Shoo, fly! Don't bother me! When they manage to make their way into your home, house flies are unpleasant and annoying to have around, with their incessant movement and relentless buzzing. Much worse than that, though, is the fact that the common house fly can carry dangerous diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever, tuberculosis, salmonella, and dysentery, as well as spreading the larvae of parasitic worms. And since they love to land on any exposed food (ingesting it and vomiting it up to break it down for digestion -- eeww!), they can easily pass these illnesses on to you. Here are 8 natural home remedies to get rid of these insect pests.
- Get rid of their source. If you notice an unusually large number of flies buzzing through your home, check whether you can see where they are coming from … your outdoor compost pile or the carcass of a wild animal, for example.
- Screen openings. Put up screens on your windows and door, and be sure to keep them closed. If you do not want to invest a lot of money in purpose-built window screens, buy inexpensive wire mesh by the yard at your hardware store. Tack it up in the window frames to control flies and other insects.
- Keep your house clean. Impeccable housecleaning is advisable, especially in the kitchen and the bathroom. Close all indoor garbage cans and compost bins and take care to empty them frequently. Cut off the flies' food supply; avoid leaving leftovers -- including pet food -- out uncovered.
- Use common scents. Buy a bottle of natural eucalyptus oil. Flies are repelled by the strong scent of eucalyptus., especially lemon eucalyptus. (They prefer the perfume of rotting garbage.) Put the eucalyptus in a heat diffuser or dab a few drops of diluted oil directly on your skin. Camphor is an alternative, which may also be dispersed with a heat diffuser. The only problem is that humans as well as house flies tend to dislike its odor. Citronella, in the form of candles (use these outside only) or applied to the skin or clothing, will ward off both flies and mosquitos.
- Plant herbs. Basil, mint, and rosemary are easy to grow indoors or out. What's more, these plants are pleasant-smelling to us humans, but objectionable to flies. The best herb of all for house fly control seems to be lavender, which is extremely versatile and may also be used to relieve a number of physical and emotional woes, in addition to adding flavor to your cooking.
- Spice up the ambiance. The fragrance of cinnamon and cloves, once again, is considered quite pleasing to most people, so much so that these spices are used to scent the kitchens of houses for sale; however flies tend to disagree.
- Boil up a pot of malt vinegar. This won't add curb appeal to your home sweet home but it will discourage house fly infestation. Just don't allow it to scorch or you could end up with a stench that you'll find as unbearable as the flies do.
- Darken your rooms. Flies have an innate tendency to head towards the light -- what we'd consider a romantic or relaxing shadowy atmosphere does nothing for them. So if you're sitting down for a quiet supper or conversation with friends, consider dimming your bulbs. A fringe benefit is that the lower wattage will save you electricity as well as giving the cold shoulder to unwelcome insect "guests."
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.