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Top 10 tips for fly prevention

Warmer weather does come with a few downfalls and one being that flies and insects start to hatch. Whilst it is never pleasant sharing your living space with flies and insects, the prospect of having all the windows and doors closed to prevent them from entering is just as unpleasant. Then there is the suggestion of a picnic or having a barbecue… but you don’t want to be bugged by unwanted visitors or share your food with them? MOLLY MAID, the domestic house cleaning experts, have put together some top tips to help in our battle of fly prevention.

  1. Remove sources of food: Flies will be attracted to all sources of food which may be left out, or crumbs that have not been cleaned up properly. So, put away any food and wipe down surfaces and brush up crumbs after cooking and eating. Avoid leaving dirty plates and cooking utensils in the sink.
  1. Keep bins covered: Whether food is fresh or decaying makes no difference to flies, so ensure that all bins (including compost bins) are covered with lids and emptied regularly.
  1. Pet Food: Once your pet has finished eating, it is really important to throw away any left-over scraps or remanence of food in their bowls and to thoroughly wash their feeding bowls.
  1. Use vinegar: Vinegar is a very handy ingredient to have in the home, not just for cooking but also for its multiple uses in the home from cooking to fly prevention. If sitting outside trying to enjoy a barbecue or a picnic, try making a fly trap with apple cider vinegar. Here’s how:
  • Grab a clean jar with a lid.
  • Fill half way with apple cider vinegar (the fly attractant!).
  • Punch some holes in the lid. The holes need to be large enough for the flies to enter the jar, then replace the lid.
  • Wait for the flies to crawl in and wait for the vinegar to do the rest. Refresh regularly.
 This is particularly effective for a pic-nic or barbecue.
  1. Benefits of Lavender: Lavender is another one of those very useful products to have in the home. When it comes to flies, lavender is their nemesis! One thing to remember is that lavender also has a ‘calming’ effect, so perfect for use in sleeping areas of the home.
  • Boil some water and place a sponge in the middle of a saucer or old dish. Add 1 teaspoon of lavender oil and 2 tablespoons of the boiling water to moisten. To reinvigorate, add a little hot water each day and replenish the oil once a week. Alternatively, consider buying an oil burner and some lavender oil.
  • Rub doorways and windows to prevent flies from entering. Try placing a few drops of lavender oil onto a cleaning cloth. Rub this around the windows and doorways where flies seem to be entering through (having tested on a small area first to ensure that it won’t mark or stain the surface). This method will require re-application from time to time, but will certainly help in conjunction with a fly curtain (see below).
  1. Mint muslin bags: When planning your picnic or barbecue, it is a good idea to pre-prepare a couple of muslin bags filled with fresh crushed mint and lavender for every person to put on the side of their plate to help prevent flies from sharing your food.
  1. Fly curtains: Some may say this is a throw-back to the 70s, but they are still commonly seen in warmer climates for the simple reason that they still work! Whilst they prevent some flies from entering the home, they also allow fresh air into the home. They tend to be colourful strips of plastic so make sure that you co-ordinate with the rest of your interior design!
  1. Fly prevention plants: Some herbs and plants have the added benefit of repelling flies so in this instance it would be a good idea to keep these plants by the entrance of doors or windows that may need to be opened regularly. You may even consider growing these plants in beds or pots near doors. Plants that may help include:
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Common rue
  • Tansy (part of the daisy family)
  • Tomato plants

If there are flies in the kitchen, put some crushed mint on your kitchen surfaces and consider growing basil and mint in pots in the kitchen.

  1. Distraction: A good way of preventing flies frequenting your home in the first place is to attract them to an area outside which is not used be anyone. This method is not for everyone and is best used in larger areas, or farms as you don’t want to attract other wildlife! Place traps outdoors by making a delicious blood and bone feasting zone as follows:
  • Buy a bag of blood and bone from your local nursery or garden centre.
  • Pour some into a reseal able large plastic bag and seal.
  • Poke a few holes in the bag. These need to be large enough for a fly to get in but no larger.
  • Hang the bag from a tree – far from the house. Allow it to fester under the elements, turning into a delight for the local flies.
  1. Fly Screens: When all else fails, consider installing a fly screen (mesh screens) to your windows and doors if flies are a constant problem. These need to be maintained and kept in good condition with holes being fixed regularly. These screens can be removed in the winter.

Good luck banishing those pesky flies!