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How to Get Rid of House Flies?

Remember, house flies are attracted to dirt and would love to breed there. The techniques we presented to you can be used both inside your home and outside too.

March 9, 2022

13 min read time

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House flies are one of the most annoying insects due to their constant buzzing and never-ending flying about. They are very common, too, as virtually no place in the world doesn’t have them.

But no one wants to endure the buzzing of these flies. Or have to chase them all over the place to swat them. Plus, houseflies are not good for your health. They carry diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid, to mention a few.

In this guide, we will show you how to deal with a fly infestation, repel flies, and different fly control methods. It’s an extensive guide, do take your time to go through each section carefully.

Let’s start with how these insects look.

What Does a House Fly Look Like?

Houseflies are typical insects, with the scientific name Musca domestica. They are black, with six legs. Their bodies are also divided into the head, thorax, and abdomen. Apart from the fact that they have a pair of wings, they also possess compound eyes.

Most adult houseflies are not big, measuring ¼ of an inch in length. They also have stripes on their back, which could be black. Houseflies can’t bite you or your pets and barely cause skin irritation when they land on you.

Compound eyes help insects see an image multiple times and sense when something is approaching them from any angle. The compound eyes look red, with a bulge.

Houseflies have a sucking mouth part which they use to take in food. If you closely observe a housefly when it is feeding, you will see it sucks on food and does not chew it.

What Attracts Flies to My House?

You may be wondering why you even have a fly infestation or why houseflies are breeding in your house. Well, houseflies are filthy insects. Flies are attracted to decaying organic matter. This matter can be found in your garbage, in your lawn, or your pet’s poop.

Flies lay their eggs in decaying matter because this is where their young maggots will eat from when they hatch out of the eggs. Fly eggs are usually whitish and very tiny, so you might not easily see them.

Maggots, on the other hand, are easier to see. They are small, squirmy, fat worms that live in dirty places. These worms later grow to be the houseflies you know. So you know anywhere there’s something organic decomposing around you, it’s sure you will have flies outside.

Why Do I Have So Many Flies in My House?

Now we’ve seen what attracts flies to your house. But why does it look like you are dealing with three infestations at once?

There could be a lot of files because they have an abundance of food! Think about your open garbage can, mulch in your garden, or a pile of trash in your backyard.

A housefly loves decaying things. So if it got to see these things, it would quickly turn such a place into a breeding site. If you don’t have any decaying around your house, it could be that there’s some around where you stay.

Houseflies breed super fast. Larvae hatch in decaying matter after just 12 hours of being laid! An egg turns into a full-blown house fly in less than two weeks. And although house flies don’t live very long (3 weeks), they can reproduce rapidly, leaving a whole army behind.

What Smell Will Keep Flies Away?

Houseflies not only constantly buzz about your home, but they also defecate on coverings they perch. So it’s important you continuously keep them away, so your home is disease-free.

One powerful method of fly control is using certain smells to your advantage. There are some smells you can use to reduce houseflies in your home. The good thing is that these things are items you can get easily. Plus, they are chemical-free.

Here is a list of essential oils you can use to eliminate flies naturally:

1. Cloves

Cloves are spices with a strong smell, one strong enough to offend houseflies. Take some cloves and place them close to where you notice high fly activity. The houseflies would leave that place without coming back.

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits generally have a distinctive, sharp smell. Apart from being used in air fresheners or scented candles, citrus fruit can help chase flies too. All you need to do is to get the peel of any citrus fruit, orange or lemon. Wrap it in a small muslin cloth to prevent desiccation. It will freshen up your home and deal with the nuisance flies are.

3. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is known to keep not just house flies but other pests like rats away too.

Since it’s an essential oil, it’s not best you use it directly. It would be best if you used it as a spray. To make a peppermint oil spray, mix about 5 drops of the oil with 50 Cl of water.

You can then put this mixture into a bottle and drizzle it all over your home or directly on flies. The strong smell of peppermint will keep them running.

4. Mint

Mint is useful for cooking, for your hair, but did you know it could be the answer to your fly problem?

Houseflies detest the smell of anything that smells crispy fresh like mint. You can use either dried mint leaves or mint oil sprays. Suppose you want to use mint leaves, dry and crush them to almost a fine powder. Then put the leaves where flies like to gather.

Do Hanging Bags of Water Chase Flies?

Hanging bags of water have long been used to keep house flies and other insects like mosquitoes away.

But do they work?

The answer is no.

Hanging bags of water in plastic or Ziploc bags do not fend off flies from your indoor areas.

Even though many people believe the flies will be confused by the refraction of water from the light, it doesn’t work.

Some people go a step further to add pennies to the water, probably for luck. If you want to get rid of flies, you can use any of the techniques we listed out. They will surely work!

Will Flies Go Away on Their Own?

Flies will go away on their own if there is no breeding ground for them around your home. If the fly has no source of food, it won’t stick around that location.

If there’s decaying matter around your home, it is very unlikely they will go independently. You have to take care of the situation. If you want flies to go away, you have to eliminate them first and put pest control measures in place to make sure they don’t come back.

How to Get Rid of Flies Easily

We’ll show you how to rid yourself of these flies for good, whether you are dealing with a few houseflies or an infestation.

Here are some of the methods and tools you can use:

1. Insecticides

Insecticides are the easiest way to get rid of this pest. They do not require any special effort and can be done at any time. You have to spray the insecticide directly on the fly or spray your house when you’re not around and close all openings.

The problem with insecticides is they are dangerous to your health. Continuous inhalation of insecticides can lead to respiratory issues. You should only use insecticides once in a while or if you don’t have an infestation.

2. Swatting

If you want to kill houseflies without chemicals, then you should swat them down. You could use anything from a rolled-up newspaper, book, or flyswatter to kill as many flies as you can.

While this method is effective, it is tiring. How many flies can you swat at a time? Swatting is recommended if you have a few flies bugging you, but not for an infestation.

3. Fans

What if you want to chase the houseflies without killing them? Then, you can use a fan. Switch on an electric fan close to where flies like to gather. The flies will disperse almost immediately for some other place.

This is because the fan provides too much wind for them to stay or fly in that area. Open up your window or door, so they have no other option than to fly out of your house.

4. Light trap

A light trap could also work for getting rid of house flies. This trap is made out of a box and a light source. The light is to attract the fly to the trap.

Once the fly gets inside, it is killed either by an electric current or another mechanism in light traps. Light traps have to be placed far from entrances, as the light can attract a host of other insects to your home, like moths.

5. Sticky traps

Sticky traps are designed to catch small insects like houseflies. They are not hard to set up and do not present any harm to you or your pets (unless the stickiness that comes with someone touching it).

Place as many of these traps as you can all over your house to catch houseflies. These traps are made out of very sticky paper and can catch up to 20-50 houseflies at a time. You don’t need to clean up or kill the houseflies, as you throw the trap away when it has caught many houseflies.

Thanos Flea trap is one of the best sticky trap in the marke.

6. Bug vacuum

A bug vacuum is a special kind of vacuum that is used for catching bugs. Like researchers and kids, people who study bugs use this machine to catch bugs without killing them.

You can also do the same for flies around you. Turn on the vacuum, and it will suck in as many houseflies as possible. You can then decide if you want to kill the houseflies or release them somewhere away from your home.

7. Insect zappers

Insect zappers, or bug zappers as they are commonly called, are electric devices that use bright, UV light to attract insects. The insects end up being electrocuted or ‘zapped’ when they get into the trap.

There are different types of insects you can find, including the ones suitable for outdoors and winter. You can buy an insect zapper from the internet or a supermarket near you. You don’t need to clean up anything with bug zappers as the houseflies die inside the device. They get electrocuted, so they don’t smell.

8. Venus flytraps

This is a natural plant predator of insects. It deceives insects with its ‘flytrap,’ a sticky organic trap that doubles as the plant’s mouth.

Once the fly is in, the plant will slowly digest it for days. When venus fly traps are done digesting the house fly, they will let out the exoskeleton.

How to Keep Flies Away From Your Home for Good?

Can flies stop bothering your indoor areas for good? You’ve eliminated the nuisance flies constituted on your property. Now you want to make sure that you never have to deal with a fly infestation again.

Here are some fly control methods you can take:

  • Close your doors, windows, and screens at all times. Flies get in through these places. If you must leave them open, use one of the strong smell items we listed to reduce their numbers.
  • Fix up any tears or cracks in your windows and doors. There is no use keeping your window closed, and flies still get in through spaces in them.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes lying indoor. Try to wash all utensils immediately you are through or arrange them properly in your sink to reduce flies. You could also empty remaining food into a well-covered trash can to reduce these insect pests.
  • Regularly inspect your home if you are using traps or poisons for rodents or small reptiles. This is because an animal can die in traps or your home, and you won’t find out in time, only to find a group of flies breeding there later.
  • Clean up after your pets: Whenever your pet’s poo or pee, make sure you get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. A housefly loves anything organic and would not hesitate to land on that poop all day. Empty your cat’s litter box and your bird’s cage at least twice a day. Train your dog to poop in a particular place.
  • Clear off stagnant water: stagnant water can attract not only mosquitoes but houseflies too. If there is standing water or a moist place in your backyard, flies could use this as breeding sites. Clear off any water and containers that could collect water if it rains or during spring when the snow melts. If you have a swimming pool or any small water body you’re using, make sure you keep it clean and disinfect it regularly.
  • Garbage cans should be emptied regularly. When you empty your garbage frequently, you attract flies to food and breeding sites. If you can’t dispose of your trash cans every day, use tight lids on them. And make sure that there is no surrounding waste around your garbage cans. Additionally, you can disinfect your garbage cans after each disposal to deal with fly eggs and larvae that might be at the bottom of the can.
  • If you’re eating outside, make sure your food is tightly covered when you’re not around. Clean up after your outdoor dining area as soon as possible, as good remnants will always attract flies. For example, outdoor cooking areas, like where you grill meat, should be kept clean too always.
  • Cleaning up your home regularly discourages house flies as they hate staying in clean environments. Maintain a high standard of hygiene throughout your indoor and outdoor areas and watch flies leave you for somewhere else. Thoroughly cleaning up every room in your home, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom, disinfecting after cleaning goes a long way in keeping your surfaces pristine and fly-free.
  • Cover open drainages or sewers. Open drainages and sweets could be a big breeding site for flies. These places contain decaying organic matter, just that tits liquid this time. Clear as much waste as you can from these places and kook for a suitable covering to repel flies.


Getting rid of house flies requires simple tools you can get from most stores. Remember, house flies are attracted to dirt and would love to breed there. The techniques we presented to you can be used both inside your home and outside too.

Flytraps, bait, plants are all examples of the things you can use to ensure your home is free from flies. Flies may resist some of these techniques, so find the one that works best for you. We hope you enjoyed this article!