How to get rid of house flies: Best ways to banish pests quickly

The heatwave has encouraged house flies into our homes. (Getty Images)
The weather often unfortunately means house flies. (Getty Images)

House flies be gone. There’s nothing worse than hearing the tell-tale buzzing of a fly and watching as it so effortlessly glides into the house, but then simply refuses to fly back out again through the window.

The pests aren’t just a nuisance. They’re also unhygienic, with scientists warning that common houseflies carry salmonella, e-coli and even bacteria which can lead to sepsis.

That’s why the increased number of house flies appearing in homes during the summer isn't welcomed by most.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to stop flies favouring your home – and they’re all pretty quick and easy fixes.

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Quick fixes to get rid of house flies

Change your cleaning routine

Hands of woman opening fridge door and putting package of fresh ripe strawberries in it
Where do you keep your fruit? (Getty Images)

Start simple to see if little changes to your daily routines can help your fly problem, Kate Duggan, cleaning expert at Cleanipedia previously recommended.

“One tip is to keep fruit in the fridge if it's warm, to avoid fruit flies. And to empty the kitchen food bin at least daily. Don't keep the main food bin too close to the house, and clean it regularly,” Duggan explained.

If you’ve got a dog, you may also want to cover their food during the day and avoid leaving leftovers or dirty plates around the kitchen sink.

Flies are very attracted to these sorts of things, so look for these “danger areas” in your home.

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Cleaning is an important part of fly removal, as explained by Rentokil.

“Thorough cleaning can get rid of breeding spots, removing potential areas for flies to lay eggs, as they can reproduce very quickly," the website states.

There are three main types of flies we need to look out for in our homes, and all of them are attracted to slightly different things.

“Removing decaying food such as meat, fruit, vegetables and faeces (nice) as these attract the common house fly," it adds.

“Fruit flies like sugary substances and will feed on overripe fruit, spilled soft drinks and alcohol.

“Drain flies typically seek moist areas to lay their eggs, so keeping your property and drains clean and dry as possible will reduce opportunities for them to breed.”

Macro shot of fly. Live house fly
Keep your kitchen surfaces clean if you want to avoid pesky flies. (Getty Images)

Bottle traps

There are a number of home remedies that people swear by to keep their fly problems at bay, one of them being the famed bottle trap.

To create a bottle trap in your home, you simply need to cut the top third off of an old plastic bottle and fill it with a sweet liquid (water and sugar is a great combination).

Then, tape the two parts of the bottle back together so flies and wasps are able to get in, but not out.

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Fragranced garden plants

If you’re all for the prevention, rather than the cure, you might want to try stocking your garden or house with plants that flies actively dislike.

You’ll be pleased to know there’s quite a few of them.

Basil, lavender, mint, bay leaf and marigolds are all loathed by dreaded flies. Although humans love the scent of these sweet-smelling plants, for flies (and many other insects) the smell is too strong.

It’s worth nothing that this home remedy is to deter the odd fly from entering the home. If you already have an infestation, this tip probably won’t help you, unfortunately.

Apple cider vinegar

Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? As well as being a good household cleaner, it also does a great job at repelling flies.

Put some washing up liquid and apple cider vinegar in a soap tray, cover it with cling film and poke holes in it.

Flies will be attracted to the dish but – much like the bottle traps – are unable to get out afterwards.

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