How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally

Flies! The most annoying insect in the summer months. At the end of the summer season you probably will have waved your arms to shoo flies away at least a hundred times. Of course, the most classic phrase “Shut the door! You’re letting the flies in!” is heard in every household across the nation all summer long. But, are they harmless?

Let’s learn a little more about this seemingly harmless insect…

Did you know that there are over 100,000 known species of flies? Who knows how many unknown species there really are.

Did you also know that flies are carriers of deadly diseases? Flies infest meat and other food items, spreading food poisoning bacteria like salmonella enteritidis. Because a fly is a restless insect, it moves back and forth between food and filth, and this helps it in spreading infections faster.

Flies are attracted to food by their sense of smell; however, they cannot eat solid food. When a fly reaches the food it vomits on the solid food and creates a solution of it, then sucks it which, in turn, contaminates the food.

What are some other diseases spread by flies? Here is a complete list:

  • Flies can cause typhoid and paratyphoid fevers.
  • They can also spread some other diseases like diarrhea and dysentery, cholera, and conjunctivitis by mechanical contamination.
  • Other diseases carried by house flies include salmonella, anthrax, and tuberculosis.
  • They are also known to transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.
  • Sand flies found in South America, Africa, and Europe are carriers of a microorganism responsible for a disease that eats away at human skin. This disease is known as Leishmaniasis.

Let’s talk repellents and deterrents.

As with my other articles this summer, I will share recipes for all natural fly repellents and deterrents. They are safer for you, your family, and your pets.

Harsh chemicals can cause more harm than good. So, before you reach for that store bought can of insect repellent spray, read the following information on how you can make your own all natural fly repellent and deterrent.

Here’s a list of all natural repellents and deterrents that we’ll cover in this article:

  • Vodka based repellent
  • Lemongrass oil repellent
  • Clove based deterrent
  • Apple cider vinegar – Witch hazel Repellent (for your skin)
  • How to make a fly trap
  • DIY Fly Paper

Vodka Based Repellent

A bottle of Absolut vodka in front of a wood textured background.

For some reason, flies hate Vodka. They just cannot bear its smell, which is why some people use vodka based repellents to ward off flies.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of vodka
  • 2 tsp of aloe vera juice
  • 1 tsp of lemon eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 tsp of essential oil blend
  • Spray bottle


After mixing the ingredients, pour ingredients into a spray bottle. This mixture can be applied on your skin or it can be sprayed near the infested area to repel flies.

Lemongrass Oil Repellent

lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil has strong insect repellent properties. You can use the lemongrass oil to make a fly repellent spray that also works as a room freshener.

What you’ll need:

  • 20-25 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • Spray bottle


After mixing ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle. Spray it along your doorways, windows, or any other fly infested area.

Note: In absence of Lemongrass oil you can also use other essential oils such as lavender oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, pennyroyal oil, or peppermint oil. With these essential oils, however, you won’t achieve the same results that you would get with lemongrass oil.

Clove Based Deterrent

Cloves have an aroma that is pleasant to humans but  a deterrent for insects.

Cloves are pleasurably aromatic for humans, but flies (particularly house flies) cannot stand the scent of cloves. Here’s a recipe to keep flies away using cloves.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 6 to 12 cloves
  • Plate


To make this deterrent, take a lemon and cut it into two halves. Poke 6-12 cloves into each half of the lemon. Place on a plate and place in places you want to deter flies. Great for outdoor activities!

Apple Cider Vinegar – Witch Hazel Repellent (For Your Skin)

It's amazing how much you can do with apple cider vinegar!

— Survival Life (@SurvivalLF) August 8, 2016

This natural repellent works mainly with the common house fly.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 30 – 60 of drops of eucalyptus oil
  • Spray bottle


  • Mix 1/4 cup of witch hazel with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • Add 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil.
  • Shake well.

You can apply this repellent on the uncovered areas of your body. Note: Avoid spraying near your eyes and mouth.

Sugar-Water Fly Trap


What you’ll need:

  • Wide mouthed jar
  • Sugar water
  • Paper cone


  • Pour the sugar water in the jar.
  • Cut a 1 cm diameter hole at the apex of the paper cone.
  • Place the cone in the jar upside-down (it should not touch the liquid.)

Since the jar contains sweet liquid, the flies will be attracted to it and will go down through the cone into the jar. Once inside, they won’t be able to fly up through the hole to come out, therefore they’ll be trapped inside.

DIY Fly Paper

fly paper trap

Fly paper is coated with a sweet fragrant (and extremely sticky) substance which attracts flies. Store-bought fly paper will often have a layer of a poisonous substance above the sticky portion of the fly paper.

You can make your own fly paper at home without the poisonous layer. Here’s how.

What you’ll need:

  • Sheets of brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Sauce pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn syrup
  • Water


  • Cut the brown paper sheets into 2 inch wide strips.
  • Measure equal parts of corn syrup and water and pour into a saucepan and heat the mixture until it start to boil.
  • Constantly stir the mixture with the spoon while heating until it slightly thickens.
  • After this, remove the pan from the heat and soak the strips in the mixture for at least 4 – 5 hours.
  • Take out the strips and allow them to dry for 2-3 hours.
  • When the strips are completely dry, hang them in the fly infested area and your homemade fly paper is ready to catch flies.

Flies can be a pest this time of year, and so can mosquitoes. Do you know how to keep mosquitoes at bay, along with the deadly viruses they carry? Click here to find out.

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