I probably don’t need to lecture you on how toxic chemical fly repellents are. The fumes from a quick dousing of Raid are enough to dissolve your nasal hair! If you have kids or pets, the last thing you want is to drench your home in killer chemicals. Alas, if you have kids/pets/both, you’ll also know that you’re more likely to have flies in your home.
Between uneaten pet food in the summer months (wet cat food is on a par with an angered Egyptian mummy when it comes to summoning pests) and spilled apple juice on the kitchen counter, immaculate housekeeping isn’t always possible.
Flies are counted among the least welcome house guests, and for good reason. Aside from the irritating buzzing, they’re also extremely unhygienic. Flies have sticky feet, which means little particles of garbage, vomit, and poop are carried from the trash heap outside to your kitchen table. A single fly can carry 6 million bacteria! The more sinister strains include cholera, TB, typhoid and dysentery.
On the flipside, using insecticides can be equally bad for the health of your household. Most household pesticides contain pyrethrins, which can be dangerous in large quantities. Pyrethrins can cause:
- Skin irritation, including numbness, itching, burning, stinging, or tingling
- Muscle spasms
- Reduced energy
In animal studies, exposure to large amounts of pyrethrins can cause cancer. Back in the 50’s, DDT was a pesticide that could be found anywhere and everywhere. In fact, officials used to spray down people and children with DDT.
It wasn’t until the early 1960s that some began questioning the mainstream uses of DDT. It was later found to be highly toxic, and cause cancer in humans.
Although many store bought pesticides may claim to be safe, it’s hard to measure their impact until it’s too late. Stay safe, and use these natural insecticides instead.
How To Get Rid Of Flies Naturally
Besieged by flies? Here are some of the first steps you can take to reduce the fly population in your home.
- Clean up messes as soon as they happen
- Sweep and mop the floor once a day
- If your pets don’t finish their food, throw it away
- Take out the trash before it’s full
- Make sure your trash cans are stored away from your house
- Install screens on windows and doors
- Don’t leave windows and doors open without a screen
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
Once you have the basics covered, you can begin to use natural fly repellents to keep flies away for good!
Natural Fly Repellents For The Home
Plastic Water Bags
There are several theories as to why plastic water bags ward of flies. Are flies afraid of their own reflections? Does the shimmering plastic mimic a spider’s web? Although we don’t know for sure, plastic water bags seem to be an effective method of keeping flies at bay. Simply fill up a sandwich bag with water, and suspend it from your entranceways.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a cure-all. Along with tea-tree and coconut oil, it’s always good to keep a supply of apple cider vinegar at hand. To make a natural fly repellent with apple cider vinegar, you’ll need:
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
A mason jar
A lid with fly-sized holes poked in it, or a piece of paper
1 tsp of dish soap
Heat up the apple cider vinegar beforehand, either on the stove or in the microwave. Add heated apple cider vinegar to the mason jar along with the dish soap and the rotting fruit. You can add the lid on the jar, or roll up a sheet of paper to act as a makeshift funnel. If you don’t have a lid or a sheet of paper, saran wrap with holes poked through is also effective! Leave the jar on a counter. Voila! An instant and natural flytrap.
Related: 15 Ways To Use Coconut Oil
Citrus Clove Repellent
- A lemon
Cut the lemon in half, and stick cloves into the sliced lemon. Use as a center arrangement, or leave on a counter as a natural fly deterrent.
Natural Bug Repellent For The Body
If you’re hiking or camping, you may want to wear your natural bug repellent. This recipe is easy and safe, as long as you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. It’s wise to do a patch test before use, just in case.
Essential Oils That Repel Pests
- Lavender oil (mosquitoes, flies, moths, fleas)
- Lemongrass oil (ticks, termites, mosquitos)
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil (flies, mosquitoes, spiders)
- Peppermint oil (flies, mice, spiders, ants)
- Thyme oil (flies, mosquitos — burn thyme in a campfire to repel most flying insects)
- Tea tree oil (flies, mosquitos, midges, ants)
- 1 cup Vodka or Witch Hazel
- 2 tsp Aloe vera juice
- 1 tsp Essential oil of your choice
Combine in spray bottle, using the essential oil of your choice, or a combination. Spray on as necessary. If you’re camping, you can also spray this concoction around the exterior of your tent to ward off the creepy crawlies.