Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

The Many Ways to Get Rid of Houseflies & How to Prevent an Infestation!

Adriana Aziz
June 20, 2023
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Whether you’re cooking, eating, or just sipping on a beverage while you watch TV, if you’ve got an unwanted guest in the form of a housefly, it won’t be long before it finds whatever it is that you have lying around. What’s even more annoying about houseflies is the fact that they fly away when you try to swat them, only to return two seconds later! This, on top of the buzzing sound their wings create, make houseflies a real nuisance to have around.

Hailing from a major order of insects known as Diptera, the common housefly is fairly easy to identify; they are grey yet appear black from a distance, and measure about ¼ inch in length. You will often see them hovering around garbage and animal faeces where they also lay their eggs due to it being a food source, as well as the warmth it provides them. With this in mind, you might be wondering if flies in your house are more than just an annoyance. 

Well, today, MaidForYou is sharing some important information about these little-winged creatures and, of course, effective remedies to get rid of houseflies altogether. Read on!

Are Houseflies Dangerous?

six large house flies on a white background

Many people assume houseflies to be harmless creatures when in reality, they are disease-carrying insects. Considering the fact that they feed on rotten organic matter, animal waste, and garbage, harmful germs are picked up by their bodies and mouths which are then transferred to our food, skin, and just about any surface that they land on. 

This type of contamination can lead to many different diseases including:

  • Typhoid fever
  • Cholera
  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Anthrax
  • Dysentery
  • Eye infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Food poisoning

For these reasons, among others, it is important to get rid of houseflies and take subsequent measures to prevent a housefly infestation. 

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Houseflies

large house flies on a white background

From DIY fly traps to homemade remedies, there are quite a few ways to rid your home of those pesky houseflies. Depending on the resources you have at your disposal, you can choose any of the following solutions. Of course, if that one fails, there’s always another simple method to try out! Let’s begin!

#1 Dish Detergent + Vinegar (Fly Trap)

Grab some apple cider vinegar, dish soap, sugar, and a bowl, and then follow the steps below:

  • In a shallow bowl, pour in some apple cider vinegar, ensuring that it only fills about 1 inch of the bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the bowl, and about a teaspoon of dish soap; give it a gentle mix.
  • Place the bowl in an open space in the room and watch how quickly houseflies start hovering around it before getting trapped in the mixture.
  • To make this fly trap foolproof, use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and poke a few holes in it, large enough for a housefly to enter.

#2 Essential Oils

You can use just about any essential oil to make a fly-repellent spray, however, the most recommended ones include lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, neem, and eucalyptus. All you need to do is combine 10 drops of your chosen natural oil with half a litre of water (in a spray bottle), shake it up well, and then spray surfaces and areas of your home. The smell will not only repel houseflies but give your home interiors a pleasant aroma! If needed, you can strengthen the solution by adding a few more drops of essential oil.

#3 Orange Peels

After you eat an orange, don’t throw away the peels. Instead, gather the bits, place them over a muslin cloth, and tie all four ends together. Hang this by the kitchen window or in an airy, ventilated space to keep houseflies at bay.

#4 Sugar Syrup in a Plastic Bottle (Fly Trap)

Take an empty, regular plastic cola/soda bottle, cut off the top (approximately 3 inches from the mouth of the bottle), and keep it aside. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 cup of water, and pour it into the bottle. Place the cut off bit in the bottle so that it sits in like a funnel. Houseflies will find their way inside the bottle but get trapped or drowned in the sweetened water. Keep the contraption in the middle of the room so that flies can find it quickly and easily.

#5 Ginger Powder

Another effective spray to repel houseflies can be made with water and ginger powder. Just a tablespoon in a cup of water will suffice but be sure to shake the spray bottle well before using it. This housefly repellent can be used in kitchens and on hard surfaces. What’s more, thanks to the ginger smell, it has the added benefit of warding off mosquitoes and other insects.

#6 Cloves + Apples

If you have an infestation of houseflies, cut an apple into half, and stick a few cloves into the fruit. Keep the apples around places that flies are most attracted to; this will help deter them from sticking around. 

Tips to Prevent Houseflies/Infestation of Houseflies

close up of large stainless steel clean rubbish bin with white inspired kitchen in the background

  • Seal off entry points by using screens on your doors and windows, and ensuring that there are no gaps or cracks along framework where flies can come in
  • Keep the garbage bin closed at all times, and take the trash out every day
  • Avoid leaving food/ingredients uncovered or out in the open for too long
  • Get rid of dead organic matter (inside or outside your house) before it starts rotting
  • Clean up spills and crumbs immediately
  • Clean and dispose of animal waste properly 
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or used glasses sitting on counters/tables
  • Maintain a clean living space that smells fresh and pleasant using a DIY fly-repellent spray

With these homemade remedies to get rid of houseflies, and the useful tips above to keep them at bay put to good use, you will never have to worry about a housefly infestation again! Bear in mind that some of these methods can be used in combination to double up on combating houseflies!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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