How to Get Rid of Flies in Your House

Seeing an occasional insect is entirely normal, but having numerous flies flying around can be annoying. Luckily, there are multiple ways to get rid of them, not just inside the house but also outside.

To get rid of flies, you can use plants that are natural repellents. You can build traps and use sticky tapes. If that doesn’t work, you can use chemical-based insecticides or call a professional exterminator. In addition to those methods, ideally, you should identify the cause of the infestation and remove it. But regardless of what method you use, it never hurts to have a fly swatter around.

One thing I noticed since we came to our new house in Lewes is that there are a lot of flies in the house. I’m used to a couple of flies here and there, but not these many. So, I wanted to research the topic to find out how to deal with this issue.

I found out that flies are not just annoying; they are a potential health hazard. You shouldn’t underestimate the problem, and you should try to eliminate flies as soon as possible.

Health Concerns Related to Flies

Fly eating

Not many people are aware of this, but flies can carry diseases. Especially if your home becomes their breeding ground. It is not uncommon for people with a weak immune system to get serious health problems.

Seeing a few flies will not kill you, and there is no need to panic, but having a clean, insect-free home is always a plus.

Some of the diseases flies may carry are related to specific climates and limited areas or even to flies’ specific species. However, a few problems can occur anywhere, and common houseflies may cause them. Those problems are the following:

Food Poisoning 

Flies can cause food to spoil, and they can even leave their feces on it. When digested, food like that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Escherichia Coli (E. Coli)

This bacteria can cause all sorts of problems, including severe diarrhea that can last up to one week, and may result in severe symptoms that may require hospital treatment.

Eye Infections 

Flies can carry zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are the ones you get from animals, usually wild ones. Even if you have no direct contact, flies can transmit the disease. This is very rare in developed countries, but it is still a possibility. One of these diseases causes severe eye infections.

Flies can also be a problem for your pet if you have one. Same as humans, pets can also get food poisoning. You may notice that your food is spoiled, but it can be hard to see that something is wrong with the pet food before it gets eaten.

The following video argues that flies may carry hundreds of species of bacteria.

Getting Rid of Flies With Natural Methods

You already know the top 11 signs to watch out for termites and how to control them with bait stations.

Now there is good news for all those who want to remove flies from their homes. You will not need some toxic or expensive products, and there are several simple and cheap options. You can try some and see which one works best for your specific situation.



If you are lucky enough to have a yard or a balcony, you can use individual plants as natural repellents. These plants have properties and scents that are appalling to houseflies. By planting them, you will turn flies away before they enter your home. This method is also useful to remove the flies from your yard.

Try planting the following:

  • Bay leaves
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Basil

Basil is nasty for flies but is a tasty spice for humans, so you can use it as a fly deterrent and use it in the kitchen. 

Lavender smells terrific, and it will not just remove flies. It will be enjoyable for you to spend time around it. However, while these plants will minimize the number of flies in your house, they will not eliminate them all.

These are some other things you can use in addition to plants.

Vinegar and Soap

Vinegar and dish soap are typical parts of every household. To increase the impact, you can add apple cider too. Flies are attracted by certain smells and tastes, which makes it easy to set a trap for them.

There are two ways to set this trap. For both of them, you should mix the vinegar and soap in equal parts, preferably one cup of each, and put it in a bowl. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider, or even a teaspoon of sugar.

You can leave the bowl as it is and wait for some time. The smell of vinegar will attract flies, and the soap will kill them. Even if they can fly away, digested soap will destroy their digestive tract, and the flies will die.

This is a great outdoor option because most people don’t like dead flies dropping across the house.

There is a small modification to make this an indoor trap. Put a plastic wrap over the bowl and use a rubber band or tape to hold it in place. Puncture a few small holes, big enough for the flies to enter. Flies will go in as they can’t resist the smell, but getting out will be impossible. They will end up drowning in the liquid.

Homemade Pepper Repellent

If you have some cayenne pepper powder, you can mix a teaspoon with 3 cups of water and pour it into a dispenser. Spray it around the house and across areas where you often see the flies. The smell repels them, and after a few uses, you should see significant improvement.

Just be careful with this one if you have pets. They may lick it and get an acute reaction.

Bottle Traps

Flies like sweet taste like sugar-water, molasses, fruit, or even wine. Make a rich mixture that will attract them. Cut the bottom part of the bottle and fill one-third of it with that mixture. Take the bottom part and use it as a lid by turning it upside-down. Puncture a small hole for the flies to get in. They will end up in that sweet, sticky, liquid, and die.

You can also use pure molasses because once the flies land on it, they won’t be able to fly away. In that case, you don’t need to use and kind of lids.

Sticky Traps

You can buy sticky traps in stores, or you can even make them yourself. The ones you buy in stores are scented to attract flies. Both sides are sticky, and when flies land on it, they can’t fly away. When the tape is full, throw it and use another one.

To prepare them yourself, you will need some sticky tape and a substance to attract them. Take a double-sided tape and smear a very thin layer of honey across it. You don’t have to fill the whole length, just put it on some parts. Sweetness will attract the flies, and they will end up on your trap.

Make sure you use a very small amount because otherwise, it will drop on the floor after you hang the tape.

Get Rid of Flies With Insecticides and Repellents

Dead flies

For more severe problems, you can use insecticides and repellents made especially for this purpose. There are numerous brands available in almost every store. Be careful when using them, and always read the instructions stated on the product.

These chemicals are highly effective, but they should never come in contact with eyes, bare skin, or food. Unlike harmless, natural options, these products can be harmful to pets.

Pyrethrin Based Insecticides

Pyrethrin is the most common active ingredient of insecticides that kill flies. Some insecticides are able to kill other insects too. When buying such products, make sure they are labeled as safe for indoor use. Make sure you open the windows and let fresh air in. Inhaling it is not healthy.

Chemical-based insecticides are not a long time solution. They will kill the insect, but new ones will still come, and spraying around all-day is not an option.

The main benefit of pyrethrin-based products is instant action. As soon as the flies come in contact with the aerosol from the spray-can, they die. Keep in mind that pyrethrin is naturally derived and very sensitive to heat and sunlight. Store it in a cool and dry place.

Pyrethroid Based Insecticides

This chemical has the same effect as the previous one, and it is actually a synthetic version of it.

When looking at the ingredients on insecticides, you will often see permethrin, cypermethrin, tetramethrin, and resmethrin.

All those are forms of pyrethroid. Because they are all synthetic, they are less sensitive to sunlight and can be sprayed across surfaces to have a longer-lasting effect. Ensure you are not touching those surfaces, and children and pets shouldn’t have access to it.

Get Rid of Flies With Fly Swatters

Fly swatters

It never hurts to have a fly swatter around. Regardless of what method you use, you will have the one stubborn fly at your dinner table ruining your evening.

You can buy them in Amazon for less than $1, and once you get the hang of it, you will get good at killing them fast. I speak from experiencce, I have been using them for the past couple of weeks.

Nowadays, you can buy electric bug zappers to eliminate flies and mosquitos with a single swing. These are the modern take on traditional swatters, and they seem to work well.

You may also want to know how to keep bees away from your house naturally.

Prevention Methods

None of the previously mentioned methods will give a long term effect if the source of the problem still exists. Here is a list of everyday items that attract flies:

  • Meat and rotting meat waste
  • Rotting food leftovers
  • Sweet food
  • Pet food
  • Opened garbage bins
  • Feces (usually from house pets)

All of these can potentially become a breeding ground for flies. If flies see such a good opportunity, where food and breeding are possible, they will stick around. If you want to distract those annoying insects from your home, do the following:

  • Close the windows when leaving the house
  • Don’t leave food outside of the fridge
  • Install a garbage bin with a lid
  • Wash the dishes after use and don’t leave them on countertops
  • Store the food in the containers with tight lids
  • Clean the kitty litter frequently
  • Take out the garbage daily
  • Use essential oils mixed with water to treat surfaces that attract flies because the smell will repel the flies (you can rub it on top of the garbage bin)

By following the mentioned methods, you should be able to get rid of the flies. Keep in mind that it is a process, and it won’t happen overnight. For severe infestations, for which you cant find the cause and eliminate it, call a professional to help you.

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