35 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Flies (That Actually Work)

How to Get Rid Of Flies in the House or Outdoors – Steps To Control a Fly Infestion

Last Updated on: January 28th, 2020 at 8:55 pm

As soon as the summer comes around, we welcome the warmth with high spirits and a magic smile on our faces.

Summer’s mark the beginning of fun time, holidays, picnics, barbecues, fresh breezes and …pesky flies.

Yes, troublesome flies.

The warmth of summer seems to bring out the worst in the insect population, with pesky flies invading our home and spoiling the summer mood. Flies are more than just a mere nuisance.

According to a study published in a renowned entomology journal, there are more than 100,000 known species of flies (only God knows how many species are still unknown).

Their presence alone is often annoying to people, but the true effects they have on humanity go largely unseen.

[This is a 5000+ word article on how to get rid of flies, so the following jump-links might help you to navigate. However if you are short of time and would like to directly jump onto the meat of this article then click here]

How To Get Rid Of Flies:

The process of getting rid of flies can be divided into two stages:

Stage 1 (Fly Control Techniques) – Stage 1 primarily comprises of the methods that can be used to control the further growth of flies. In these pest control techniques, we try to control the growth of flies by cleaning or rather destroying their breeding sources. This will help to stop any further growth of flies as after this they will have no place to lay eggs.

Stage 2 (Fly Elimination Techniques) – Now, after destroying the breeding place of flies, we will be left only with the adult flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, so the fly problem will get solved by killing these adult flies. And this is Stage 2 of the process.

Stage 1: Fly Control Techniques:

At this stage we are going to control the growth of flies by destroying their breeding sources. Let’s see the steps involved in this process:

Step 1 – Identify:

First of all identify the species of the fly that you mostly see in the infested area. You can use the below table to do this. In this table, I have compiled the data about commonly found species of flies and their possible breeding sites.

Step 2 – Find the Breeding Source:

Now after you have identified the species of fly that has infested your household, check its breeding sources from the image and find the similar sites in the vicinity of the infested area. Please note that such sources could be located up to 500 – 800 meters away from the place of infestation.

This will help you to understand where the flies are coming from.

This step may take time, but then you cannot skip this step as it is the most important step in the whole process.

Step 3 – Clean the Breeding Source:

After you have found a probable breeding source of those flies, clean it up. Wash fly specks off the walls, ground or floor with a borax and water solution. This removes the trace that flies leave to attract other flies to an area.

If it is near some garbage can, then it is better to cover it up and remove garbage at least 2 times per week.

If there is some dead animal or bird near this area, get it removed and make sure that it is disposed of properly. Try to keep the area clean and dry.

Step 4 – Wait for 1 to 3 months:

Using the above steps, you will prevent new generations of flies from reproducing in your area. But then, you may have to use some other methods to get rid of the individual flies that may come till next 1 – 3 months (because this is the maximum lifespan of an adult fly).

Stage 2: Fly Eradication Techniques:

In stage 2 of the process, we are going to have a look at some methods to kill or repel the adult flies in the infested areas. In this section, we are going to see some quick fire ways to eradicate flies.

When you talk about fly eradication methods, there are hundreds of them but in this article we will only see the best ones.

Also, for the sake of simplicity we will classify these methods into 7 major categories. You can pick any method from any category to see if it works in your case or not. These categories are as follows:

Category 1: Fly Repellents:

1. Using Vodka Based Fly Repellents:

For some reason flies hate Vodka. They just cannot bear its smell and hence some people use vodka based repellents to ward off flies.

To make such vodka based fly repellents you will have to mix following ingredients:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 tsp aloe vera juice
  • 1 tsp lemon eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 tsp. essential oil blend

After mixing the ingredients, pour them in a spray bottle. Apply it over your skin or spray it near the infested area to repel flies.

Note: Only apply this repellent on your skin if you are comfortable with it. If you have any kind of allergies with any of the above ingredients then it’s better to avoid this method.


How to Kill Paper Mites

Things You’ll Need

Flea foggers or bug bombs, available at hardware and grocery stores

Vacuum cleaner and broom

Electric box fans

Mites that get under your fingernails or skin can be killed by applying a coat of fingernail polish remover.

Mites are a variety of arachnid, distantly related to spiders. These tiny parasitic bugs can infest areas where papers, old books, dust and mildew accumulate. Piles of old newspapers are a haven for mites. Old storage boxes filled with paper files also provide a home for these tiny pests. Left to their own devices, mites can cause itching and skin irritation from bites, and may eventually ruin valuable documents and old books. Follow these steps to exterminate them.

See also:  Blueback herring

Step 1

Destroy the environment that allows mites to thrive. Throw away old collections of newspapers, or identify papers that must be saved and seal them in plastic bags. Ventilate the room and improve air circulation by opening windows and turning on electric fans. Sweeping and vacuuming away dust also will cause mites to flee the scene.

Step 2

Open boxes of stored books or remove books from shelves. Open the books slightly and set them upright on the floor with the pages loosely splayed open. You are preparing to kill anything that crawls within the pages of your books. Also open boxes of stored paper records.

Step 3

Seal the room as tightly as possible after cleaning away old papers and dust in preparation to discharge a fogger or bug bomb. Close all windows, doors and heating and cooling vents.


How to Manage Pests

Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets

Conenose Bugs

In this Guideline:

Adult western bloodsucking conenose bug, Triatoma protracta.

Adult conenose bug, Triatoma rubida.

The western corsair looks similar to conenose bugs but has an orange spot on each wing.

Conenose bugs are members of the family Reduviidae, commonly called assassin bugs, because most members of this family are predators of other insects. Conenose bugs or kissing bugs (genus Triatoma) are an exception to the family rule and are bloodsucking parasites that feed on a wide variety of domestic and wild animals, plus humans. In California these bugs are most prevalent in the foothill areas surrounding the Central Valley and in the foothills and desert areas of Southern California.

The most important species in California is T. protracta, the western bloodsucking conenose, with T. rubida also present and important.Both species live in the nests of wood rats or pack rats (Neotoma species) and other wildlife, but they also fly into homes and may feed on people. Although the biting process is painless, people often experience an intense itch or tenderness at the bite site, which can become swollen and reddish to purple. Worse, in sensitive individuals bites from conenose bugs can produce allergic reactions that are potentially dangerous and life-threatening.

In Latin America, these insects are important because they transmit the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease in humans. This debilitating and often lethal disease, for which treatment is difficult, is rare in the United States, despite the fact that a significant number of bugs carry T. cruzi in their gut. Researchers attribute the low incidence of Chagas disease in humans in the US to poor efficacy of disease transmission by the bugs, infrequent human contact, and inability of the bugs to permanently colonize homes. High rates of insect infection, however, would suggest the possibility that the disease might become a problem in the United States as the global climate changes. Chagas disease is already a serious problem among dogs in some areas of south Texas.

Another common assassin bug that is attracted to lights around homes, the western corsair Rasahus thoracicus, looks somewhat similar in shape to conenose bugs but has an orange and black body with an orange spot on each wing (Figure 3). The western corsair feeds primarily on other insects and doesn’t seek warm-blooded animals or require a blood meal in order to reproduce. In contrast to kissing bugs, if you pick up a corsair, it can inflict a most painful bite.


The adult western bloodsucking conenose is 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, black to dark brown, and has a lateral abdominal margin that is sometimes tan. The wings are held flat over the back at rest. The head has four-segmented antennae, conspicuous eyes, and a three-segmented straight beak that extends backward below the body. Nymphs are similar in appearance to adults except they are smaller and lack wings. Wing pads become apparent in the last instar. T. rubida is larger than T. protracta, measures 3/4 to 1 inch long, and is easily distinguished by the reddish or brownish-red lateral markings on the abdomen seen just outside the folded wings. Conenose bugs are easily distinguished from another bloodsucking true bug group, bed bugs (Pest Notes: Bed Bugs), by their larger size, darker color (bed bugs are brown to orange), presence of wings in the adult stage, and a more oblong shape with pointy (conenose) head.

Conenose bugs have a yearly life cycle with eggs laid in summer and autumn. The eggs hatch in three to five weeks, giving rise to the first of five nymphal stages, each requiring a blood meal before molting to the next stage. Blood is taken rapidly with feeding lasting 10 to 30 minutes. Fully engorged bugs can take one to five times their weight in blood, and bugs will feed about every one to two weeks when hosts are available and temperatures are warm. Adults live into mid- to late autumn. Conenose bugs overwinter as developing nymphs and molt into adults in spring.

Adults can fly and are drawn to outside lights at night. Feeding occurs mainly at night, with the bugs hiding in cracks and other dark, tight places during the day. After feeding they generally tend to move away from the victim, though engorged bugs are sometimes found among bedding in the morning. Outside they can often be found in animal nests and nesting material, including bedding in doghouses and chicken coops.


Conenose bug bites usually occur at night, and are grouped as several bites on the face, neck, arms, legs, and sometimes on the chest or other body parts. Bites are initially painless but might soon itch, swell, and cause a substantial welt that can last for several days. More severe reactions range from huge, painful welts to allergic reactions, including difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure, and rapid heart rates due to anaphylaxis. Bites from conenose bugs may be confused with spider or other arthropod bites. Conenose bug bites usually occur in the late spring to early summer and not at other times.

If you suspect that you or a family member might be allergic to conenose bug bites, see a physician or allergist for treatment options. Research shows that about 7% of people tested in areas where conenose bugs are common have the potential for developing serious immediate-sensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic shock, to the bite of this insect. If treated in time, anaphylactic shock can be reversed by the effects of epinephrine (adrenaline) injected into the body. Individuals who are aware that they are allergic to bites can obtain epinephrine in an auto-injector form (Epi-Pen) by prescription. Antihistamines may have value in easing itching and swelling reactions that are not life-threatening but should be used according to a physician’s instructions.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Midges in Garden or Backyard - Patio Yard - Garden

Trypansoma cruzi, the Chagas disease-causing protozoan some conenose bugs carry, is transmitted via their feces. Unlike most fly- and tick-transmitted diseases, the bug bite itself doesn’t transmit the organism or disease. Rather it is transmitted when conenose bug feces are scratched into a wound, ingested, or rubbed into moist tissues around the eyes, nose, and mouth. To prevent infection, wash the wound areas with soap and water; launder soiled clothing or bedding; and never scratch (especially to bleeding) the itchy wound, put fingers into your mouth or nose, or rub your eyes. Immediate or acute symptoms of this disease include swelling of the face, especially of one eye (Romaña’s sign), high or moderate fever that develops about two weeks after the victim is bitten, swelling of other body areas, and disturbance of the heart rhythm. If the patient isn’t treated in the early stages of the disease, prolonged chronic infection becomes established and may result in cardiac damage, other serious disorders, or death.


Various measures can be taken to prevent problems with conenose bugs. These include removing likely harborages such as rodent nests (especially wood rat nests), sealing entry points, fixing structural problems in buildings that permit the bug’s entry, and modifying lighting. Use weather stripping, caulk, or silicone seal to eliminate small cracks and crevices. Screen all windows and vent openings, making sure dog and cat entrances are insect-proof. Since white lights attract the insects at night, move inside lights away from doors and windows and, especially during late spring and summer, change outdoor and porch lights to yellow bulbs, reduce the wattage, or both. Remove rodent nests that are located within 300 feet of the house. Eliminate harborages including piles of lumber, firewood, and debris. Check beds at night, and shake out the bedding before getting into bed. Keep beds at least 1 foot from walls, don’t allow bedding to touch the floor, and place double-sided sticky tape on the legs. In extreme cases, a tent of mosquito netting over the bed that is tucked in all around the mattress will provide maximum protection. If the above measures don’t manage the problem, contact your local vector control agency or pest control company.


Klotz, J. H., P. L. Dorn, J. L. Logan, L. Stevens, J. L. Pinnas, J. O. Schmidt, and S. A. Klotz. 2010. “Kissing bugs»: Potential disease vectors and cause of anaphylaxis. Clin. Inf. Dis. 80:1629–1634.

Marshall, N., M. Liebhaber, Z. Dyer, and A. Saxon. 1986. The prevalence of allergic sensitization to Triatoma protracta (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) in a Southern California, USA, community. J. Med. Entomol. 23(2):117–124.

O’Connor-Marer, P. 2006. Residential, Industrial, and Institutional Pest Control, 2nd ed. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 3334.

Olkowski, W., H. Olkowski, and S. Darr. 1991. Common Sense Pest Control. Newton, CT: Taunton Press.

Schmidt, J. O., L. Stevens, P. Dorn, M. Mosbacher, J. Klotz, and S. A Klotz. 2011. Kissing bugs in the United States. Kansas School Natural. 57(2):1–15.

Sutherland, A. M., D.-H. Choe, and V. R. Lewis. May 2013. Pest Notes: Bed Bugs. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 7454.


Pest Notes: Conenose Bugs

UC ANR Publication 7455

Authors: L. Greenberg, Entomology, UC Riverside; J. O. Schmidt, Southwestern Biological Institute and Univ. of Arizona; S. A. Klotz, Arizona Health Sciences Center, Univ. of Arizona; and J. H. Klotz, Entomology, UC Riverside, Emeritus.

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2019 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California


The Best Fly Killer for the Yard

The Best Fly Killer for the Yard

Related Articles

The best method for killing flies in the yard depends on several factors. The most effective way to kill an adult fly does not necessarily kill its eggs or larvae. And what kills fruit flies may not necessarily kill houseflies. Some homeowners prefer to keep their yards chemical-free, and others may want to avoid messy baits or traps. Educating yourself on the options available for ridding the yard of flies will help you select the best method for your circumstances.


Flies (Diptera) are a large group of insects with more than 110,000 species worldwide. Some familiar members of this group include houseflies, mosquitoes, gnats and midges. All species have only one pair of wings with a pair of knobbed structures called halteres directly behind the wings. The immature or larval forms of flies are usually called maggots and live in a variety of habitats around the yard including, water, flowers, decomposing organic matter and even pet feces.

Predators and Parasites

Attracting predatory animals to the yard is a passive way to kill adult flies. This may be the best method for people who would like to avoid repeated and ongoing insect control or who prefer natural control of insect populations. Installing a bird or bat house in the yard provides a home for these fly-eating creatures with minimal further upkeep by the homeowner.

Another natural control method effective in killing flies is releasing parasitic wasps into the yard. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs directly inside the immature stages of flies. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae consume the fly maggots or pupae from the inside out. Parasitic wasps are commercially available for release in the yard. Purchasing and releasing these parasites is the best natural method to kill the larva and pupa stages of flies but is ineffective against adult flies.


The best method to eliminate adult houseflies and some other fly species in the yard is to use inverted cone traps hanging from tree limbs, fences or garden structures. These traps consist of a container filled with a fly attractant and an inverted cone suspended over it. The scent lures the insects, and they fly down through the cone. Once inside, they are unable to escape and quickly die. Commercially available cone traps contain an offensive-smelling chemical attractant, so they are best suited for large yards where the traps can be placed far away from human activity.


Chemical insecticides, for homeowners who are not averse to using chemicals in the yard, are the fastest and most effective method for eliminating flies. Botanical insecticides such as neem and pyrethroids are fast-acting killers of flying insects. Foggers and sprays containing these chemicals kill flies on contact. Most botanical insecticides are pet-friendly when they are applied correctly. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions could result in injury to humans and wildlife.

See also:  Gall Midge or Leaf midge of Blackcurrants


Applying First Aid for Biting Midges

No one likes a fly in their ear—much less the literal kind that comes with a nasty bite! Enter a class of minuscule flies under the family Ceratopogonidae, better known in America as “no-see-ums” and in Australia as biting midges. The biting midge grows approximately between 0.5 millimetres and 4 millimetres long, or about size of a pinhead. Small though a biting midge may be, make no mistake; when in a swarm with its peers, the it is a formidable nuisance for the average Australian.

Below is Australia Wide First Aid’s special guide on the biting midge, its risk to humans, and the everyday precautions you can take when dealing with this tiny terror.

Interesting Facts about the Biting Midge

More than 200 varieties of the biting midge can be found in Australia. The insect follows a holometabolous life cycle which comprises four life stages: the first as an as egg, the second as a larva, the third as a pupa, and the last as a mature adult. The average lifespan of an adult midge, depending on the individual species, is between a few days and several months.

Biting midges thrive in coastal habitats such as in the lagoons, estuaries, and mangrove swamps of Australia. They are particularly fond of making their homes in damp soil, damp beds of decaying leaf material, muddy and vegetated substrates, or tidal flats (hence the erroneous ascription of the alternative name “sandfly”). The moisture afforded by these environments makes a perfect hatching ground for their eggs. Temperature is an equally important condition to the biting midge; they are most active in humid weather that’s between 27 °C and 32 °C, and they avoid the windy weather.

The midges rarely disperse very far from their breeding sites, and as such, most midge bites to humans happen near these conspicuous areas. Between the male and the female midge, only the latter actually bites; this it does by breaking its human or bovine victim’s skin and injecting saliva to prevent blood from clotting. The female then consumes enough protein from the blood to help develop a batch of eggs.

What Problems Do Biting Midges Pose to Humans?

Some varieties of biting midge serve as vectors of deadly diseases to cattle, among them the blue tongue disease, African horse sickness, and epizootic haemorrhagic disease. There is no documented case of a biting midge acting as a vector for disease-causing pathogens to humans.

All the same, humans must beware; the midge can inflict a bite that swells, blisters, or weeps with clear discharge. A bite my cause acute discomfort and irritation, and if scratched excessively and exposed to bacteria, it may become infected. In cases that are few in number but severe nonetheless, bites may trigger an allergic reaction and necessitate performing treatment for anaphylactic shock.

Over time and repeated exposure, local residents will cease to be bothered by biting midges. Still, they may prove a nuisance to tourists or new inhabitants of a coastal area. Sound first aid practices and enough foresight on everyone’s part will keep your community free of midge bites.

Treating Bites and Avoiding Encounters with Biting Midges

If you incur a bite from a biting midge, you should attend to it immediately in order to avoid complications. Basic first aid for midge bites can be completed in the following steps:

  1. Apply cold compress, such as with an ice pack or a wet cloth, to soothe any burning sensation you feel on the bitten area.
  2. Take an antihistamine to relieve the swelling and itching. Prior to your encounters with biting midges or other pesky insects, you should have these medicines readily available in your own DIY first aid kit.
  3. Resist the urge to scratch the affected area, lest you incur a blister, a welt, or an infected wound that persists for days and will require additional medical attention. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or an antiseptic cream to mitigate the infection.
  4. If you experience any symptoms that may indicate an allergic reaction, call Triple Zero (000). Don’t delay in enlisting professional medical help to follow through on your anaphylaxis plan.

As with many other phenomena, the prevention of midge bites is better than having to cure them. Actively avoiding midge-infested sites serves practical, as well as ecological purposes: as of this time, there is no chemical registered in Australia that can keep entire midge populations at bay, and excessive usage of pesticide may prove harmful for other species in the environment.

Australia Wide First Aid recommends taking the following precautions:

  1. Avoid going outdoors at dawn or at dusk, as midge bites occur most frequently during these periods in the day.
  2. Don’t go about watering your plants at sunset, as the midges may be lurking under the cool and humid shade of your trees.
  3. Don protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts with collars, trousers, and closed-toed shoes with socks when you go out in the early morning or late evening.
  4. Apply insect repellent formulated with 15% to 20% diethyltoluamide (DEET), focusing on sensitive areas such as your scalp, neck, and ankles. This will ward off midges as well as mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting bugs.
  5. Make sure you have good air circulation indoors; a competent ceiling or pedestal fan will suffice. Midges dislike the strong breeze and will stay away from it.
  6. Pay attention to the local news about any discovered breeding sites or occurrences of midge outbreak. If you’re suddenly on the receiving end of a midge-related disturbance, ask for help from a pest control operator or from your local government.

Pictured: A Typical Midge Environment. Source; www.animials.uwa.edu.au

Learn More about First Aid Treatment for Australian Insects and Arachnids with Australia Wide First Aid

Bites and stings from midges and other Australian insects or arachnids may prove an unpleasant and even dangerous experience. However, many such bites and stings are both treatable and easily preventable. If you develop a first-aider’s sensibility with Australia Wide First Aid, you’ll be equipped to shield yourself and your loved ones from the pain, discomfort, and vulnerability that these species may cause.

Enrol at one of Australia Wide First Aid’s training centres, and earn your own certificate of first aid completion. With us, you can learn from the experts and gain considerable mastery over insect bites, anaphylaxis management, and other related first aid techniques. Click on any of the location pages below to commence your training!


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