Getting Rid of Flies

Closeup of green bodied house fly.

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.


Solutions: Getting Rid of Flies

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: How To Get Rid Of Flies

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.

    By Army Brat [8]

    Tip: Basil Natural Fly Repellent

    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

    Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!


    Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Flies.

    Question: Natural Repellent for Flies

    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


    Most Recent Answer

    By Carol Swanson [35]06/11/2012

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

    Question: Getting Rid of Flies Outside

    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


    Most Recent Answer

    By Carol Swanson [35]06/25/2012

    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.

    Question: Getting Rid of Flies Outside

    How do I get rid of flies outside?

    By Michele H.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Chris06/03/2011

    Get a few empty, clean 2 liter (or similar size) plastic soda or drink bottles (ones without "handles"). Throw away the caps. Cut bottles apart horizontally (across the width of the bottles) about a third of the way down from top. Put some banana peels or other food remnants (no meat) in the bottles. Invert the top of each bottle and nestle it inside the bottom so that the cut edges meet. Fold some strong tape around the bottle where the edges meet to seal the edges together. Using a paper punch or awl, make a hole on opposite sides of each bottle just slightly below where the edges are taped. Using a length of twine or pliable wire for each bottle, thread one end of the twine/wire through one hole and tie it off so it won't come loose. Then do the same with the other end of the twine/wire and the opposite hole. Hang the bottles out of the sun where flies are a problem. When the bottles have quite a few flies in them, throw them out and make more. (I know a picture would have saved a thousand words, but I don't have one.) Hope this helps.

    Question: Getting Rid of Flies in Backyard

    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

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By elva [1] 06/23/2010

    I don't know what really work to get rid of flies except for a can of Raid Spray. My husband brought those little sticky fly trap that you hang up in the cealing, in whichIi hate looking at it. Don't try those water bags filled with water because that do not work, I tried that already.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Getting Rid of an Infestation of Tiny Flies

    tiny fly on white backgroundI 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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Marry Delores W.06/28/2015

    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!

    Question: Getting Rid of Flies in Pet Area

    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.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Lizzyanny [9]05/12/2014

    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.

    Question: Getting Rid of Flies in Outside Pet Area

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Carolyn Ballew07/06/2011

    I have chickens. The flies aren't to bad yet. But the hot weather is just now coming. I've put a basil plant in 2 garden windows and the bathroom and have not had a fly problem yet.

    Question: Keeping Flies Out of Unused Office Space

    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?

      By gmamadog [1]

      Most Recent Answer

      By Louise B. [6]08/06/2015

      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!

      Question: Getting Rid of Flies

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

      By Mary

      Most Recent Answer

      By Louise B. [6]03/23/2012

      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.

      Question: Getting Rid of Black Flies

      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.

      Most Recent Answer

      By vicki hood [4]08/24/2011

      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.

      Question: Getting Rid of Flies

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

      By dllatham from midwest, IL

      Most Recent Answer

      By Jim09/20/2009

      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.]

      Question: Discouraging Black Flies

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

      By Ashwin from Suva, Fiji


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

      Archive: Getting Rid of Flies

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

      Hardiness Zone: 9a

      Christine from Brentwood, CA

      Archive: Getting Rid of Flies

      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

      RE: 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 stirtsystems.com. Hope it solves your problem. Good luck. (06/22/2009)

      By dunno

      RE: 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)

      By LJF

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      Archive: Getting Rid Of Flies In Backyard

      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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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)

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      Archive: Getting Rid of Flies in Backyard

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