There are few things more annoying than a buzzing fly or two around the home or office. They are dirty, irritating, carriers of germs, and they often are stuffed full of nasty bacteria from feces. If you can get rid of them, you are doing yourself and your family, colleagues or pets a favor.
Fortunately, there are ways to do so relatively easily, so long as you are well organized and have remedies and solutions ready to hand. This article will help you get rid of flies and make sure your life, especially in the hot summer months when they thrive, is more relaxed, cleaner, and unburdened by the irritation they cause.
Natural Home Remedies
Hang flypaper strips around the area.
One of the best ways to keep your home fly-free is by hanging flypaper strips around the area. These are highly effective ways of catching them, but a lot of people have never actually used them, or even heard of them! They are actually widely available, so look out for them in supermarkets, or order them online.
The best places to hang them are in the kitchen, perhaps near the door or around the hob, or in the living room, near the windows. Some people find hanging them from the curtain rod a good option.
Once flies land on the strips, they are stuck. The gum on the strips is too strong for them. If you position the strips well, it won’t take long before you see a reduction in the number of flies buzzing around.
Be reassured, the strips are easy to remove and you can do so perfectly hygienically, without having to touch the flies.
Use a homemade fly trap with a jar, water, and dish soap
Flies like liquids, so one of the ways to trap them is to drown them in a mixture of soap and water. This can be done by filling a small bowl or jar with soapy bubbly liquid. Once the flies land on it, which they usually do because they are attracted by the smell, they find it hard to get torsion again against the soapy liquid and you are then able to throw them away or seal the jar and get rid of them outside.
Flies love jams and marmalades and butters. They will always sniff out a dirty plate.
But one way to trick them is to leave a plate of messy jam and butter at a doorway, or in an area where you can easily swat them once they are engorged in the mixture. If you give them what they like, you will find it easier to locate them, and if you position that plate far away from where you are wanting to work or sit, you have a good chance of decoying them into another part of the house or office until you are ready to get to them.
Flies tend not to like the unexpected. They are suspicious of areas with smells they dislike.
One thing they dislike is the smell of vinegars. To get them to leave an area, fill a spray bottle with water and vinegar and mist it around the area. This can be especially useful in kitchens.
Vinegar is actually a natural fly repellent, so when you mist it on surfaces they will very rarely ever land on them. It is a very clean way – and a cheap way – to keep your home free from pests.
Vinegar is also non-toxic, so there are no harmful chemicals involved in this process. It is safe for children, pets and fish. Unlike some other bug sprays, vinegar is therefore ‘clean’. Even though other sprays may be effective, they often use chemicals and most of us do not want excessive chemicals in our homes.
Flies love sugar, but that can be used to trap them. Make a solution of two parts water and one part sugar to attract and kill the flies. They will almost certainly be drawn to the sweet mixture, but they will then get stuck in the liquid and ultimately die.
You may actually find leaving this mixture outside on a plant pot tray, or on a large plate, stops the flies entering the home in the first place.
Keep Flies Away From Your Home
Keep windows and doors shut.
Flies are adept at entering even tiny gaps. If you are therefore determined to keep them out, you may find you need to keep a very close eye on your doors and windows. These will need to be kept shut to ensure that flies don’t enter, especially in the summer months.
Remember, though, that houses do need fresh air to help them stay free of damp and to keep them smelling okay, so there will just be some moments when you need doors or windows open. To that end, remember the remedies we have mentioned earlier.
Cracks and gaps
Repairing any open spaces in screens or window frames is always a good idea. Flies will always enter through any gap, as they seek a warmer environment. They are also curious creatures, so a gap is an invitation to a fly.
Window sealants are quite cheap, so you should not find it difficult to direct a bit of sealant to the small gap on a sill or along the edge of a fitting or frame. You can also buy weather-fitting strips that help keep out draughts. They are also good at pushing back on the presence of flies, so look into them.
Put up window coverings on windows that have direct sunlight
Flies like sunlight. They are attracted to it. By blocking the sunlight with a window covering, you can help eliminate many of the flies that congregate around a hot window surface.
The best coverings to go for are those that still let in light, so aim for something transparent. Make sure they can withstand the wind and rain too. This can be a nuisance, but if you are being plagued by flies, it may well be what you need to do.
Household hygiene matters, but it also helps in ensuring there are fewer flies in your home. Make sure to carry out the following steps to limit the chance of flies being present in your house.
- Clean up food and drink spills immediately
- Wash up dirty dishes and plates soon after use
- Flush your toilet after every use. Flies love a dirty loo – don’t give them one!
- Avoid having damp clothes or towels lying around
- If you have pets, keep any litter trays clean
- Don’t leave foodstuffs lying around, especially half-cut fruits, open packets of meat, teabags, or bits of cake. Flies will always find food or drink residue and they will often do so in quite significant numbers. Don’t give them the chance.
Flies love rubbish. They adore your garbage! Take out the garbage regularly and keep the lids tightly shut. Inside your home, make sure to have a bin lid that is automatic, so that it is never left open by accident. Ensure your recycling is clean, and that you rinse any old cartons of food or drink or soups before putting them in the bin or the recycling tubs.
Take your internal rubbish out regularly and you will absolutely limit the likelihood of flies being around in the home. This is especially necessary with food scraps, of course, but even rubbish generally can attract them, as some bits of cardboard can get wet and flies will always enjoy a damp surface.
Professional Fly Control Measures
Spraying pesticides or insecticides around doors and windows.
Sprays exist in large numbers, and many good products are available. Remember, though, that they will almost all contain chemicals, so you need to use them with care. You may also need to wear a mask at the point of spraying.
They will work, but once they have done so you may wish to clean the area concerned with a warm soapy cloth.
Installing chemical barriers such as fly repellent strips.
Installing chemical barriers, such as fly repellent strips, is another good way to control pests like flies. Because they are infused with scent-based chemicals to which flies are attracted, they tempt and then trap the insects.
These strips are best hung in places like doorways and windows, and they last up to three months, so they are good value. They work by releasing a continuous stream of active ingredients which create a ‘no-fly zone’. Be careful not to breathe near them too long, and remember that they will need replacing after around twelve weeks.
Using a combination of fly traps and electric bug zappers.
As with many things in life, combinations of approaches work well. It is the same with trapping and reducing the presence of flies.
Fly traps are an effective solution for getting rid of flies. They can be purchased from your local hardware store or online and they work by trapping the flies and luring them away from the area with bait.
If your home or office is suffering from some more significant fly presence, however, you can try an electric bug zapper. This device emits electrical charges to attract and kill flying insects, and it is extremely good at getting rid of flies. The light it emits ensures that flies are attracted to it above all other places in a room and when they touch the bar they die instantly. The design of the devices means the flies gather neatly at the bottom of the tray beneath the light so they are easy to dispose of.
Because they are run by electricity the devices do not run out and they can be good value over time. If you are after a long term solution to a particular problem area of your home or workplace, this can be an excellent option.
Hiring professional pest control services may end up being the line you have to go down if the problem is significant and is not limited by the other methods we have suggested. Pest control companies are highly experienced and have the right equipment to handle all kinds of fly infestations. Plus, they know exactly where and how to target any problem areas and will be able to assess if there is any part of your living or working area that is making the issue worse than it needs to be.
The reassuring element is that they offer long-term, effective solutions that you can trust will keep your home fly-free for years to come. This is always a benefit of a professional service. Of course, it will not be free, so you may need to splash out on a notable amount of money in the first instance, which is obviously never a great thing. That said, if it rids your home of flies, it will be worth it.
These are the absolute specialists when it comes to fly eradication. If you find one, you can consult with them for more detailed advice on chemical treatments to support eradication. They will be able to evaluate your specific fly problem, and then tell you what the best chemical treatment is. They will also provide advice on how to use it, and there may even be services who will make home-visits.
It’s important to make sure the professional you go to is a licensed entomologist and not just a pest control operator, as different insects need different treatments, and you will also likely have to pay a reasonably large amount of money for the service.
If it is long term peace of mind you are after, however, this may indeed be a very wise route to go down and could prove money well spent.