Insect Infestations

How to Get Rid of Flies in the House

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 learn more about how to get rid of flies in the house.

So, if you:

  • Are dealing with fly infestation;
  • Want to know how to get rid of flies;
  • Want to learn more about natural fly repellent.

Then read on!

Why am I getting so many flies in my house?

Similar to other pests, flies invade your home, seeking food and shelter. However, among the most common reasons why you have so many flies in house are:

  • Quick reproduction: Flies reproduce quickly in a short period. Approximately 7 – 10 days are necessary for flies to reach adulthood and start laying eggs. With a few hundred eggs laid only for a few days, things can easily come out of control and turn into a fly infestation.
  • Heat: Warm temperatures provide ideal conditions for the development of flies. It helps them breed faster and allows them to stay active by regulating their body temperature.
  • Food Sources: Having a constant food supply in your home can make it the perfect place where flies can reproduce, which can consequently lead to fly infestation.
  • Garbage and food waste: Rotten products, bins with food waste, and uneaten pet food attract flies and other insects. Some helpful advice on how to get rid of flies inside your home include regular removal of the garbage and maintaining hygiene in your home.

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 is how you get rid of flies in house plants naturally.

How do you find the source of a fly infestation?

A few flies in your house don’t necessarily mean that you have an infestation. However, you should be on alert if you notice a swarm of flies in your home and check for some of the most common signs of fly infestation :

  • Cluster of flies near rubbish bins, light fixtures, sources of food, and drains;
  • Decomposing waste such as rotting fruit, vegetables, spiled or spoiled food;
  • Maggots – the larvae of flies are called “maggots”, and they are an indicator that flies breed actively in your home.

Where do flies lay their eggs?

The most common places where flies lay their eggs are warm and damp areas which can provide a source of food for the maggots. These places include waste, rotten food and leftovers, faeces etc. With their long shape and pale colour, the eggs resemble rice grains, and it takes only several hours to hatch.

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Best ways to get rid of flies

If you prefer to deal with the flies in your house without using insecticide, there are some eco-friendly methods how to keep flies away naturally.

Try homemade fly traps

You would need:

  • One jar or glass (any container)
  • Liquid bait
  • Plastic bag or paper cone
  • Rubber band or tape

Honey

Some sort of jam

Sugary water

Sweet fruits

Others

Fruit fly baits:

Vinegar

Wine

Fruit

Lemon, water and dish soap

* 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.

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.

The construction of a homemade fly trap is simple. Fill the bottom of your container with your bait.

After that, cover the opening with a 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 – your fly trap is 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.

These fly 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.

Make your own natural fly repellents

Plants will provide a constant stream of odour and act as a natural fly repellent. If that is your hobby, you are probably growing them in the garden, but, unfortunately, this will not result in fewer flies in the house. If you grow the herbs and flowers in pots inside the house, the aroma will disperse around, theoretically providing a shield that will act as a natural indoor fly repellent.

However, it could turn out that a fly screen would do a far better job of keeping flies away than plants. If you want plants around the house and are willing to do the extra labour, these herbs and flowers will give you the best chance to fight off houseflies

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Bay Leaf
  • Mint
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums

Still, plants like these theoretically could be used to deter flies from small areas. However, it won’t be possible to treat a fly infestation with just a couple of pots.

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Fly repellent myths

Citrus peels and cloves in citrus fruit
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.

Essential oils
The scent from those will quickly evaporate, and the method won’t be effective for long, especially if you use it in large open spaces. You will constantly need to re-apply the oils.

Another con against using essential oils is that they will eventually 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 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.

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Kill maggots in bins

Fly larvae or maggots are little, pale worms which feed on rotten materials and can usually be found in wet environments. Very often, rubbish containers could become an incubator for fly maggots and a source of fly infestation.

That’s why washing your waste containers regularly is the key to preventing maggots from living in them and can help you get rid of flies. Speaking of your rubbish containers, here is how to get rid of maggots in bins.

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Rinse the bins with hot water

  2. Wash with detergent and scrub hard

  3. Rinse once more to remove the foam

  4. 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 so you can get rid of the flies in your house.

How to stop flies from coming into the house (Prevention tips)

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.

  1. The first rule of thumb is NOT to leave any food outside 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.
  2. Maintaining good hygiene in your house will help remove flies and prevent fly infestation. Pay special attention to kitchens, bathrooms and toilets. All of the surfaces in your kitchen should be regularly cleaned. There should be no juices or food remains left on the counters.
  3. Additionally, you will have to keep your garden in neat condition, if you have such. Plus, regularly wash your rubbish bins.

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?

Seal wall cracks

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 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.

Take care of the openings around the windows

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.

Fix gaps around the doors

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.

Check the state of the vents

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 from coming into 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 sneaking in and laying eggs somewhere.

Need help dealing with a fly infestation?

All those methods could help you keep a few flies away from your home. However, if you are dealing with a full-blown fly infestation, it will prove impossible to get rid of them only with DIY methods and homemade fly traps. That’s where we come in. We supply expert fly control service to take care of any fly infestation.

We use commercial-grade insecticides and treating methods in our fumigation service that kill flies in all stages of development, which is the only way to make sure that you have wiped them off the face of your property.

In need of professional pest control?

Get a specialist to help you get rid of the flies in your home!

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH

***
If you have any personal experience with fly infestations, you can share it in the comments.

Image source: depositphotos / cookelma

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