How to Get Rid of House Flies That Really Bug You
Photo credit: Tom Koe / EyeEm - Getty Images
You have checked your window panes, you always close the door after entering your house, and you keep everything clean. Nevertheless, you can see it from the corner of your eye: the sudden zigzag flying. Although we associate these pests with the summer months, houseflies actually multiply all year round and can be a problem regardless of the season. It's just that they're much more active in the hottest parts of the year, so housefly invasion is more likely. (Just add "Get rid of houseflies" to your summer to-do list, along with carpenter ants and mosquitoes.)
Whether a fly followed you as you walked through the door, through an opening, or through a hole in a screen, one is all you need for a major pest problem. Houseflies can only live for 10-25 days, but can lay hundreds of eggs during this time. So you can get rid of houseflies without having to spend your days with a swatter.
Get rid of all possible "fly food".
Houseflies live on the things that make you become "ew". Animal waste, sewage waste (especially in the case of waste disposal), overripe products, trash cans and sticky soiling are common reasons for feeding. Keep track of cat litter box maintenance, clean your drains thoroughly, keep an eye on transportation at the farmers market, disinfect the trash can, rinse everything you want to recycle, and make sure that spilled material is complete is eliminated. Things that are not as coarse as pet food or a half-empty glass of wine can also attract flies.
Don't forget to consider the sources of outdoor airfare. Although it's not so important to address a potential indoor bug buffet, houseflies often reside right in front of your home and come in when they see the opportunity. Remove all sources of stagnant water (check the gutters), animal waste, and rotting wood or plants, and then disinfect your trash outdoors and recycle the buckets.
Make a DIY house fly trap
Erlich Pest Control recommends starting with an empty two-liter soda bottle. Cut off the top third (generally where the top of the label used to be) and set it aside. Then pour something sweet into the bottom of the bottle to attract the flies. Sugar water, soda, or juice can work. Then turn the top of the bottle upside down, place it in the lower part (seal the edges with tape if necessary), and then wait. The flies can get into the trap, but not out. The trap also works with fruit flies. If it doesn't attract houseflies, try adding meat scraps or other old foods.
Another option is less labor-intensive: just fill a flat bowl with about an inch of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, and a drop of detergent. (If you can add leftovers, so much the better.) The flies examine the smell and then drown in the mixture.
Buy a light trap
According to Texas A & M AgriLife Extension, houseflies are attracted to short-wave light (such as ultraviolet light). Indoor light traps combine ultraviolet light with a secret trap, while outdoor lights generally combine it with a low voltage "zapper" network. Because these types of traps hide the means of catching flies, they are somewhat less coarse than old-school fly paper. Many interior light traps are simply connected to an electrical outlet. If you choose an interior light trap, make sure you can position it at the height that the flies like to be (4 to 6 feet above the ground). Put it away from windows if you can, unless you want the new problem of flies buzzing right outside your door.
When to call the professionals
The faster you can get rid of a house fly, the better. (Remember that you want to kill the fly before it lays its eggs.) If you've tried these methods and still have an unwanted roommate (or many), contact an expert as soon as possible. You assess potential areas inside and outside your home that could potentially be hotbeds, and then use insecticides or drop traps, depending on the situation of house flies in your home. In the meantime, you might want to memorize a few summer quotes to keep calm.
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