When the weather’s hot, just like people, flies prefer to go indoors. The doors, windows and screens you have don’t seem to deter them from buzzing in, feeding on your food, spreading germs and generally annoying you. These unhygienic nuisances can be killed off with toxic solutions but there are other ways to get rid of flies that ensure your home remains pest free and clean.
1. Make an anti-fly potpourri
Having potpourri gives a lovely scent to your home. If you mix the right ingredients, they can also keep the flies away. During the warmer months, you will need to regularly replace the mix to discourage the flies because the odor fades faster when it’s hot.
Mix together cloves, clover blossoms, eucalyptus and bay leaves in a bowl. You can also place them in a netting bag and hang them in locations where flies often buzz about. To help release new bursts of odor crush the leaves occasionally. Every few months refresh the bowl or net bag with new leaves, spices, and blossoms.
2. Install a fly zapping light
This is a high tech solution that many people find unobtrusive and effective at killing flies. A battery or electrical light with a purple light that attracts the flies and electrical wirings that zap the flies. The sound is quiet and the dead flies can be disposed of by detaching a removal tray that comes with the light. These are safe to keep on both during the day and night and can be kept around the house, including the kitchen.
3. Windex Spray
The father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was right: Windex solves any problem. For flies, spraying this solution leaves them immobile. The fly will usually fall to the ground, but not be killed. After you’ve disposed of the pest, you can use the same spray bottle to disinfect the area the fly had landed on.
4. Remove unknown attractants
Make sure your home doesn’t have any fly attracting zones. Make sure your compost buckets are covered so that no flies can swoop in and lay eggs. Maggots can prosper in your well intentioned scrap collection. Similarly, make sure your pets food bowls are not left open when your pet isn’t eating. Any uneaten wet food or even dry foods are appealing for flies. Always keep the bowl clean because even crumbs can attract hungry flies.
The next thing to do is make sure your kitchen has no hidden exposed food sources. Flies will linger around the kitchen, waiting if they sense a source of food, so cover any cakes, cookies or cut fruit. Regularly check the fruit and vegetables you don’t refrigerate for bruises or rot. Makes sure to scrape leftovers and crumbs into the garbage or disposal straightaway, and instruct all household members to do the same. One person can undo all your hard work by leaving a dirty plate or glass out.
Some plants have strong odors that flies really dislike. For people, these herbs and plants provide a fragrant scent to the home, so this solution doesn’t require you to have foul odored plants. Place plants such as mint or basil near the entrance to deter flies from coming into the home. It’s also a good idea to place these plants at the back entrances. You can also keep crushed mint in your kitchen to keep flies away when you’re cooking and preparing a meal.
Flies also dislike sprigs of lavender leaves, tansy, pennyroyal, and rue. If you don’t like herbs, tomato plants and castor oil are also known to repel flies. It’s more effective when these are crushed because the odors are more airborne. Dried sprigs of lads love kept in vases of water is also known to keep the flies away. Keeping a carnivorous insect eating plant is another natural plant solution. An example is the Venus fly trap, named for its famed ability to gulp flies via its closing leaves.
6. Darkness for a succinct exit
Before you get busy making homemade traps or invest in deterrents, try shooing all the flies out in one foul swoop. Shut all the windows, drapes, blinds and curtains to darken the home. If there are rooms without any fly populations, shut the doors to those areas. Now you need to choose one exit for the flies to exit through. Open a door or window and make sure it shines light into the room. The flies will be attracted to the light and encouraged to exit.
7. Vinegar trap
If the darkness doesn’t drive the flies out, try making a vinegar fly trap. It’s nontoxic, cheap and only takes a few steps to make. All you need is a clean jar. Fill it halfway with apple cider vinegar. Punch holes in the lid big enough for flies to fly through. Fasten the lid on the jar and place your trap where you see several flies buzzing about. The flies will crawl in but won’t be able to get out. The vinegar will kill them off. remember to clean the jar and replace the vinegar regularly.
8. Rope catcher
Another effective and easy-to-make fly trap to make at home is a rope catcher. You will need to buy a piece of resin, sunflower oil, rope and mastic essential oil, which is the gum from a Mediterranean tree. The rope needs to measure about 20 inches (50cm) long.
Next you will need to boil the resin. Place it in a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover the resin, and bring to a boil. Add the resin and boil it until it has melted. Remove it and let it cool. Next you will need to add some sunflower oil, roughly half the quantity used as the melted resin mixture. Add several drops of mastic oil to the mixture. Dip the rope in the mixture, letting it soak for an hour, or until the rope is saturated. Hang the rope from the ceiling or doorway. The flies will get stuck to the rope and can be scraped off. As soon as the rope looks unpleasing you can dispose of it and replace it with another.