How to stop flies from coming in your house – the 6 best measures you should take according to experts

Pest control experts share 6 best ways to stop flies from getting inside your home

A fly
(Image credit: Getty Images/Photo by Katkami)

Flies somehow always seem to find their way into our homes, despite the fact that nobody wants them there. And as the weather is starting to (very) slowly warm up, the chance of flies’ presence increases, which is why taking preventative measures how to stop flies from coming in the house is paramount. 

While there are ways how to get rid of flies in the house when they set up camp, it’s always better to prevent the issue from developing, rather than scrambling later on to solve it. Flies in your home included.

According to Make My Blinds’ research, searches for ‘how to stop flies coming in’ have seen a 350% increase in the last three months. So the presence of these pesky pests is clearly already becoming a problem. And this is what you can do about it.

A reading nook by the window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lisa Cohen)

How to stop flies from coming in the house

‘It isn’t possible to keep windows, doors and vents closed at all times, especially in warm weather,’ starts Robert Collins, pest control expert at

That’s why you need to employ other ways how to stop flies in their tracks and keep them out of the house. And while things like having the fan on can get rid of flies, these are the 6 ways that our pest control experts recommend to do.

1. Place fragrant plants near windows

A planter with herbs on a windowsill

(Image credit: Future PLC/Holly Jolliffe)

You may not realise just by looking at them, but flies actually have quite a sensitive sense of smell. And there are several fragrances they don’t like, many of which happen to be herbal. So what you can do is place those fragrant herbs and plants near the home entry points - the windows.

‘You can discourage flies by planting insect-repelling herbs such as rosemary and lavender near windows, this will also make your home smell great too,’ says Dr. Jonathan Kirby, pest expert at NOPE!.

Mint, lemon balm and basil also work well for this purpose. That’s how you keep flies off your houseplants too - opting for varieties they can’t stand.

Dr. Jonathan Kirby
Dr. Jonathan Kirby

Jonathan is a developmental chemist and pest expert at NOPE!. From pest control to masonry protection, he has dedicated himself to helping protect UK housing stock through the development of new and innovative products. 

2. Burn scented candles

A bathroom window with scented candles

(Image credit: Future PLC/William Goddard)

‘Positioning deterrents by your windows is a good move. You should use candles with lemongrass and citronella scents,’ Robert says.

This trick works similarly to placing fragrant plants near the window - only in this case, it’s the best scented candle to deter flies. 

'One of the most effective scents for repelling flies is citronella,' says Chris Hutton, storage expert and owner of Adams Selfstore. 'It’s a lemony fragrance that is commonly found in candles and sprays that are specifically designed to repel insects, so it won’t be hard to purchase some if that’s the route you choose to go down when it comes to your fly troubles.' 

Or home spray works just as well. ‘But if you’re using a spray with these fragrances in, you’ll need to keep reapplying it, to ensure it stays nice and strong,’ Robert advises.

3. Hang voile curtains

A peach-coloured living room with light voile curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Voile curtains with their lightness and semi-sheer quality are a great curtain idea during the warmer months. But they also make for a great barrier between your home and flies when you have windows and doors open.

‘Placing voile blinds or curtains over your open windows will create a barrier without blocking natural light and fresh air,’ Robert says.

Or if you want to go a step further, then you can install a screen to stop them. ‘Installing window screens can also give you that extra layer of protection to prevent flies from entering while still allowing ventilation,’ Dr. Jonathan says.

4. Don’t leave food out

A purple kitchen with a hob at the island with a pot and herbs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Foster)

Flies are attracted to food, which is why it should never be left out and easily accessed by them.

‘You'll need to store your food properly. Make sure that it's covered immediately after you've cooked it and not left outside because this can quickly become attractive to flies,’ says Mihail Velev, Fantastic Pest Control's pest technician.

And this also applies to the bin and dirty dishes, which should be regularly cleaned, washed and sanitised. ‘Take care of your garbage because flies like decomposing food that's rotted and over-ripened, which provides the perfect breeding ground for them. And don't leave dirty dishes or glasses out on the kitchen counter,’ Mihail says.

5. Put fragrant essential oils in your cleaning solutions

A cleaning solution with an essential oil and white vinegar

(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

We love natural cleaning hacks as natural formulas make for some of the best cleaning products. And whether you make your own at home or buy solutions made from natural ingredients, opting for those with fragrant essential oils will keep flies out of your home.

‘Using essential oils such as lavender, peppermint and lemongrass in your natural cleaning solutions will leave your surfaces with a scent that flies dislike,’ Robert says.

6. Block gaps around the windows

A kitchen window with a sink underneath it

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bridget Peirson)

Any potential entryways, apart from the obvious ones like doors, windows and vents, should be eliminated.

‘For flying insects like flies, you should seal any gaps or cracks in and around your windows and doors to block out common entry points,’ Dr. Jonathan recommends. 


What smell do flies hate in the house?

As we’ve already established, there are several smells that will naturally deter pests like flies.

‘Smells flies hate include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass, which you can use as essential oils and spray in your home,’ Mihail says.

Under-sink cupboard storing cleaning products and tools

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Scarboro)

Why do I keep getting flies in my house?

Flies can get into the house through the smallest cracks and gaps, as well as vents and obviously windows. And they can be attracted by various smells, mainly food - both fresh and decomposing.

‘Flies are very small and can get into the home through even tiny gaps in and around points of entry. This is where proofing your home for any obvious gaps and crevices around windows and doors is really important. Flies will be encouraged to enter your home if any food is left lying around, so the cleanliness of your home can play a crucial role in effective pest control. Regularly cleaning up food spills and emptying bin bags to keep the kitchen tidy can go a long way,’ Dr. Jonathan says.

And with all this knowledge, you should be able to keep those pesky flies at bay.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.