HEALTHPLAN MAGAZINE

10 Simple Tricks To Keep Flies Away Expat Tips

Everyone knows how to deal with the dreaded mosquito in Spain but how about flies?

Flies are not only annoying, they are also major disease carriers.

Did you know they can transfer more than 100 pathogens that can lead to illnesses such as Cholera, Dysentery, Tuberculosis (TB) and Typhoid? The pathogens are collected on their legs as well as in their mouths when they feed on decaying materials such as trash and faeces.

Flies such as fruit flies, bulb flies and whiteflies, as well as Fungus Gnats, sup the cell content from plants, dine on vegetables and fruits and their larvae feed on the plant’s roots. All of this can lead to a reduction in crops, plants suffering from stunted or poor growth and discoloured or wilted leaves.

Black flies are also prevalent in Spain. This nasty variety will even bite and suck blood from you in the same way that a mosquito does.

With that information in mind, it’s no surprise that people want to discover quick ways to eliminate them.

There are lots of shop-bought products available to do this, but they are full of chemicals which can be harmful to not only the environment but also adults, children, pets and wildlife.

Because of people's awareness of these chemicals, natural remedies are becoming more of a popular choice to get rid of these irritating insects.

Before we list 10 fantastic tips to remove these annoying critters from your home and garden, one thing that is important is to ensure your rubbish and any opened foods are sealed tightly to prevent the flies from feeding on them and breeding.

Here are our top ten tips to get rid of flies from both your home and garden.

Apple cider vinegar

This natural and easy to make a fly trap is great to use both indoors and outside and is one of the most effective methods there is.

Fill a bowl three-quarters of the way with Apple Cider Vinegar and add a drop of washing up liquid.

The detergent will allow the liquid in the bowl to have a firmer surface, giving the flies a false sense of security, before they eventually fall into the vinegar.

When doing this, make sure you place the bowl away from any other temptations on the table or countertops. You don’t want anything else to catch their attention and draw them away from your trap!

Lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil is another very effective, natural remedy that will eliminate flies from your home and garden as they hate the smell of it.

Just heat roughly half a cup of water and add about 20 - 25 drops of pure lemongrass oil. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray all of your work surfaces, windows and doors.

The added bonus to using this technique is the lovely fresh citrus aroma that will fill your home.

Citronella Candles/Smoke

Citronella candles are known for their great qualities as a mosquito repellent, but they have also shown that they are equally effective for getting rid of flies as well.

Flies absolutely hate smoke, add to this the scent of the citronella candle and they will soon disperse.

Citronella oil placed in a burner also works just as well and both products are highly recommended for using both inside and out to keep flies away.

If using either the candle or a burner, allow them to burn for approximately 30 minutes before getting the best results.

Vodka based repellent

Flies also hate the smell of vodka, so this is another great reason why this alcohol-based solution works as a great natural remedy to get rid of them.

Quite simply get a glass spray bottle and mix one cup of vodka with a teaspoon of organic lemon eucalyptus oil and two teaspoons of aloe vera juice. Spray all areas and surfaces that have or may attract flies to distract them.

As with some mosquito repellents, this solution blend is safe to apply to your skin. So if you suffer from allergy problems caused by flies or you find flies are attracted to you, get spraying your skin to keep them away!

Milk sugar pepper traps

Although this type of repellent has been found to work getting rid of all flies, it seems to be particularly great for fighting fruit flies.

In a saucepan heat one cup of milk, one tablespoon of pepper and three teaspoons of sugar. Simmer the mixture for five to ten minutes and then pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Place the bowls in areas that attract flies and watch the flies gravitate towards them and drown after landing in the bowls.

Pennies in a glass of water

This may seem like a strange one but flies seem to hate being around the copper that’s in pennies.

This is an old Latin American idea that guarantees that flies will stay away.

If you are eating outside or simply trying to relax in the garden, place glasses of water around the area you want to protect from flies and put four or five pennies in each one.

As long as the glasses are there, flies will come nowhere near!

Cucumber

Quite simply, flies hate the smell of cucumbers. If you find that flies are drawn to your rubbish/food bins, one of the best ways to prevent them from laying their eggs there is to place slices of cucumber on the top of the bin.

In addition to that, if you find flies are drawn to certain areas around your home, placing cucumber slices around those areas will help keep them at bay.

Plastic water bag with pennies

This method is one of the easiest to put in place and works in a similar way to the coins in the glass solution above.

All you need are clear plastic bags, some water and a few coins.

Fill each bag, about three-quarters of the way up with water, add a few coins and tie a knot in the top of the bag. Use this knot to hang the bags in doorways in your house.

When flies try to enter through the doorway, they see the bags of water as what appears to be something that disorientates them.

Many people have the theory that the light that emanates through the bag and coins leads them to believe there is a spider’s web there so they avoid it. Not sure whether this is the case or not but it seems to disorientate them in some way.

There are many videos and blogs online that claim this trick works well.

Give it a try!

Fragrant herbs

Growing vegetables in your garden can encourage flies to hang around and lay their eggs. A simple trick to deter flies is to plant aromatic and fragrant herbs such as mint, basil, lemongrass and lavender.

If you either aren’t able to grow or don’t have the space to grow herbs, the dried variety will also work. Simply place them inside a cheesecloth and tie, then hang them in the areas you want to be fly free!

Lemons filled with cloves

Anecdotal evidence shows that this is another effective method that works well both indoors and outside.

Simply place as many whole cloves in the flesh of half a lemon as you can and place the lemon in a bowl. It’s as simple as that!

If you are planning on using these outside when you have a BBQ or are simply dining Al Fresco, make sure you place the lemons on the table at least 30 minutes prior to sitting out there.