How To Repel Flies?


Out of all of Earth’s creatures, flies would have to be somewhere close to the top of the list for being the most annoying. At times it can seem like they are everywhere and nothing you do seems to get rid of them. So the question arises, “How does one effectively repel flies?” The answer to this question is quite dynamic due to the copious amount of solutions to the problem.

Repelling flies using natural pest control management

The most preferred solution involves using “natural pest control management “which can involve using anything and everything except harsh, toxic chemicals. It can be as simple as merely making a few changes around the property or altering your personal habits. The various natural methods of repelling flies are way too many to give in full detail in just one little article. Mostly they entail being knowledgeable about flies and making sure you’re not doing things that may be attracting the flies. So basically, if you can figure out what the flies like and dislike and what their habits are, then you can rid yourself of even the most annoying fly infestation. Here’s a list of some natural pest control management techniques that may help:

  • Properly secure or dispose of food immediately – Flies are attracted to old food, so tightly wrap and properly store leftovers and dispose of any unwanted food in tightly-sealed containers. Do not leave any food, spilled liquids or dirty dishes lying around.
  • Use scents, herbs, essential oils and plants – flies dislike certain scents and plants, such as pine, citronella, lavender, peppermint, cedar and citrus, as well as several other aromas. Growing herbs such as basil, bay leaf, cloves, lavender, mint, rosemary, sweet woodruff and tansy can serve dual purposes. These herbs act as a natural insect repellent while also being good for other purposes such as culinary, cleaning, and medical ones. You can also use essential oils on cotton balls or strips of material which are placed in strategic locations to help repel flies.
  • Keep a few non-venomous spiders around the place, if you are not deathly afraid of spiders. They will eat the flies you don’t kill.
  • Hang clear plastic bags half-filled with water near doors and windows and in outdoor areas you wish to free of flies. The water reflects light in a way that causes flies to become disoriented. Especially hang these bags near doors and windows to keep the flies from entering the house.
  • Use physical barriers such as a bug tent or fly net to keep them at a distance.
  • Seal up all cracks and entry points, such as around the air conditioner, doors and window frames to keep the flies from entering the home. Ensure all windows and doors have well-fitting screen covers, patch any holes in the screens and do not leave unscreened windows or doors opened too long.
  • Make some homemade sticky flypaper – Mix ¼ to ½ cup of corn syrup with ½ to 1 cup of sugar then spread the mixture on some sheets or strips of paper. Hang these sheets/strips wherever the most flies are located.
  • Use either store-bought or homemade flyswatters – You can make swatters out of wire coat hangers and swatches of an old window screen. Simply cut out a piece of the window screen and bind it a hanger that has been straightened out. Or to make the handle more durable, bend it in a loop like you see on the store –bought swatters. You may also want to use cardboard or some other type of material around the edges of the window screen to avoid accidentally scratching or cutting your hands. Or you can simply use rolled up newspaper or rolled up magazines. To make swatting flies more fun for everyone, invent a fly-swatting game for the whole family to participate in.
  • Use cone traps with odorous fly bait outdoors.
  • Use ultraviolet bug zappers.

Basically, natural pest control means to keep your entire property thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, both indoors and outdoors. Do not allow trash to build up indoors or outdoors and keep all trash in tightly-sealed containers. It’s highly recommended to sprinkle ample amounts of borax on the outdoor trash bins and to frequently wash all the trash bins. Ensure all surfaces such as countertops, sinks, stoves, and floors are kept thoroughly clean and disinfect them with bleach or vinegar. Don’t forget to occasionally flush the sinks and drains out with bleach or white vinegar. Also ensure all carpets are vacuumed and cleaned on a routine basis. Get in the habit of cleaning up any messes immediately after they are made. Use plants that naturally repel insects as part of your landscaping and indoor decorating. Avoid killing flies anywhere near food. And also try to refrain from killing the beneficial insects that will aid in the disposal of unwanted pests.


Although more potent solutions are available on the market, they only offer temporary relief. In order to effectively repel the flies and prevent initial infestations, pest control management is necessary. Natural pest control management is preferable to the more toxic methods. The natural methods are less expensive, easier to carry out and generally safer for humans and pets. However, in order to maximize effectiveness, all of the aforementioned methods should be combined and used simultaneously. It’s much better to control and prevent fly infestations than to try to effectively repel annoying flies later.

Penny Vincent

Author: Penny Vincent

Penny Vincent has been a professional writer for 3 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2009. Penny enjoys spending time with family and friends, managing two small, home-based businesses, and sharing her vast knowledge with others.

5 thoughts on “How To Repel Flies?”

  1. this is helpful cause i was wondering what kind mint scent to use. pine is good as well, and love the idea to use a piece of cloth, dapped in the essential oil to repel these flies. thank you.

  2. I love green solutions to these types of problems. However I came here because I was researching whether lavender oil attracts flies. The reason: I had a very old lavender bush growing by the back door. During the spring and summer, flies would sun themselves right by it every afternoon when the sun hit the wall! A wall of flies that prevented me from using my back door during that time of day. So the natural lavender oil did nothing to repel them. For a while, though, the clear bag with a penny it did work.

  3. /Ethel, most research studies have shown that lavender oil (pure, not synthetic) does repel most types of insects other than bees, parasitic wasps, syrphid flies, and green lacewings.  Do you happen to know what type of flies they were?  There’s between 119,500-120,000 types of flies, so it may be hard to identify the exact species.  Did you use any type of fertilizer or plant growth food on the lavender plant?

  4. To keep the horseflies from bothering our horse and mule, my husband combines citronella oil with a small bottle of Dawn dish liquid soap and dilutes it with a gallon of water.  It’s pretty effective!

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