During the warm months, especially in the summer the population of flies rapidly increases. All of a sudden you need to deal with a number of annoying little insects. They land on your food, they drown in your orange juice and they are tickling you, while you try to get a good afternoon nap. In this article, you’ll read about how to get rid of flies in the house.
Well, this needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Here are a couple of things you can do to eliminate the insects and prevent others from getting in and ruin your rest.
Get familiar with the common flies that may infest your property. By knowing what exactly you are dealing with, you can take proper actions to get rid of them.
Everybody knows how the common house fly looks. It is a small flying insect, around 6mm in length. It has greyish to black thorax with four stripes on it, which is how you can tell it apart from other species. You will generally see those bashing their heads in windows or circling around your kitchen rubbish bins.
The cluster fly is similar in size with the house fly but with different colouring. Its abdomen has grey and blacks spots on it.
Fruit flies are a species that reproduces extremely fast and could be a huge menace, especially to hobby gardeners. You can tell those flies apart from others by looking at their abdomen. It should have rings of lighter brown. These flies circle around your compost bin or potted plants, and any place your store fruits.
Sometimes you can accidentally invite fruit flies to your home with your potted plants. Lower grade soils could be contaminated with fruit fly eggs or larvae. If you notice fruit flies flying around your plants, or larvae in the pot, consider changing the soil right away. This how you get rid of flies in house plants naturally.
Drain flies are known by many names: sewer flies, sink flies, sewer gnats and others. You can easily tell them apart from fruit flies by their “fuzzy” bodies. Sewer flies have hairy bodies that make them look like tiny moths.
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How to stop flies coming in the house
Sometimes it is not enough to simply get rid of the flies. You need to find their point of entry. With this information, you can stop flies from getting in again. But where should you be looking?
A simple crack in your house’s isolation could be a way in for the flies. If you have a crack anywhere on your house it will let some warm air sweep outside. During cold weather flies become extremely sensitive to warm drifts and could follow that warm air to inside your property. Once there they will start seeking out food. If no food is found they will die out of starvation. So, if you notice a large number of dead flies it could be because of a crack somewhere.
Sometimes the isolation around the windows is broken and it lets insects inside. You should regularly check its state. Twice per year would be perfect.
Take a good look at your window screens for any tears and badly burned parts. Consider replacing them before they start breaking off. A tear in the window screen will also let flies pass through.
Sometimes doors won’t close tightly. You should check for any gaps around the door, especially on the bottom. If you find any, close them immediately. It will prevent cold drifts and limit the number of insects that could get inside.
Vents often get damaged by direct sunlight and break off, allowing flies to get inside. Sometimes, people just don’t install the right vents to lead outside their houses. A vent leading outside should have a net at the opening to prevent insects and other particles get inside. With age, those nets could also get damaged by heat and cold. It is a good practice to check the state of your vents annually.
Blocking all possible entryways is how to stop flies coming in the house. But you can’t keep your doors and windows constantly shut. Even if you have fly nets and door curtains, there is still a possibility of a few flies snеаking in and laying eggs somewhere.
How to prevent and remove fly infestations
There are a couple of things you need to keep in check to prevent fly infestations. If you are already dealing with a vast amount of flies in your home, implementing these rules will help reduce their numbers.
The first rule of thumb would be to NOT leave any food outside of the fridge without a cover. It is pretty self-explanatory. Flies won’t be able to resist your invitation for a meal and will swarm your food.
All of the surfaces in your kitchen should be regularly cleaned. There should be no juices left on the counters. Maintain good hygiene in your house. Pay special attention to kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.
Additionally, you will have to keep your garden in neat condition, if you have such. Plus, regularly washing your rubbish bins.
How to kill maggots in bins
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Speaking of your rubbish containers here is how to get rid of maggots in bins. Very often they could become an incubator for fly maggots. Washing your waste containers regularly is the key to prevent maggots living in them.
Rinse the bins with hot water
Wash with detergent and scrub hard
Rinse once more to remove the foam
Leave the bins under sunlight to completely dry out
Sadly there is no way to kill the maggots in the bin with some sort of dust. It needs a “hands-on” approach, the task may not be that pleasant, but sometimes it’s necessary. You can always sprinkle some salt on top of the maggots to kill them without touching them, but you will still have to clean afterwards.
If there are flies constantly flying around your property, it means somewhere something is not properly cleaned, or it is decaying. You need to find it and remove or sanitise it.
Yes, plants will provide a constant stream of odour and act as a natural fly repellent. However, those plants will demand extra time and care from you. If that is your hobby, you are probably growing your plants in the garden. This, unfortunately, will not result in fewer flies in the house. If you grow the plants in pots inside the house the aroma will disperse around, theoretically providing a shield, that will act as an indoor fly repellent. In the end, fly screens would do a far better job than thеse plants. If you want plants around the house and you are willing to do the extra labour, these are the plants that will give you the best chance to fight off house flies.
Still, plants like these theoretically could be used to deter flies from small areas. It won’t be possible to treat an infestation with just a couple of pots.
Homemade fly traps to rid your house of flies
You would need:
One jar or glass (any container)
Plastic bag or paper cone
Rubber band or tape
The construction of a homemade fly trap is simple. Fill the bottom of your container with your bait. You can use various baits, depending on the flies you want to trap and whatever you can get your hands on if you are in a hurry.
Cluster / House fly baits:
Some sort of jam
Fruit fly baits:
Lemon, water and dish soap
Note that those type of traps can lure other small flying pests like wasps and moths. Although the baits may not present any interest to the moths, some may get trapped in the watery substance. Read our specific guide on how to get rid of moths if you are seeing a lot of them in your property.
After that, cover the opening with the plastic bag and secure it in place with a rubber band or tape. Puncture a few holes in the plastic bag and that’s it, you are ready.
The baiting liquid will lure flies inside the jar, as they will easily find the openings thanks to the aroma. However, once inside, the flies can’t find their way out. Eventually, they will get tired and drown in the liquid.
You can also use a cone instead of the plastic bag. Just wrap a sheet of paper in a cone and secure it with a piece of tape.
Those traps could be placed inside or outside of your property. If you have an open window somewhere it might be a good idea to place such a trap near it, in order to catch any flies that go through that window before they get on your nerves.
All of those methods could deter a couple of flies away from your home. However, if you are dealing with a full-blown infestation of flies, it will prove impossible to treat it only with DIY methods and self-made traps. A crucial thing you must consider is that those methods treat only adult flies. You will eliminate the adults and deal with the situation for a couple of days before the next batch hatches out.
Commercial grade insecticides and treating methods will kill all stages of development of the flies, which is the only way to make sure that you have wiped them off the face of your property.
Learn more about the fumigation service that can rid you of all stages of pest infestations.
Anything that has something to do with citrus may or may not deter house flies, but it will lure fruit flies inside your house. Also, such a solution can deter flies from an area, but won’t be enough to rid a house of the pest.
The scent from those will quickly evaporate and the method won’t be effective for long. Especially if you are using it in large open spaces. You will constantly need to re-apply the oils.
One other con against the use of essential oils is that eventually, they will start to repel you as well. You won’t be able to bear the strong aroma constantly, in the end, it will either start to irritate you, or even make you dizzy.
Plastic water bag
It is believed that a plastic bag filled with water confuses flies and makes them stay away. The way this trick allegedly works is thanks to the complicated eyes of the flies and the magnifying glasses located in them.
There is no hard evidence in support of this case. Because of that, we can’t vouch for this method.
DIY sticky stips
Let’s get something clear, sticky strips DO work. It is a great idea to hang one of those if you are dealing with stubborn flies. But, the thing is that they are so cheap, that it makes it absolutely illogical to spend time and money in order to make sticky strips of your own. In the end, it will cost you more. Just go and buy the product, don’t waste energy on DIY recipes.
Image source: depositphotos / cookelma
*** If you have any personal experience with fly infestations, you can share it in the comments.