Nature’s great recyclers, really important as without them organic matter would not able to be absorbed by plants, important in pollination of native plants and crops… In compost flies are doing most of the work, eating scraps and then excreting and turning it into a substance plants can use when you put it back in the garden. The Musca Domestica to me however is just a pesky little annoying creature. As we live in an area with a lot of vegetation and thick shrubbery, we are ideal for the growth of flies. And let’s not forget as humans we are covered in dead skin cells, oil and salt which are all delicious to flies, to keep circling around us because to a housefly, we’re a veritable buffet.
With their hearty appetites aided by an excellent sense of smell and a pair of complex eyes that cover half of their heads, these cringy critters just horrify me. Knowing that a single one of them can carry about a million bacteria, transferring more than 100 pathogens that can result in illness (they can transmit shigellosis, salmonellosis, parasitic worms, cholera, amoebic dysentery, and eye diseases) on its tiny body hair called tarsi!
These frustrating pests regurgitate their stomach contents onto the food they eat so their stomach acids can dissolve food matter and make it possible for them to suck it in through their straw-like mouth. They keep on changing in size as they grow towards maturity.
The pesticides used to keep flies away, can be more hazardous than the flies themselves and they have developed resistance to the toxins. Instead of going down the chemical elimination route, let’s look at some pest free house bio tips, here we go:
- Avoid uncovered fruits, especially mango and apple, overwatering your plants, exposed garbage, faecal matter (dogs / cats), if you don’t want to welcome them in your home.
- Fly swats, screening, ceiling/table fans will help. But try putting some cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle, start spraying, this mixture will kill the flies.
- Herbs were the original household cleaners, disinfectants, and bug repellents. Why not go back to them?
- Boil some cinnamon sticks in a pot on your stove, or put cinnamon essential oil in your wax or potpourri burners, they hate the smell of cinnamon, but it will make your house smell like you have been cooking something delicious all day!
- Keep your home refreshingly aromatic with insect repellent lemongrass oil, mix following ingredients: lemongrass essential oil- 20-25 drops with hot water about 1/2 cup. Keep the solution in a spray bottle and spray it along your doorways and windows or any other fly infested area. Lavender oil, Citronella oil, Eucalyptus oil, Pennyroyal oil, or Peppermint oil won’t achieve the results that you would get with lemongrass oil.
- Put aromatic herbs such as basil, elder, lavender, tansy, wormwood, rue and mint plants near your front door, plant some in your garden, or hang some fresh basil in areas where flies like to hang out. Flies do not like their fragrance.
- A few lemons cut into two halves, poked with 6-12 cloves into each half of the lemon make a beautiful center piece for your table and will do the job too.
- If you want to avoid watching the citrus gradually deteriorate, just place whole cloves in small pieces of cheesecloth and hang them in doorways or other areas where you want to keep flies away. Squeeze the cloves every day or so until they begin to lose their aroma, then replace them.
- Alternatively, a few drops of peppermint oil in a jug of water will do the trick as well, mix in this order and shake: 1/4 cup witch hazel, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil
- Smoke from a citronella candle or a piece of camphor will make them leave your place immediately!
- Cucumber slices in the perimeter of your house, on top of garbage will prevent them from laying eggs and as they hate its fragrance will restrain them from entering your house.
- A vodka based fly repellent mixed in a spray bottle (1 cup vodka, 2 tsp aloe vera juice, 1tsp lemon eucalyptus oil, ½ tsp essential oil blend) works too. Flies hate vodka!
- Go for the Amish technique fill glasses with water and about 4-5 old tarnished copper pennies, flies think the pennies are compound eyes of a much larger bug looking back at them and they will avoid staying. Also known as an old Latin American trick.
Do you want to lure them? Try the following tips:
- Put some apple cider vinegar in a bowl. To create some surface tension, and to not let flies escape, add some liquid detergent. This will make flies get attracted towards the solution because of its aroma. They will come but will never get escaped by it and will get drowned finally.
- Green apple liquid soap attracts them, so fill a jar with two spoons green apple liquid soap and a few inches with water. The fruity aroma of green apple will attract them and they will eventually get drowned in the jar.
- Make homemade chemical-free flypapers as the ones sold in the shops sometimes have a layer of poisonous substance above it. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Combine 100 ml honey (golden syrup/ corn syrup) with 1 tablespoon each of brown and granulated sugar. Cut six strips of brown paper. Soak the paper in the mixture overnight. Scrape off excess syrup, make a hole in the top of each strip and hang up near windows and doors.
- Or recycle a piece of clothing by cutting it into strips 6 to 12 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. Dot each strip with several drops of any of the following essential oils: clove, citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, mint, or rosemary. Hang the strips where you don’t want the flies to be!
Do let me know which effective method you use!
Zooming off now, your