How To Keep Flies From Coming in the Door

by Derrick | Last Updated: May 20, 2022

Summer’s often an exciting time for many households, as it is a time to relax as the sun shines. However, summers can get too hot, forcing you to ventilate your home using the cool breeze. Unfortunately, opening up your home during the summer exposes you to the threat of disease-carrying flies. 

Here’s how to keep flies from coming in the door:

  1. Keep the inside of your home clean.
  2. Keep your yard clean.
  3. Install mesh doors and windows.
  4. Plant fly-repellent vegetation.
  5. Install natural or artificial flytraps.
  6. Use citrus fruits as repellents.
  7. Use natural oils and camphor as repellents.
  8. Hang ziplock bags with water and coins inside.
  9. Use candles, incense, and repellent light.
  10. Use insecticides. 

Below, I’ll explain how the above tips help keep flies away from your home. 

1. Keep the Inside of Your Home Clean

The most efficient way of keeping flies away is to make your house as unattractive as possible to the pesky bugs. Flies love waste, so do your best to cover or get rid of it. 

Observe the following home cleanliness tips to keep flies away:

  • Cover food: Cover all food that isn’t being consumed. Food tents are a great solution as they allow food to breathe without attracting flies. 
  • Wash the dishes: Flies love unwashed dishes as they contain leftover food particles. Clear the sink swiftly, especially in the summer. 
  • Cover garbage cans tightly: Garbage cans are hotbeds of decaying matter, attracting flies like moths to a flame. Seal garbage cans tightly and take the bag out when it gets full.
  • Clean pets regularly: Dirty pets and pet cages can attract flies, so ensure that they remain clean. 
  • Clear dead pests: Dead pests like rats can decay, producing a foul smell that attracts flies. Unfortunately, flies lay eggs in decaying flesh, so one dead rat can cause a fly infestation. One way to avoid such a scenario is to avoid poisoning pests
Keep Flies Away

2. Keep Your Yard Clean

The source of your indoor fly problem may actually lie outside. If flies find somewhere to breed outside, they’ll eventually become a nuisance inside the house. 

The following tips will help rid your yard of fly breeding grounds:

  • Clear outdoor garbage cans: Outdoor garbage cans shouldn’t remain with trash for long: they’ll invariably attract flies. Furthermore, thoroughly clean the cans in case of any spills – even a little decaying matter can attract flies. 
  • Clear waste from the garden: Ripe and unwanted fruit and vegetables shouldn’t remain in your garden as they’ll rot and attract flies. You should collect any dropped produce before decaying starts. 
  • Cover drains and septic tanks: Drains and septic tanks are prime breeding grounds for flies. Cover them and regularly check for evidence of fly larvae, which may indicate there’s a gap in the system that needs plugging. 
  • Remove animal feces: Flies love fecal matter, so your garden must remain free of feces. Check your garden for feces even if you have no pets because wildlife feces also attracts flies. 

3. Install Mesh Doors and Windows

No matter how much you try, it might be challenging to keep flies away from your home. For instance, a neighbor can fail to maintain similar cleanliness standards, or you may keep farm animals, making it near impossible to get rid of all fecal matter. 

Fortunately, mesh doors and windows can help keep flies outside while allowing a cool breeze inside. The small holes allow airflow but prevent flies from getting in.

You can have mesh screens installed in all doors and windows to keep your house ventilated and clear of pests. Mesh screens have various designs, allowing you to pick one that suits your needs. For example, you can pick one with a space to let pets through. 

Some mesh curtains come in two and split in the middle to allow people and pets through. The curtains shut immediately after the person passes, thanks to weights and magnets installed on the inner edges. 

Screen doors can also provide additional security if made from a material that can’t be sliced or cut. Flies are small and determined insects, so a few will find a way through. 

However, the mesh screens will keep a large percentage of flies away. 

4. Plant Fly-Repellent Vegetation

Like humans, there are smells that flies don’t like. Thankfully, we enjoy most scents that they hate. Flies detest the smells produced by basil, marigold, lavender, and mint. You can plant these around your house to keep flies away and fill your compound with exquisite fragrances. 

One variety will do depending on the climate. If you don’t have a garden, the above plants do well in pots. 

You can place the pot near the doors and windows of your home to deter flies from coming in via those routes. Alternatively, you can place potted plants inside the house near windows and doors. That way, you’ll have a house filled with fragrant fly-repellent aromas

Furthermore, potted plants contribute to a house’s aesthetics. 

5. Install Natural or Artificial Flytraps

You can use fly traps to trap flies before they get into your home. Thankfully, you can craft most of these traps at home. 

Dish Soap and Vinegar Trap

This is arguably the most common homemade trap as it’s easy to make, and flies can’t seem to resist it. Flies particularly like apple cider vinegar, but you can also use malt vinegar. Place vinegar mixed with dish soap near doors and windows. 

Flies landing on the formula will get trapped inside as dish soap reduces the vinegar’s surface tension. 

You can also seal the bowl with clean film and poke holes to let the flies inside. Ensure that the holes are large enough to let flies through but too small to let them out. When using the clean film method, you don’t need to add dish soap to the vinegar. 

Dish Soap and Wine Trap

Alcohol, especially wine, attracts flies, so they can’t resist a taste every time they catch a whiff of it. Pour a bit of whichever wine you have in a container and add dish soap. 

When the flies drink the wine, they get poisoned by the dish soap, killing them. 

You can create a paper funnel to trap the flies inside the glass, leaving them no choice but to have a taste. The funnel should have a small hole at the tip that allows flies into the glass but prevents them from escaping. 

Venus Flytrap

Nature has its unique way of regulating fly populations: the Venus Flytrap. Like other plants, the Venus Flytrap draws nutrients from the soil, but to supplement its diet, it feeds on insects like flies. 

The Flytrap secretes nectar between two lobes, attracting hungry insects. 

Once the plant senses that an insect has landed on the leaf, the lobes snap shut, locking the unfortunate prey inside. The plant then produces toxins that digest the animal for around ten days. Eventually, the lobes open, releasing the insect’s empty shell. 

You can purchase a Venus Flytrap at a garden center and watch in awe as it stops flies from entering your house. 

Fly Strips

A time-effective way of trapping flies is by using fly strips. Purchase a fly strip at a shop and hang it near a window or a door. 

Fly strips have a sticky substance that attracts and traps flies. Eventually, the flies die on the strip. Full fly strips are an eyesore, so make sure you replace them regularly. They also lose effectiveness over time due to dust or after drying up. 

You can also make fly strips by dipping brown paper in a syrup and sugar solution. 

6. Use Citrus Fruits As Repellents

Flies love fruits, but they can’t stand those of citrus variety. Manufacturers use citrus to craft bug repellents due to its ability to drive off insects. A waste product you can use to keep flies away is orange peel, but unlike other forms of waste that attract flies, orange peel repels them. 

Place fresh orange peel near doors and windows to keep flies away and rub the skins to make the smell more potent. 

Replace dried orange peel as it has no effect on the flies, so it’s an excellent excuse for you to eat more Vitamin C-rich oranges. To increase the effectiveness of citrus fruits as fly repellents, combine them with cloves. Insert cloves inside the lemon, lime, or orange and place them near home entrances. 

The smell will keep flies away while filling your house with a refreshing aroma. You can also cut the citrus fruit in half and stick the cloves inside the piece. 

Make sure to replace any dried fruit with fresh produce.

7. Use Natural Oils and Camphor As Repellents

Natural oils from eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass produce scents unpleasant to flies. 

Essential oils have high insect-repellent properties. This study investigated the effectiveness of natural essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, and orange as tick repellents. It concluded that synthetic repellent provided better and longer-lasting protection than essential oils.

However, it also found that essential oils, especially lavender, showed promise as an alternative repellent. 

You can purchase essential oils from a shop or make some at home. Dip fresh lavender in a low-scent carrier oil and allow it to infuse for 48 hours. After completion, drain the oil and place it around the house, preferably near entrances. You can also spray the oil to increase its potency. 

Camphor is also an effective fly deterrent. Place the substance on a hot surface and watch the fumes keep flies away. 

8. Hang Ziplock Bags With Water and Coins Inside

It’s sometimes difficult to fathom how people discovered some fly repellent methods. This hack involves hanging ziplock bags with pennies above windows and doors. It seems unlikely to work, but so many people swear by it that it has become a recognized way of repelling flies. 

Fill a ziplock bag with water and throw several pennies inside. Suspend the bags near entrances and watch the unlikely pairing work its magic. 

Different theories trying to explain how this method works have surfaced, but none seems convincing enough. Here are some of them:

  • The light reflected from the coins overwhelms the flies, forcing them to fly away.
  • The coins resemble a wasp nest, which flies would rather avoid.
  • Coins in water mimic large bug eyes that scare the flies away. 

The theory was popularized on a Facebook group dubbed Mrs. Hinch Cleaning Tips.

9. Use Candles, Incense, and Repellent Light

Burning citronella candles and incense can help keep flies away because they hate the smell of incense and citronella candles and are likely to stay away. 

Flies apparently don’t like the color yellow, so installing yellow lights in your house can keep away flies. They like the color blue, which you can use to your advantage. You can use blue light to capture and kill flies. 

Fly light traps use blue light to attract flies, which are then zapped electrically or trapped. Unfortunately, these lights are more effective inside than they are outside.

10. Using Insecticides

Despite this method’s effectiveness, it comes last due to its use of potentially harmful chemicals. 

Unfortunately, insecticides may be the only solution if you have a major fly infestation. Insecticides work quickly, but they aren’t an effective long-term solution. Flies have short life cycles, allowing them to develop resistance to insecticides quickly. 

To avoid potential harm from the chemicals, purchase insecticides approved for indoor use, and make sure that the area’s well ventilated before using the insecticide. Insecticide manufacturers have developed devices that switch on during the day when flies are likely to get into your house. They turn off at night when the fly infestation is improbable. 


The above methods will keep flies away from your home. Some might be more fruitful than others, depending on your execution. 

Try combining methods if one fails. For example, you can combine citrus fruits and fly traps for greater effectiveness. Citrus fruits will repel most flies, and the traps will snap up any fly that passes through. 

The one thing that flies hate the most is cleanliness. Maintain a clean home, and you won’t have a fly problem.