Flies are a common occurrence in most homes, no matter where you live. However, if you’ve started to notice that there are more and more flies in your house, you may have an infestation. When this happens, you’ll need to take some steps to get rid of them and get your home back to normal.

As an expert in pest control, I’ve dealt with countless fly infestations over the years, and I know the best ways to remove and prevent them from getting into your home. The most effective methods to remove flies include using vinegar traps, flypaper, and even Venus flytraps. In this guide, I go into detail on how to keep flies away from your home, so keep reading to learn how.

Why and How Flies Enter Your Home

Flies end up infesting a house for many different reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Poor sanitation
  • Animal feces
  • Food waste
  • Cracks or crevices in windows
  • Excessive warmth
  • Ripped screens

If you can reduce, fix, or eliminate these entry points and items that attract flies, you can prevent them from getting into your home. Read on to learn how to remove and prevent flies.

How to Get Rid of Flies

Here are the top methods to remove flies from the inside of your home.

1. Use a Vinegar and Soap Trap

Flies are attracted to the fermented smell of apple cider vinegar, and you can use this to your advantage when trying to trap them using home remedies. To make a vinegar and soap trap:

  1. Pour a cup of vinegar into a shallow, wide-mouth bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap and water from the tap until bubbles start to form.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke holes in the top.
  4. Leave the bowl out in your problem area for several hours.
  5. Pesky flies will be attracted to the vinegar but will not crawl out of the bubbles.

2. Put Up Flypaper

Flypaper is a long ribbon that hangs from your ceiling and is coated with a sticky bait. Hang the flypaper in areas of your home where you are experiencing the most fly activity. Flypaper is only recommended for indoor use. If it’s used outdoors, birds can get tangled in it, and you may not be able to free them.

3. Get Venus Fly Traps

Venus fly traps are a unique and effective way to remove flies from your home. They’re carnivorous plants that eat flies and can add a lot of charm and style to your houseplants.

You should never force-feed your Venus fly traps or try to open their leaves when they’re eating a fly, which may take a few days. Because of this, you may want to get more than one so they can keep catching flies while others are digesting.

4. Use a Light Trap

Light traps use the same principle as flypaper, except they feature lights that flies are attracted to. They’re more sanitary than flypaper since the sticky element is mounted inside a flat box.

Unlike a bug zapper, which is only for outdoor use, it can be used in all the rooms of your house, so you can get the best coverage possible to get rid of your fly infestation. Looking for another electric alternative for killing flies? Read about our top choices for electric fly swatters.

5. Build a DIY Fly Trap

You can build your DIY fly trap using a 2-liter soda bottle and some sugar water. Simply cut the bottle in half and place a cup of water and sugar in the bottom half. Then, place the top half upside down in the bottom portion and tape them together.

Place the trap in your problem area and leave it until it fills up. Flies will be able to get in, but they won’t be able to crawl back out. Replace the trap once it fills up with dead flies.

6. Get Frogs

Introducing frogs to your yard is an eco-friendly way to control adult fly populations. Frogs are natural predators of flies and can help keep their numbers in check.

Place a small pond or water feature in your garden to attract frogs. Be sure to create hiding spots with rocks or plants around the water source. Remember that frogs require a pesticide-free environment, so avoid using chemicals in your yard if you choose this method.

7. Pick Up Dog Poop Right Away

Dog feces are a prime breeding ground for flies. To prevent fly infestations, always clean up after your dog immediately. Use biodegradable bags to collect the waste, seal the bag, and then dispose of it in a sealed trash can.

How to Prevent Flies

After you remove flies from your home, use these methods to prevent them from coming back:

1. Use Essential Oils

Many essential oils act as a bug repellent to flies and other insects. These include lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint, which the plants in the wild release to act as a natural insect repellent. Sprinkle a few drops of these essential oils around your home as a natural insecticide to help ward off flies before they have a chance to get inside.

2. Seal Up Windows

Flies will get into your home any way they possibly can. Usually, this will be through gaps and cracks near or on your windows. If your window screens have any holes in them, it might be worth it to get them replaced. You can also use mesh cloth to patch any holes and increase your fly control.

3. Cover Garbage

Flies thrive in the first places they find where there’s a lot of garbage or food scraps to eat and lay eggs on. If you have uncovered garbage in your home, you’re much more likely to have a fly infestation. Keep trash covered and double bag it when you take it out to your larger cans.

4. Turn Down Your Heat

Warm areas are a perfect environment for fly eggs to hatch and grow to adulthood. If your home is kept exceptionally warm, flies will be much more attracted to it. This is especially true in the winter months when they’re seeking shelter from the cold temperatures outside.

5. Clean Garbage Cans

Spray down your garbage cans using soap and water every time they’re emptied. The smell of rotting and fermenting food will attract flies, even if you can’t smell it yourself. Keeping your cans free of debris and residue will help keep flies away.

6. Light Citronella Candles

Citronella is one of the best natural fly repellents available on the market. This natural plant extract can be made into wax candles, which work incredibly well to repel flies, mosquitoes, and all kinds of other pests.

7. Clean Up Spills Promptly

If you spill any type of food or drink, especially something sugary like soda, you must clean it up quickly and thoroughly. Flies will be able to find the microscopic bits of food, even if you can’t see them. Leaving a spill for too long will make it harder to clean up and draw flies to the area.

8. Throw Out Overripe Produce

Overripe or rotten produce is a magnet for flies, and not only do they eat it, but they also lay eggs in the peels, which perpetuates the issue even more. As soon as you notice produce getting overripe, either use it immediately or throw it away in a covered trash can or compost bin.

Differences Between House Flies and Fruit Flies

While both house flies and fruit flies can be nuisances, they have distinct characteristics and behaviors. House flies are larger with gray bodies and four dark stripes on their thorax. They’re attracted to all types of organic matter and fly much faster than fruit flies.

Fruit flies are smaller, about 3mm long, with tan or brownish bodies and red eyes. As their name suggests, they’re primarily drawn to ripe or fermenting fruits and vegetables. Fruit flies fly much slower and don’t make a noticeable buzzing sound.

House flies can spread more diseases, while fruit flies are generally less harmful but can multiply quickly if not addressed.

Closing Thoughts

You can effectively eliminate flies and prevent them from coming back with simple DIY solutions like vinegar traps and more comprehensive strategies like sealing entry points, removing standing water, and maintaining cleanliness to keep flies outside.

Remember, consistency is key — combine multiple methods and maintain good sanitation practices to keep your home fly-free. If you’re still struggling with persistent fly issues, don’t hesitate to consult a professional pest control service or exterminator for additional support.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of flies in my house fast?

Use a combination of fly traps (like vinegar or light traps) and make sure all food sources are cleaned up or sealed away.

What smell do flies hate the most?

Flies don’t like strong scents like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.

How long does it take to get rid of a fly infestation?

It depends, but with consistent efforts, you can significant reduction in fly populations within 1–2 weeks.

Editorial Contributors
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Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management.

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Jonathon Jachura


Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.

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