How to get rid of house flies

picture of a fly eating

Many homeowners notice flies in their homes during late spring, summer, and fall months. The pests get inside for a number of reasons, but most enter to feed on trash, ripe produce, or moisture. Residents who know what attracts flies will have better luck with prevention.

In order to determine what attracts flies to your home, it is important to identify the species of pest you are encountering. Common house flies are attracted to decaying organic filth such as feces and rotting meat, whereas fruit flies seek sugary substances and feed more commonly on overripe fruit, spilled soda, and alcohol. Drain flies require moist climates and organic materials and will be attracted to drains where they will lay their eggs.

What Brings Flies Indoors?

These pests are common in unkept areas. Conditions that attract flies in and around homes include:

  • Garbage cans left uncovered.
  • Animal carcasses in the walls, attics, or elsewhere.
  • Manure or pet feces around yards.
  • Fermenting fruit on countertops.
  • Spilled soda and open containers of alcohol.
  • Scum at the bottom and coating the inside of drains.

Outdoor picnics with meat and sweets also bring flies to an area. Leaving doors and windows open during these events can lead to indoor infestations. Some species of flies such as cluster flies are attracted to structures during certain times of the year as these flies seek out a comfortable place to overwinter inside the home.

How to Prevent Flies

After determining what attracts flies, homeowners can make modifications to keep the pests from returning. Removing indoor and outdoor trash, keeping garbage containers clean and covered, and cleaning up pet feces regularly can reduce fly numbers. Throwing out rotting food and sanitizing the garbage disposal often also help with control. Ensuring tightly sealed windows and keeping doors closed when not in use is valuable to help prevent fly entry inside the home. This is very important if prevention of overwintering flies such as cluster flies is needed.

Residents may need pest professionals to figure out what attracts flies in your home and how to get rid of them. Contact the team at Orkin for removal.

flies on dirty plate

Get Rid of Pesky Flies with This Easy DIY Trick.

You can make a fly trap with a mason jar, sugar, water, paper and tape:

fruit fly trap do it yourself

  1. Roll the paper to make a cone funnel that is sized to rest in the opening of your jar while reaching about halfway into the jar without falling in. Once sized for the jar, tape the paper cone together allowing for about a 1 centimeter gap at the apex of the cone. You can cut the paper with scissors to get the opening just right.
  2. Fill the jar less than halfway with 1 part water and 2 parts sugar. Adding a few pieces of fruit, raw meat, or wine can increase the allure of the trap, but will also increase its odor.
  3. Place the cone snugly into the jar without allowing it to touch the liquid and tape it into place.
  4. Find secure, sunny place to set the trap.
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Relax and let the flies find your trap.

When it comes to house flies, the most important thing to remember in getting rid of the flies, is to get rid of what they are attracted to. Once you do that, it’s, “Bye-bye fly!”


Do’s And Dont’s (34)

  • Clean up any spilled juice or any other opened food item from the kitchen. Do not leave any food item uncovered in the kitchen as it will immediately attract flies and other insects.
  • Keep the sinks and other areas with drains clean as these usually become the breeding points for flies. Some of these areas are bathtubs, wash basins, etc.
  • Always use garbage bags because the wet garbage can accumulate in the garbage cans and provide the perfect breeding condition to the flies. If any garbage or liquid leaks out of the trash bags into the cans; clean the cans with a strong soap to remove any residue.
  • If you use mops on a regular basis and leave them wet in the bucket, flies can also accumulate there and breed. This will give the flies a breeding ground right inside your bathroom.
  • Tables and other furniture with small legs and low ground clearance might have some spilled milk or juice. This may cause the manifestation of flies in your house. Cleans such areas regularly to avoid any such health risks.
  • The condensate trays of refrigerators and other freezing machines may also be a breeding place for flies. Clean these trays regularly to avoid flies buzzing around your house.
  • Cracks in bathroom tiles or any other place with tiles can accumulate bacterial film, which will give rise to house flies and other pests, such as roaches. Check for such cracks, clean them, and get them repaired.
  • Look for any dead animals like a rodent or any big insect, which may have attracted the flies. Clean up any such dead rodents and the area surrounding it with a strong cleaning soap.
  • If your windows don’t already have a net or a mesh, install it on all the windows. The less entry space for flies, the less your house is likely to get manifested with flies and other flying insects, such as June bugs.
  • Don’t let garbage accumulate anywhere in and around your house, not even in other areas near your house. Because this may help the flies to breed and multiply in numbers. Flies are always on the lookout for another place with food and that’s when they enter your house.
  • In your house, apart from garbage, you have to make sure that food items are covered at all times. Use an airtight lid or a mesh so fine that no flies, big or small, can penetrate through.
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House flies are a nuisance and the need to do away with them should be one of your top priorities if you want to protect yourself and your family from the diseases they bring in. The home remedies in this article have been collected from multiple researches. They are tested to work and kill/repel house flies effectively. The best way is to use some of the methods together to get the best results; as some of these will work better for one species and some of them for another. Apart from this, the only thing you should do, to keep your house free of pests like house flies and mosquitoes, is keep your surroundings clean and hygienic.

Also Read:

Why House Flies Are Dangerous

When you think of the most dangerous pests, the house fly probably isn’t one of the first that comes to mind. Instead, you probably think of a pest that stings, like a wasp or bee.

It is true that flies rarely bite or sting, but their danger lies in the fact that they often land on dead animals, rotten food, manure, and trash. Because they frequent those places, they pick up and spread diseases that are harmful to humans.

Here are a few of the diseases that house flies carry and a brief description of each:

Typhoid Fever

why-maryland-house-flies-are-dangerousYou get typhoid fever when you eat or drink Salmonella typhi bacteria in contaminated food. The symptoms are:

  • Fatigue and high fever (up to 104)
  • Stomach pains and loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Skin rash
  • Weight loss

Fortunately, typhoid fever is rare in the USA, with only 400 cases reported annually. Most cases occur when traveling internationally, but you should still take the disease seriously, as it can be deadly.


Cholera is an intestinal infection, and you get it when you ingest bacteria called Vibrio cholera. Here are the symptoms:

  • Severe gastrointestinal problems (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration and bluish-grayish skin

While it’s rare in the US (only 1 case was reported in 2015), you should still take care to avoid it because it can be fatal if left untreated.


At 200,000 cases in the US every year, dysentery is one of the more common diseases you might catch from the bacteria spread by a house fly. It’s an inflammation of the intestine that often causes:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Indigestion and nausea
  • Vomiting and flatulence

After learning about these diseases, house flies seem a lot more harmful, don’t they?

It gets worse – house flies can also carry and spread leprosy and anthrax. They even transmit the eggs of parasitic worms!

Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to keep house flies away so you and your loved ones can avoid catching any of the diseases transmitted by the tiny pests.

How Maryland Homeowners Can Get Rid of House Flies

Clean your yard

A yard full of animal waste, grass clippings, and other debris will keep you from getting rid of your house fly problem. So, take the time to:

  • Pick up dog feces – You can buy sealable bags to place the feces in. When you’ve done that, throw the bag away in a sealed container.
  • Cover all trash cans – Flies love to hang out around rotting food, so make sure all trash cans are sealed tightly.
  • Cut the lawn – Do this often because tall grass will attract flies to your home. When you’re done, be sure to remove the piles of grass clippings from your yard!
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Use scents that flies can’t stand

lavender-gets-rid-houseflies-marylandWe’ve talked about a few smells that attract flies, but there are also certain scents that repel them. Here are a few of those scents and some tips for using them to keep flies away:

  • Lavender – Place an essential oil burner full of lavender oil in the area where house flies are a problem. If you enjoy gardening and want a more permanent solution, grow a lavender plant in your yard.
  • Basil – Place basil plants near your doors and windows, or start a garden full of basil in your yard.
  • Citrus – Peel a fresh citrus plant and place the peels in the fly-infested area, or use citrus oil to keep flies away.

Place screens on doors and windows

After you do this, be sure you check your screens often to make sure they’re in good condition. All it takes is a tiny tear in a screen for a fly to enter your home and contaminate your food!

Use flypaper strips

You can purchase these strips or make them on your own. Once you have the strips ready, you’ll want to hang them up around your doorways and windows – any entryway a fly might use to get inside your home.

A word of warning:

If you use flypaper strips around your doorways, make sure you cut them short so the people who walk inside your home won’t end up with the strips caught in their hair!

Cover food and keep your kitchen clean

The last thing you want to do is leave your food out within easy reach of a house fly. So, make sure all of your food is covered, and if you have fresh produce, keep it in a bag or sealed container.

Also, avoid leaving dirty dishes in your sink. The scent of food leftovers could easily attract house flies (and other pests, like ants!).

If you want more suggestions on how to keep house flies away, or if you have a severe house fly problem and would like a team of professionals to eliminate it for you, call Brody Brothers Pest Control at 410-650-4266. We’ll get rid of those pesky house flies so you and your loved ones can stay healthy and happy at home.

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