5 ways to get rid of house flies

House fly. Image: supplied
House fly. Image: supplied

Flies are a common unwanted house guest: Not merely annoying to deal with, but also capable of spreading diseases and infections, making them less than desirable company. Flies in the home can be frustrating, especially in the kitchen where you want everything particularly clean, hygienic, and neat. These pests often lay eggs on meat and other food items and hover over kitchen surfaces.

Cleanipedia, South Africa’s first online hub for easy cleaning and organising tips, suggests the following five tips to get rid of house flies.

1. Prevent them from coming into your home 

The best way to prevent flies from being drawn into the house is to keep your home and kitchen clean. Make sure surfaces and countertops are clean. Products like Handy Andy are great for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. Wash dishes immediately after you use them and don’t leave food out on the countertop for long periods of time, always clean the kitchen thoroughly after preparing food. 

Bin flies can be especially persistent and very annoying – food waste is a feast for them so make sure to left-over food waste and prevent it from piling up causing a smell. Remove all rubbish promptly and remember to wash your bin regularly with a good quality disinfectant bleach.


2. Use vinegar

Flies are repelled by vinegar, and the smell of boiling vinegar is an especially effective deterrent. Pour some malt vinegar in a pot or pan, let it boil, and soon the flies will desperately try to escape. Make sure to keep a close eye on the pot as you don’t want the vinegar to burn and be careful not to spill or be splash it on yourself.


3. Use fly traps 

You can make your own homemade fly trap with a jar, some sugary water, and a paper cone. The sugar attracts the flies, and the jar and cone make it impossible for the flies to escape once they are trapped. You can also purchase flypapers coated with a fragrance that attracts flies. The flies will then get caught in the sticky paper, allowing you to remove them easily.


4. Use plants 

Flies dislike certain plants. Mint, for example, is a fly-repelling herb, and also very handy to have around the house to cook with. A pot of mint may be worth purchasing if you struggle with flies, place it next to a door or window or on the kitchen worktop you tend to use when cutting up vegetables and handling meat.


5. How to deal with an infestation of flies

Unfortunately, sometimes we may have to deal with major fly infestations. If you are facing an infestation, the first thing you need to do is clean your house thoroughly with a disinfectant like bleach (such as Domestos). Vacuum and wash all surfaces with a disinfectant spray or wipes to get rid of any fly eggs, and make sure to clean behind furniture and everywhere that might not be easily accessible at first – that’s where flies like to hide.


Remember when following any of the tips in this article that it’s important to always read the instructions on the label of any cleaning product first and to wear gloves and ensure that the area is well ventilated. Test all solutions on a small area of your surface to ensure that they are appropriate and safe to use. With any luck and a little elbow grease, these tips should give you a fly-free home!

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