House flies are a potent pest. Keeping garbage pails empty and closed, doors closed or screened, and other debris out of the house is a good start, but you can’t keep the flies away. While the sport of Kings is to hunt them down with a flyswatter, those of us with somewhat less nobility and time need alternative solutions. Here are a few to consider as we enter into fly season.
1) the Fly Trap
Heat on your stove 2 cups of water, do not boil it. Stir in 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1/3 cup white vinegar until they are dissolved in the water. Then, pour into an old mayonnaise jar or other glass jar. Cover the lid with plastic and make 3-5 holes big enough for the flies to enter. The flies will go in, but not be able to get back out and drown. Leave out more jars for more flies, and change them out periodically – they will become quite nasty.
2) Spiders and wasps
These helpful critters love to eat flies. If you find spiders or wasps in your house, keep them! The wasps don’t eat them directly: they feed them to their young. Adult wasps eat pollen and other vegetable matter. I sometimes catch spiders and bring them into my home as pets. Hunting for pretty looking spiders is fun and watching them work is entertaining. Last year I found a beautiful spotted one I named Frankie. Frankie caught three flies, but a little one that I didn’t catch (who invited herself in) caught many more. Hey, every one caught counts!
3) Horse sprays
Horses hate flies as much as you do. And there are a million or two products out there that are safe to use and effective at deterring flies. Try spraying these on your windows and doors to retard the flies.
4) Herbal remedies
For that matter, burn some incense to ward off the flies. You’ll have to experiment because some flies are attracted to some smells that others are repelled by. But no matter what kind of smoke works best, keep that incense burning!