One thing every Texan has in common is figuring our how to deter and kill house flies. We have three dogs, and every time we let them out it seems like 20 flies are waiting patiently to zip inside. It started to get noticeably bad in early spring, so we went on a hunt to find out what actually works to control these tiny menaces. Here’s our list of what works for us and what doesn’t.
1. Electric Bug Zapper
A small scent packet attracts flies, and when they hit the metal they get zapped! This is a big part of our fly-control strategy, because you can just leave it plugged in during the day, go about your business, and by night time you discard DOZENS of dead (and some half-dead) flies. We put ours over the garbage can for maximum fly destruction. They also sell some for outside that you can hang around your patio.
2. Basic Ol’ Fly Swatter
Even though the zapper kills dozens of flies a day, there's still always more flies buzzing around, reproducing, and landing on our breakfast. Every few days I take about 10 minutes for a good thorough fly hunt with my handy fly swatter. A quick swat with one of these bad boys instantly kills them, and you can kill dozens in just a couple of minutes. Why wait for the flies to come to you?
3. Venus Fly Trap
At our local Sprouts, they always have different plants for only a couple bucks. Last week they were selling Venus Fly Traps for $6. It’s just a baby, but ours has already killed three flys! Okay, it might not be enough to really make a dent, but it's pretty awesome so that counts for something!
(in this photo you can see that two of the flowers have flies inside, and one is caught by the legs!)
4. Rescue Fly Traps
This is a highly, highly effective fly trap. We left it up for a week or two outside our back door (by then it had caught so many flies the bag was practically over-flowing) but it just smelled so bad that we couldn’t stand it anymore. Even days after taking it down we could still smell the stench around our back door. I would use these by the garbage cans or somewhere outside farther from your backdoor, but certainly not anywhere inside or on your porch. We also still had flies inside, so I wasn’t sure if the trap was attracting more flies to our porch that ended up getting inside the house. But aside from the smell factor, this trap really knows how to kill a fly!
5. Homemade Traps
As a kid in Canada, we mainly had fruit flies. My dad stuck a banana peel and other fruit bits in a mason jar, used a piece of paper to make a funnel cone, taped it up to the jar and let the fruit flies pile up. It worked really well. Here I found the same strategy for house flies, but with this mixture:
-1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
-1 Teaspoon Sugar
-Some Dish Soap
This definitely traps flies, but it does take some work with setting it up, cleaning it, and it starts to smell pretty quickly. It’s not my favorite long term fly killing tactic. If the paper cone thing is too difficult, you can also put plastic wrap over the top of the jar and poke a few holes in it.
6. Irish Springs Soap 2/10
Another tip from the Facebook group was to put Irish Springs Soap bars around the doors. I was excited because it was so clean and simple, it seemed too good to be true. It worked for a day or two- when I opened our door there were no flies around, but very soon it went back to normal. I believe the determined flies became immune to the smell and now they pretty much land on the soap bars, laughing at our futile attempts to deter them.
Our recommendation is to use a combination of the electric bug zapper, the good Ol' fly swatter, and then simply keeping your doors closed as much as possible! We hope these tips will help you get your pesky fly situation under control so you can enjoy your hot Texas summer a little bit more. If you have any other strategies, please leave it in the comments, we'd love to learn your fly killing secrets!