Flies are an annoying menace in a lot of homes. Several species cause diseases like cholera and dysentery, along with making you susceptible to bacterial infections. They can also be extremely irritating, which is why if you have a fly problem, it is best to do everything you can to get rid of them as soon as possible.
This article will highlight all the most effective home remedies to help you make up your mind on what to use for yourself. In the end, though, it might be smarter to use a personalized combination of two or more of these methods.
Home remedies to get rid of flies
Getting rid of flies can be broken down into two different stages. The first stage involves fly control techniques that aim to ensure the growth of the flies is eliminated. This simply means cleaning and destroying their breeding grounds.
The second stage involves elimination techniques. Since the eggs and the larva have already been destroyed, this next step is all about killing or repelling adult flies.
Here are a few remedies that you can use to eliminate flies:
1. Cleaning breeding sources
Dirty surfaces in homes such as unwashed utensils, cooking benches, trash bins and compost trash pits are good breeding grounds for flies. Borax and water solutions should be used to clean these surfaces to eliminate traces that have been left to attract other flies. Garbage should be collected often and bins should be properly covered.
Pets should also be cleaned regularly and the fecal matter collected daily to deter flies who lay eggs on them. Their cages should be cleaned as well.
2. Vodka based repellant
Interestingly, flies do not like the smell of vodka hence it can be used to deter them from our homes. To make a simple vodka repellent you need to mix one cup of vodka, two tablespoons of aloe Vera juice and one tablespoon of lemon eucalyptus oil in a spraying can.
Apply the repellant on infested areas and also on your skin. People with sensitive skin need to be cautious because the repellant can cause skin irritation.
3. Essential oils
The smell of essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, or pennyroyal oil has been used for centuries as insect deterrent agents. The oil should be infused with hot water and sprayed along doorways and windows.
These essential oils also have a good odor and can also be used as a room freshener.
4. Cloves in citrus fruits
A combination of cloves and citrus fruits such as orange, lime, and lemon can be used to get rid of flies. The cloves are inserted in the fruit and can be placed anywhere in the home or can be hanged with a string on windows.
The advantage of using clove is that it can work as a beautiful centerpiece on tabletops, no chemicals are used to make it and is simple and affordable to make.
5. Vinegar fly trap
Vinegar has a natural odor that lures flies. Apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar are the most commonly used. This method is very simple and convenient to use.
The vinegar is poured into a glass then covered by a plastic bag. A small hole is cut at the center of the bag which is enough for the flies to enter through but not enough for the flies to escape.
6. Boil malt vinegar
When malt vinegar is boiled, it emits a strong odor that is intolerable to flies. This is commonly used in a highly infested area. It is a simple technique where malt vinegar is heated in a pot until boiling point and left in the infested area to deter flies.
It is a simple method and also cost-effective.
7. Using herbs to deter flies
The scent of certain plants can be used to keep off flies from homes. Some of the basic herbs include basil, mint, and wormwood. These herbs can be planted in pots and placed anywhere in the house but preferably on the window counters.
These herbs will barflies from entering the house and can also be used to beautify the house. The smell of the plants is aromatic and keeps the home fresh.
Another natural method of getting rid of flies is by using camphor tablets or blocks. The tablets are placed in a diffuser, or on a hot plate hence releasing an aroma that keeps flies away.
It can also be found in the form of a candle that burns and emits a strong fragrance making flies leave the infested areas. The use of camphor is also advantageous since it contains antiviral and antibacterial essence.
9. Sugar- water fly trap.
This is a simple way of mixing sugar and water which contains a sweet fluid that attracts the flies. The mixture is placed in a jar which is covered by a cone that has a one centimeter cut at the apex. The flies attraction to the sugar syrup makes them stick at the bottom since they cannot leave through the tiny hole.
This method mainly works for fruit flies and house flies. It is a cheap technique and no chemicals are used in the process.
10. The honey trap
The sweet aroma and the sticky nature of honey is a perfect way to entice and capture flies. This method is very easy to apply. To execute this method, honey is placed in a plastic container and mixed with a little water. A funnel with a small hole is placed on the container to ensure flies get in easily and makes it hard for them to leave.
The flies in turn drown in the water. The method is easy to employ and also it does not emit toxins to the environment.
11. Disposable fly trap
This technique contains an attractant placed inside a pouch and it gets triggered once water is added to it. Once the attractant dissolves in water, it produces a sweet fragrance which flies are immediately attracted to.
The flies enter the pouch through a cone that has a small hole and are not able to leave because of the constriction and in turn drown in the solution. It is a no-mess method and works well for most fly species.
12. Pheromone traps
These are very sensitive traps that work efficiently under low density. Unlike other traps that use food or scent to lure the flies, these traps use pheromone which are chemical factors secreted by animals that lead to socially responsible behavior.
The flies are attracted to this pheromone which often signals a mating call for them. Once they get into the trap they cannot escape. The effectiveness of the trap is very high and works well for a multiple of species.
13. Flypaper trap
This is one of the most common and cheap home remedies to get rid of flies. The flypaper is in the form of a ribbon that is covered by sweet-smelling glue that attracts the flies. The glue is extremely sticky to inhibit the flies from escaping and often contains insecticide which in turn kills them.
The flypaper is commercially available and is cost-friendly.
14. Electronic portable Fly swatter
This is a mobile electronic device that is shaped like a badminton racket. It has a three-layered mesh that is electrified. It has capacitors inside which charge up and release a high voltage that electrocute flies once they land on the mesh leading to an instant death.
Fly swatters are rather preferred when dealing with a low number of flies. They also provide free “exercise” in the activity required to catch and swat these flies.
This is a fun based device that resembles a rifle. It shoots a concentrated stream of regular salt granules. It is very easy to operate since it uses the same mechanism as a shotgun where salt is loaded and once the safety is off, the pump-action releases the stream of salt.
The device is environmentally friendly since it is not toxic and it uses a battery. It may be harmful to pets and people if shot towards them.
16. Electronic fly zapper
This is an electronic device that dispenses insecticide. Unlike the fly swatter, this device draws the fly towards it hence eliminating the action of going towards the fly. It emits a bright white light that attracts the fly and has an electrode that is charged and shocks the fly once it comes into contact with it.
It has a safety mechanism that uses an insulating guard that protects people and pets when they come into contact with the electrode. It is highly effective and attracts flies of all species.
17. UV electric traps
Some frequencies of light are very attractive to flies and ultraviolet light is one of them. Ultraviolet bulbs of 2-25 watts are enclosed in an adhesive glue board in these traps.
The flies are drawn in by the light and then are trapped by the adhesive glue board. The trap is fairly economical since the adhesive glue board is easily replaceable and they also work in any AC socket. The trap is also environmentally friendly since it is non-toxic and does not emit any smell.
18. Fly vacuum
This is an improved version of a normal house vacuum with the main purpose of sucking flies. It is a handheld device that has a powerful vacuum contraption for catching flies and a trap down that prevents them from escaping.
It is a safe and easy method to use. The main stumbling block is the price of the vacuum.
19. Using a fly gun
This is an advanced version of a fly swatter. When the device is aimed and shot towards a fly a plastic projectile with a round disc is ejected and kills the fly.
This may tend to become an enjoyable way of killing the flies since the gun resembles a toy.
20. Chemical fly spray
Several commercially available sprays are very effective in getting rid of flies. These sprays commonly use insecticides which have a rapid response time therefore most people prefer to use them. They also work effectively in killing a multitude of fly species.
The main disadvantage of using such sprays is the fact that they are toxic to the environment and affect people with chest problems.
21. Homemade fly killer spray
To avoid toxic chemical sprays, one can use dish soap in making a fly killer spray. Dish soap contains borax in small quantities which works productively as an insecticide. It is a simple method of mixing dish soap with hot water and then placing the mixture in a spray can.
The mixture is highly effective and works instantly since borax dehydrates the exoskeleton of the flies. It is also simple to make and use.
22. Using carnivorous plants
One of the most green and environmentally friendly ways of getting rid of flies is by the use of carnivorous plants such as Venus flytrap. The attractiveness of the plants lures the flies which are then trapped and digested by the plant.
It is not an efficient way of killing flies since the number of insects they consume is very minimal. But they are very attractive to look at hence beautifying the home.
23. Clear plastic bags half-filled with water
Flies have compound eyes which gives them the capacity to recognize light patterns and also the fluctuation of these patterns. The plastic bag filled with water reflects light in all directions hence it repels the fly since they lack the sense of direction.
This technique is simple and easy to make. Also, zero maintenance is needed. The only disadvantage of using this method is that it can only be utilized during the day.
24. Using fresh orange peels
One of the cheapest and convenient ways of getting rid of flies is by the use of fresh orange peels. The peels can repel flies and are commonly used in the manufacturing of bug repellants. The fresh aroma of the peel helps in keeping the flies off.
The method not only gets rid of flies but also motivates one to consume oranges. It is also a cheap way and no chemical toxins are emitted to the environment.
25. Wine trap
The essence of fermentation is a quick attraction to flies that is why they are easily lured by wine. The wine is placed in a cup and is mixed with washing fluid which serves as a poison. When the flies ingest the wine they are poisoned instantly and die.
A cone with a small incision at the apex can also be placed on the cup. The flies will be able to enter but not leave and hence drown and suffocate in the mixture.
26. Hot pepper repellant
This method causes an irritation hence making the flies unable to take in air. A hot pepper repellant spray can also be prepared by blending two to three hot peppers in a food processor and adding hot water. The mixture is then pressed to remove the solid parts and then placed in a spraying container.
It is a cheap technique to apply to infested areas. It is also environmentally clean since zero toxins are emitted.
27. Ginger spray
The essence of the strong ginger aroma can also be used to keep flies at bay. It is a straightforward process where ground ginger is mixed with water to make a repellant that is deposited in a spray can. The repellant is then sprinkled on invaded surfaces.
28. Temperature control of rooms
Flies are most active in hot environments. Most flies also breed and reproduce faster when it is hot. Therefore there is a necessity of controlling the room temperatures inside the apartment. In temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius, flies tend not to disseminate and also temperatures below 9 degrees Celsius makes them unable to fly.
The only disadvantage with this method is that it cannot be applied every time and it can be also a cost burden.
29. Using darkness as a technique
Flies are naturally attracted to light and a mere darkening of a room can have a swift effect on them. The presence of darkness makes the flies inactive because they have compound eyes and hence depend on light to identify their surroundings.
This method is efficient and practical. It is also a perfect way of saving energy. The only drawback is that it is not applicable every time.
Flies can be rather annoying to have in your home. While these remedies are designed to help keep them away, it is essential to prevent the infestation from getting out of hand in the first place. This involves preventive measures such as maintaining high levels of hygiene and keeping an eye out for potential breeding grounds to destroy them before the infestation occurs. Understanding the different types of flies and where they are likely to lay eggs will not only spare you the misery of having to keep them away but also help you get rid of them quickly and effectively. Just be sure to keep your space clean, and if you have anything organic lying about, store it away correctly.