Flies are bad news, whether there’s just one of them stuck in your house or an infestation. Having flies buzzing around is extremely irritating, but that’s not all. Flies fly and crawl on everything, most commonly feces, and whatever they land on, they pick up and carry it on their legs.
You can get rid of flies effectively in multiple ways. As with all kinds of pests, you can either use chemical methods with pesticides or apply home remedies.
Are flies dangerous?
Flies are not outright dangerous to humans since they don’t bite or cause allergic reactions. However, they cause a lot of trouble in other ways.
Flies cause the most harm by being carriers of disease-causing bacteria and infections. They persist in entering houses to search for food and crawl over it. This results in the rapid spread of infections. Their larvae can also infest in any living organism, making humans and animals susceptible to infections.
By crawling through filth and manure, outdoor flies pick up a whole range of microorganisms, bacteria, and worm eggs with their legs. Flying from garbage dumps to inside your house, they spread all those bacteria and parasites to your food. This may result in serious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, etc. Food that comes into contact with flies then becomes dangerous to eat.
Not only are they dangerous, because they spread disease, but they are also plain annoying, with their constant buzzing and flying around.
Inspecting for house flies
House flies can often be found feeding and breeding in fresh manure and rotting food like fruits and vegetables. They are also found in the garbage and decaying organic materials.
Most of the time, when you find house flies inside, they have found a way into your home from outside. Check for any potential entry points such as windows, doors, and vents. It is important to find out how they are entering the buildings and where they are breeding. In rural areas, this may be more of a problem since there are usually higher numbers of breeding sites than in urban areas. In the case of residential areas, if pet feces are not disposed of regularly, they may also become a breeding ground.
Identifying house flies
Common house flies are medium-sized and about 1/6th to 1/4th of an inch long. Common house flies are pests all over the world. The adult has a fourth wing vein that is angled sharply and four length-wise stripes on the top of the thorax. The face has two velvety stripes that are silver on top and gold from below. Female flies have wider spaces between the eyes than the males.
House flies are rather pesky since, during warm weather, two or more generations may be completed within a month. Normally, the population builds up the most during the early fall months. Sometimes, populations develop indoors during winters.
House flies lay eggs in all kinds of warm, moist material to provide suitable food for larvae. Animal manure, excrement, garbage, decaying organic material, etc. are possible sites. Although they are attracted to a large number of food items, house flies have mouthparts that will only allow them to ingest liquid material. Solid food is liquefied through regurgitated saliva. This liquefied food is then taken up by the mouthparts and then digested.
During the day, house flies generally rest on floors, walls, and ceilings. Outside, they rest on plants, the ground, fence wires, and other surfaces.
House flies generally prefer corners and edges or think objects like wires and strings. Nighttime resting places are usually close to their daytime food sources and usually a way above the ground.
The first step in controlling house flies is sanitation. Even though there are many traps and sprays for killing flies, you need to get rid of the source to be able to eliminate the problem entirely.
When possible, food and material on which flies lay their eggs must be removed or destroyed to be able to isolate the egg-laying adult. Killing adult flies is good for reducing infestation, but for better control, getting rid of any breeding areas is important.
Garbage cans and dumpsters, being the primary breeding spot, must be cleaned and have tight-fitting lids to avoid flies sitting on it and breeding. Drainage also aids control by getting rid of the extra moisture. If there are any openings, such as windows or vents, they should be screened. Don’t leave windows open too long.
Using repellents to rid of flies
One way to get rid of flies is to use repellents. These exist in many forms. Although it may seem that flies will land on everything and anything, they are fussy about certain smells and flavors. Because flies taste with the hairs on their legs, they are sensitive about landing on materials they are not fond of, so you can use these home-made repellents to deter the flies.
Basil and other herbs and plants
Some strong-smelling plants fall in the category of things that flies just do not like. One of the most common ones is basil. It is not only easily available in shops but also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which creates a healthy environment for your house. By placing your basil plant anywhere in the house, you can deter flies. Preferably, you would want to place it near openings to avoid them entering the house. Other plants that flies dislike include lavender, mint, bay leaf, tansy, and wormwood.
Flies hate strong smells but they particularly hate the smell of essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender. Lavender oil has been used as an insect deterrent for many centuries, including on clothes to avoid moths eating away at them. Essential oils can be made at home easily and are also available for purchase from any homeopathic shop.
All you have to do is infuse fresh lavender with any carrier oil – that is, oil that is pale in color and low in scent so as to avoid overpowering the smell of the lavender.) Allow the infusion to stay for about 48 hours in a warm place, shaking periodically to avoid it settling.
Once done, strain the plant from the oil and place it in a container. You can place the oil around the house or spray it around to make the smell spread, which will repel flies elsewhere.
Plastic water bags
Besides natural ingredients, you can also trick the flies into staying away. Hang a bag full of water outside windows and doors and any opening through which flies can enter your house. This works because of the way flies see these bags.
Flies have a remarkable number of lenses in each eye, which gives them the ability to detect movement and light patterns at a greater level than humans. A bag of water will reflect light all over the place and confuse the flies, which will make them choose to stay away. Not only is this trick clever, but it’s also easy to make as well.
All you need is a large plastic bag (preferably a ziplock) that won’t spill water anywhere. Fill it up to two-thirds of the way and tie its opening with a string firmly to make sure it is tight and not able to slip off. Hang the bag outside any openings like windows or doors.
Camphor is another natural way of getting rid of flies and easily available for purchase online or at a homeopathic store. Flies hate camphor for the small smell it emits. Similar to basil, it contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties as well as deterring insects. It comes from the wood of the Camphor Laurel Tree.
Camphor is usually bought in blocks or tablets that you can place on a heated surface like hot plates or heat diffusers. Place these around the house, preferably under open windows, to let the aroma float out and keep the flies away.
You can also burn the camphor in a fire-safe spot inside the house to make the smell spread faster and farther to get rid of the flies.
Fresh orange peel
Orange peel is a wonderful way to get rid of flies and is also cheap. Citrus extracts are used in a lot of commercial bug repellents because of its inherent ability to deter insects.
Because of its fragrance, orange peel can be left around the house near openings, on windowsills, and beside doors to keep flies from entering. You should make sure that the peel is fresh, and replace them once they’ve tried out. Rub the skins together every once in a while to release more of its smell and allow this remedy to last longer.
Cloves in citrus fruits
We know citrus fruits (especially oranges) are a good repellent for flies. Another way to get rid of them is to combine citrus fruits and cloves. Inserting cloves into oranges is really easy, and you can place this anywhere in the house.
Most citrus fruits are usable for this, including lemons and limes. Insert 10-15 cloves into the fruit. You can either leave the fruit as a whole or cut it in half to allow for more fragrance out into the air. Place these around the house or hang them up with string or ribbon around windows.
Using traps to get rid of flies
Another way to get rid of flies is to use fly traps. Although this won’t stop the flies from entering the house, it will draw them away from your food or the kitchen tops.
Vinegar fly trap
Vinegar attracts flies, so it’s a great way to lure them in and keep them away from the rest of the house. To make a vinegar trap, all you have to do is get some apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar, a glass, a plastic bag, and a rubber band.
First, pour a small amount of vinegar into your glass and put a plastic bag over the glass. Secure the bag on the glass with a rubber band. Cut a hole into the middle of the bag at the top to make an opening that is big enough for the flies to enter but not big enough to escape. Do this by pushing the plastic bag into the glass to form a funnel. You can place this trap anywhere in the house where flies can enter.
This is a well-known way to catch flies. Although strips are easily bought in shops, you can make your own at home.
Cut some brown paper or cardboard into strips. Mix about 1/4th golden syrup with 1/4th cup of sugar to make it very sweet. At the top of the strips, punch holes and thread some string through to create a loop and hang them up.
Paint the sugary substance onto the strips and let them dry. Hang these around the house where you think flies can reach.
A great and natural way to keep flies away is to purchase a Venus Fly Trap. By introducing a natural predator into your home, you don’t have to take any extra steps in trying to get rid of flies. It also adds a plant into your home environment. Not to mention, it is fascinating to watch the plant at work. They can be bought at any good garden center and are relatively cheap so you can buy a few to sit in different parts of your house.
The wine trap
As it turns out, flies are attracted to alcohol. If you like wine and have some lying around, you can make a quick and easy trap. Flies are attracted to anything that’s fermented, which is why you often find them around rubbish and rotten food.
Find yourself some white or red wine and pour it into a container with some washing liquid. This is what acts as a poison when the flies drink the wine. You can make a funnel by making a cone out of paper with a hole snipped at the end. This way, the flies will be able to enter but not escape.
Place the container in a place where flies will seek it out, and after some time, you will start seeing flies floating in the liquid.
The honey trap
Honey is extremely good for trapping flies with its sweet smell and stickiness. If you don’t have honey, then the jam is also a good alternative. This trap is easy to make, as well.
Take a large plastic bottle and cut it in half. Fill the bottom half with a mixture of the honey and some water up to an inch or two. Turn the top half of the bottle upside down and place it into the bottom half of the bottle to create a funnel that will stop the flies from escaping, although entering is easy.
Place this bottle outside any entry points or anywhere the flies are most common.
Using insecticides to get rid of flies
The most common insecticides used to kill flies include substances like permethrin and tetramethrin. These chemicals are toxic, so you must leave the room once you’re done spraying until the fumes have been ventilated.
You can either spray this right on the insect or in the room where they fly. It is best to keep it away from walls and furniture to avoid stains of any kind. Leave the room after spraying the insecticide and don’t come back until ventilation is complete.
This spray can usually also be used outdoors. Make sure to keep the bottle and nozzle away from your face and body to avoid it getting into your face. Sprays usually deal with flying insects in your house within a couple of hours, but they are not a permanent solution and won’t stop the insects from returning. By using repellents along with sprays, you may get better results.
Using force to get rid of flies
Of course, making repellents or using a spray with toxic fumes to get rid of a few flies may not be the best idea.
You can also swat at the fly with a fly swatter or try and crush it with a rolled-up newspaper. However, flies are pesky creatures, and this is much easier said than done.
In any case, there is no one correct way to get rid of flies. All of these different options are to be used in a combination to be most effective.