How to Get Rid of Flies Indoors/Outdoors

Flies can be a nuisance when they invade your home or outdoor living spaces. Getting rid of flies involves understanding their behavior and using a combination of preventative measures and control methods. With some diligence, you can have a fly-free home and yard.

Preventing Flies from Entering Your Home

Prevention is the first line of defense against flies. Follow these tips to make your home less inviting to flies:

Seal Cracks and Holes

Flies can squeeze through very small openings to get inside. Seal any cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind wall plates, and underneath sinks with caulk. Pay special attention to the edges of screen doors and windows.

Use Weather Stripping and Door Sweeps

Install weather stripping around doors and door sweeps along the bottom to seal gaps. This blocks flies from crawling under or through doors.

Repair Broken Screens

Fix any tears or holes in window screens and door screens. Flies can easily enter through damaged screening.

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Keep doors shut leading to the outdoors. Close windows if not in use, especially in the kitchen and rooms where you eat.

Use Fly Screens on Open Windows

For windows you keep open, install fly screen material. This allows air circulation while preventing flies from flying inside.

Install Air Curtains

Air curtains or fly fans can be installed over entrances and windows. They blow a steady stream of air to prevent flies from entering.

Keep Areas Clean

Flies are attracted to clutter and trash. Keep counters wiped down, floors vacuumed, and trash cans empty and scrubbed clean.

Drain Standing Water

Standing water is a breeding ground for flies. Drain sources like pet dishes, leaky pipes, buckets, toys, and puddles.

Manage Landscape and Plants

Trim vegetation away from the house so flies have fewer places to hide. Clean up fallen fruit, overripe produce, and rotting debris in gardens.

How to Get Rid of Flies Already in Your House

If flies have made it inside, act quickly to get rid of them using these methods:

Fly Swatters

Fly swatters are inexpensive and do not require chemicals. Swing vigorously to stun and kill flies on contact. Aim for flat surfaces like walls and floors rather than in mid-air.

Electric Bug Zappers

Electric bug zappers lure flies in with UV light and kill them with an electric shock. Place out of reach of children. They are most effective at night.


A regular vacuum with hose attachment can suck up flies. Wait until flies land and slowly approach them. Place a nylon stocking over the hose end to prevent flies from escaping.

Sticky Traps

Sticky fly paper or hanging sticky traps can capture dozens of flies at once. Place them along walls, in corners, or over counters where flies congregate.

Fly Sprays

Sprays containing pyrethrins quickly kill flies on contact. Spray directly on flies or create a fine mist in areas they gather. Exercise caution around food surfaces and prep areas.

Natural Repellents

Strong smells from cloves, bay leaves, lavender, mint, citrus, and lemongrass may repel flies. Place these plants or oils in problem areas.

Fly Terminator Pro

This is a liquid bait that lures flies in with pheromones and kills them when they ingest it. Apply it to attics, baseboards, under sinks, and other fly hideouts.

Drain Cleaners

Foaming drain cleaners can eliminate fly larvae in drains before they develop into adults. Use overnight in sinks and floor drains.

Fly Tape

Strips of tape coated with adhesive grab flies when they land on the tape’s surface. For best results, hang strips near light fixtures.


Place fans near open doors and windows. The breeze will prevent flies from entering and help blow out any flies that make it inside.

Getting Rid of Flies Outside

Flies can swarm patios, porches, garages, gardens, and other outdoor areas. Employ these tactics to control flies in your yard and exterior spaces:

Outdoor Fly Traps

Traps mimic food and breeding sites to lure flies in. Once inside, flies are unable to escape. Place them 20-30 feet from outdoor living spaces.

Fly Baits

Granular fly baits contain pesticides that flies ingest when they land on them. Sprinkle baits along fences, gardens, and areas away from homes. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Natural Predators

Encourage natural fly predators like birds, bats, dragonflies, and spiders. Put up bat houses and bird feeders and include water sources like fountains and ponds. Avoid killing spider webs.

Fly Sprays

Heavy-duty aerosol sprays can quickly knock down flies outdoors. Spray infested areas like patios, decks, and picnic tables. Avoid plants you grow for food.

Drain Away Standing Water

Standing water allows flies to breed. Drain sources like birdbaths, clogged gutters, tarps, old tires, and trash bin lids after it rains.

Clean Up Pet Waste

Animal feces can draw flies. Promptly clean up after pets and empty litter boxes frequently.

Manage Compost Piles

Turn compost regularly and keep it slightly moist to prevent flies. Bury new food waste under 8-12 inches of compost instead of leaving it exposed.

Use Fans

Set up oscillating outdoor fans on patios and decks. The airflow will help blow flies away and make your space less hospitable.

Bug Zapping Lanterns

Lanterns with mosquito zapping technology can also attract and electrocute flies. Position them 10-15 feet from gathering areas like patios.

Remove Trash Regularly

Take garbage cans out frequently, clean with disinfectant weekly, and use bins with tight sealing lids.

Natural Ways to Repel Flies

Try these homemade options and natural ingredients to repel nuisance flies:

Apple Cider Vinegar Traps

Mix apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a bowl or jar. The smell lures flies in but the dish soap causes them to sink and drown.


The strong scent of basil repels flies. Plant it around outdoor living spaces or bring cut basil indoors. Crush leaves to release more aroma.

Bay Leaves

The odor of bay leaves drives away flies. Scatter leaves around your patio or position small bowls filled with leaves around indoor rooms.


Mint’s potent odor deters flies. Plant some mint in your garden beds and pots. You can also crush mint leaves between your fingers to emit more smell quickly.

Lemon and Limes

Citrus like lemons and limes contain limonene, which flies avoid. Slice them and place the peels around areas where flies congregate.


Both live lavender plants and cut bundles of dried lavender can deter flies with their fragrance. Position them near walkways, doors, and windows.


Sprinkle cinnamon powder along window sills, countertops, and anywhere else flies tend to land. The spicy smell drives flies away.


Like cinnamon, cloves contain a strong scent that flies don’t like. Arrange whole cloves in small dishes for an easy, natural repellent.

Peppermint Oil

Dot cotton balls with a few drops of pure peppermint oil and set them out in problem rooms. You can also mix it with water in a spray bottle.

Wine Bottle Traps

Cut the cone section off a wine bottle. Invert it and place it atop the base filled with wine or juice to attract flies inside.


Grow herbs like rosemary, lemongrass, and catnip. Their fragrances help mask smells that draw in flies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts flies into my home?

Flies are drawn to food scraps, standing water, rotting produce, open trash cans, and ripened fruit. Cracks in screens, open windows, and gaps around doors also allow easy entry.

What is the best way to kill flies?

Fly swatters and electric bug zappers effectively kill flies on contact. Traps containing baits or adhesives capture flies so they can’t escape. Sprays are fast-acting but use caution around food surfaces.

How do you keep flies away while eating outside?

Citronella candles, torches, and oil help repel flies from patios and decks. Use fans to blow flies away from the eating area. Cover food until ready to eat and promptly clean up leftovers.

Why do I have so many flies in my house?

A fly infestation indoors is likely caused by breeding sites within the home. Check for sources like dirty drains, full garbage cans, leaky pipes, and open pet food bags. Seal any entry points flies use.

What scent do flies hate?

Flies avoid strong smells like mint, bay leaves, lavender, lemongrass, basil, eucalyptus, citrus, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, and peppermint. The aroma overwhelms their senses and drives them away.

What home remedy kills flies instantly?

Mix apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a bowl or spray bottle. The vinegar attracts flies while the soap reduces surface tension so flies sink and drown once they land on the solution.


Getting rid of pesky flies involves stopping them before they get inside, using traps and insecticides, and incorporating repellents. Focus on finding and eliminating breeding sites in and around your home to prevent future infestations. With vigilant prevention and control, you can have a fly-free living space. Consistent monitoring and management are key to keeping flies at bay.