How to Get Rid Of Flies in the House or Outdoors – Steps To Control a Fly Infestion

Most of us don’t like flies and I am sure if you are here, you are one of them. Flies are more than just a mere nuisance.

According to a study, there are more than 100,000 known species of flies (only God knows how many species are still unknown).

Their presence alone is often annoying to people, but the true effects they have on humanity go largely unseen.

[This is a 5000+ word article on how to get rid of flies, so if you don’t want to read whole of it and would like to directly jump onto the meat of this article then click here]

Table Of Contents:

Need Help for Dealing With Any of These Fly Species?

[NOTE: Before going through the above articles, I would suggest you to read this article first and then read the specific article about the particular fly type that has infested your household. This will help you to understand and implement the solutions and methods discussed here in an effective way.]

How Flies Are Bad For Us:

Flies are the carriers of very deadly diseases, they infest meat and other food items, some of their species also spread food poisoning bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis.

The habitat of a fly makes it perfectly suited for spreading diseases. Fly is a restless insect, it moves back and forth between food and filth and this helps it in spreading infections faster.

It is attracted to the food by its sense of smell, however it cannot eat solid food. When it reaches the food it vomits on the solid food and creates a solution of it, then sucks it and thus contaminates the food.

How to Get Rid of Flies Indoors & Outdoors

Below, I have highlighted some diseases that are caused by flies:

  • Flies can cause typhoid and paratyphoid fevers.
  • They can also spread some other diseases like diarrhea and dysentery, cholera, conjunctivitis etc. by mechanical contamination.
  • Other diseases carried by house flies include salmonella, anthrax and tuberculosis.
  • They are also known to transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.
  • Sand flies found in South America, Africa and Europe are carriers of a micro-organism responsible for a disease that eats away the human skin. This disease is known as Leishmaniasis.

Before moving further, let’s see the life cycle of a fly.

Understanding The Fly Life Cycle:

There are 4 major stages in the life cycle of a typical housefly. In the beginning of first stage, 150 eggs are laid in a moist environment (like garbage, composite or manure) where food is available in abundance.

Fly Life Cycle

Next, eggs began to hatch within a day and the larva feeds on the food for 5-14 days. After this, the larva crawls to some dry place to pupate. The pupae transforms to an adult after 3-4 weeks. Adult flies can live for about a month and during this time they can produce 500 to 2,000 eggs.

This can give you an idea how fast flies can grow. Now, let’s have a look at the techniques that can be used to get rid of flies.

How To Get Rid Of Flies:

The process of getting rid of flies can be divided into two stages:

Stage 1 (Fly Control Techniques) – Stage 1 primarily comprises of the methods that can be used to control the further growth of flies. In fly control techniques, we try to control the growth of flies by cleaning or rather destroying their breeding sources. This will help to stop any further growth of flies as after this they will have no place to lay eggs.

Stage 2 (Fly Elimination Techniques) – Now, after destroying the breeding place of flies, we will be left only with the adult flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, so the fly problem will get solved by killing these adult flies. And this is Stage 2 of the process.

Recommended Reading: How to get rid of gnats

Stage 1: Fly Control Techniques:

At this stage we are going to control the growth of flies by destroying their breeding sources. Let’s see the steps involved in this process:

Step 1 – Identify:

First of all identify the species of the fly that you mostly see in the infested area. You can use the below table to do this. In this table, I have compiled the data about commonly found species of flies and their possible breeding sites.

Most Common Species Of Flies And Their Breeding Sources

Step 2 – Find the Breeding Source:


Now after you have identified the species of fly that has infested your household, check its breeding sources from the table and find the similar sites in the vicinity of the infested area. Please note that such sources could be located up to 500 – 800 meters away from the place of infestation.

This step may take time, but then you cannot skip this step as it is the most important step in the whole process.

Step 3 – Clean the Breeding Source:

Clean the breeding SourceAfter you have found a probable breeding source of those flies, clean it up. Wash fly specks off the walls, ground or floor with a borax and water solution. This removes the trace that flies leave to attract other flies to an area.

If it is near some garbage can, then it is better to cover it up and remove garbage at least 2 times per week.

If there is some dead animal or bird near this area, get it removed and make sure that it is disposed of properly. Try to keep the area clean and dry.

Step 4 – Wait for 1 to 3 months:

Wait-For-1-monthUsing the above steps, you will prevent new generations of flies from reproducing in your area. But then, you may have to use some other methods to get rid of the individual flies that may come till next 1 – 3 months (because this is the maximum lifespan of an adult fly).

Stage 2: Fly Eradication Techniques:

In stage 2 of the process, we are going to have a look at some methods to kill or repel the adult flies in the infested areas. In this section, we are going to see some quick fire ways to eradicate flies.

When you talk about fly eradication methods, there are hundreds of them but in this article we will only see the best ones.

Also, for the sake of simplicity we will classify these methods into 7 major categories. You can pick any method from any category to see if it works in your case or not. These categories are as follows:

Category 1: Fly Repellents:

1. Using Vodka Based Fly Repellents: 

Vodka-for-repelling-fliesFor some reason flies hate Vodka. They just cannot bear its smell and hence some people use vodka based repellents to ward off flies.

To make such vodka based fly repellents you will have to mix following ingredients:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 tsp aloe vera juice
  • 1 tsp lemon eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 tsp. essential oil blend

After mixing the ingredients, pour them in a spray bottle. Apply it over your skin or spray it near the infested area to repel flies.

Note: Only apply this repellent on your skin if you are comfortable with it. If you have any kind of allergies with any of the above ingredients then it’s better to avoid this method.

2. Using Lemongrass Oil as a Natural Fly Repellent: 

Lemongrass oil has strong insect repellent properties and in addition to this it can also keep your home refreshingly aromatic. So, you can use the lemongrass oil to make a fly repelling spray that also works as a room freshener.

To make this spray you will have to mix following ingredients:

  • Lemongrass essential oil- 20-25 drops
  • Hot water about 1/2 cup

Keep the solution in a spray bottle and spray it along your doorways and windows or any other fly infested area.

Note: In absence of Lemongrass oil you could also use other natural oils like Lavender oil, Citronella oil, Eucalyptus oil, Pennyroyal oil, or Peppermint oil. But with them you won’t achieve the results that you would get with Lemongrass oil.

Read this: Using natural oils to repel flies

3. Using Clove based Deterrent:

Cloves are pleasurably aromatic for humans but flies (particularly house flies) cannot stand the scent of cloves. In this remedy, you would have to use cloves along with lemons to deter flies.

Lemon with clovesTo make this deterrent, take a lemon and cut it into two halves. After this, poke 6-12 cloves into each half of the lemon.

And then, you can keep few such clove poked lemons in a plate as a beautiful centerpiece for your table, especially for the times when you have meals with friends outdoor like in a barbeque party.

Alternatively, you could also use clove oil as it works better than solid cloves.

4. Creating Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel fly Repellent: 

This is a natural fly repellent that works mostly against house flies. To make this repellent, you would need following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil

To make this repellent mix 1/4 cup witch hazel and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. After this, add 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil in the solution and shake the mixture well.

Now, you can apply this repellent on the uncovered areas of your body. Please note that do not let this solution to enter your eyes or mouth.

5. Using herbs like Basil, Lavender, and Mint to deter flies:

Flies do not like the fragrance of certain aromatic herbs, such as Elder, Basil, Lavender, Tansy, Wormwood, Rue, and Mint.

Basil LeavesYou could plant these herbs in a pot near your doorways to keep flies away. This will not only prevent flies from entering your house but will also make the surrounding environment healthy.

If for some reason you cannot plant these herbs then, get some dried basil and mint leaves. Tie them up in a cheesecloth or a muslin bag and hang them in the infested area.

Read this:  Plants that repel flies and keep them away.

6. Using Camphor or Citronella smoke: 

Citronella and Camphor both are very good at repelling flies. In general flies hate smoke, but when the smoke is from a citronella candle or a piece of camphor then it becomes doubly effective against them.

To try this method, light a citronella candle or a piece of camphor and spread the smoke in the fly infested area and you could see them leaving the place instantly.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Citronella Candles’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

Category 2: Fly Traps:

7. Using Sugar-Water fly trap: 

To make your Sugar-Water fly trap, all you need is a wide-mouthed jar, some sugar water, and a paper cone.

First of all pour the sugar syrup in the jar and then cut a 1 cm diameter hole at the apex of the cone. Now, place the cone in the jar upside down, so that it should not touch the liquid.Sugar-water-trap-for-flies

Now, as the jar contains sweet liquid so flies will be attracted to it and will go down through the cone into the jar. Once inside, they won’t be able to fly up through the hole to come out again.

Read this: Top DIY homemade fly traps

8. Using Milk Sugar Pepper Trap:

This trap works wonderfully for fruit flies. It has been used in many parts of the world since ancient period to trap fruit flies. To make this trap you would need:

  • Milk- 1/4 litre
  • Sugar- 3 tsp
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tbsp

Pour all the ingredients in a pan. Heat them for 5 – 10 minutes on simmer. After this remove the mixture from heat and pour it in shallow bowls and keep these bowls near the fly infested area.

Fruit flies will get attracted to this and as soon as they land on the solution they will suffocate and get drowned.

9. Disposable Fly Traps:

Disposable fly traps are one of the best fly catchers. They provide a simple, no-mess way to keep flies away from your patio and garden.

A disposable fly trap consists of a specially formulated bait or attractant which is water soluble. The attractant is kept inside a pouch and only gets activated when you add water to it.Disposable Fly Traps

After adding water to it, the attractant dissolves in the water producing a sweet smell which flies love. Flies can get inside the bag, but due to its construction they are not able to move out and eventually are drowned in the water inside.

These kinds of traps have been proved to work against multiple types of flies like: House flies, blow flies, carrion flies, cluster flies, flesh flies, stable flies etc.

Read this: All about disposable fly traps

Compare the efficiency of ‘Disposable Fly Traps’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

10. Using Pheromone Traps:

Pheromone Traps are most effective traps against multiple species of flies. These traps work like any other normal trap but instead of a normal food or odour bait they have pheromones.

Pheromones are powerful sexual attractants which are quite effective in luring multiple species of flies. As soon as the insect gets inside the trap it is unable to escape.

Pheromone traps are very sensitive, which means they can attract insects present at very low densities. They can be used both for an indoor or an outdoor infestation. The biggest drawback of such traps is that – they are generally limited to one gender.

11. Using Fly Paper to Kill Flies: 

Fly papers or fly ribbons are the cheap and best things to trap flies. A fly paper is coated with a sweet fragrant to which flies get attracted.

The paper is extremely sticky and sometimes also has a layer of poisonous substance above it. And hence a fly paper initially attracts the flies and then traps them when they land upon it.homemade-fly-paper

You can also make a fly paper at home, for this you would need following items:

  • Sheets of brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Heating Pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Thread

To make the fly paper, cut the brown paper sheets into 2 inch wide strips. After this take equal parts of corn syrup and water into a pan and heat the mixture till it starts boiling. Keep stirring the mixture with the spoon while heating.

After this, remove the pan from heat and soak the strips into the mixture for at least 4 – 5 hours. Next, take out the strips and allow them to dry for 2-3 hours. When the strips get dry, hang them in the fly infested area and your homemade fly paper is ready to catch flies.

Read this: All about fly papers

Compare the efficiency of ‘Fly Paper’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

12. Using a Fly Vacuum: 

Bug VacuumA fly vacuum is a type of small but powerful hand held vacuum cleaner that runs on batteries. You only have to switch on the device and point in the direction of flies to catch them.

Some variants of bug vacuum also have a trap door that securely traps the, insects within the nozzle and prevents them from flying back out. With some practice you can become a pro fly catcher with your portable vacuum.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Fly Vacuum’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

Category 3: Mechanical Methods:

13. Using a Fly Gun: 

Fly GunA Fly Gun is an improved derivative of a flyswatter. It uses a plastic projectile loaded on a spring to mechanically “swat” flies.

Over the projectile there is round perforated disk, when you fire the projectile along with the round disk, aiming at a fly, it hits the fly and the fly gets killed. It looks more of a toy, than a fly killer.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Fly Gun’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

14. Using a Flyswatter: 

A fly swatter consists of a thin, flexible mesh like small rectangular or round sheet of lightweight plastic, connected to a lightweight wire or plastic handle about 1 – 1.5 feet in length.

User has to wait for the fly to land somewhere and then he has to use the flyswatter to mechanically crush the fly against the hard surface. This works great when you are dealing with a few flies. But when we are talking about a fly infestation then, this method is not very efficient as it is quite impossible to swat every single fly.

15. Using Bug-A-Salt 2.0:

Bug-A-Salt is a fly “assault rifle”, the rifle uses regular table salt to shoot a concentrated spray pattern of salt granules (more or less like a shotgun), killing the flies and other flying insects on contact. bug-a-salt rifle for killing flies

The salt will not harm your walls or furniture but it is strong enough to easily kill flies. This fly rifle is a non-toxic, battery-free device that allows you to have fun while getting rid of flies.

Operating the device is also easy – Fill the rifle with table salt, pump the slide action, then take the safety off and you are ready to go hunting. With Bug-A-Salt you can kill flies from several feet and with a bit of practice, you can take out flies in flight too.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Bug-A-Salt’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

16. Using a Newspaper Roll: 

Roll up a thick newspaper and then wait for these pesky culprits to land somewhere, aim and hit. And yes, don’t forget to wipe the bloody mess off the surface as it may attract more flies.

17. Using a Rubber-band: 

rubberband technique to kill fliesCut a rubber-band at one end. Find a resting fly, sneak up behind the fly and stretch the band as far as possible. Take aim and let one end go.

Skilled people can also use this method to kill flies in air!

Category 4: Electrical Methods:

18. Using an Electronic Handheld FlySwatter: 

Electronic handheld Flyswatters are also called fly bats as they resemble badminton rackets. These swatters have an ON/OFF switch near the handle. By switching them ‘ON’ the grid of the swatter gets electrically charged to a voltage of between 1000 and 2500 V DC.

electronic-fly-swatterFor killing the fly you have to swing the bat in the direction of the fly. When fly comes near the electrodes (charged grid), a spark jumps through the fly and it gets killed.

The best thing about such fly swatters is that, you don’t have to wait for the flies to land anymore; you can just zap these pest right out of thin air.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Electronic Flyswatters’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

19. Using Electronic Fly Zapper:

An electronic fly zapper is basically an electrical discharge insect control system. The device lures the insect towards itself and zaps it when it comes in contact. So, unlike an Electronic fly swatter you won’t have to run after a fly to zap it.

Electronic Fly Zapper emits a white UV light and hence most of the flying insects (including flies) get attracted to it.

Near the light source there is an electric grid, when a fly comes in contact with the electrodes it gets a shock and is killed and drops down in the collection tray. You can then clean the collection tray as and when required.

The device also has a protective guard that prevents people and pets from accidentally touching the grid. Electronic fly zappers are designed for indoor use only.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Electronic Fly Zapper’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

20. UV Fly Electric Traps:

Flies and many other flying insects are very much attracted to some frequencies of light and UV fly trap works on the same principle. You can use these UV light traps with any standard AC outlet.


These traps have a single or multiple 2 – 25 Watt UV light lamps which can attract flies within a 600 – 1800 square feet area.

Once the flies come near the lamp they try to enter the enclosure and get trapped on the adhesive glueboard. The adhesive Glueboards can be easily replaced so you can continue using the unit for years.

The device works in very clean way – No odours, No Mess, No Chemicals, and No Toxins. Such fly traps are mostly designed for indoor use only.

Category 5: Chemical Methods:

21. Using Chemical Fly Sprays: 

There are some chemical sprays in market (like: HotShot or RAID Insect killers) that can kill flies instantly. These sprays usually have a quick response time and hence are preferred by many people.


Few of such sprays are pet safe and some are even safe to be used on plants. Regular repeated application for 1 or 2 weeks can give long lasting results. These kinds of sprays work against multiple species of flies like: House Flies, Horse Flies, Deer Flies, Flesh Flies, Bottle Flies, Cluster Flies, Stable Flies, Drain Flies, Gnats etc.

The only thing that goes against them is that most of such fly sprays are toxic and sometimes can have a bad impact on the environment.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Chemical Fly Sprays’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

22. Using Dish Soap Spray: 

Do you know which is the best anti fly spray?

Any Guesses?

It’s your dish soap. Most dish soaps contain borax in tiny quantities. And borax in small quantities (concentration below 5%) works as an insecticide, but it acts as an insect repellent if its concentration is above 5%.

To make your own homemade fly killer spray take an empty spray bottle. And add 7 – 10 drops of dish soap; add 2 cups of warm water. Now close the lid of spray bottle, shake the solution and your homemade fly killer spray is ready.

Spray it directly on the flies and watch them dying instantly. Borax dehydrates the exoskeleton of the insects which eventually kills them.

Note: To make the solution more effective you can also try adding ½ tsp of borax powder to the solution.

Category 6: Biological Methods

23. Using Carnivorous Plants:

If you are searching for a very clean way to kill flies, then I would suggest you to invest in some carnivorous plants like Venus Fly Trap or Sundew.


These plants are very attractive to look at, and in addition to this they do a steady job of attacking, trapping, and digesting flies.

In terms of efficiency, and the quantity of flies they can consume, they are certainly not the best but they are the cleanest option as they don’t leave any mess after killing flies.

Compare the efficiency of ‘Carnivorous Plants’ with other Fly Eradication Techniques [Click Here]

24. Using IGR’s (Insect Growth Regulators):

IGR is an abbreviation used for insect growth regulator. Insect growth regulators are one of the best biological methods to end a fly infestation.

IGR’s are chemically manufactured hormones that interfere with the normal lifecycle of an insect. When an insect grows, it undergoes a process called molting. During this process the insect grows a new exoskeleton under its existing one, then sheds the existing exoskeleton to grow further.

IGR’s prevent the insects from reaching maturity by interfering with the molting process. This ceases the further growth of the insect and because of this insect never reaches the adult phase. And hence is unable to reproduce.

IGR’s are mostly beneficial against drain flies, fruit flies, fungus gnats and eye gnats.

25. Beneficial Nematodes:

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic (not visible with naked eyes) round worms that act as parasites. Once installed, they search for specific fly species larvae, and other soil-borne pests, penetrate them and then consume the pest larvae from inside out.

It should be noted that they do not harm people, pets, plants, or earthworms. They are safe to use and once installed they can work for as long as 18 months.

26. Pyrethrin Based Insecticide Sprays:

Pyrethrins are a class of organic compounds that have insecticidal properties. Pyrethrins affect the insects by targeting their nervous systems. In nature Pyrethrin occurs in the Chrysanthemum flowers.

Pyrethrins Based Insecticides For FliesAnd because of this it is considered to be the safest insecticides known to man till date. You can get the concentrated pyrethrin based insecticide from any farm supply or agricultural chemical firms.

The concentration of the insecticide in the spray varies according to the animal to be treated. For example: if you wish to treat cattle then you should buy the formulation labelled specifically for them.

For best results, Pyrethrin based insecticides must be sprayed daily on the livestock. But partial control can also be achieved by spraying it on every other day. You could spray the insecticide directly or can use a sponge to do this.

Note: Please note that even this is a naturally occurring insecticide but still it is toxic. Use it with due caution.

Category 7: Miscellaneous Methods

27. Using Clear Plastic Bags Filled with Water: 

Some people have reported to deter flies by using a transparent plastic bag half filled with water. Scientists also support this method for repelling flies. They say that flies have compound eyes, which means that they have around 8000 lenses in each eye.


This gives them a great ability to detect movement and changing light patterns. A bag of water reflects light in all directions and flies do not like to be near such a thing.

But the drawback with this method is that it could only be used during the day time. However, you can use an artificial light source during night time but then it doesn’t works that well.

28. Using Fresh Orange Peel:

Have you ever noticed why many commercially manufactured bug repellents contain orange or lemon extracts? These extracts are not only for the scent in the product but they are also excellent bug repellents.

You can also try putting fresh citrus peels in the fly infested area or place the peels in a small cloth or muslin teabag near the infested area. Rub the peels every once in a while to keep the scent fresh.

Note: Please do not use this remedy for fruit flies because they are attracted to the orange peels. This method works best for house flies.

29. Using a Pole Fan to Keep Flies Away:

If flies become a huge problem when you are cooking outdoors or having a barbecue party with your friends, then this is perhaps the best and hassle free home remedy for flies.

Get a standing pole fan, switch it ‘ON’ and point it towards the grill or table, besides keeping you cool, it will also keep flies and mosquitoes away.

If it is possible, you can also try cooking food using firewood or charcoal. Because when there is smoke there is less chance of flies.

30. Hair Spray for Swatting Flies:

We all know that, Hairsprays work by creating a liquid elastic layer over your hair that quickly stiffens your hair.

Can you guess what happens when you spray it on a fly?

When you spray Hairspray on a fly, it freezes the wings of a fly and hence the fly becomes slow and becomes an easy target.

But then, who would want to waste his hairspray on a fly. Definitely not me!

31. Let Them Go Outside:

flies-attracted-to-twilightSome noble souls do not like to hurt flies so the option of killing the flies is not suitable for them. But here is a good news for such people as they too can get rid of flies and that too without hurting them.

For this you would have to wait until twilight and then simply open your front or back door and letting them out.

According to researchers, at the twilight time sunlight has some frequencies that are enormously attractive to flies and they instinctively fly towards it.

32. Darken Your Room:

Flies have a natural tendency to move towards light. What we would consider a romantic or relaxing atmosphere is something they hate.

So, if you are down for a quiet supper or conversation with friends in the evening, consider dimming your lamps.

This will help you to get rid of flies and also help you save some bucks on the electricity bills.

33. Boil Malt Vinegar:

malt-vinegar-bottleMalt Vinegar when boiled gives out an incense that flies cannot tolerate and hence this can be used for deterring flies.

To use this remedy, take a pot with a thick base. Pour some malt vinegar in the pot. Start heating the pot till the malt vinegar inside starts boiling. After this turn off the heat and keep the pot in the fly infested area and you will see flies getting repelled by this.

Note:  Please make sure you watch the procedure closely as you don’t want the vinegar to burn, because on burning malt vinegar stinks.

34. Control the Temperature of your Room:

It is a well known fact that flies love hot weather, but you must understand that they neither like too hot nor do they like too cold environment.

Flies hate anything above 38 degree Celsius (100 F) and they cannot survive if the temperature rises above 47 degree Celsius (116 F).

But if raising the room temperature seems difficult, you have another option and that is to cool the room. If the room temperature is lowered to 9 degree Celsius (48 F), it disables a normal housefly and it is not able to fly.

Whereas, if the temperature is further reduced to 7 degree Celsius (44 F) you will see them dying within few hours.

35. Other Fly Repelling Methods:

These are some other natural fly repellent recipes, but they work against only a few species of flies.

  • Cucumbers – Yes, few species of flies hate them.
  • Onions – House flies hate them especially their juice.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Take some dried powder of cayenne pepper and mix it with water. Spray using a spray bottle and you will find flies being repelled by its aroma.
  • Cinnamon – Some flies hate their fragrance so you could use them as an air freshener.

So, these were all the fly eradicating techniques.

Now, let’s compare the above Fly Eradication techniques:

Speed of Removal
Product Link
Electronic Fly Zapperstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar$$$BothCheck Out On Amazon
Fly Repellent Creamstarstarstarstarstar$BothCheck Out On Amazon
Bug Vacuumstarstarstarstarstarstarstar$$BothCheck Out On Amazon
Disposable Fly Trapstarstarstarstarstarstar$$OutdoorCheck Out On Amazon
Ultrasonic Insect Repellerstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar$$IndoorsCheck Out On Amazon
Fly Paperstarstarstarstarstar$BothCheck Out On Amazon
BUG A SALT 2.0starstarstarstarstarstarstar$$BothCheck Out On Amazon
Fly Killer Spraystarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar$$OutdoorCheck Out On Amazon
Electric handheld Fly Swatterstarstarstarstarstarstar$$IndoorCheck Out On Amazon
Venus Fly Trapstarstarstar$$IndoorCheck Out On Amazon
Fly Gunstarstar$IndoorCheck Out On Amazon
Citronella Candlesstarstarstarstarstar$OutdoorCheck Out On Amazon

Note 1: The ratings in the “Efficiency” and “Speed of Removal” columns are based on my personal experiences.

Note 2: In the “Cost” column ‘$’ means single digit price [$1 to $9], while ‘$$’ means double digit price [$10 to $99].

[Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links in the above table are affiliate links. This means that and at no extra price to you, I will receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have used most of these products myself, and I recommend them because they are helpful, and not because of the small commissions I may make. Please do not buy any products from the above list that you feel won’t be of any use to you.]

Your Turn:

So, this was all from my side on how to get rid of flies. Now that you have learned about all the techniques and strategies for getting rid of flies, it’s up to you to pick a method that meets your needs, is in your price range, and is overall helpful in your case.

As you know that technologies evolve day by day, for that reason I will try to keep the information here up to date. But in case you feel like I have missed some important technique that needs to be included on the list, let me know in the comments below.

Remember, battling flies can be very challenging and time consuming, but have faith in you and do your best to eradicate each pesky culprit. Please note that in worst cases you may need to seek some professional help.

Also, I would love to hear your personal experiences and stories about the topic.


Article Name
How to Get Rid Of Flies?
A quick summary of getting rid of flies: 1. Lemongrass Oil acts as a natural fly repellent. 2. A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel helps in deterring flies. 3. Herbs like Basil, Lavender, and Mint help to repel flies. 4. Camphor or Citronella smoke can also keep flies away. 5. You could use sticky fly paper or pheromone/disposable traps to catch flies. 6. Ultra violet light traps also work to catch certain species of flies. 7. Carnivorous Plants like Venus Fly Trap or Sundew can also help in getting rid of flies. 8. Pyrethrin Based Insecticide Sprays can kill most species of flies. 9. IGR's (Insect Growth Regulators) are beneficial in regulating the growth of flies. 10. Chemical sprays like (HotShot or RAID Insect killers) can help to eliminate flies quickly.


  1. Thanks for sharing these methods. Initially I had many flies in my backyard. I planted Basil there and it has become a no fly zone since then.
    Many thanks for your valuable and timely help.

    • Glen , can you please tell which basil helps keep away flies.

    • Nevada structure movers says:

      For a lot of flies in the house, wait until dark, with a red color light you can spot them on the ceiling and vacuum them. Hint: they can’t see the red light so you can suck them up before they have a chance to leave. :)

  2. Zadi, I must say you have put forward a great resource for the readers. This page is power packed with so much helpful information. I have bookmarked it.
    Few days back, we had a backyard party and we used the lemon and clove method to ward off the flies. The results were impressive, the method works like a charm.
    Thanks for all the great work!
    Btw, I +1 the page too, as token of respect for your hardwork.

  3. Kay Stark says:

    Can dead flies’ eggs still hatch?

  4. How do I get rid of the flies in my driveway? I have a carport in my driveway.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    Im so going to try some of these.. Thanks a lot. :)

  6. Jonathan says:

    Great article. To get rid of flies I open a bottle of nail polish. The smell makes them fly to the ceiling which makes them an easy target.

    • Thanks for the tip, Jonathan. :)

    • It’s funny I came across this tip because I was sure today that my nail polish was actually ATTRACTING the flies! I paint my nails outside on our porch- the husband cannot stand the smell- and the flies that were already pestering the heck out of me were seriously surrounding me and my freshly painted nails! I was thinking that the smell SHOULD keep them away, not attract them closer!

  7. Bella Vasart says:

    We’ve been dealing with a recent ‘home invasion’ and have resorted to a fly hunt before dinner each day. We knew that we could walk into a room and walk closely past a resting fly, on say a wall. Stop and look at it and have it seemingly ignore us. Then sneak out to get the fly swatter…and as we’d even approach the doorway back to the room with the swatter hidden behind our back, they’d take off. They are really fast the first days indoors…too fast to swat usually. So we’d try but give up with one or two of the really quick ones.

    Oddly, if I came back in with a rolled up catalog or newspaper…they wouldn’t fly away…and we could get them. Leading me to conclude that they can smell the ‘death’ scent on the swatter! Does that make sense? It seems to work reliably.

    Great job with the article and your website! An outstanding presentation!

    We’ve not been able to find a breeding ground…and I’ve researched further what visible signs might clue us in to a potential spot, with no success. But we think from past experience that some ivy growing on the exterior of our home was the possible culprit…so we are pulling it down and trying your borax method. Thank you for all the great information!

  8. Catreanna Cara Smith-Grant says:

    I Like this Article gives allot of ideas that I didn’t know about.. But I have my own mixer that I use to kill them plus other flying bugs and also nats, roaches and other bugs along with having spiders staying away from my place and it’s safer than the bug sprays that you get from the stores… I do it strong but another source said 1 cup of Dawn Dish washing liquid to a Gallon of water… I do a half and half and when they start appearing spray directly on them and it kills then on touch and them sweep or vacuum when dry….

  9. Andy Anderson says:

    Great site. I’m going to plant some basil, our small side yard here doesn’t get much sun. Then will buy some citronella torch/candles.

  10. Akshay Arsekar says:

    Take a orange (fruit) and hand full of cloves..then inject those cloves in the orange covering its circumference . and place it near a place where you find flys .

    • We used to make those to keep silverfish and moths out of closets, i didn’t know you could use it for flies. Thank you!

  11. I love the fly vacuum! Keep extra batteries so you do not have to run to the store in the middle of the fly battle! Thanks for the other info. I love the Dawn and water that made me remember that a friend used to buy Christmas tree flocking and spray it on ant and every bug.
    I forget to buy it.
    Thanks again. Pat.

  12. john & Eve says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed information. Our back yard and Lab has been taken over by these pesky house flies. And are driving us crazy. Adding dishwashing soap and water already started working.

    Thanks a ton.

  13. A flame thrower! If you don’t have one use dynamite! No more flies guaranteed! LOL!

    … I HATE flies!

  14. Great blog article. Well researched, written and lots of ideas. I just moved to a 100+ year old farmhouse located on a cattle feeding ranch. So you can imagine the source of the flies. I despise fly paper hanging from the ceiling, though it is very effective, and don’t use poisons because I have pets. And don’t want to add more hazards to the environment. Now you have given me many natural ways to ward off the flies. My house may smell like a mixture of citronella/orange/lemon/cloves/dish soap/basil/vodka, but hopefully, there will be a few less flies.


  15. Very informative, and handy and well put together info.
    Thank you very much. I will be trying these methods out.

  16. The water bag trick works 99%. We always eat outside at weekends, having “brunch” about eleven,
    we used to be inundated with them. Today i saw 1, we have a bag at each end of our verandah, about 6m apart. They have been there for 6 months now. And started working on day one!!

  17. Richard says:

    Great job with the info !!! Thank You !!

  18. LOUIS KOTZE ,,FRANCE says:

    Hi people,
    -Wine bottle Cork cut up,and soak em in a waterbowl.
    -Onions, pick cloves, in it!
    All of this seems to work. :)

    But Plastic bags with water + coins inside does not works for me.
    Even colored reflection decorations. Glued onto a newspaper surrounded by waterbags doesn’t help much. ( nightclub sphere style) :)

  19. I love the part using rubber band to kill flies. Some skilled people can kill flies in the air..
    Wooo that’s great I am going to try this.

  20. Here’s our solution-super icky, but it works! I’ve tried the bag + pheremones (expensive, smelly), fly paper, etc. But by far the 2 best lures I’ve found are cooked and eaten corn cobs, and dog poop.
    I bought Catchmaster brand window fly traps and lay them on top of either lure. We have 2 dogs and a compost pile and within 2 hrs, they’re full. I’d estimate it catches 4-500 flies per clear paper. It’s disgusting but affordable, no toxins and efficient.
    Grossest part is collecting the buzzing/vibrating paper!

    • Thank for sharing these tips Amelia. :)

    • Ewwww Amelia that does sound gross LOL

      Great ideas everyone. I have no clue where our source is although my yard has a lot of flowers. Clean neighbourhood, unless someone has bad garbage outside? Going to try all of the natural suggestions and the borax outside on the walls and patio. I have never seen bugs so bad than this year. Its nuts!

  21. Étienne says:

    Thank you for all the info! It’s very helpful.

    I would have like a column with the main food type for each flies in the fly species table, in order to put the right thing in the fly traps (commercial or homemade).


  22. My boyfriend said he read something online about how flies hate bees, and if you could use a brown paper bag and crumple it up to resemble a bee’s nest it is supposed to deter flies. Has anyone ever heard of this option? Thanks for all the other suggestions. Lots that I haven’t tried, so I’ll be trying these!

  23. Thank you so much. I did pest controll from 2005 – 2008. I forgot the details about the flies. I have my books but your info is great and reminded me of what I need to do for drain flies. Very informative and honest. Thanks again. Best Wishes

  24. Kevin Meetin says:

    I just tried the dish liquid and water method. The sprayer is a foam type. I shook up the solution, sprayed, it came out as a foam, and wouldn’t you know, took out well over half the fly population. The spray method works. But, us a former spray, not a mist of fine spray, it might not work properly. Coat the foam over all the flies and let them die in peace. Thanks to the author of the topic. Really worked.

  25. In our old house we had a problem with flies. There were hundreds of them in each window when I came home every day. Disgusting!
    But we got it under control by having an uncovered lightbulb (low energy or LED to save energy) turned on in the attic/side of the roof (the breeding ground under the hot tin roof) and a flypaper hanging a few inches above it. The light attracts the flies and then they get stuck on the glue of the flypaper.
    You just need to change the flypaper and sweep the floor every once in a while.

  26. Jonenegold says:

    I have a lot of flies that seem to come out from under the siding of my sunroom. They don’t look like the regular house fly. Their wings seem longer and closer to their body. How do I get rid of these pests..

  27. The fly hater says:

    If you turn on the air full blast the cold makes them fly slower and then you can kill them…
    Also a suspension of coconut oil and water in a spray bottle will make them slow down so that you can kill them.

  28. Here in Australia some days is very hard to walk on the street thanks to the flies. They fly into your face and around your head driving you crazy. A couple of days ago I started to use a cigarette lighter doing 2-3 short quick flashes in both sides of my head and it seems to scare them and for a while they leave me alone. :) so happy

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