Summer Bugs: Flies
How do you keep flies out of the kitchen?
Put a pile of poop in the garden.
Though this joke is funny, flies are no joke at all. Flies love poop and decaying matter. When they land on your food, they secrete digestive juices onto your food so they can suck up bits of it. They lick your sweat when they land on you. They can carry diseases like anthrax, cholera, salmonella, tuberculosis, and typhoid. They are gross!
They are a necessary part of our ecosystem. They do clean up decaying matter and they are a food source for many of life’s creatures (my chickens love them).
SO……how can we live and let live?
- Take proactive steps so they aren’t invited to your home and garden
- Create a forcefield to repel them
- Set traps, if you must
Take proactive steps.
Flies need opportunity to feed, lay eggs, and enter your home, so your first defense should be a good offense.
- Check your screens. Torn screens are an easy entranceway. If you find a torn screen you can easily fix it. This screen repair kit can help fix small screen issues and
- Limit the time your doors are open. We have a 3 second rule in our house. Open, out, close. 1, 2, 3.
- Keep mulch piles away from widows and doors.
Flies use mulch piles to breed in, so have mulch delivered away from your home. If time is limited, then make sure to spread your mulch quickly so flies can’t set up a nursery. Female flies lay hundreds of eggs at a time and it only takes 7 days to hatch them.
- Cover your garbage cans with well-fitting lids.
Flies like decaying organic matter, so they will feast on your trash. Not only will your trash be their smorgasbord, they will also breed in your cans because your trash offers a good food source for their babies. Well- fitting lids, will stymie their plans.
- Remove animal waste.
Nothing attracts a fly and their family better than poo. Fresh poo or old poo, a fly is not discerning, so get that pooper scooper and get to work.
Create a forcefield to repel them.
Flies are repelled by certain smells. They do not like the smell of: clove, lavender, citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, or mint. Use these essential oils to create a fly repellant strip. Soak a bit of fabric in oil infused water and hang them by doors. You can use old pillowcases. Just rip them into strips, squeeze 5-10 drops of the oils into water, put the strips in water, soak, and dry.
Set traps, if you must.
Flies love stinky smells like apple cider vinegar. We can use this to our advantage. You need a soda bottle, apple cider vinegar, dish soap and some sugar. Cut the top third from the bottle. Pour ½ inch of apple cider vinegar and ½ inch of soap in the bottom 2/3 of the bottle and add a little sugar. Then take the cut off part of the bottle and invert it into the bottom 2/3. The cut off top of the bottle is now facing down into the bottom 2/3 of the bottle. Inverting it creates a funnel. The flies fly in, ingest the vinegar and soap and die. They may die in the bottle or once they leave, but the soap destroys their organs, so they will die.
With these strategies in hand, flies should stay out of your kitchen and your garden. The sustainable solution always takes effort and time, but we must do our part in maintaining the balance of the natural world.
Miller, Korin. How to Get Rid of Flies Inside and Outside of your Home According to Experts. 21 April 2023. https://www.prevention.com/life/a33235104/how-to-get-rid-of-flies-house/
Lupo, Lisa Jo. How to get rid of Flies Outside on Porch or in Backyard. 22nd April 2023. The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/getting-rid-of-flies-outdoor-2656268
Galovic, Nikki. Five Reasons flies are awesome (despite being really annoying) 2nd January 2018. https://blog.csiro.au/five-reasons-flies-are-awesome/#:~:text=Flies%20act%20as%20scavengers%20consuming,and%20dead%20animal%20carcasses%20everywhere