovering around your kitchen sink. Keep the sink clean. Use a natural cleaning product if necessary.

Clean up after your pets

Dog and cat waste draw in flies like no other. If you have a dog that does his business in your yard, this may be a reason why you have so many houseflies outside your home.

With so many flies just hovering around outside your patio door, windows, and regular doors, it just takes one crack for it to get inside your home.

This is why you need to clean up after your pets right when they go potty. The same goes for indoor waste, like puppy pads, litter boxes, or even food waste. Be clean.

Do basic household maintenance

Housefly kitchen.
Always wash before eating.

Next, we can talk about some of the basic practices you can do around the home to keep it in tip-top shape.

Think about it: you can’t get houseflies in your home if they can’t get in, right?

This is often achieved by not letting your home go down the crapper and keeping things maintained.

Yeah, you didn’t call the home inspector for your yearly inspection, but nonstop fly problems just may mean it’s time to do something about that broken screen door.

Here are some objects you should check out and fix to prevent houseflies from getting into your home:

  • Repair all broken window or door screens
  • Seal up cracks and crevices in the foundation
  • repair damaged vents
  • Patch any gaps around doors and windows
  • Fix ddamaged weatherstripping
  • Caulk any gaps around the home
  • Make sure doors seal up tightly
  • Block off any other entry points

Doing this helps keep the flies out (and other annoying pests). Plus, it’ll save you money on your heating/cooling.

Seal off their entry point

Houseflies need to be coming in from somewhere, right? Snoop around and find it.

Then block it. It’s probably not an easy task, but when you constantly have flies hovering around in circles in the same area- chances are that the flies are getting in from somewhere nearby.

Ask yourself:

  • Are flies coming in when you open the door?
  • Are they coming in through a window?
  • Do any flies follow you through the patio door?
  • Are you sure you have tight seals around your windows and patio doors?
  • Do you have a fan or air conditioner in your window letting bugs in?
  • What about a doggy door?
  • Do you leave your doors or windows open to the elements?
  • When was the last time you checked for small entry points?

Consult a pest exterminator

When you’ve tried everything and you still can’t get rid of the house fly infestation, consult a professional pest control company.

They’ll be able to use fly killers that the public don’t have access to.

They can also craft a plan catered to your specific problem. Consider hiring an exterminator that uses biodegradable or green products, as they’re safer for people and pets.

What smell will keep flies away?

There are a few techniques you can easily do at home to keep flies out using scents. Namely, essential oils and plants.

Both of these emit scents that houseflies absolutely hate and acts as a natural repellent. The best part about this is that you can use them both outdoors and within your household to create a double barrier of natural repellent.

Essential oils

You can use essential oils as a natural fly repellent. Some oils work much more effectively compared to others.

Choose lavender, mint, lemongrass, peppermint, clove, and basil. Add a few drops to a cup of water and mix it up. Use a spray bottle to do the mixing. Then spray it around your kitchen windows, doors, and around any other possible entry points to keep the flies out.

Essential oils are strong and have a residual effect. But you’ll have to reapply every so often. Also, be aware of people and pets that may be sensitive to oils.

Essential oils can be a very effective form of natural pest repellent when used correctly. You can save the strong stuff for the outdoors around your window’s weatherstripping and door gaps.

Consider using the oils and trying a few of them out. See which ones work best against the houseflies in your area.

Plants that repel houseflies

Scented and aromatic plants help keep houseflies out. Plants are one of the best home remedies to keep flies out as they’re cheap, good for the planet, and effective.

Here are a few of the most effective plants you can use around the home and garden to act as natural repellents.

  • Mint
  • Tansy
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Citronella
  • Rosemary
  • Marigold
  • Catnip
  • Pennyroyal
  • Bay leaves
  • Lemongrass
  • Chrysanthemum

The trick is to find something that grows in your hardiness zone.

You can check the USDA hardiness map and find plants that are easy to grow in your area. Don’t try to plant something that doesn’t fit your zone or else you’re just wasting time and energy.

Also, consider just buying the fully matured or potted plant from the nursery and not planting from seed. Seed takes long periods of time and you need housefly protection fast. So buy potted ones and place them around the house strategically.

Depending on the plant’s requirements (sunlight, indoor or outdoor, water, etc.)

Here are some places you can place them to keep flies out of your home:

  • Windowsills
  • Near patio doors
  • Next to doors
  • By windows
  • Next to trash disposals
  • Nearby dirty sinks or dishes
  • Outside patio furniture
  • Picnic tables
  • Awnings

Or you can just build a perimeter of plants around your home as a barrier. The best part? It’s completely natural. Definitely no residues or chemicals to worry about. That’s awesome.

How do you get rid of flies instantly?

To kill them upon contact, use a dish soap mixture or bleach.

Otherwise you can also use some store bought consumer brands. I’d advise against this though, because they often contain some dangerous or harmful residues. Always use an organic or natural solution to get rid of them.

Does bleach kill flies?

Yes. Like most other pests, bleach will kill houseflies, their larvae, and their eggs.

Bleach should only be used as a last resort because it’s extremely potent and harmful.

And many times, bleach isn’t even necessary to exterminate flies. It’s like killing an ant with a jackhammer.

However, if you insist on using bleach to eradicate them, you can dilute ⅓ bleach with ⅔ water and use a spray bottle to spray it directly on their nesting sites.

This is usually going to be in your trash can. You can spray the food waste to cover everything with a layer of bleach to kill their larvae and bring down their numbers.

You should never spray bleach around the home as it’s easy to go airborne and get on your kitchen utensils, silverware, and food. Plus, spraying bleach just doesn’t work as a repellent.

You should only use it to clean out your trash bin from flies to limit the damage caused by the harsh chemicals. That’s the only time it’s really necessary.

Everything else can be controlled naturally with oils, plants, traps, or even just cleaning up.

Does vinegar kill flies?

Housefly vinegar.
Vinegar can be used to repel them, but needs to be paired with dish soap.

Vinegar doesn’t kill flies alone. It’s an attractant for many different species of flies commonly found in the home.

Usually, vinegar is combined with dish soap or some other detergent. The soap makes the vinegar’s surface tension tough and small flies will come down and land on the vinegar like a regular hard surface.

But then the vinegar breaks and the fly sinks below the vinegar and gets stuck under the dish soap’s hard surface tension. This then kills the fly as they drown and can’t escape. Think of it like a one-way barrier. Honey has also been reported to work.

How to get rid of houseflies with vinegar

Vinegar, when combined with some other dish detergent, can be an effective killer for fleas, ticks, and houseflies.

You can use regular pure white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even red wine as lures. Build a vinegar trap and use it as a bait.

Vinegar can also be sprayed directly onto the fly without being diluted, however this isn’t practical because you’ll probably miss. Traps work passively and make it easy to get rid of them without requiring work.

Use dish soap

Dish soap is an effective method to kill houseflies. It works by drowning them in a high surface tension bubble that they can’t escape from.

Dish soap also kills them upon contact, so they won’t go tracking the soap all over your food when done correctly. There are a few different techniques you can use to add dish soap to yoru arsenal.

Does soap kill flies?

Just like vinegar, dish soap is best used when combined with vinegar. The vinegar is the bait and lures in flies.

The soap provides a tough layer that keeps the houseflies stuck in the solution and stops them from escaping. Flies land on the vinegar, fall through, and then can’t escape.

You don’t need to use only dish soap- any kind of dish detergent works. Shampoos, body wash, and bubble liquid also work.

How to make dish soap spray for flies

You can make dish soap spray easily by just adding some water and a few drops of detergent together into a spray bottle.

Spray it on nesting areas like inside your trash can, sink, or whatever else you notice maggots.

The soap will kill the houseflies and also keep them from nesting there. Technically, you could use this spray directly on flies to kill them. But you’ll probably miss and just end up with a splotch of dish detergent on your furniture. So it’s not worth trying.

Note: You can use any dish detergent. It doesn’t have to be Dawn. You can use any old brand and it’ll be fine. Use a natural one to reduce your environmental impact and just the fact that it’s healthy for you.

DIY fly traps

Here are two fly traps that are proven fly killers. They’re easy to make and very cheap.

You probably have the parts necessary lying around your home. Make them now and get rid of the houseflies while you sleep!

Housefly trap with vinegar

This is a basic vinegar trap for houseflies that actually works.

The best part about this contraption is that you don’t even need to do anything after you set it up. It lasts a long time and will continue to trap and kill flies buzzing around your home without any maintenance.

What you’ll need:

  • Pure white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 12 ounce mason jar (16 works also)
  • ¾ cups of water
  • Some saran wrap
  • Duck tape or rubber band
  • Pencil

How to make the trap:

  • Take the jar and add the soap, sugar, vinegar, and water. Stir gently.
  • Wrap the cover with saran wrap (cling film).
  • Use a pencil and poke some holes randomly across the warp.
  • Use a rubber band or packing tape to secure the wrap around the lid of the jar.

How it works

  • The sweet scent of the vinegar and sugar attracts houseflies to the trap. They land on the food wrap and make their way into the holes.
  • Once they’re in, they fall into the vinegar and drown from the dish soap. They’re too dumb to get back out.
  • You can place this anywhere that has a bunch of houseflies, such as the kitchen, trash,bathroom, patio, yard, or the outdoors.
  • This smaller trap works well for outdoor parties, picnics, and apartments or condos.
  • Build a few traps and place them strategically around your home in areas with high housefly activity.
  • Change the vinegar mixture every few weeks when it’s no longer effective (the smell goes away) or when there are a ton of houseflies caught in the trap.
  • You can also use a two liter soda bottle if you don’t have any mason jars.
  • Place it around fruits and veggies to protect them from houseflies and fruit flies.
  • You can also attach a rope to the jar to hang it outside.
  • This trap works best for fruit flies/vinegar flies, and houseflies are less drawn to the bait.

Bottle trap

You can make a simple DIY bottle trap, which requires even fewer materials than the vinegar trap.

This trap works by the classic “inverted bottle” technique, where it creates a funnel to lure flies in and trap them once they climb to the bait.

Here’s what you’ll need to build the bottle trap:

  • Packing tape
  • 2 liter soda bottle
  • Scissors
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Water

How to make the trap:

  • Cut the plastic bottle’s top half (where the bottle curves to form the neck and cap). This is usually about the top ⅓ of the bottle. You’re not cutting at the neck part where the plastic is hard. You’re cutting the area of the bottle that starts to bend from the thickest part. Be careful when cutting and take all precautions.
  • Turn the top portion upside down and stuff it back into the bottle. You should now have a DIY funnel that leads into the bottle.
  • Pour a mixture of 1 cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and a tablespoon of dish soap into the funnel.
  • Use the tape and secure the seam to prevent the top part from coming off and to stop houseflies from escaping.

How to use it:

  • Place your trap anywhere you notice fly activity, or where you want to protect from flies.
  • Use it around sinks, fruits, or the trash bin.
  • This bottle trap works against houseflies and vinegar fruit flies.
  • The flies can smell the vinegar and fly into the bottle. They can’t escape because of the shape. They drown from the dish detergent and get stuck in the trap.
  • Replace the mixture and clean it out when the scent is no longer effective.
  • Build multiple traps and use them around the home or outdoors for gatherings to keep houseflies away naturally without any work.

Red wine trap

You can also make an inverted bottle or funnel trap using red wine as the bait. But this doesn’t work that well against houseflies. It works best against fruit flies as the common american housefly doesn’t seem to be attracted to the scent of wine.

Raw shrimp trap

This trap is pretty unconventional and I discovered it on a random forum online somewhere. I couldn’t find the source of it, but if I do I’ll add it here.

Regardless, the trap is basically a bottle with an inverted funnel setup.

But the bait is a few pieces of raw shrimp in water. Place the trap outside your home because it’ll smell terrible.

Over the course of a few days, the shrimp pieces rot and attract all sorts of houseflies. The flies crawl through the funnel top and fall into the water.

The disgusting scent of rotting shrimp attracts houseflies to the trap and once they get in, they can’t get out. You can also add some dish soap if you find that the flies are escaping. This is one of the best tricks to get rid of flies.

The strong scent from the shrimp draws in flies like no other. Especially when you place the trap in the sun.

An even easier way to do this is to forget the bottle. Just use a mason far, take a roll of paper and roll it up into a funnel. Then stuff it into the jar.

Put it outdoors where flies are congrating. Done.

Use fly strips

Commercial fly strips are also something you can use along the entry points of your home.

Use the tape around windows, doors, and patch it over damaged weathestripping and cracks around your home.

The tape will catch houseflies that land on it and stick to them permanently. While it’s not a completely natural solution (the adhesive has some sticky residues), it should be safe for most people and pets.

Read the product label and use as directed. This works to get rid of flies in your house, and even in your room. Most fly strips can be used anywhere.

Manual removal

Kill housefly.
You can swat them the odl fashioned way.

The only method tested by time. Use your tools of choice and swat that fly!

Some of the best household weapons against houseflies:

  • Fly swatters
  • Electric sweaters
  • Rolled newspaper, paper, or magazine
  • Bug a salt fly guns
  • Shoes

Vacuum them up

You can use a shop vac or nozzle attachment on an upright vacuum to suck up flies. You’ll have to act fast as they take off in a split second.

But if you have a bunch of flies buzzing around some food waste, you can suck them up with a vacuum. This also works for dead flies if you don’t want to touch them.

What is the best natural fly repellent?

The best fly repellent is the one that works for you.

There’s no single best method to repel them. Use a combination of the ones on this page to get rid of them. For the outdoors, you can use essential oils, plants that houseflies hate, and build some fly traps. You can also use sticky tape.

For inside your home, you can use soapy water, essential oils, and simply cleaning up. The best way to keep flies away is to use a mix of different approaches so you get the most effective treatment plan.

How do you kill a fly?

Killing a fly ain’t hard. You can swat them with a fly swatter, spray them with soapy water, bleach them to kill their larvae, or build a fly trap and do nothing.

Depending on the extent of your houseflies, it’s not hard to do. Killing flies isn’t hard. But keeping them away is. That’s why you’re here.

How to get rid of houseflies without killing them

The best way to do this is to simply set up a path to let them out of your house. Open a window or door (without letting more flies into your house) and they’ll eventually find their way out. If it’s light out, make it dark inside your house as they’re drawn to light.

And if it’s dark out, then turn off your lights so they don’t feel encouraged to fly into your house.

Flies on a farm

Do you live on a farm? Flies are probably buzzing around ramptantly and nonstop.

This makes fly control very difficult. You’ll have to use industrial equipment to even put a dent in the fly infestations.

Consider using electric fly zappers, fly screening, fly tape, fly traps, and attracting natural predators that eat them. Birds, reptiles, frogs, lizards, toads, amphibians, parasitoids, spiders, and more.

You probably have a few of these critters loose on your land. Try to see if you can attract more of them to help control the flies.

The most common reason why you have these buzzers on your patio is because of food waste. Many people keep their garbage bins outside in their garden. This is a prime target for flies, outdoor mice, marsupials, racoons, skunks, coyotes, and a bunch of other pests.

This is hard to control because you don’t want to move the trash into your garage (especially if it’s infested), and you don’t want to clean the trash because it’s just plain nasty.

The solution is to either use a fly repellent in the trash (essential oils, bleach spray, or dish soap) to keep them out, or you can do a 100% deep clean of your trash bin.

This will get rid of them for good, but you’ll want to make sure you get all the food and waste stuck on the edges of the bin. Nasty.

And if you’re sure that the flies aren’t coming from the trash on your patio, check  other sources like rotting plants, overripe fruits or vegetables, dead bugs or animals, or feces from animals and pets.

Keeping your yard clean and tidy helps. You can also spray some leavendar, peppermint, or basil oil around areas that have lots of fly activity. Don’t forget to set up traps (vinegar, dish soap, or shrimp traps).

Flies in potted plants

Housefly potted plants.
Houseflies stay in potted plant because of the soil or rotting plant matter.

Flies in your potted plants are only there because of plant matter. If you have a fruit or vegetable plant, the flies may be eating the rotting parts of the plant.

Check for plant matter on the plant itself or that have fallen into the soil. Organic soil that has high compositions of animal manure or bat guano may also be a bait.

Flies may flock to the plant container to check out what the scent is coming from, but they’ll leave when they see that they have nothing to eat.

And keep your plants pruned at all times. Don’t let the leaves fall off. Prune them off!

Flies in the kitchen

Flies in the kitchen can be a health risk as they carry many different strains of bacteria and viruses. Houseflies are carriers of salmonella, e-coli, sepsis, and a whole host of viruses and strains of bacteria.

You definitely don’t want them in a food prep area because they’ll be all over your food and you’ll be eating them for dinner.

Flies in the kitchen should be killed as soon as you see them. This means grabbing a fly swatter and smacking the thing.

You can also set up some traps around the kitchen to kill them off. If your kitchen is a high traffic area for flies, check to make sure that your windows and doors are in good condition and sealed off from the outdoors.

Repair damaged weatherstripping, window screening, keep doors shut, and repair or caulk any possible entry points.

Find out what’s going on in your kitchen that’s bringing them in. Is the sink dirty? Do you have accessible trash? Are there unwashed dishes? Do your countertop surfaces shine? Do you have a good crust on the table? All of these bring flies to your kitchen.

Keeping your food prep area clean definitely makes it less appealing to all sorts of pests like German and American roaches and pantry moths.

How to get rid of flies in an apartment

If you live in an apartment, your options to eradicate and kill them are limited.

Your landlord may not allow you to do a bunch of the methods outlined here, such as building traps or using sticky tape. However, you can still do a few of the methods here inside your apartment to keep the flies out.

Use essential oils near your door and windows. Make a fly killer spray to spray them directly.

Keep your apartment and kitchen clean to make it less appealing to them. Take out the trash daily so there’s nothing for them to eat. Prune your indoor plants and harvest any fruiting plants.

And if you have damaged window screens, weatherstripping, or walls, get in touch with your landlord and request a work order.

How to get rid of flies for a party

Having a party outside and scared of flies ruining the event?

Set up sticky tape for immediate effect and build a bunch of fly traps. You can also light citronella candles to naturally repel them and make it appealing for your guests.

Also consider using electric bug killers and hosting the party where you’re safe from waste products.

How to keep flies out of your house when the door is open

Keeping your windows or doors open and trying to keep flies out is hard.

One thing to keep in mind is that once a fly gets in, you should keep your door open so it can leave your home. You can also stick flypaper around the home in areas that you rarely touch, but flies may reach.

Keep your kitchen extremely clean so they have nothing to eat and nowhere to lay eggs. You can also get a trash can that has a lid to keep them out of it.

Store all of your veggies, fruits, and food stashed and out of reach.

There’s no real way to leave your doors or windows open and keep flies out at the same time.

All you can do is control the damage by being prepped for when the flies eventually find their way through.

You can place some plants that repel them or use some basil oil around your door. This will help keep them out if you must keep your door open.

Further reading

Here are some references you can check out that you may find to be useful:

Did you get rid of the flies in your house?

Flower and housefly.
Houseflies go back to where they belong- not in your house!

You should now have a solid foundation of knowledge to control, eradicate, and manage the flies.

Being such a common household pest, they sure are prevalent. Most homeowners don’t really care about the occasional housefly, but when you have them all day, and in large numbers, that’s when you know you need to do something.

If you have any questions, post a comment below. Or if you found this page somewhat useful, let me know also.

Thanks for reading.