While there are many annoying household pests to deal with during the spring and summer months, none are so frustrating and numerous as flies. When the warm weather arrives, these insects seem to appear out of nowhere and invade your home and garden. There are thousands of species of flies; however, houseflies, horseflies, and fruit flies are most commonly seen around the home. Eradicating these disease-carrying pests can be a challenge, but there are ways to get rid of them and ensure they do not return.
1. Use Cucumber Slices
If you want to keep flies away from your sinks and trash cans, one strategy that might be effective is to place cucumber slices in these areas. Houseflies are repelled by the smell of cucumber and will not lay their eggs anywhere near the slices. Try to replace the slices at least a few times a week so the smell stays fresh and strong enough to keep them away. You should use only fresh cucumber and not a spray or candle, as these might contain other scents that will not be effective in keeping these pests away.
2. Manage Your Compost Heap
Keeping flies away from your compost heap during the hot summer months can be a challenge, but there are ways to reduce their numbers. One of the most effective strategies is to keep your compost in a bin wide enough for you to aerate it and keep it covered when you are not using it. If you cannot use a bin, then make sure there is enough soil included in your compost to allow the burial of larger food scraps. If you have any fruit or vegetable peelings for your compost heap, boil them before you add them to the pile to remove the odors that may attract fruit flies.
3. Keep Pet Food Tightly Covered
While most species of flies are harmless, many carry disease, and there are some parasitic flies that can cause serious harm to your pets. This risk may be increased if you live near homes or farms with horses, sheep, or cows, all of which attract this kind of fly. However, there are several actions you can take to protect your dog or cat.
How you store your pet food can be important when it comes to keeping flies away. They can crawl into partially-open bags and lay their eggs on the food or leave behind germs they carry on their feet. To avoid this, invest in tough plastic airtight bins and ensure they are tightly after each time you feed your pet. Pick up any uneaten food, especially if you use wet food, and rinse used cans thoroughly before you recycle them. The less food you leave for flies, the fewer you will see around your home.
4. Take Advantage of Natural Solutions
There are a few plants and herbs that you can plant around your home that might provide you with an all-natural way to kill or repel flies. This can be especially helpful if you prefer to avoid using harsh pesticides. Some plant pest repellent species are as beautiful as they are useful, such as marigolds and lavender. If you want something a bit more unusual, consider keeping Venus Flytrap plants on your windowsills to catch unsuspecting flies.
Many of these plants are highly versatile because they can be kept indoors or out, or even in flowerboxes outside of windows, where flies often congregate. Quite a few plants that repel or kill flies can also be effective in controlling mosquitoes, which carry a variety of diseases that are harmful to both people and pets.
Controlling fly populations around your home during the warm months can be daunting. However, there are a variety of techniques you can use to keep them at bay and keep your family safe all summer long.