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How to Keep Flies Away From the Home (2024 Update)

Safe to say, most people aren’t huge fans of flies. They mess around with the most joyful moments of life; the gathering you wanted to have on the outdoor patio, the barbecue you were waiting for all week, the delicious food you’d been dying to eat… Some flies, like mosquitoes, also have a particular way of ruining the mood with their bite. So, how to get rid of flies, our most annoying common household pest? How to keep flies away from home?

How To Get Rid of Houseflies Naturally

Not only are flies an annoying nuisance, but they can actually carry bacteria and potentially be dangerous to humans, facilitating food poisoning and sometimes even respiratory infections.

Looking for effective ways to get rid of flies is a necessary quest! Check out these natural methods below to ensure you keep flies away from your home.

1. Start With Prevention

Before we talk about techniques to repel flies, it’s worth knowing a few common sense good practices that can help to prevent the breeding and growth of flies in the first place.

  • Cleanliness

Keeping your home and patio clean is a good idea, especially after a gathering or barbecue where any dropped food could be a source for pests to feed on. It’s also important to properly seal rubbish bags and the rubbish bin.

  • Lighting

Lights in general, and especially white bulb lights, tend to act as mosquito and fly magnets. By dimming your lamps during an outdoor get-together and using yellow bulbs, you will have quickly fulfilled one of the biggest tips for removing mosquitos around. What’s more, if you can, replace them with yellow or sodium vapour lights and never leave lights on for a whole night!

Step 1- Start With Prevention (How To Keep Flies Away From Home)

2. Use Natural Fly Repellants

Even if you take all the preventative measures, chances are that flies will still manage their way into your patio and home. Here are some repellants that could help keep flies away from your home.

We’ll review everything from homemade sprays, herbs, and plants that can help keep pests away, as well as some other creative ideas to try when nothing else seems to work.

Natural Sprays That Repel Flies:

  • Hydrogen peroxide

Fill a spray bottle with ⅓ hydrogen peroxide and ⅔ water. After shaking the mixture, spray it on surfaces on which flies tend to typically linger. It works wonders!

  • Vodka

It turns out that flies and mosquitoes are not fans of vodka! To make a vodka-based repellent, all you need is 1 glass of vodka, 2 teaspoons of aloe vera juice, 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil, and ½ teaspoon of essential oil.

Mix the ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle. You can then either use it on your skin or where the flies and mozzies are. If using on your skin, make sure to test a small patch first to make sure it doesn’t cause any irritation.

  • Mouthwash

You can fill a spray bottle with an alcohol-based mouthwash and use it to spray the legs of tables and chairs, or just any surface of your patio. Flies hate mouthwash, and it will also leave your environment smelling fresh and minty.

  • Anise oil

This strong and sweet herb is great for repelling bugs. Just mix a few drops of Anise oil into a spray bottle with some water, shake well, and spray away. Use it for surfaces and outdoor areas.

  • Essential oils

Does citronella repel flies? Yes it does. Pour about 150 ml of witch hazel into a spray bottle. Add 5 drops of citronella, eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils and mix thoroughly before using this bug repellent mix.

  • Lemongrass oil

Mix 20-25 drops of lemongrass essential oil with half a cup of hot water and create a bug repellent that also has an intense, citrusy aroma that is perfect for keeping the pests in check while also aromatising your home.

Step 2- Use Natural Sprays That Repel Flies (How To Get Rid Of Flies)

Herbs That Repel Flies:

There are certain herbs and trees that flies just cannot stand! These are usually quite aromatic and pleasant to the human nose, some of which we even use for cooking!

An idea would be to plant some of these herbs in a pot near your doorway, as a way of keeping the flies from entering your home, or simply plant them outdoors and enjoy outdoor dinners without any annoying bugs around.

If, however, you cannot plant these herbs or you live in an apartment, dry basil and mint will also help do the trick. Just place them in little bags and hang them outside or inside.

  • Peppermint

Flies hate strong and fresh scents, something that peppermint does better than any other herb. It’s a beautiful herb that takes minimum care, making a great addition to your home.

  • Lemon balm

Also known as Horsemint, this herb has a strong citrusy scent and is very easy to grow, requiring even less care than peppermint.

  • Citronella grass

Does citronella repel flies? Citronella for flies is one of the most effective herbs in repelling flies, however it doesn’t like the cold and is very sensitive to it, needing about 6 hours of sun each day. Most mosquito repellents are made with citronella.

  • Basil

Basil has a strong, fresh, and somewhat sweet smell. It’s effective in repelling flies and mosquitoes, but as you may also know, is also great for cooking and preparing pesto. So why not plant some basil and enjoy some fresh cooking as well as no flies?

  • Thyme

Thyme is a very easy-to-grow herb and a powerful mosquito and fly repellent. Great for culinary purposes, you can also find it in its dried form in most stores.

  • Catnip

This medicinal herb produces an oil that is said to kill bugs very efficiently. If you’re not a cat person, however, we don’t recommend planting it as felines absolutely love this plant.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary’s purpose is to not only make your chicken taste fantastic, but also to be a powerful fly and bug repellant. It’s simple to plant and very resistant to cold and dryness.

  • Marigolds

These cute looking flowers, that you can plant during summer and spring, will help keep flies away. They also come in beautiful orange and yellow shades, bringing happiness to any home!

  • Lavender

Lavender has amazing relaxing properties, and is also used in the commercial manufacturing of mosquito and fly repellent. Lavender has a strong bush, so you can either grow it directly in soil or in a pot. It also works if you dry the flower, put it in a little bag, and place it indoors.

  • Eucalyptus

Some people say that if you have a puffy nose, smelling a Eucalyptus leaf will give some relief. This may be true to humans, but bugs hate it! It may also be the easiest tree to grow here in Australia.

  • Tea tree

The tea tree works wonders in keeping mosquitoes and flies away, but its leaf also provides relief for people who have been bitten and are suffering from the typical itching of a bite.

3. Use Fly Repellant Aromatics Such As Citronella

Use a range of natural aromatics that smell great to us, but are fly deterrents! Examples include:

  • Clove and lemon decorative repellent

You guessed it: flies despise cloves and lemon due to their strong smells. For us, however, these natural repellents are quite aromatic. To create this decorative and natural repellent, you’ll need a lemon and 6-12 cloves.

Cut the lemon in half and then poke the cloves into each half of the lemon. It can not only be a beautiful centrepiece for a table, but is also an effective way to keep those annoying flies away.

  • Natural apple cider skin repellent

To make this repellent spray, you’ll need ¼ cup of witch hazel, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, and 30-60 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.

Once you have all the ingredients, mix the witch hazel with the apple cider vinegar. Shake well, and then add the eucalyptus oil drops. You can apply this repellent on your legs or arms, but avoid ingesting it and stop use if you find it irritating.

  • Burning citronella candles

The citronella plant is a great fly repellent! Burning citronella candles will also do the trick, because flies not only hate the plant’s scent but also tend to stay away from flames and smoke.

Step 3- Use Fly Aromatics Such As Citronella (How To Keep Flies Away)

  • Using a fan

We all know how frustrating it is when you’re cooking a barbecue and the flies won’t stop coming straight for the meat. To avoid this, place a fan next to the barbecue and watch the flies go away when they sense the wind.

4. Create Natural Traps

If you’ve reached the point where you’ve decided to trap the little nuisances, we’ve found some pretty creative and easy-to-make traps that will eradicate those flies.

  • Sugar-water trap

For this you will need a jar, sugar water, and a paper cone. Pour the sugar water in the jar and cut a 1 cm hole in the tip of the cone. Put the cone in the jar so that the point faces downwards, being careful that it does not touch the liquid.

The way this works is that the sweet liquid in the jar will attract the flies, who will get inside but won’t be able to get back out.

Step 4- Create Natural Traps (How To Get Rid Of House Flies)

  • Milk, sugar, and pepper trap

For this trap you’ll need 250ml of milk, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper. Heat the ingredients in a pan for 5-10 minutes on low heat. Remove the mixture and pour it into bowls, which you can place in areas you want to trap and repel flies.

The flies will be attracted to the mixture, but as soon as they land they’ll drown.

For more DIY fly traps, take a look at YouTube such as this video here:

The Final Word

These remedies are a fun, natural way to keep flies and mozzies at bay while enjoying your backyard in the summer time. If all else fails and you still find those flies fiending all over your property, why not get in touch with the pest control experts who can help you find a cure once and for all?

Avatar for Matthew Behman

Written by

As the founder of Pestline Pest Control, Matthew has over a decade of experience conquering pests in homes, gardens and in commercial settings. Matthew is dedicated to providing affordable and comprehensive pest control services to all.

6 Responses to “How to Keep Flies Away From the Home (2024 Update)”

Avatar for Wendla Hamilton
By Wendla Hamilton - 19 August 2022 Reply

Thank you, these suggestions have saved my life!

Avatar for Keith
By Keith - 12 October 2022 Reply

Great Guide! You have cleared and explained all the points so good! A well written content! Those things we actually need to do after and before this service of pest control! You have given a good list! It was much needed by me. Thank you for this share!

Avatar for Sean P
By Sean P - 17 November 2022 Reply

I use a Eucalyptus-based odor remover around the house, and have discovered that it essentially repels all insects. Now something for the in-laws…lol

Avatar for Kate
By Kate - 24 July 2023 Reply

Hi Sean, which exact one do you use?

Avatar for Danielle D.
By Danielle D. - 14 July 2023 Reply

Thank you for the natural tips. Common things you have in the house for a quick fix! Never knew about Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash, or that skin repellent, have to get Witch Hazel but always have Apple Cider Vinegar & Eucalyptus in abundance. I heard that Cinnamon is also a good fly deterrent, is that right?

Avatar for J.A.H.-V.
By J.A.H.-V. - 29 October 2023 Reply

Natural apple cider vinegar might attract flies , so why use it in the repellent mix for our skin ?

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