Flies are a Nuisance
Flies are a fact of life in the spring and summer for many people, but they don’t have to be! There are over 100,000 known species of flies in the world, some dangerous, some disgusting, and some just plain obnoxious. Whether you’ve got houseflies, fruit flies, horse flies or tsetse flies, getting rid of them takes commitment. House flies are one of the most common species of nuisance flies in the U.S. They’re usually black or gray, measure less than 1/2″ long, and emit a noticeable buzzing sound as they move. Even though they live an average of one month at a time, house flies are major carriers of disease and can contribute to health issues for kids, pets, and adults. The question is, how do you get rid of flies? They’re nothing if not persistent. Here are a few remedies to try when you find yourself face-to-face with a fly infestation.
Clean Your Whole House
First and foremost, start in the kitchen. Flies are attracted to food and food remnants so it’s imperative to keep it clean at all times. That means mopping up spills, keeping crumbs and sticky messes at bay, and covering food like cake and cookies while out. Fruit is a big attraction for fruit flies and houseflies alike, so keep it in the refrigerator until the problem subsides.
Cover Up the Food Sources
Along that same line, remember that food’s not the only thing flies will eat. You may want to invest in covered-top diaper and/or trash cans and be sure to keep all compost cans far away from entries to the house. Many people don’t realize pet food smells great to indiscriminate flies; keep Fido’s food in an air-tight container at all times.
Use Some Vinegar
Depending on the type of fly problem you have, vinegar may be a holistic solution. Buy some malt vinegar and fill a large pot. Boil until it’s almost gone – the smell will be offensive but flies hate it too! If you leave the door open while boiling the vinegar you may drive out any lingering pests. Likewise, fruit flies love vinegar. Place 1/2 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar in a glass and cover the lid with plastic wrap. Poke several medium-sized holes in the plastic and wait until fruit flies drown in the cup, attracted to the smell.
Try Some Fly Strips
Many home improvement stores sell fly strips which work relatively well for certain large fly species. The catch is, they’re unsightly and can take a while to work. If you don’t like the idea of buying a fly strip you may want to try making your own by painting honey along strips of cardboard or thin paper. They won’t be as foolproof but they’re free!
Deter Flies From Entering
Of course, you’ll want to keep screens on all doors and windows while they’re open which should prevent most flies from getting in. If you still have a problem, consider putting some potted mint or eucalyptus near the door as these scents are a deterrent to most fly species. You can also use these same scents to make small potpourri bags you can place throughout your home.
Call an Exterminator
If all else fails, call in the professionals. One or two flies may not seem like a big deal but many homeowners don’t realize flies lay eggs quickly. If a fly has laid eggs in your home you can count on many more to come, diseases and all. Exterminators are trained to find these egg lairs and eliminate them from the get-go, stopping your fly problem where it starts. Flies are unwelcome, for sure, but they don’t have to ruin your year. Staying on top of your home’s risk factors for fly problems can help you avoid many of the most common fly species. If you’re unsure how to fully eradicate flies in your home, call for help immediately.