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Getting Rid of Flies

Category Flies
Flies are not only annoying, but they can also be unsanitary. Getting rid of them is often a difficult undertaking. This is a guide about getting rid of flies.


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By 5 found this helpful
March 26, 2013

I live on a farm in the South. I came across an old folklore fly repellent remedy that I had never seen.

Take a zip lock bag, 1 quart size is best. Put 2 pennies in it. Fill the bag around 3/4 full of water and close. Hang it near the door ways.
In the barn they say to place where the stall windows and doors are.

I tried it, (felt a little foolish when I did it) and the flies went the other way!
They used to fly into the house and drive me nuts. They would die on the window sills and floor beneath the windows. I had to sweep 'em up once a week. Bunches of them, now there's none. Now I may see 1 or 2 flies that sneaked in, the whole summer in my house.

I was told that flies have many facets on their eyes and they do not like the water reflecting the sparkles in their eyes. They don't like the copper either.

So if you see it, believe me it works. What have you got to lose? I have mine hanging all year round. I've seen them at other people's homes and I just giggle to myself. If they only knew how good that works, around the world.

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June 29, 20160 found this helpful

you can also put a small bit of lime juice and salt in the bags with the pennies, it helps to keep the pennies shinier for longer :-)

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October 16, 2008

Flies here in south Alabama are terrible. A friend told about a natural fly repellent. I decided to try it. It's basil! It actually works. I planted seeds in two flower pots, thinned them out, (three or four plants to a pot). After the plants are six to eight inches tall, be sure to "head" the plants (pinch off the heads before they produce flowers). This also encourages the plants to bush out. Place out on your patio, deck or back door.


Before sitting the plants by the back door flies were continually coming in as the door opened. Problem solved! I will definitely use basil again next year. Flies do not like the strong odor / scent of basil. Even as small plants they did a very good job.

By roadgypsygranny from Atmore, AL

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 21, 20080 found this helpful

I too live in South Alabama and that is a wonderful tip that I will be trying next summer. Does it matter which type of basil you use? Thanks for sharing!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 23, 20140 found this helpful

I have an infestation of tiny flies in my lounge and hall. They seem to want to gather around my window and sill. I don't know what they are, but at first I thought they were baby flying ants or fruit flies. I do have fruit in the dining room, but there aren't any flies in there and no flies in the kitchen. Could anyone tell me what I can do to eliminate them please.

By M. Coates

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July 25, 20140 found this helpful

Clean all of your sink drains. They could be drain flies that lay eggs in the gunk that builds up on the drain pipes.

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June 28, 20151 found this helpful

Use a small glass with straight sides, fill halfway with applecider vinegar and add a drop of dish lidquid stir once lightly and let sit! Place one on your kitchen counter and one where ever you seen the insects! You will see them in the bottom of the glass as they come for a drink and die! Don't think the promblem is solved after just seeing a few in the glass because they lay many eggs! After the glass has a lot of insects in the bottom empty, wash and replace with fresh vinegar and dish lidquid! It has been working for years for my family and friends! Past the info on to your family and friends like I did!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2014

I have outside cats that I feed in a large platter. When the weather starts to get warm I have trouble with flies in and around their food and bedding. I've tried fly strips, but they don't work very well. Anyone have an idea how to get rid of and keep away the flies?

By Janet S.

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May 12, 20140 found this helpful

I have put several drops of peppermint oil in my cat house, and it seems to repel flies. It does need to be refreshed every few days. I have read that lavender works as well although I have not tried it. Hope this helps.

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May 12, 20141 found this helpful

I wouldn't recommend going to dry cat food. It can take a real toll on your cats kidneys over time. I feed one cat outside. I have found that I have to feed the cat and then bring the dish in to be washed. Otherwise not only do the flies congregate, but the racoons show up as well as any neighborhood dogs who might go by. I dont run my dishwasher every day, so I went down to the Goodwill and bought a stack of dishes of the right size. After the kitty eats I stick the dish in the dishwasher. George appreciates the nice clean dish. No more flies, dogs or racoons. Good luck to you.

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June 17, 20120 found this helpful

We have a terrible problem with flies on the front porch. We tried hanging a large bug zapper, 2 fly strips, and 2 basil plants. The flies are still there. What can I do to make them go away for good? We have this problem every summer.

By Bobbi J. from Burlinton, NJ

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June 19, 20120 found this helpful

I have heard the same thing that gardendreamer suggested. Only I heard that you put pennies in the bag of water. My neighbor has 5-6 small baggies with approx. 1 cup of water and 10 pennies in each baggie. She has them stapled going down the outside door frame of her enclosed sun room. She says it really works that she never has a problem with flies.

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June 25, 20120 found this helpful

Try to think of what is attracting the flies. Are they hatching in a dead mouse under the porch? Are you eating food on your porch? Once you remove their source of food they will no longer be attracted to the area.

I have always liked Yard Guard sprayed around outside before I sat out.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 5, 2015

I have been noticing a lot of black flies this year in my office. The building is a typical Cape Cod style with two separate offices - one upstairs and one down. I have been renting the downstairs office for 23 years - the upstairs office has been vacant for 4 years. I went looking to try and find where these flies are coming from since I do not have open windows or doors. I went up to the vacant office and found hundreds of dead flies all throughout the space and when I went into the bathroom I found the toilet lid open and literally hundreds of dead flies in the bowl! I am totally skeeved out now and am not sure what to do?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 6, 20150 found this helpful


Someone should:

Clean the toilet and close the lid.

Clean the office.

Check all windows, doors, air conditioners in windows and other possible openings in the entire building and correct to stop all insect access.

This should stop further fly infestation. However, if you are still upset about any insect invasion, a pest control company can check the entire building and recommend solutions.

Flies are yucky, however, there are much worse problems in this world!

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August 6, 20150 found this helpful

Phone the landlord and complain about all the flies. Report that the office above is full of them, and ask him to clean it up and investigate how those flies are getting in. It will be very difficult to rent out that office space if it is full of flies!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 3, 2010

I have a problem with flies, I don't like using sprays because of my pets. I have tried tying a bunch of lavender in the window, but the flies just sit on it. Has anyone any other "natural" remedies?

By Janet from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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May 6, 20100 found this helpful

I have read that basil will get rid of them. Just put it in the areas you are having problems with. I haven't actually tried it though so I am not sure it will work. Good Luck

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

I am not sure if marigolds work for flies or not, but they work for other insects.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get rid of flies outside?

By Michele H.

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Make sure your yard is very clean. If you have dogs, clean up their poop everyday. If you have cats, clean up any dead critters they might have brought home for you. Clean up all decaying plants. Make sure your trash cans have lids that fit tight, and get rid of all standing water.

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

If you are talking about a patio area, or a porch, somewhere that is close to the house, one good way is to take a brown paper bag, crumple it a few times, so that it has lots of wrinkles in it. Then put some plastic or newspaper inside so that the bag holds some form. Tie the top with a cord, and attach it close to an entry door, either the entry to the house, or to the closed patio, wherever you are wanting to prevent the flies. It is best to put it under a roof, or it will have to be replaced after rain, but it may be worth it if you have to have out in the open. The flies seem to think the bag is a hornets nest and they will stay away. We got this information from this site months ago, and it seems to work quite well here in S. Alabama.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 20, 2010

My condo is next to the dumpster. My small backyard is full of flies. What should I use to get rid of them?

By Sharon from El Cajon, CA

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

Take this question to your public health department. They will assist you, maybe the dumpster is not to be there and in violation.

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June 23, 20100 found this helpful

Besides calling the authorities on the dumpster, a trick I heard recently is to take a ziploc bag, fill w/ water and a couple of shiny copper pennies - hang them around and the flies will scram! Apparently, the reflective-ness of the copper and the flies eyesight - this unnerves them and they find someone else to bother. And, no pesticides either!

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

How do jugs of water placed around your yard help deter flies? I see them everywhere, and does this really work?

By Mary

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March 23, 20120 found this helpful

I never heard of putting jugs of water around. I have heard of putting water in a ziplock bag and then hanging it by the door. It works a little. I read you can put lavender oil on paper or a cloth and it works real good. Just make sure you reapply the the lavender oil about once a week.

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March 23, 20121 found this helpful

The flashing of sunlight in the water in the plastic bags is supposed to startle the flies into staying away. I don't know if this works or not. I do not put much faith in these sorts of solutions, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 30, 2010

I need some help with controlling flies in the pet area outside. I would like to use a home remedy if possible.

By Alison from Garland, TX

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June 1, 20100 found this helpful

I've just received an email stating that you should fill freezer baggies half full and put 4 - 5 pennies in them and hang them up. Flies and wasps don't like them - I guess they think that there other flies staring back at them. Other people have said that it works. Hope this helps.

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June 1, 20100 found this helpful

I saw a hint some where that you can fill a ziplock bag with water and put 4 or 5 pennies in and zip it closed and hang it where you have a fly problem. I think a quart size would be large enough. I have not tried this yet, I would like to know if it really works.

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

On my front porch I have flies. I had an exterminator come to see if something died under the porch they are so bad. But after paying $300, nothing was found under the porch. You don't open your mouth as you pass to the front door. Any help appreciated. Will the vase also work in this instance, as with the fruit flies?

By Jan W.

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August 24, 20110 found this helpful

To catch and kill, a fly trap from local feed store. It attracts with an odor and they drown. At least they are not breeding. It might smell for awhile but better than walking quickly lest you need to open your mouth. To keep them away for the moment, set up a moving fan.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2009

How do I get rid of flies outside before a pool party?

By dllatham from midwest, IL

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September 20, 20091 found this helpful

Citrus Repellent: Cut a lemon into quarters and place in a pint jug. Cover the lemon with boiling water and let it steep overnight. Next day you have a flea repellent that you can use in a spray bottle. Spray all over your dog remembering especially behind the ears and around the head generally (careful of eyes), around the base of the tail (once again keep away from delicate bits) and under your dogs "armpits."

Aroma Therapy Repellent: Using 10 ml. of Pure Almond Carrier Oil as your base, add 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 5 drops of Cedar wood Essential Oil. Shake well and use 1 or 2 drops [of this mixture] spread over the skin at least twice a week to keep the fleas away.

A flea collar can be made by rubbing a few drops of one of the following into an ordinary webbing or rope collar or even a doggy bandanna: Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Citronella Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil or Geranium Essential Oil. Don't forget to do this weekly.

Your home: Fleas spend most of their time in your furnishings and only hop onto your dog or you for their next meal. Make sure you wash your dog's bedding regularly because no flea ever survived a hot wash cycle. If you add Eucalyptus Essential Oil to the final rinse it will also kill 99% of house dust mites according to research from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Vacuum your home very thoroughly and sprinkle a fine layer of ordinary table salt over your upholstery and carpets and leave overnight before vacuuming again to evict your unwelcome guests safely but don't forget to empty your vacuum bag.

Bathing: A badly infested dog really needs to be bathed so use your favorite dog shampoo. Rinse the dog off very thoroughly and in the final rinse add a couple of drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lavender Essential Oil. An alternative is to make your own herbal flea dip which will also work on ticks. Steep two cups of fresh Rosemary Leaf in two pints of boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and make it up to one gallon ( 8 pints) with warm water. Pour this mixture over the dog until it's saturated. Do not rinse off and allow the dog to dry naturally so this is a remedy to use on hot summer days.

Internal Flea Repellents: Garlic may not be your favorite cologne and it's not the flea's favorite smell either. When your dog eats garlic, the smell is excreted through the dog's skin making your dog less likely to be the flea's next meal. In case you think you might need to give your dog a breath freshener along with the garlic, my dogs, Mack and Josh, eat a garlic clove every day and I don't find their breath smells from it at all. Brewer's yeast tablets will also help to make your dog less attractive to fleas because once again the smell is excreted through the skin.

Adding a dessertspoon of natural apple cider vinegar to the water bowl will make the skin more acidic and unpleasant to fleas and ticks. If your dogs don't fancy apple cider vinegar in the water bowl, dilute it 50/50 with water and use in a spray bottle instead of the citrus repellent. [Or, you can use natural apple cider vinegar tablets.]

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By 1 found this helpful
March 28, 2010

How do I get rid of flies apart from pest sprays?

By Ashwin from Suva, Fiji

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 20, 20101 found this helpful

What do you spray in your backyard to get rid of the flies?

By Misty from Daytona Beach, FL


Getting Rid of Flies in Backyard

There's a product called "Flies Be Gone", It absolutely works, but it is pretty gross when the flies get in the trap. The only problem is I think it sometimes attracts more flies to the area before they get into the trap. We use it by our garbage at the back of our lot (we're on an alley), so definitely keep it away from the house by 25 feet or so. (03/04/2010)

By Allison5

Getting Rid of Flies in Backyard

Nothing. Find the source of the flies and eliminate it. Is it dog poop? Is it something dead in the bushes? A bird? The flies are actually doing a clean up job on something unnoticed by humans. They are the garbage workers of the world. When the source is gone because it's been cleaned up or they've eaten it completely, they will go.

Pesticides are now believed to be the cause of Parkinson's. Pesticides and herbicides (bug and plant killers) are disrupting the hormones in all life systems and doing incredible damage
to the earth and it's occupants. Animals are being born of no definite sex, and that includes humans. Boys are being born with micro-sex organs. Talk about a life of misery.

We have got to stop using this stuff. (03/05/2010)


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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

I have flies in my back yard, neighbors on both sides have dogs. This simply might be due to the multiple rains and not the dogs, but if you have a suggestion I'd like to hear it. Thanks.

Holly from Richardson, TX


Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

Sounds like the neighbors need to dispose of either dog food or dog stool, either seems to draw flies. Unless they take care of the problem, it will be your problem.

There are passive fly strips at our local Wal-mart in the section where fly spray and roach items are shelved. The bug zappers do work. If you have children I wouldn't want to use sprays. If it'll kill a fly it can harm a child is my rule.

I'm not aware that rains make flies worse, except they want shelter under your roof. If that is part of the problem, try the fly strips.
Good luck> (03/19/2008)

By 2oma

Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

Get a spray bottle fill it half with warm water and half with Listerine mouthwash and spray around your yard or seating areas. You might try spraying on each side of your yard where the dogs are. I have used this for years and I know it clears out mosquitoes, bees, and gnats. It should work for flies. You will need to do this every couple days and if it rains. I hope this helps. (03/20/2008)

Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

Do not use mothballs! They are poisonous to both kids and pets. Breathing them is not good, let alone if one gets ingested.

Remove any containers that may hold water. Anywhere a puddle may set, fill it in. If there is any feces anywhere near, then clean it up and keep it far away from your house.

As for a safe fly deterrent use vinegar, you can dilute it with water. It's safe on the environment, actually healthy if ingested. So no worries with pets or children and it works. I have used it for years in animal barns with terrible fly troubles. You will be amazed with its results.

Anything that produces or offers heat and warmth is a huge attraction for flies. (03/20/2008)

By Chicklet

Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

Take plastic sealable bags, fill with water and place throughout your yard. It really works. (03/21/2008)

By ramblingrose

Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

There is this amazing fly catcher my husband brought home from the local farm store.The name of it is Fly Catcher it smells really bad, but works wonders and it holds up to 30,000 flies. It is kinda like the fill a bag with water, but this one has a odor that flies are attracted to. Good luck. (07/22/2008)

By Amanda

Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

I had your same problem, flies everywhere, until I bought a Rescue Fly Trap. This baby works and it's entertaining. Thousands of flies in one bag. No more flies flying around my face or on my plate. Must try. (09/21/2008)

By Paul

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 14, 20090 found this helpful

I have a horse next door which creates lots of flies. I use fly bait and they take it. But I also have porch flies which don't take the regular bait and they just stay circling on the porch. Any suggestions?

By pbshepherding from Graham, WA


Getting Rid of Flies

I use a window pepper fly trap. The trap will sit on a window sill, or can be stuck to a window with sticky pads. The flies buzz down into the trap and are retained. Once they fall into the pepper they cannot cling to a smooth side of the trap. Then soon die of dehydration. Safe to use, no toxic chemicals, no smells, only pepper smell, and it solves a problem. It also works for yellow jackets/wasps/pantry moths and other insect pests. Obtainable from Hope it solves your problem. Good luck. (06/22/2009)

By dunno

Getting Rid of Flies

One thing I read recently, but have not yet tried. Take a few clear Zip-loc, or similar bags, quarts will probably work, fill them, (nearly), with water, drop in a very shiny penny. Hang these around the corners of your porch, or position them so that they are "around" the porch area. The reason is, flies eyes are nothing like ours, and they see what appears to be a large predator, or a barrier and will not go forward.

Another suggestion was to put some wadded newspaper into a brown paper bag that has been crumpled a bit, then tie, or glue that near where you do not want the flies. They will "see" a hornets nest, and stay away. I think I got this information from-ta-da-Thrifty fun. Hope this works. (06/23/2009)


Getting Rid of Flies

Check out Rescue Fly Traps. These things are great. You can get them at Ace Hardware or online at Amazon. They have a strong smell (which is what attracts the flies) so you have to put it off a distance from doorways. But, boy, does it catch flies. (06/23/2009)

By Artlady

Getting Rid of Flies

I used the large Ziploc bag filled with water last year and it never did a thing. Only thing I know that works is fans. We had 4 box fans last year during the 4th of July cook-out and it helped, but not a very great deal. I just brought a large fan from Wal-Mart for $70.00, but you have to hold onto your paper plates and paper cups. I also use Raid Ant and Roach killer spray. (06/23/2009)

By sickandsexy

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 21, 20090 found this helpful

I can't get rid of flies. Is there a home remedy for this?

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