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13 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Flies (Housefly)

13 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Flies (Housefly)

Common house flies are only one of the 1.2 million species of flies in the world. If you’ve got fed up with these irritating buzzing flies all over your house, its time to get rid of them. And not only because they irritate you but also because they are the carriers of disease causing bacteria. Did you know that a single house fly can carry about a million bacteria on their tiny body hair called tarsi! They get these bacteria from all the contaminated places where they go and sit such as fecal matter, garbage disposal sites, rotten foods etc. They won’t and don’t need to bite you to transmit these bacteria to your body. They will just sit on the open foods that lie on your kitchen slab or on the dining table and leave the bacteria in these foods. When you eat these food, your body gets all the nasty bacteria to make you ill with such diseases as dysentery, typhoid, diarrhea, and cholera. The best way to keep yourself and your family safe against these diseases is to keep your house clean and foods covered. Decaying organic filth like feces and rotting foods, meat etc. are what attract house flies. Fruit flies and drain flies too are a menace. Fruit flies are attracted by sugary things like overripe fruit, spilled soda, alcohol etc. Drain flies seek moist climates and organic materials and as the name suggests they get attracted to drains where they lay their eggs. Therefore, keeping your house, drains etc. clean and dry (as far as possible) as well as proper storing and taking care of your foods are a per-requisite to get rid of flies. Beyond that, there are many natural home remedies to get rid of flies.

Remedies to Get Rid of Flies Naturally

1. Make Flypaper Strips at Home to Catch Flies

The market is flooded with flypapers, sometimes also called fly ribbons, a pest control device. These are made of paper coated with a fragrant, sticky and often poisonous substance which traps flies and other flying insects. The poisonous substance used in these flypapers can be toxic to humans and animals too. So why not use homemade fly papers! They are easy to make and work as efficiently as the commercially available flypapers.

Get this:

  • Corn syrup- ½ cup
  • Sugar- ¼ cup
  • Paper, brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Thread

Do this:

  • Cut 2 inch wide strips from the paper or card. Punch a hoe or two at the top of each strip and thread it to make a loop to hang at the places where flies come.
  • Mix the corn syrup and sugar.
  • Coat one side of each strip with the corn-sugar syrup. If the syrup drips, place a bowl underneath the hanging paper.
  • Now hang these strips where you see the flies most. They’ll get attracted to the sugary syrup and when they land on these strips, they’ll get stuck to it.

2. Use Plastic Water Bags to Keep Away Flies

This is rather interesting and a very effective way to get rid of flies. You just need to have a clear plastic bag filled with water. When you hang this bag at your outdoor entrances, flies will not be able to enter your house. There are at least two reasons explained for this remedy which seems to be beyond logic. One is that the flies are not able to see the water bag as a water bag. Due to their structure of eyes, clear water filled bags are seen as something resembling a spider’s web by the flies. As such, they don’t come near such thing. The other reason states that the reflection of water is enough to disorient the flies and to create some unexplainable illusion to them. You may also see fruit stand with water bags hanging on their stalls. They do it to keep the flies off their fruits shop.

Get this:

  • Clear plastic bag (gallon size)- 1
  • Water

Do this:

  • Fill the plastic bag with water. Keep it halfway full with water.
  • Tie a knot at the mouth of the bag to secure it properly. You may also use a thread or a rubber band for the purpose.
  • Now just hang this water filled plastic bags near your entryways, garage doors or any other such outdoor entrances.

3. Try Apple Cider Vinegar to Trap Fruit Flies

This home remedy is particularly good for eliminating fruit flies because they get attracted to smell of anything which ferments. Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples and thus flies can’t resist its smell, especially when you heat it up a little. Heating up the vinegar release ore smell.

Make a fly Trap with Apple Cider Vinegar

Get this:

  • Apple cider vinegar- ½ cup
  • Glass jar (with or without lid)- 1
  • Funnel or paper to make one (if using jar without a lid)- 1

Do this:

  • Heat the apple cider vinegar. You can do this by using microwave oven or heat it in a pan over your gas burner.
  • If using a jar with lid, make some holes on its lid, big enough to let the flies enter the jar.
  • If you don’t want to destroy the lid, you may also use a funnel. If you can’t find one, make a funnel with paper by folding and stapling it in the shape of a cone leaving a hole at the narrow end.
  • Now fill the jar with heated cider vinegar and place the lid with holes over it.
  • If using funnel, place the funnel on the mouth of the jar with narrow side inside the jar.
  • Now place the jar where flies are seen most of the times.
  • Let it be there for a day. Flies will get attracted to the smell of vinegar and enter the jar through the holes. Once inside, they get trapped. Flies can’t figure it out that they can even fly out from the same hole that worked as their entrance.

4. Homemade Flies Repellent with Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is popular as a nerve calming oil but few people know about its excellent insect repelling properties. Lavender has been used by people in the past to protect clothes from moths and other insects. Lavender oil can, in fact, prevent mosquito bites as well as other insects bites. It is just the perfect essential oil which helps control infestation of flies along with repelling fleas, black fly, black beetle, greenfly and white fly too.

How to Make Lavender Fly Repellent at Home?

Get this:

  • Lavender oil- ½ – 1 cup
  • Tin can with lid- 1
  • Cloth or a dish sponge

Do this:


  • Dip the cloth or the sponge in the lavender oil.
  • Now place this cloth or sponge in the tin can, put on the lid and leave it for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, remove the lid and keep the tin at a place where you see most of the flies in your home.
  • After using, replenish the oil as the air weakens the strength of the oil. Cover and store the ting containing your fly repellent.
  • Take precaution not to let it come in contact with your skin as it is in undiluted form.

You can also use some other essential oils in place of lavender oil for making this fly repellent such as Citronella, Eucalyptus, Pennyroyal, Peppermint or Lemongrass oil. However, unlike lavender oil, you need to dilute these oils with alcohol or water in 1:3 ratio where you will use 1 part oil to 3 parts of water or alcohol. Oils and water do not mix well so usage of alcohol will be more effective. Lavender oil, however, is the best one when it comes to repel flies.

5. Use Cloves to Repel Flies

Cloves are pleasantly aromatic for us but are not liked by flies. They cannot stand the scent of this spice that is extensively used for culinary purposes. Cloves are particularly effective in repelling house flies. In this remedy for flies elimination, cloves are used with lemon, yet another smell that flies are not fond of.

Get this:

  • Lemon- 2
  • Cloves- 25-50

Do this:

  • Cut the lemons into halves.
  • Now poke 6-12 cloves into each of the lemon half. Poke with the pointed part of the clove so that the bud remains upwards.
  • Arrange these cloves poked lemon halves onto a plate.
  • It makes an aromatic and beautiful looking centerpiece for your table, especially when you have meals with friends outdoor like in a barbecue party or a picnic.

You may also wrap some cloves in a cheesecloth or a muslin bag to hang them in flies infected areas.

6. Make Lemongrass Spray to Keep Away Flies

This is one remedy that will not only keep flies away from your house but will also keep your home refreshingly aromatic. Flies don’t like the smell of lemongrass just like lavender and many other plants and oils. So, you can use this essential oil got from lemongrass to make your flies spray that also works as room freshener.

Get this:

  • Lemongrass essential oil- 10-12 drops
  • Hot water- 4 tablespoons (about ¼ cup)
  • Spray bottle

Do this:

  • Pour 10-12 drops of lemongrass essential oil into your spray bottle.
  • Now pour hot water over this oil.
  • Shake well to mix both the ingredients.
  • Now spray this all along your doorways and windows or any other space from where flies enter your house.
  • You can also spray it directly on the flies whenever or wherever you spot them, just keep the bottle handy so that you can find and use it easily.

7. Use Wine to trap Flies

Now this is something that wine lovers will be hesitant doing. After all, you need to waste some of your wine to lay trap for flies. As these flies get attracted to anything that is fermented, wine makes a good choice as a bait for them. You may use red wine or white wine whatever is available with you.

Ways to Use Wine to Make a Fly Trap

  1. You may pour about ½ a cup of wine in a glass and place it somewhere near where flies will spot the glass. After a while you’ll find some of them floating in it.
  2. To be doubly sure that flies don’t just fly away after having some, use some dish wash liquid too. Take a bowl or a pan and pour some wine in it. Also pour a little dish wash soap. Now place the bowl where flies are seen the most. Once they land on this solution, they’ll not be able to escape.
  3. You may leave some wine in the bottle itself and place the same without cap close to the area frequented by flies. If the mouth of the bottle is too wide, use a plastic wrap to cover it. Poke some holes on this plastic wrap so the flies could enter the bottle. They would never exit through the holes.

8. Basil and Other Herbal Plants to Get Rid of Flies

Basil is very beneficial for us but flies somehow doesn’t like its fragrance. You can plant basil in a pot near your doorways to keep away the flies. Not only will this stops flies from entering your house but will also make the surrounding environment healthy as basil is a strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral herb. In India, you can find basil plant in almost every house where they worship it. If you can not plant it, get some dried basil leaves and tie them up in a cheesecloth or a muslin bag. Now keep this in flea infested area or hang it near your entrances and windows etc. There are many other herbal plants that can keep flies away from your house. Plant them or use their leaves to repel flies. Here is the list of such flies repelling plants.

List of Plants that Act as Flies Repellents

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Bay Leaf
  • Tansy
  • Mint
  • Rue
  • Wormwood
  • Marigold

9. Make Clove Oil Skin Lotion to Keep Away Flies

While clove can be used as as an effective flies repellent, you may also use its oil to make a skin lotion so that you may not be disturbed by flies till they are fully exterminated from your house. However, you can not use clove oil directly on your skin which may cause irritation and burning sensation along with damage to your nerve functioning. Use some diluting agent to make this very useful skin lotion to deter flies.

How to Make Flies Repellent Skin Lotion with Clove Oil?

Get this:

  • Clove oil- 1 tsp
  • Olive oil or Witch Hazel- 10 tsp
  • Small bottle to store

Do this:

  • Pour clove oil and your choice of diluting agent like olive oil or witch hazel into the bottle. Always use 10 parts of diluting agent with 1 part of clove oil.
  • Shake well.
  • Apply this lotion on your uncovered body parts whenever you need to keep the flies or any other insects away from you.

10. Milk-Sugar-Pepper Trap for Fruit Flies

If you are bothered a lot by fruit flies, here’s an age old recipe to make a sugary milky trap for them. This method has been used in England since ancient times. As sugary substance does attract fruit flies, it seems to be used in this milk recipe for trapping flies.

Get this:

  • Milk- ½ liter
  • Sugar- ¼ cup
  • Ground black pepper- 4 tbsp

Do this:

  • Pour the milk in a saucepan.
  • Add sugar and pepper to the milk.
  • Now let the solution simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Now take some shallow dishes like soup plates and pour some of this milk solution in each of them.
  • Place these dishes all around your house, especially where flies come most of the times.
  • Flies will get attracted to this solution and when they land on it, will suffocate and drown.
Remedies to Get Rid of Flies

Image Courtesy: Shazwan

11. Honey Trap for Flies

This is literally a honey trap where you use honey to trap the flies. While the sweet fragrance of honey will attract the flies, the sticky nature of honey will not let the flies escape. In fact, you can even use any fruit jam for the purpose. The smell of fruits anyways will bring the flies near your trap and they will get stuck once they enter it.


Get this:

  • Soda Can or a Plastic bottle- 1
  • Honey- 1-2 tsp
  • Water
  • Dish soap liquid

Do this:

  • To make the trap, cut the soda can or the bottle in two halves. The bottom half will be bigger than the top half.
  • Now fill the bottom half with water. Fill it halfway.
  • Put a few drops of dish soap in the water.
  • Now take the top half of the soda can or the bottle (without cap) and place it in an inverted position over the water filled portion of the can or bottle. The mouth of the can or bottle with hole will be into the water filled bottom.
  • Now smear honey or fruit jam near and all around the mouth of the can or bottle which is inside the bottom part.
  • Place the honey trap close to flies infested area.
  • Flies will get attracted toward the honey and once they get near it, will drown into the water through as they enter the bottle or can through its hole. They won’t figure it out how to exit from there and will drown in the water.

12. Use Camphor to Repel Flies

Camphor is somewhat like a dry waxy, white substance derived from the wood of the Camphor Laurel tree. It has a strong smell that deters flies and other insects. It has been traditionally used in India to purify the surrounding environment as it has strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and insect repellent properties. It is commercially available in form of small tablets.

Ways to Use Camphor to Get Rid of Flies

  1. Take 2 camphor tablets and place it on a warm surface. You may use your mosquito repellent device or use a heat diffuser or you may simply heat up a metal plate and place the camphor tablets on it. The flies will go away due to the smell given out by camphor.
  2. If you too don’t like the strong odor of camphor, just place the camphor tablets close to places where flies frequently come.
  3. Take some water, preferably hot water in a bowl or a wide shallow plate. Place 2 tablets of camphor in this water and keep near the flies infested areas.

Precaution: Pregnant women should not use camphor as a fly repellent

13. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Get Rid of Flies

Eucalyptus is also a good fly repellent as they do not like the strong odor of this tree. This oil is safe for use by humans too. Many people claim that lemon eucalyptus can repel flies more effectively by also confusing them. It masks the carbon dioxide and lactic acid naturally emitted by humans. However, it has to be diluted with water or other oils such as grapeseed oil before you can use it on your skin. You may also make a Fly strip using eucalyptus oil to keep the flies away from your house.

Get this:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Ribbons or cloth strips

Do this:

  • Pour several drops of eucalyptus oil onto the ribbons or cloth strips.
  • Place these cloth strips on window sills or hang them near windows and doors.

Precaution: Avoid using eucalyptus oil if you are a pregnant woman or you suffer from such conditions as high blood pressure or epilepsy.

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