We Have 20 Non-Toxic Ways to Get Rid of Houseflies! Say “Bye Bye” Flies!



Summer time is here! Unfortunately, this also means  flies are here as well. Even with screens on windows and doors, those little stinkers manage to find their way inside, don’t they? They are so annoying, and is there anything more disgusting than seeing flies walking around on your food?!

Even though houseflies don’t bite, they still spread diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and dysentery. Yuck. It doesn’t take much to support a housefly either. They can live happily off of a few crumbs on the floor, the trash can, the dog’s food bowl.

If you don’t want to use those electronic bug zappers inside the house (who can blame you?), and you definitely don’t want to poison the air with toxic chemicals, what other choices do you have?

We have 20 of the best non-toxic ways to deter, trap and kill those miserable houseflies in a jiffy, and keep your home more sanitary and less annoying.


1.  Lemongrass Spray

This remedy will not only keep the flies away, but it will also make your home smell really nice. Humans love the smell of lemongrass, but flies don’t. Mix about 12 drops of lemongrass essential oil with ¼ cup of hot water. Shake well, and spray along doorways, screens, and any other place flies like to hang out. You can also spray those flies directly when you find them.


2.  Camphor

This is one of the best fly deterrents around. Flies hate this stuff, and they will make a hasty retreat from it. Camphor also has powerful antibacterial and antiviral compounds that can keep your home healthier. Camphor has long been used in India to purify the environment, and keep insects at bay. Camphor is a dry, white, waxy substance from the wood of camphor trees. You can buy it almost everywhere in small tablet form. You then place the camphor tablets in areas where flies usually hang out. They work best when you warm them a bit, so you might want to put them in some wax or potpourri warmers, or hang them in small mesh bags where they will get some natural sunlight.


3.  UV Traps

Using a trap with ultraviolet light is a good way to catch flies. Flies are attracted to UV light and, depending on the kind of trap you buy, they are either killed by the heat from the light, or they are sucked into a holder, similar to a vacuum. This is a great option if you are sensitive to smells, or if you have small children.


4.  Make Your Own Flypaper

You can buy flypaper just about everywhere, but did you know that many are made with a poisonous substance that can also harm to animals and humans? However, it’s really not necessary to use poison. All you need to do is to trap the fly so that it can’t get off the paper. Make your own sticky flypaper with these natural ingredients:

Get some stiff paper (old paper grocery bags work well), and cut it into 2-inch strips. Punch a hole at the top and thread it with string or a paperclip for hanging. Mix ½ cup of plain corn syrup and ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl. Coat each side of your paper strip with this sugar mixture. Once it stops dripping, hang the strip where ever you see flies. The pests cannot help but be attracted to the sugary treat, and they’ll get stuck on the paper. Keep these out of reach of young children.

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spices cinnamon anise nutmeg rock sugar

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5. Fly Swatter

It’s a cheap, old fashioned method that is undeniably effective. It can be kind of gross squashing flies, but if it works, what can you say?


6. Cinnamon

Boil some cinnamon sticks in a pot on your stove, or put cinnamon essential oil in your wax or potpourri burners to discourage flies from hanging around. Flies hate the smell of cinnamon, but it will make your house smell like you have been cooking something delicious all day! Find out cinnamon benefits for your health.


7. Cloves

Cloves are another scent that flies hate but we love!  Here is a pretty way to deter flies, and make your house smell nice at the same time.

Cut a lemon in half and place each half on a plate, cut side down. Poke about 12 cloves into each lemon half.  Put a plate in every room of your house where the flies like to congregate. You might even want to think about putting a plate on a small table right outside the front door so flies don’t come inside the house when you do.


8. Basil

Basil is a natural insect repellent that is remarkably effective. You can put a few basil plants near your front door, plant some in your garden, or hang some fresh basil in areas where flies like to hang out to discourage them from staying.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

9.  Milk Trap

This works well for both houseflies and fruit flies and  method has been used in England for hundreds of years. Take ½ liter of milk, ¼ cup of sugar and four tablespoons of black pepper, and mix them together in a saucepan. Let this solution simmer for a while until everything is well mixed —  about 10 minutes. Pour small amounts into shallow bowls, and place them in every room of the house where you have flies or fruit flies. They are attracted to the sugar and pepper, fall into the milk and drown.


10.  Lavender Oil

Lavender is a natural insect repellent that has been used for hundreds of years. You can start by planting some lavender around your home to discourage flies from hanging around windows and doors. You can also make a spray to use around the home to discourage flies and mosquitoes from making your home their home. You can also try spraying your clothing to stop black flies, fleas, green flies and other insects from biting you.

Put ½ cup of lavender oil in a bowl. Dip a sponge or cloth in the oil and place it in a tin can with a lid. Put the lid on tight, and leave it on for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove the lid and place the can wherever you see flies most in your home. As the scent weakens, repeat.

You can also mix 20 drops of lavender oil with about ¼ cup of water and 2 drops of dishwashing soap into a spray bottle. Shake well and spray entryways. You can also spray your clothes to deter insects when you go outside.


11.  Plastic Bags

This is an effective as well as interesting way to keep flies away from doors and windows. Fill a clear plastic bag with water. Hang these bags around doors and windows to stop flies from coming inside. This works because of the way a fly’s eyes work. They don’t see a plastic bag with water —  they see something that looks like a spider web, which they will avoid. Also, if the sun should reflect on the bag, it creates some kind of wild illusion the fly simply cannot understand, so it heads the other way. If you have ever traveled to other countries, you might have seen fruit stands with plastic bags filled with water hanging from the stalls. This is to keep flies from landing on the produce.


12. White Wine

This is a great way to use up old white wine, and get rid of flies at the same time. Mix some white wine with a few drops of dishwashing soap. Put this mixture into small bowls in every room where you want to get rid of flies. Flies are attracted to this mixture, drink it, fall in and drown.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

13. Cayenne Pepper

This is a natural way to kill flies, not just repel them. Mix some cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray any fly you see. This kills them in a few seconds. Be careful not to spray the mixture in your eyes, and wash your hands well after using.


14. Cucumbers

If flies like your garbage can, cut a few slices of cucumber and put them on top of the trash. Flies don’t like cucumber and will go somewhere else. You will need to replace the cucumber slices every few days, but that’s a small price to pay to be free from flies!


15. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is another substance that flies seem to like, so you can trap them in it. Put a few inches of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add some surface tension so that flies don’t escape by putting a few drops of dishwashing soap on top. Flies come for the aroma, but they get caught in the soap and drown.


16.  Turn on the fans

This is perhaps the lazy person’s way to get rid of flies. All you have to do is turn on the fans in every room where you don’t want flies. Flies can’t stand up to the blowing air, so they stay outside where they belong.

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essential oils with lemon and mint

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17. Green Apple Soap

There is something about green apple-scented soap that flies cannot resist. Fill a jar with two tablespoons of green apple liquid soap, and then add two or three inches of water in the jar. Flies are attracted to the smell, but when they go for it, they fall in the water and drown.


18. Essential Oils

This is a sweet-smelling way to keep flies out of your home. There are some scents flies simply cannot stand, including eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon and lime. Mix any of these essential oils with water in a spray bottle, and spray entryways to convince flies to stay outdoors.


SEE ALSO: Best Plants for Repelling Ticks and Fleas Naturally


19. Mint

In addition to basil, flies hate the smell of mint. You can plant some mint around your house, put small pots of mint around inside or hang some fresh mint sprigs in places where flies like to enter to discourage them from spending the summer in your home.


20. Honey Trap

You know that old saying about catching flies with honey? It works.

Get a plastic one- or two-liter bottle, and cut it in half. The bottom half should be slightly larger than the top half. Fill the bottom of the bottle halfway with water. Add three or four drops of dishwashing soap.. Spread some honey on the top half of the bottle (where you would screw the lid on).. Now turn the top half upside down and put it inside the bottom half. The half with the honey should be upside down in the bottom half. Flies will go down the neck of the bottle to get to the honey. But — not being very smart — they can’t figure out how to get out, get tired, fall inside and drown..

By the way, many of these methods, especially the traps and fly paper, will work not only in your residence, but also around the barn, chicken coop or stable.

Be sure that all your window and door screens are tight-fitting and without tears to really deter flies.  Now you are ready to really enjoy the summer weather!