How To Get Rid Of House Flies

Jerry, the home and car insurance super app, has some great tips on how to get rid of house flies and save some money.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
You can use traps, repellents, and clean living habits to get rid of house flies. It’s pretty easy—once you know what to do! 
Most homeowners have to deal with a few flies in the summer. But, there’s a big difference between one or two flies wandering into your home and a full-blown infestation. Flies can carry serious diseases, and they reproduce rapidly. That’s why it’s crucial if you have an infestation to take immediate action to get rid of them. 
To help you quickly and efficiently get rid of house flies in your home,
super app
—has put together this anti-fly battle plan for you! So, grab your fly swatter, and let’s get started! 
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How to tell if you’ve got a house fly problem

Pretty much everyone has encountered house flies before. They’re one of the most common pests around, appearing pretty much anywhere that food has been left out too long. House flies are fairly easy to recognize—they’re about a quarter of an inch long with a dull gray body, large eyes, and semi-transparent wings
If you’ve ever waited too long to do the dishes or take out the garbage, chances are a few of these pesky scavengers have come buzzing around. But here are the common indicators that you have a house fly infestation:
  • Dark spots: If large numbers of flies are in your home, you’ll probably notice very small black dots clustered around lights, on walls, drains, walls/floor cavities, and other hard-to-reach places. 
  • Frequent sighting: Unlike a lot of pests, flies are not shy or nocturnal. If they’re living in your home, you almost certainly see them buzzing about. 
  • Maggots: One sure sign that flies are nesting in your home is the presence of maggots, which is the larval form of the insect. You’re most likely to find maggots near the flies’ major source of food. 

What attracts flies to your home

House flies only care about eating and laying eggs—-both of which require a readily available food source. Because of this, they’re attracted to spoiled/rotten food, feces, and garbage. They’re also drawn to bright lights, but it’s unlikely to cause an infestation. 

How to get rid of house flies 

Once you’ve identified a house fly infestation, the next step is getting rid of it. Flies can spread disease and are more than a little annoying. More importantly, they’re usually a sign that there is something spoiled or rotten around your house—which can be hazardous in its own right. That’s why it’s important to resolve the situation quickly. To deal with your fly problem, follow these three steps:

1. Eliminate the bait

The very first thing you do should be to identify and remove the source of the infestation
Check garbage cans, areas where food is, and anywhere that water pools. If you have pets, check any areas they commonly frequent as well. Once you've removed what's attracting the flies, you’ll still need to get rid of the flies already in your home and ensure no more can get in.  

2. Seal it up

Besides bait, flies also need a way in before they can infest your house. Once you've removed the source of the flies, you’ll want to seal up any areas they might be using to get inside. 
Check your windows and screens for any tears, keep your doors closed, and seal up any cracks with caulk to prevent any more flies from getting in. 

3. Swat, smush, trap, or trick 

After you’ve eliminated the nest, removed the food source, and sealed up access points, it’s a matter of swatting, smushing, or trapping the flies already in your home. Here are some of the most popular and effective methods to get rid of house flies in your home: 
  • Build a natural trap: You can trap and kill the flies by putting bait (fruit, vinegar, honey, apple cider vinegar, etc.) in a plastic container, covering it with plastic wrap, securing the wrap in place with a rubber band, and poking one or two small holes in the plastic wrap. The holes should be big enough that a fly can get in but small enough that they’ll have trouble finding their way out. 
  • Use store-bought traps: If you’re not interested in making your own traps, you can buy some from the store. The best traps are strips of sticky fly paper that you can hang from the ceiling. 
  • Use plants: Several houseplants repel flies, such as basil, mint, lavender, and lemongrass. If you place these about your house, they should drive out the flies without you having to kill them. You can also use extract or essential oils from any of these plants to make a fly-repellent spray. 
  • Purchase insecticides and repellents: If natural repellents aren’t doing the trick, you can break out the big guns! You can find chemical insecticides and repellents at pretty much any store that sells homecare goods—just be careful about spraying around food, pets, or children. 
  • Swat them: There’s always the classic solution—hunting them down one at a time with a fly swatter. This can be effective, but it could take a while. You also won’t be sure if you’ve gotten all of the flies. 
  • Call a professional exterminator: If all else fails, you can always contact a professional pest control specialist to get rid of the flies. This is always going to be the most sure-fire way of dealing with the problem—and the most expensive. 

Are flies harmful?

Because house flies are so common, a lot of people assume that they’re harmless—this is not the case. Flies can be harmful to you, your family, and your pets by spreading disease
Flies constantly fly back and forth from feces and garbage to high-traffic areas, food, and even your own skin. When they do this, they carry harmful bacteria back and forth with them. 
Part of a fly’s eating process includes regurgitating their food to further digest it. If you’ve ever seen a fly land and rub its front legs together, they’re vomiting up their food and re-eating it—which can easily spread diseases like E.coli, Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid Fever, and Tuberculosis. They can also give you food poisoning or eye infections!

How to avoid future fly infestations 

Once you’ve gotten rid of your house fly infestation, your top priority should be ensuring it doesn’t come back. Here are a few precautions you can take to reduce the risk of future fly infestations:
  • Clean up after your pets and make sure they’re well-groomed and bathed.
  • Wash dishes and take out the trash regularly.
  • Don’t leave food out or laying around.
  • Quickly clean up after meals. 
  • Dispose of spoiled food promptly. 
Generally, the best way to avoid house flies is by practicing clean living, keeping to a stick hygiene regimen, and maintaining a clean home. 

Will home insurance cover the cost of getting rid of house flies?

Typically, homeowners insurance does not cover damages or expenses related to flies, termites, rodents, or any other pests. This is because pest infestations are seen as a preventable
. Therefore, insurance providers view pest control as the responsibility of the homeowner.
That said, if you have a fly problem resulting from structural damage or damage caused by a covered peril, you may be able to submit a claim for the damage, including the removal of the flies. 

How to find affordable homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance may not be able to help you with your fly problem, but it can help with numerous other (and often more serious) threats to your house. Moreover, most mortgage companies require home insurance as a condition of your mortgage.
If you own a home, you almost certainly already have
homeowners insurance
—but make it easy and put your home insurance on autopilot with
, the insurance super app. 
Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a home or
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We’ll do a comprehensive cross-analysis of policies from the top, name-brand insurers to make sure you have a policy that suits your needs. Choose the policy you like, then we’ll do the hard work for you—that means handling all phone calls, paperwork, and renewals.
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