Cleaning, Garden, Home

How to catch flies: top methods for home and garden

How to catch flies

Outlines how to catch flies in the home or the garden, with simple clever traps and strategies to get rid of the annoying insects easily.

For many people, flies (insects of the genus Diptera) are the most unpleasant insects. They do not sting, but they are irritating and are unfortunately also carriers of bacteria and other pathogens. However, there is no reason to kill them immediately or to kill them with adhesive traps. A few simple tricks and home remedies help just as well and much more gently against the buzzing nuisances.

How to catch flies in the home

There are several ways to make your own fly traps: A homemade alternative to adhesive traps consists of baking paper strips, which you cover with particularly sticky honey, syrup or glue.

Bowl trap

A simple trap for fruit flies consists of a glass or bowl of fruit vinegar, sugar and a splash of detergent.

Bottle trap

You can catch flies with a trap from a recycled PET bottle. The effectiveness of such a trap depends heavily on the lure used. Fruit residues, mixtures of fruit vinegar, fruit juices, sugar and honey are recommended for the interior. Here, too, a splash of detergent helps.

Vacuum cleaner

Simply approach the flies slowly with the hand-held vacuum cleaner. They now have no chance to escape. And don’t worry, they won’t get out of the vacuum cleaner.

Carnivorous plants

How to catch flies

A natural antidote is the cultivation of carnivorous plants. There are some varieties that also thrive here. Inquire in the plant shop or nursery about which ones are best suited for your area. Insects such as flies and fruit flies as well as sometimes even mosquitoes are attracted by the plants, stick to them and then die there or are destroyed by the plants. You can also keep the carnivorous plants in your garden. However, they should be hardy enough to survive the winter, as they are generally from warmer climates.

Decoy methods

Flies obviously cannot react to two equally great dangers at the same time. We are mercilessly exploiting this to catch them. If it is just a single fly or the occasional one, you can try this. You take a glass or cup and slowly move it towards the fly. At the same time, you have to move something back and forth with the other hand in front of the fly. A fly will only focus on an enemy and does not perceive the cup, which you can then use to capture the fly. Sounds funny, but works!

On the same principle: If the fly sits on a surface (e.g. wall or table), then it is necessary to approach the open palms near the surface evenly from both sides of the fly. Important: the palms must be illuminated approximately in the same light, i.e. they represent two equivalent dangers for the fly. She remains squatting like petrified, but she certainly can’t decide with her tiny brain which of the two dangers she should avoid.

How to catch flies in the garden

If you want to set up or hang traps outdoors, choose sunny and windless places. Outdoors, you can choose a fishmeal solution as a lure. This is very effective, but smells more unpleasant. Put some fishmeal in your trap and add water. The solution ferments in the sun for a few hours before attracting the first flies.

How to deter flies

Quickly remove food waste

Flies feed on fermenting organic matter. For example, rotten fruit is an absolute fly magnet. But even remnants of fruit juice in standing jars or pastry crumbs on a plate can attract flies. Therefore, you should also take care to always cover food and not to leave dirty dishes around for long. Because flies are not only annoying, they can also transmit diseases. 

Fly screens and curtains

If you don’t want to build traps and renew them regularly, you don’t have to endure the annoying flies. With some uncomplicated but very effective measures, you get to grips with the flying problem. The most effective method is not to let the flies into the house in the first place. For example, fly screens help. They can be installed on almost all windows afterwards and offer simple and effective protection. For balcony and patio doors, fly curtains are a good choice.

Deter flies with fragrance and plants

You can also keep the animals away with plants. Plants that drive flies are, for example,

  • Basil
  • Geraniums
  • Capuchin cress,
  • Lavender,
  • Peppermint
  • castor plants,
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon balm and
  • Lemon verbena.

Furthermore, flies generally do not like intense scents like lemons spiked with cloves. They thus form a natural fragrance barrier. 

If you want to prevent a fly plague in the long term, you can offset the wall paint with a little lavender or laurel oil when painting the rooms, the balcony or the walls around the terrace. The scent keeps flies away.

If this is too expensive, you can also distribute some bunches of mint or lavender in the room. This fragrance should also be unpleasant for flies.

Be careful when airing

Flies prefer to stay in the sun. Therefore, when airing, it is better to only open windows that are on the dark side of the house or are equipped with a fly screen.

It also makes sense to ventilate when it is raining outside or very windy. Insects are often less on the move. However, beware of a storm or rain shower. Because at that time the crawling animals are looking for more protection. If you ventilate then, the risk of flies and other insects coming into your home is very high.

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