Fighting Housefly Menace Using Home Remedies

fighting housefly

There are 1.2 million species of flies in the world and common housefly is one of them. They are commonly perceived as irritating buzzing flies and they are also the carriers of disease causing bacteria.


A single housefly can carry about a million bacteria on their tiny body hair called tarsi. Houseflies get these bacteria from all the contaminated places where they go and sit such as fecal matter, garbage disposal sites, rotten foods etc. They don’t need to bite you to transmit these bacteria to your body. They will just sit on the open foods that lie on your kitchen slab or on the dining table and leave the bacteria in these foods. When you eat that food, your body gets all the nasty bacteria to make you ill with diseases like dysentery, typhoid, diarrhea, and cholera.


You need to keep your house clean and foods covered to keep yourself and your family safe against these diseases. Decaying organic filth like feces and rotting foods, meat etc. are what attract houseflies. Therefore, keeping your house, drains, etc., clean and dry as well as proper storing and keeping your foods under a lid are a per-requisite to get rid of flies.

Home Remedies

Flypaper Strips

Materials: Corn syrup- ½ cup, sugar- ¼ cup, brown paper or thin cards, scissors, and thread.

Cut 2-inch wide strips from the paper or card. Punch a hoe or two at the top of each strip and thread it to make a loop to hang at the places where flies come. Mix the corn syrup and sugar. Coat one side of each strip with the corn-sugar syrup. If the syrup drips, place a bowl underneath the hanging paper. Now hang these strips where you see the flies most. They will get attracted to the sugary syrup and when they land on these strips, they will get stuck to it.


Cloves are pleasantly aromatic for us but are not liked by flies. Cloves are particularly effective in repelling houseflies when used with lemon.

Materials: Lemon- 2, cloves- 25-50.

Cut the lemons into halves. Now poke 6-12 cloves into each of the lemon half. Poke with the pointed part of the clove so that the bud remains upwards. Arrange these cloves poked lemon halves onto a plate. It makes an aromatic and beautiful looking centerpiece for your table, especially when you have meals with friends outdoor like in a barbecue party or a picnic. You may also wrap some cloves in a cheese cloth or a muslin bag to hang them in flies infected areas.


fly spray

Lemongrass Spray

This one keeps flies away from your house and also keeps your home refreshingly aromatic. Flies don’t like the smell of lemongrass just like lavender and many other plants and oils. So, you can use this essential oil got from lemongrass to make your flies spray that also works as room freshener.

Materials: Lemongrass essential oil- 10-12 drops, hot water- 4 tablespoons (about ¼ cup), and spray bottle.

Pour 10-12 drops of lemongrass essential oil into your spray bottle. Now pour hot water over this oil. Shake well to mix both the ingredients. Now spray this all along your doorways and windows or any other space from where flies enter your house. You can also spray it directly on the flies whenever or wherever you spot them, just keep the bottle handy so that you can find and use it easily.

Plastic Water Bags

This is an interesting way to get rid of flies. You just need to have a clear plastic bag filled with water. When you hang this bag at your outdoor entrances, flies will not be able to enter your house. There are at least two reasons explained for this remedy which seems to be beyond logic. One is that the flies are not able to see the water bag as a water bag. Due to their structure of eyes, clear water-filled bags are seen as something resembling a spider’s web by the flies. As such, they don’t come near such thing. The other reason states that the reflection of water is enough to disorient the flies and to create some unexplainable illusion to them.

fly repeller plastic bags

Materials: One transparent plastic bag (gallon size) and water.

Fill the plastic bag with water. Keep it halfway full with water. Tie a knot at the mouth of the bag to secure it properly. You may also use a thread or a rubber band for the purpose. Now just hang this water filled plastic bags near your entryways, garage doors or any other such outdoor entrances.

Honey Trap

Here as you would have guessed you use honey to trap the flies. While the sweet fragrance of honey will attract the flies, the sticky nature of honey will not let the flies escape. In fact, you can even use any fruit jam for the purpose. The smell of fruits anyways will bring the flies near your trap and they will get stuck once they enter it.

Materials: Soda can or a plastic bottle- 1, honey 1-2 teaspoons, water, and dish soap liquid.

To make the trap, cut the soda can or the bottle in two halves. The bottom half will be bigger than the top half. Now fill the bottom half with water. Fill it halfway. Put a few drops of dish soap in the water. Now take the top half of the soda can or the bottle (without cap) and place it in an inverted position over the water filled portion of the can or bottle. The mouth of the can or bottle with hole will be into the water filled bottom. Now smear honey or fruit jam near and all around the mouth of the can or bottle which is inside the bottom part. Place the honey trap close to flies infested area.


Camphor is somewhat like a dry waxy, white substance derived from the wood of the Camphor Laurel tree. It has a strong smell that deters flies and other insects.

Take 2 camphor tablets and place it on a warm surface. You may use your mosquito repellent device or use a heat diffuser or you may simply heat up a metal plate and place the camphor tablets on it. The flies will go away due to the smell given out by camphor. Precaution: Pregnant women should not use camphor as a fly repellent.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus is an effective fly repellent. This oil is safe for use by humans too. It has to be diluted with water or other oils such as grapeseed oil before you can use it on your skin. You may also make a fly strip using eucalyptus oil to keep the flies away from your house.

Materials: Eucalyptus oil and ribbons or cloth strips.

Pour several drops of eucalyptus oil onto the ribbons or cloth strips. Place these cloth strips on window sills or hang them near windows and doors. Precaution: Avoid using eucalyptus oil if you are a pregnant woman or you suffer from such conditions as high blood pressure or epilepsy.

Preventive Measures

  • Clean the kitchen thoroughly. Remove all sources of food or prevent access to food that has to be left out. Flies will hang around the kitchen if there is a food source, so put away or thoroughly cover cakes, cookies, cut fruit, any food no longer being immediately used to prepare dishes, etc.
  • Wash dishes immediately after use.
  • Scrape crumbs and leftovers into the bin or in-sink disposal after eating.
  • Teach children to wash up and clean up after using the kitchen for food preparation or eating. All your hard work can be undone by one person failing to attend to the need to keep the kitchen clean. 
  • Keep compost buckets covered. All scraps meant for adding to your compost heap or bin must be kept covered when in the kitchen. This is a main attractant of flies and can result in homegrown maggots if flies have access to it.
  • Keep pet food covered or remove uneaten pet food.
  • Keep your bins and disposal pails fresh with regular cleaning and disinfecting. 
  • Use fly curtains. These are the colorful strips of plastic often seen on take-out stores in areas where flies are rampant.
  • Keep plants that flies dislike at the entrance doors. Some herbs and plants repel flies just by the mere fact of growing near a door. Mint is one such plant – place it in large pots next to the front and back doors to act as a possible deterrent barrier. Growing basil plant can also be used.


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