Natural Ways to Keep Flies Out of the House

If you love to keep the doors open on a summers day but cannot keep the flies at bay. Here are some natural solutions to keep flies out of your house so that you’re still able to enjoy that summer breeze.

1. Create your Own Natural Fly Spray

photo of a water spray bottle next to a houseplant.

Commercial fly sprays work wonders at getting rid of flies from the house, However, aspirating insecticides from the air is not good for you! Inhaling these products can cause irritation and side effects.

Instead, try making your own DIY fly repellent and as an extra reward, your house will smell amazing.

Many homemade fly sprays contain vinegar. However, certain types of vinegar can have the opposite effect and actually attract flies, so for this one, we will leave it out and make our homemade fly repellent without vinegar.

What you need for homemade fly repellent

  • A spray bottle
  • 2 tbsp Baking Soda / Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Mint Essential Oil
  • 500ml Water

How to Make a Natural Fly Spray

Simply add the baking soda, lemon juice and essential oils to the water and fill your spray bottle. Spray your fly repellent in problem places to deter the flies.

2. Invest in Some Carnivorous Plants

photo of a venus fly trap plant with a fly caught.

Buy some carnivorous plants and let them do the work for you. There are many different varieties of carnivorous plants for sale, but beware that some of them stink! They work by attracting flies with a smell that replicates rotting meat, so do your research and don’t replace your fly problem with an odour problem.

Here are some carnivorous plants that make good houseplants:

  • Venus Fly Trap
  • Trumpet Pitchers
  • Cape Sundew
  • Monkey Cups

3. Create a Homemade Fly Trap with Fruit

A DIY fly trap is easy to make and if you’d rather not kill the flies, this one enables you to release them back outside.

What you need for a homemade fly trap

  • A mason jar
  • A piece of strong paper or plastic wrap / clingfilm
  • An over ripe or rotting piece of fruit (not citrus)

How to make a DIY fly trap that doesn’t kill flies

The idea of the fly trap is that the flies can enter but cannot get out. You can make your flytrap in one of two ways.

Take the mason jar, remove the lid and place the fruit inside it. Take the piece of paper, create a cone with it and put it in the top. The hole should be big enough to allow flies to enter, but don’t make it so big that they can easily escape.

Alternatively, cover the jar with the plastic wrap or cling film and perforate it with holes. Again, don’t make the holes too big, as this will allow the flies to escape too easily.

When you want to release the flies, take your jar outside, away from the house and remove the cover.

4. Hang Herbs in Doorways

picture of various herbs, tied in bunches and hung upside down.

If you like growing your own fresh herbs, you’ll be pleased to know that some of the aromas emitted from the plants will deter flies naturally.

Hang bunches of herbs in doorways or above open windows and you have an effective, natural fly deterrent that smells beautiful too.

5. Keep Everything Clean and Don’t Attract Them

One of the most effective ways to repel flies is to not attract them in the first place.

  • Keep food covered, don’t leave it out on the side for too long and clear up any food and drink spills as soon as they occur.
  • Cover bins with tight fitting lids or place them inside a cupboard.
  • Keep outside bins away from the house.
  • Clear up any pet messes and keep litter trays clean if you have cats.
  • Do not keep a compost pile close to the house. Have your compost as far away from the house as possible. This includes alternative composting solutions like wormerys.
  • Do not keep a water butt close to the doors, or keep it well covered. The sitting water is another way to attract flies.

6. Use Citronella Candles

three citronella candles burning outside

Citronella candles are a natural way to keep flies away outside the house. You can light them close to the door outside to deter the flies from entering. Citronella candles are also an effective way to keep flies away from food when you eat outside.

7. Plants That Repel Flies

There are many plants that deter flies. Try planting some of these close to the house.

  • Lavender
  • Marigolds
  • Basil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rosemary
  • Mint

You can also use some of these as indoor plants that repel flies, if you grow them on a sunny windowsill. What’s more, you can use for them for cooking too! Recipes like homemade basil pesto or Rosemary Roast Potatoes will make great use of these plants.

8. Use A Fan

The air created by a ceiling fan make it hard for flies and other flying insects to maintain their flight. A stand alone fan will also have the same effect.

You also have the added benefit of a nice cool breeze to keep you cool in the summer months too.

You can also buy table top fans that create an updraft to keep flies off of your food. These are great for the times when you want to eat outside.

9. Leave the Spiders Alone

photo of a spider in the middle of a web.

Many people are quick to remove spiders and their webs the moment they spot them. However, spiders will help you in the long term if you can stand to have a few cobwebs in some corners of the house.

Leave the spiders alone and let them do their work on any flies that come inside.

10. Use a Fly Screen

Fly screens and curtains can be a decorative way to keep the flies out while still allowing you to keep the door open. They come in many varieties and colours, so you can choose one to suit your decor and make a feature from it.


Does citronella repel flies?

Yes it does, however it will only cover a small area. Citronella, with it’s strong smell, works by masking other odours that are attractive to flies, such as the smells from picnics and barbeques. The aroma of citronella is unattractive to flies and therefore they will stay away.

What plants keep flies away?

There are many different plants that will deter flies. These include lavender, basil, mint and lemon balm. You can also make use of different varieties of carnivorous plants too.

What essential oils get rid of flies?

Lavender, lemon balm, rosemary, mint, lemongrass, cedarwood and sweet orange are the best essential oils to deter flies.

How can I get rid of flies outside naturally?

Citronella candles and plants that deter flies like lavender, rosemary and marigolds will help you to keep the flies away outside. Be sure to cover any food if you are eating outside and keep outside bins and water butts properly covered.

Do you have any natural ways to keep the flies out of the house in summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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