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19 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flies Inside and Outside

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19 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flies Inside and Outside

Most active during the day, flies are not only annoying but an infestation can be very unpleasant. They will fly around and land on your food if having a meal outside and can also invade your kitchen and other indoor spaces.

Cleaning everything and closing windows and doors is usually the first thing you do to get rid of them. However, there are a lot of other home remedies to deal with the problem.

Here’s how to get rid of flies naturally.

1. Cayenne Pepper Spray

A great home remedy to get rid of flies is to mix some hot cayenne pepper with water. For the recipe, mix one teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder with a cup of water.

Use this to spray around the house, on surfaces, doors, and near food. The solution will naturally deter flies as they don’t like the strong spicy smell.

2. Light Trap

These are boxes with a light fitted at the back. The light will attract the flies, after which they’ll meet their end very quickly.

When the critters get inside the box, they will be killed by electrocution or get stuck to a glue board, depending on the type you purchased.

Light traps are highly recommended to catch flies indoors. Use it to get rid of house flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and more.

3. Clean Up

The best way to keep flies out of the house is to keep everything clean.

Flies will settle on any scrap of food or waste, especially rotting fruits and meat, so cleaning up surfaces is vital. Therefore, regularly clean and sanitize where you prepare food or eat.

Cleaning the porch area, patio, floors, sinks, and outdoor living spaces is essential as well.

4. Sticky Traps

An inexpensive way of eliminating flies is to hang sticky traps around the home. You can buy these traps in most garden shops or online.

Homemade ones will also work well using a sticky substance and pieces of cardboard or thick paper. Blue seems to be the most useful color to attract these pests [1].

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are two easy methods to trap flies using fermented liquids like apple cider vinegar (ACV). Fruit flies are especially attracted to these traps.

To get rid of flies in the house with apple cider vinegar, pour some in a jam jar or bottle. Next, cover the container with a clear plastic sheet/film.

Afterward, use rubber bands to keep the plastic in place and poke holes in the top just big enough for flies to enter. The pests will be lured into the jars and be unable to escape.

Alternatively, pour about a cup of cider vinegar into a shallow bowl and add a little dish soap. The ACV will attract the critters, and as they land on the surface, the soap will break the vinegar’s surface tension.

This means that the flies will sink quickly in the solution and drown.

6. Throw Out Over-Ripe and Rotting Food

The warmth of summer months often allows fruits and other foods to spoil quickly and attract flies by the dozen. Therefore, discard over-ripe and rotting produce.

7. Stale Beer

Pour some stale beer into a narrow neck bottle to make a DIY fly trap. Once they get in, the narrow neck of the bottle makes it difficult for them to exit and they will drown.

Beer cans with some residue can work in this way too or a trap made with half a cup of stale beer in a closed mason jar.

Hammer some holes in the metal lid and screw up tightly. Finally, clean out the drowned flies to repeat the process. This method works great against fruit flies.

8. Plants That Repel Flies

Growing certain plants is a pleasant way of repelling and eliminating some pesky insects, including flies.

  • Marigolds are used as a traditional deterrent against insect pests. They also give a bright cheerful splash of color to your surroundings.
  • Nasturtiums too are fast-spreading colorful plants used to keep away flies.
  • Basil is a popular herb choice with gardeners for this purpose as well.
  • Bay laurel works great and is useful in the kitchen too.
  • Citronella is used in many forms to deter pests.
  • Catnip is a pest repellent herb although it may attract unwanted cats too. It’s also highly effective against mosquitoes.
  • Wormwood has components that can repel certain insect pests. Moreover, you can also use it to repel rabbits.

Other plants flies hate include lavender, pennyroyal, sage, rosemary, mint, Venus flytrap, tansy, garlic, and Petunias.

9. Guard ‘N Spray

This is a commercial organic product formulated from botanical oils and other ingredients to kill and repel many insect pests including the common housefly.

Guard ‘N Spray is also effective against powdery and downy mildews. Oils in the product like rosemary, cinnamon, and sesame combine with citric acid for complete pest control.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply.

10. Garlic Spray

To make a natural fly repellent, mince or puree two bulbs of garlic in half a cup of water.

Next, pour a pint of boiling water over it and let it steep overnight. Remove the solid pieces and use the solution as a spray.

You can also add a tablespoon of liquid soap to your garlic insect repellent to make it more powerful.

11. Essential Oils

An effective way to keep flies away is to use some heavily-scented essential oils. Scents that repel flies include lavender, cinnamon, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass.

To make a homemade fly spray, mix about 10 drops of each essential oil with 8 oz. of water. Shake well and use it to spray surfaces, windows, and doorways.

12. Fly Swatter

Swatting flies is easy with almost any flat utensil. However, in bad infestations, an electric fly-swatter may be more effective.

These are like small tennis/badminton rackets but the mesh is electrified. Passing the racket through the air will trap and kill the flies and other fast-moving flying insects caught on the electrified mesh.

13. Empty and Clean Garbage Cans

Flies congregate near garbage cans and also lay their eggs inside them. Keep the trash bins clean by washing with soap and water.

Also, put all trash in bags and remove/replace regularly to prevent attracting flies and bugs. You can also sprinkle some baking soda inside them to absorb odors.

14. Clean Up After Pets

Pets are likely to attract flies too. Therefore, it’s wise to clean up around them, empty litter trays often, and wash bedding.

Additionally, flies will lay eggs on any poop, so it is essential to keep pets clean and remove any feces around the property.

15. Clean Drains

Drains are another breeding ground for flies, so it’s wise to regularly clean drainage pipes and other plumbing outlets.

Pour boiling water or baking soda and vinegar down as well to control infestations. Flushing out the drain will also remove fly larvae.

16. Essentria IC-3

This is another organic commercial product that provides instant knock-down and long-term protection against flies and many other flying and crawling insects.

The active ingredients are geraniol, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil. Moreover, essentria IC-3 is non-toxic and safe to use in the home and garden.

17. balEnce Fly Spray

This product is a liquid suspension of Beauveria bassiana, a beneficial fungus. Flies will be parasitized by the Beauveria bassiana spores, after which they’ll become infected and die.

balEnce will also leave a residue to control future infestations.

18. Seal the House

Make a tour of the house and seal up any crevices or cracks in walls or around doors and windows.

Replace or repair slates and gaps on the roof and, if possible, protect the property from flies by putting in fly screens.

19. Bottle Trap

Using an empty open soda, or another, plastic bottle, smear the opening with honey, syrup, fruit, or anything sweet.

Next, punch holes in the top and thread a piece of wire through the holes. Hang wherever needed. The critters will smell the bait and fly into the bottle where it will be difficult for them to get out.


Flies are not only a nuisance but also a health risk [2]. These natural methods can help control them safely.

Andre Campbell

Organic farmer and co-founder of Dre Campbell Farm. He appreciates everything in nature -- sunshine, plants, animals, and human life.

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