5 All-Natural Ways to Keep Flies Away From Your Home

Flies can be a nuisance when they invade your home. Not only are they annoying, but they can also spread bacteria and disease. Fortunately, there are several effective, all-natural methods to keep flies at bay without using harsh chemicals.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are a safe and easy way to repel flies. Many essential oils have strong scents that flies find unappealing. Some of the best options include:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a strong, refreshing aroma that flies dislike.

How to use:

  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Mist around doorways, windows, and other fly entry points.
  • Place a couple of drops on cotton balls. Leave the cotton balls in bowls around your home.
  • Mix 5-10 drops into a diffuser and allow the scent to permeate the air.

Eucalyptus Oil

The clean, medicinal scent of eucalyptus oil can deter flies.

How to use:

  • Mix 20 drops of eucalyptus oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray around windows, doors, and anywhere flies are present.
  • Add several drops to cotton balls and place around your home.
  • Add 5 drops to a diffuser and let the scent spread.

Lavender Oil

Lavender has a fresh, floral aroma that flies don’t like.

How to use:

  • Make a spray by combining 20 drops lavender oil with 2 cups water. Spray around entry points and other fly-infested areas.
  • Rub a drop or two directly onto window and door screens.
  • Place a few drops on cotton balls and set them around your home.

Lemongrass Oil

The bright, lemony scent of lemongrass oil helps deter flies.

How to use:

  • Add 20 drops lemongrass oil to 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Mist around doors, windows, patios, and other areas flies are present.
  • Put 5 drops in a diffuser to scent the air.
  • Rub a couple drops directly onto screens where flies are landing.

Use Herbs and Plants

Certain herbs and plants contain aromas that naturally repel flies. Growing these plants around your home helps ward off flies without using chemicals. Some of the best options include:


The scent of basil drives away flies. Plant basil in an outdoor garden or in pots around doorways and patios. You can also rub crushed basil leaves onto screens and around other fly entry points.

Bay Leaves

The strong, bitter aroma of bay leaves deters flies. Scatter dried bay leaves around your home. You can also boil bay leaves in water to create an aromatic repellent spray.


In addition to lavender oil, the living lavender plant helps keep flies at bay. Plant lavender in your garden, in outdoor pots, or place cut bundles near doors and windows.


Grow mint in an outdoor garden or indoor pots. The scent repels flies while attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Rubbing crushed mint leaves onto screens also helps deter flies.


Rosemary’s pine-like fragrance drives away flies. Place rosemary plants outside entryways. You can also make a strong repellent spray by boiling rosemary in water.


The pungent scent of marigolds keeps flies away. Plant marigolds in an outdoor garden or in pots near fly-infested areas.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar Traps

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) traps lure flies in with the sweet, fruity scent. Once flies land on the surface, they become trapped in the acidic vinegar.

How to make ACV traps:

  • Pour ACV into a shallow bowl or glass. Add a few drops of dish soap (to break the vinegar’s surface tension so flies sink).
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; punch small holes in the plastic with a toothpick. The holes allow the scent to escape while preventing flies from escaping.
  • Place several traps around your home, checking and replacing the vinegar regularly.

Install Fly Paper

Sticky fly paper traps flies with adhesive sheets. The papers contain sweet bait to attract flies, who then become stuck to the paper. Hang fly paper strips near fly problem areas around your home. Replace them regularly when covered in flies.

Use Predatory Insects

Releasing predatory insects that feed on flies is an all-natural way to cut down your fly population. Some options include:

Green Lacewings

Green lacewing larvae hunt soft-bodied insects like fly eggs and larvae. Releasing them in your yard helps reduce flies at the source.


Ladybugs feed on fly eggs, keeping them from hatching into fully grown flies. Let ladybugs loose around your home. They also help control other garden pests.

Fly Parasites

Tiny parasitic wasps lay eggs inside fly pupae, killing them before they reach adulthood. You can buy commercial fly parasite kits to release around your home.


Dragonfly nymphs and adults both hunt flies. Attract dragonflies by placing a shallow water garden or fountain nearby.

Maintain Good Sanitation and Removal Practices

Flies breed quickly in unsanitary conditions. Stop flies at the source by practicing good sanitation.

  • Clean pet food bowls regularly.
  • Take out trash daily.
  • Keep countertops and floors spotless.
  • Fix leaky pipes and drains where moisture collects.
  • Install window and door screens to keep flies outside.
  • Use a fly swatter or sticky tape to get rid of flies that make it inside.

Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Fly Control

What home remedies keep flies away?

Some of the most effective natural home remedies to repel flies include:

  • Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass
  • Herbs and plants like basil, bay leaves, lavender, mint, rosemary, and marigolds
  • Apple cider vinegar traps
  • Fly paper
  • Predatory insects like lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitoid wasps
  • Maintaining good sanitation practices

Sprays made with essential oils or herbs, vinegar traps, and predatory insects work to control flies outdoors and indoors. Maintaining cleanliness removes breeding grounds.

What scent do flies hate?

Flies hate strong, pungent scents like:

  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citrus
  • Lavender
  • Bay leaves
  • Basil
  • Vinegar

These scents repel flies and deter them from entering your home. Try using essential oils, herbs, and vinegar in DIY fly sprays. Open bowls containing vinegar also attract and trap flies.

What plant keeps flies away?

Some plants that deter flies include:

  • Basil – Repels flies with strong scent
  • Bay laurel – Unpleasant bitter odor
  • Lavender – Fresh floral aroma flies don’t like
  • Mint – Minty scent drives flies away
  • Marigolds – Pungent odor flies avoid
  • Rosemary – Pine-like smell deters flies
  • Chrysanthemums – Smelly flowers that flies dislike

Grow these plants around your home’s exterior and interior. Rub crushed leaves onto screens and near entryways. The strong fragrances naturally repel flies.

Does apple cider vinegar keep flies away?

Yes, apple cider vinegar traps attract flies with the sweet, fruity aroma. Once flies land on the vinegar, they become stuck and eventually drown.

To make a vinegar fly trap:

  • Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap
  • Cover with plastic wrap and poke small holes
  • Place traps around fly problem areas

The vinegar lures flies in, while the dish soap breaks the surface tension so flies sink into the liquid. Empty and replace traps frequently.

Do fly traps really work?

Yes, certain fly traps are very effective at reducing indoor and outdoor fly populations. Different trap types include:

  • Apple cider vinegar traps – Sweet scent lures flies in but they can’t escape.
  • Fly paper – Coated in sticky adhesive that traps flies when they land on it.
  • Bottle traps – Funnels flies into a bottle they can’t escape.
  • Bag traps – Lure flies into a bag with bait. Some zap flies with electricity.
  • Predatory insects like lacewings and ladybugs prey on fly eggs and larvae.

For best results, use traps preventatively before severe fly infestations start. Place them in areas where flies congregate and combine with sanitation methods.

What home remedy kills flies instantly?

Some of the most effective natural ways to instantly kill flies include:

  • Fly swatters – Manually swat individual flies. Aim for a quick, direct hit.
  • Sticky fly tape – Kills flies instantly when they get stuck to the adhesive surface.
  • Venus flytraps – Carnivorous plants snap shut on flies lured by nectar.
  • Hairspray – Spraying flies directly with hairspray paralyzes and kills them.
  • Water-dish soap mixture – Mixing these two ingredients breaks flies’ outer coating, causing dehydration.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Spraying flies directly with 70%+ rubbing alcohol kills them quickly.

These methods let you target flies precisely and kill them on contact, preventing reproduction. Practice sanitation to remove breeding grounds.


Flies can quickly become a nuisance when they invade your home. Getting rid of them doesn’t have to mean relying on harsh chemicals, though. There are many all-natural methods to repel and trap flies effectively.

Using essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender helps deter flies with aromas they dislike. Growing herbs and plants like basil, bay, and mint also repels flies. Traps made with apple cider vinegar or sticky fly paper catch flies so they can’t reproduce. Releasing predatory insects offers natural biological fly control.

Practicing good sanitation and elimination tactics reduces fly breeding areas. Keep countertops clean, take out trash regularly, and fix leaky drains where flies congregate. Installing screens and using fly swatters or sticky tape kills individual invaders.

Combining several natural fly deterrents works better than relying on just one. With some diligence, you can tackle annoying flies without unhealthy chemicals. Keep your family safe while protecting your home from pests with these all-natural fly control methods.