Summer arrives, and with it comes warm weather. It’s the season for fun picnics and barbeques. Time to throw open the windows to let in some air. And that’s when they sneak in. Flies. Flies get everywhere, buzzing around the house as though it were their own. A can of fly spray is always an effective option. But do you really want to jump straight into spraying chemicals throughout your home that are just as toxic to kids and small pets as they are to bugs? Instead, try natural home remedies to get rid of those pesky flies.
Although a fly only has two eyes, each of them has between 3,000 and 6,000 lenses. This gives them a mosaic view of the world, allowing them to detect minute changes in light patterns. Using their eyes against them provides an effective fly repellent.
Take a plastic bag and fill it 2/3 full of water. Securely tie the top with a string and hang the bag outside your open windows and doors. As the sun hits the bag, light is reflected in all directions. Flies become confused and disoriented and will soon buzz off.
Did you know that flies have two noses? This allows them to smell out rotting meat and feces from miles away. But this great sense of smell means that some herbs are too aromatic for flies. Basil, mint, bay leaf, wormwood, and tansy are great natural repellents. Try growing some in pots on the window ledge to keep the flies at bay.
Citrus fruit is a natural ingredient found in many bug repellents. It’s also a cheap method of keeping the flies out of your house. Place the lemon peel on window sills and beside doors. This method will only work by using fresh lemons. Be sure to rub the skins regularly to release more of their natural oils. Not only will the flies stay away, but your home will also smell fresh too.
Just like humans, flies are partial to wine. And they are not fussy if it’s red or white. Flies love anything fermented which you can use to your advantage. Pour a small amount of wine in an empty jar. Add some dish detergent. This will act as a poison when the flies drink the wine. Place a funnel into the jar. If you do not have a funnel, roll a piece of paper into a cone shape, snip off the tip and place it into the top of the jar. The flies will fly in and be unable to get out.
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Other smells that are too much for a fly are essential oils. Oils made from lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus have been used for years as insect deterrents. Place in small bowls around the house or use an essential oil burner (or aromatherapy lamp). Alternatively, place 20 drops of oil into half a cup of hot water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and you have your very own chemical-free fly repellent.
Fly strips are available to buy in many stores. However, they are also quick and easy to make yourself. Cut some paper or card into strips and punch a hole in one end. Thread through a piece of string. Make up a mixture of golden syrup and sugar (you want an extra sweet treat for the flies). Paint the mix onto the strips and, once they are dry, hang them around your home. These sticky strips are irresistible to flies and will be covered with the infuriating insects in no time at all.
We have already seen how flies dislike citrus fruit. Fragrant cloves are also one of their pet hates. Combining the two makes a great fly repellent. Take an orange and stick a dozen cloves into the skin. You can also cut the fruit in half to increase the smell of citrus. Hang or place them around the house as a warning that flies should stay away.
Possibly the most natural way to get rid of flies is with carnivorous plants. The Venus Fly Trap, Sarracenia or Sundew will all do a reliable job of trapping, attacking and digesting flies. These plants may not be the most efficient killing machines. They only need a few flies every month to survive. But they are very pretty and it’s fascinating to watch a Venus Fly Trap at work.
If waiting for flies to be lured into a trap is taking too long, consider making up some homemade fly spray. Place 10 drops of dish detergent and two cups of warm water into an empty spray bottle. Replace the lid and give it a good shake. You have an effective fly spray free of harmful chemicals. Spray directly onto a fly, and it will perish instantly.
Although flies love wine, vodka is definitely not for them. They are put off by the smell. This means that you can use vodka to make a repellent to keep the flies away. Simply mix the following ingredients together:
Apply the mixture directly onto your skin or spray any fly-infested areas. If you have allergies to any of the ingredients, this is not the method for you. However, if you are happy covering yourself in vodka, there will be no flies around you!