How to get rid of flies in the house: including genius water trick causing a buzz online

Banish these pesky insects from your home with one of these harmless hacks
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  • Summer heat is welcome, unwanted flies in our homes as a result of flinging open the windows not so much! So how to get rid of flies in the house without causing them harm? We have the answers, from a genius free trick with a sandwich bag filled with water to natural oils – there’s a safe and kind remedy to rid your home of these pests. 

    How to get rid of flies in the house 

    ‘The best way to get rid of flies is by making sure your home is clean and free of any sugary substances, rotting meat or other waste’ advises Walter Murphy, pest control expert at ‘This will involve wiping down surfaces and emptying the bin as often as possible to prevent flies from lingering in your home. You can also use natural repellents, such as apple cider vinegar, to get rid of flies’.

    We explore the natural care and cleaning remedies to keep flies out of our homes…

    1. How to keep flies away with water and coins

    There’s been a lot of talk buzzing around the internet about this one – all you need is a clear sealable bag, such as a sandwich bag, water and a few shiny coins. The idea is not a new one, but it seems most of us are unaware of its potential power.

    A selection of YouTube tutorials show how to make your own harmless fly deterrent with a bag of water – put those swats aside people.

    IKEA sandwich bags and coins to make a fly deterrent

    Image credit: Tamara Kelly

    It really couldn’t be any simpler. Take your clear bags and fill them roughly half way with water. As the video explains flies have what is known as compound vision, meaning they see things very differently to us.

    As a result the small bag of water will appear in multiples to a fly’s eye and given how much they dislike water it’s an instant deterrent. This simple trick works a treat.

    Clear bag half filled with water

    Image credit: Tamara Kelly

    Drop in five or six coins to the bag of half filled water. Squeeze the excess air out then seal it closed. Tie string securely around the top of the bag, then suspend by your window. Tie to the handle so the bag of water hangs freely within the frame of the open window.

    How does it work? The water and the pennies create a prism that reflects an array of rainbow colours which are overwhelming to a fly’s eyes. Flies have compound eyes so the bags look like a bigger  body of water to them and they don’t like water, therefore they leave.

    bag tied with string

    Image credit: Tamara Kelly

    Make sure you’ve tied all your knots tight enough, a bag full of water spilled all over the house might be more unwelcome than even the flies!

    Clear bag of water by the window to deter flies in the house

    Image credit: Tamara Kelly

    It actually does work, this was my home last year testing it out after the buzz created on social media. It was notable the lack of flies who were tempted through the open windows during hot spells. Now time to try the natural hacks for how to get rid of wasps safely.

    What smells will keep flies away?

    There are various smells that can deter flies, to act as a natural cleaning hack to repel them from entering your home. Walter Murphy,  pest control expert at reveals the smells that should do the trick to banish flies in your home.

    • Essential oils

    ‘Anything that contains essential oils such as lemongrass or peppermint will keep flies at bay’ says Walter. ‘ These natural fragrances give off a strong smell that instantly deters flies from entering your home. There are plenty of household sprays and perfumes that contain essential oils. You can use them in every room in the house.’

    • Cinnamon

    ‘Flies hate the smell of cinnamon. You may consider purchasing a cinnamon- infused air freshener to reduce the number of flies in your home’ advises Walter. It may mean your home smells like a Christmas grotto during the summer months, but it will be fly-free at least. ‘Burning cinnamon candles is also another great way to get rid of flies, as the smell will spread easily around the property.’

    • Vodka

    ‘Flies cannot bear the smell of vodka, so you may want to use a spray that contains vodka to ensure that no flies enter your home’ advises Walter. ‘You can also place vodka bags around your home, especially in areas like the kitchen, in order to prevent any food contamination.’

    glass bottle of apple cider vinegar

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars

    How do you get rid of flies inside the house with vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is the store cupboard staple that holds many hidden powers. Walter explains how to use it to deter flies, ‘All you need to do is half fill a jar with some apple cider vinegar, soap and a paper funnel. The smell of the fermented apple will attract and trap flies, as they will drink the solution and remain trapped in the jar.’ You can release the flies outside once they are contained in the jar.

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    Why do I have so many flies in my house?

    ‘If you have a lot of flies in your home, there may be an infestation somewhere in the property where the flies have hatched eggs’ Walter explains. ‘The most common fly infestation areas include garages, attics or gardens, however, flies will also nest inside your home.’

    ‘Flies are also attracted to rotting meat, so if you have any inside your bin, then this would cause flies to swarm. They are also drawn to sugary substances. So if you have spilt soda or left out sugary food or drink, flies will instantly swarm, especially if any doors are left open.’

    ‘Another reason why flies linger in your home is that they are trying to keep warm during the winter. This is common amongst cluster flies, which are drawn to the sunny side of homes. These flies are not a health hazard, as, unlike blow flies, they do not lay eggs in food.’

    ‘To avoid fly infestations, you should make sure all the entrances and exits around your home are fly-proofed’ Walter advises. ‘This involves checking your windows and doors, ensuring they are in good condition. With no cracks or spaces that will allow flies to enter your home.’

    Have you tried and tested any of these fly repelling remedies? Report back on our own Ideal Home Room Clinic Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you.

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