How to Get Rid of Flies

How to Get Rid of Flies

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

House and cluster flies may seem like an inevitable part of life, but that's just not so. There are simple, easy things you can do to rid your domicile of these annoying home invaders.

  • 01 of 07

    Eliminate Food Sources

    dishes in the sink

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

    Try to see your house the way a fly sees it. Dirty dishes in the sink, unlidded trash cans, and compost bins, and half-empty pet food bowls are all inviting sources of food for flies. Go through your house room by room, and do what you need to do to shut down the buffet. And, don't do just do it once in a while. To keep your home fly-free, get into the habit of doing a weekly (or bi-weekly) fly check, perhaps on trash collection day.

  • 02 of 07

    Clean up After Your Pets

    cat's food dish

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

    If you need a reason to stay on top of your pet-related chores, then here it is. Flies lay 75 to 150 eggs at a time, and they prefer to lay those eggs on poop. Because the fly eggs will hatch within 8 to 20 hours, for every dog pile that you leave in your backyard today, you will be looking at 150 more flies tomorrow. It's important to scoop up after your pets on a daily basis and be sure to keep their cages clean as well.

  • 03 of 07

    Figure out How They're Getting in

    cracked window

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

    It's normal for some flies to get in with the opening and closing of doors. However, if you have a lot of flies in your home, you need to figure out how they're getting in. Examine your window screens for tears, and patch or replace any that are damaged. Then, take a look at the caulking around all windows and doors. If you haven't re-caulked in a while, then that may be the culprit. Finally, inspect the weather stripping around your doors, and make the necessary adjustments or replacements to ensure your home is fly-proof.


    7 Tips for Controlling Cluster Flies

  • 04 of 07

    Make a Fly Trap

    homemade fly trap

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

    Here's how to fight back by making a fly trap to lure flies away from your patio and deck while eating al fresco during the summer. This crafty project keeps annoying flies away from your outdoor meals using an everyday household product (an empty plastic bottle).

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Make Fly Paper

    fly paper

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

    Flypaper will never win a design competition, but it sure does the trick. Pick up some fly paper at the store, order online, or make your own fly paper at home. Simply hang it up, and watch the flies flock to it.

  • 06 of 07

    Use Plants to Keep Flies Away

    mint growing in a kitchen

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    If you want to go the natural route, some traditional remedies claim that flies have an adverse reaction to the smells from such herbs as lavender, mint, lemongrass, and basil. (It's worth noting that there's no real research supporting this solution, but some extra herbs never hurt anyone, either, if you still want to give this more organic fix a try.) You can use the herbs as foundation plantings around your house, or stick them in flower pots positioned by your front and back door.

  • 07 of 07

    Make Fly Repellent Spray

    fly repellent spray

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Stock up on essential oils that flies don't like (including lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass, and basil) and use them to make your own fly repellent spray.

    To mix, just fill a spray bottle with water and add enough essential oil to fragrance. Then, spray it in your kitchen and around your doorways to keep the flies out. Of course, you'll need to re-spray regularly to maintain the effect.

    Be sure to label your fly repellent, so that others know what it is, and store it out of the reach of children and pets.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sanchez-Arroyo, Hussein & Capinera, John L. Featured Creatures: House Fly. University of Florida, Entomology & Nematology, 2016.

  2. Renkema, Justin M. et al. Plant Essential Oils and Potassium Metabisulfite as Repellents for Drosophila Suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Scientific Reports vol 6, no. 1, 2016. doi:10.1038/srep21432