Sunday, July 17, 2011

10 Odd Ways To Get Rid Of Flies

We're in the thick of summer. In addition to mosquitoes (my blog posted on Sunday, June 5, 2011), there's also that pesky little problem of flies. They're everywhere—not only outdoors, but they also follow you into the house if you leave the door open one little second longer than necessary.

I came across an article listing 10 sure-fire home remedies for dealing with flies, sure-fire ways of getting rid of them—ways that may or may not work.

1) Fabric Softener Sheets
As a home remedy, hanging fabric softener sheets on the clothesline is said to repel flies. Unfortunately, after hanging the sheets then sitting next to them to enjoy a cold summer drink will only make your neighbor think you're nuts. The flies don't seem to be bothered at all.

2) Plastic Bags Filled With Water
The claim is that clear plastic bags filled with water and hung by the doors will disorient the flies and they'll leave. Oddly enough, there seems to be some validity to this one during the day. But come twilight, the flies totally ignore the bags of water as if they weren't there at all.

3) Crushed Mint
Here's a home remedy that's rumored to work for everything from getting rid of ants to curing headaches so it's no wonder that it's been suggested as a method of repelling flies. This was tested by crushing mint leaves and leaving them in a cup on the table. Even though the flies didn't land inside the cup, they continued to buzz around it, so they weren't actually repelled.

4) Lavender-scented Candles
This one is a yes-it-works and no-it-doesn't. Test showed that a 3-wick candle with a heavy concentration of scented oil seemed to work in keeping away the flies, while smaller single-wick candles with a weaker fragrance didn't work.

5) Sugar Trap
This home remedy claims that if you pour a quarter cup of sugar into an open mason jar then fill the jar halfway with water, the flies will be attracted to the sugar which will cause them to fall into the jar and drown. Well, as they say, it looked good on paper but the reality wasn't as good. The flies simply walked down the side of the jar, took a sip or two, then flew out.

6) Dish Soap Trap
Similar to the sugar trip, pour an inch of liquid dish soap into a jar, then add an inch of water. This one was good news—bad news. Floral scented soap didn't work that well, but the fruit scented one seemed to do the job of attracting the flies to their doom.

7) DIY Fly Paper
This do-it-yourself procedure says to cover heavy paper in syrup or honey, then sprinkle it with sugar and place the sheets of paper around the area with the fly problem. Sounds straight forward enough. However—as the temperature rises the heat melts the honey creating a disgusting sticky mess nearly impossible to clean up.

8) Clove-studded Apple
Your house will smell like Christmas, but unfortunately you'll still have the flies.

9) Basil
Makes a great centerpiece for the table, but doesn't do a thing to keep the flies away.

10) Fan
Place a box fan with the air directed toward you. This acts as a wind tunnel for the flies. Combine this with the soap traps and you have a winning home remedy.

Of course, there's always the tried-and-true method of having someone posted to 24 hour duty with a fly swatter to handle the situation.

Or you can procure a nice selection of frogs.

Does anyone have any sure-fire solutions for keeping flies away from the picnic table or away from the door? Please feel free to share them.


James L. Hatch said...

I had heard of the soap trap for fleas, where you stand a candle in a plate with water and soap and light it at night (fleas hop to the light and drown in the liquid--the soap breaks the surface tension so they sink), but I'm surprised it could work for flies. I'll try it the next time they become a problem. Right now I use one of those little tennis racket-like things with high voltage wires. The smaller flies explode when you hit them. It's a satisfying little "pop." The racket also works for bees. It stuns them long enough to stomp on them. Quite entertaining really.

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi, James. If the pesky little flying critters were smart they would stay out of houses. They'd go live in the woods and take their chances with the woodland creatures who probably don't own zappers or fly swatters. :)

Caroline Clemmons said...

We live in a rural area. For a couple of years, there was a dairy at the other end of the section. Talk about flies--giant ones. We did a happy dance when the dairy closed!