Flies in my garage


The Small Flies: What You Can/Should Do

by David Moore
Manager of Technical Services and Board Certified Entomologist
with contributions by Eric Smith, PhD, BCE

Flies are typically separated into 2 major groups, the large flies and the smaller flies. The larger or filth flies (those we’ll cover in the May 2013 blog) are typically about 1/8-3/8″ long, breed outdoors, and come from the outside (e.g., house fly). Then there is a whole group of tiny flies that most people call “gnats.” Although they can commonly be problems in homes, more often they are problems in commercial accounts, especially offices, food handling establishments, food processing plants, and grocery stores.

Why they are of concern

Yes, their presence is a nuisance, but more importantly consider that they all breed in some kind of decaying organic “goo.” Hence, they can carry disease-causing pathogens and can affect human health and food safety. For example, consider the following:

  • Many of these flies breed in very unsanitary conditions and may mechanically act as disease vectors.
  • Some, once dead, because of their delicate bodies can cause bronchial asthma via inhalation of their body parts.
  • Many have a short development time (egg to adult) and can build into large numbers within a short time; e.g., the small fruit fly’s developmental time can be 8 days.

Not only are these “gnats” typically found indoors causing problems, but they also typically breed indoors. Hence, the source of these flies will almost always be indoors. Finding and eliminating the source is the key to solving the fly problem.

Correct identification is the key

  • Knowing which kind of “gnat” tells one where to look for breeding sites. Although they all breed in some kind of decaying organic “goo,” each has preferred sites. So, let’s get to it.
  • A 10-20-power hand lens or a microscope may be required to positive ID, a good reason to have your identification confirmed by a pest management professional. However, their flight habits and/or the breeding sites you may find are good clues.
  • The most common groups of these “gnats” belong to 3 families of flies. Being flies means that they have only1 pair of wings, belong to the insect order Diptera (di = 2 and ptera = wings), and have complete metamorphosis (egg → larva(e) →pupa → adult). Pupation takes place in the last larval skin, which hardens and turns reddish.

Small Fruit/Vinegar/Drosophila flies (family Drosophilidae)

  • The common name of small fruit fly (often just called fruit flies) comes from their fondness for fruits as egg laying and developmental sites. The name of vinegar fly comes from the fact that they develop in the briny or vinegar-like liquids at the top of imperfectly sealed canned fruits and vegetables. The name drosophila comes from the family and genus (Drosophila) to which they belong.


  • Size: About 1/8″ (3 mm) long.
  • Color: Tan to brownish yellow or brownish black. Eyes usually red.
  • Antennae: Very short, with a feathery bristle (arista).
  • Flight: Hovers in small circles.
  • Other features: Small robust flies with large bright or dark red eyes.


  • Females lay their eggs (about 500) near the surface of fermenting fruits and vegetables.
  • The larvae develop in the briny or vinegar-like liquids of the fermenting materials where they feed primarily on the yeast.
  • Prior to pupation, the larvae crawl to drier areas of the food or elsewhere and then pupate.
  • The life cycle (adult to adult) may be completed in 8-10 days at 85° F / 29° C.


  • Because of their small size, many species are able to penetrate ordinary screens. Smaller screen mesh size may be required.
  • They are attracted primarily to fresh fruits and vegetables and those fermenting because of yeast. Materials lose their attractiveness when they begin to decay because of bacteria and fungi.
  • Newly emerged adults are attracted to lights.
  • Because of their extremely short life cycle of 8-10 days, they can exploit many temporarily available developmental sites such as sour dishclothes and mopheads, fruit under a table or left in a bowl, etc.

Typical breeding sites

(* = most common) include the following:

  • Overripe fruits & vegetables*
  • Overripe fruits & vegetables*
  • Dirty garbage can/trashcan*
  • Fermenting canned goods*
  • Stagnant drain trap
  • Bagged onions, potatoes, in cracks & crevices & other vegetables
  • Sour floor mop
  • Food disposal unit
  • Refrigerator drain pan
  • Containers held for recycling*
  • Discarded wine, beer, milk, or ketchup bottles*
  • Spilled wine, juice, beer, etc. in cracks & crevices
  • Dishwasher
  • Old, forgotten dishcloths
  • Compost pile

Note that such things as dishwater and mop water are full of food particles which can accumulate on surfaces and/or in crevices (e.g. under and behind baseboards) and ferment, providing ideal fly breeding conditions.

Moth/Drain/Filter/Sewage flies (family Psychodidae)

  • These flies get their common name of moth fly from their fuzzy appearance due to the wings and bodies being very hairy. The names of drain/ filter/sewage fly are from their typical breeding and developmental sites.
  • Females lay their eggs (about 30-100) in irregular masses on the surface of the gelatinous film which lines the water-free portion of drains or covers the filter stones of sewage treatment plants.
  • Both larvae and pupae live in this gelatinous film with their breathing tubes projecting through the film.
  • The larvae feed on the algae, bacteria, fungi, microscopic animals, and sludge of this film.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult) is 7-28 days.
  • Adults live about 2 weeks.
  • Because of their small size, moth flies are able to penetrate ordinary screens.
  • They are weak fliers.
  • Indoors during the day they typically rest on vertical surfaces near drain openings. If they fly, it’s a short hop.
  • Outdoors, they can be carried 300 feet or so by the wind.
  • Their greatest activity period is in the evening when they can be seen flying above drain openings or sewage filter beds, etc. outside.
  • Typically, only a few adults are seen at a time indoors because adults live only 2 weeks, but they are continually replaced with new emerging flies.

Typical breeding site or sites

(* = most common) include the following:

  • Slimy drains*
  • Sewer leak or backup
  • Dirty garbage cans
  • Clogged roof gutters
  • Clogged storm drains
  • Saucers under potted plants
  • Bird baths or feeders
  • Moist compost
  • Air conditioners
  • Cooling towers
  • Rain barrels
  • Septic tanks
  • Sewage treatment plants

Note: If large numbers of flies are present, there may be a nearby sewage treatment plant, especially upwind from the structure.

Dark-winged fungus gnats (family Sciaridae)

  • Small, slender, long-legged, somewhat mosquito-like flies, with their abdomens usually pointed.
  • Size: 1/32-7/16” (1-11 mm; usually 5 mm or less) long.
  • Color: Usually black, sometimes brownish or yellowish.
  • Antennae: Typically long, threadlike, usually 15- or 16-segmented.
  • Wings: Front vein (costa) thickened almost to wing tip; usually with 1 longitudinal vein branched/forked; wings typically darkened.
  • Flight: Prefers to run in a jerky manner.
  • Other features: Eyes meet above bases of antennae; with somewhat elongated coxae, tibiae with 1 or 2 apical spurs.
  • Females lay their eggs on decaying vegetation, fungi, or excrement on/in which the larvae feed.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult) can be as short as 10-12 days.
  • Because of their small size, some species of these gnats can penetrate ordinary screens.
  • Weak fliers, they prefer to run in a jerky manner.
  • They are attracted to decaying vegetation, fungi, or excrement.
  • Because of their short development time, a large infestation can develop in a few weeks.
  • Very common flies outdoors in shaded, moist situations.
  • Adults are attracted to lights and collect at windows.
  • They do not bite.
  • Their small size allows many species to come through ordinary window screens. If the flies are coming from outdoors, then reducing the screen mesh size can be helpful.

(*= most common) include the following:

  • Overwatered potted plants*
  • Decaying vegetation
  • Over-mulched beds
  • Overwatered lawns
  • Overwatered lawns

The application of IPM methods and tools

Due to limited space, we’ll review examples of IPM pest control strategy and procedures as they can be used primarily in single-family homes and apartments.

  • Overall, preventing fly entry. It is usually far easier and more cost effective to prevent the entry of flies into a structure than it is to eliminate them once inside.

Physical barriers:

  • All holes in exterior walls sealed or vent holes screened with screens in good repair.
  • All windows which open are screened, screens in good repair.
  • All doors tight-fitting and fitted with self-closures.
  • Screen doors with self-closures used where appropriate and screens in good repair.

Removal of fly attractants:

  • Proper location and maintenance of trashcans and dumpsters.
  • Proper grounds maintenance.
  • Proper lighting.

If the flies are small fruit flies (fruit flies) or vinegar flies:

  • Inspect the list of common infestation sites above. Look for spoiling fruit or vegetables and discarded soda, wine, beer, cider/apple juice, milk, or ketchup containers. Remove any found to an outside trash can.
  • Sour mop heads, dishcloths, or cleaning rags. These must be laundered at least weekly because these flies can develop (egg to adult) in only 8 days.
  • Deteriorating baseboards in the kitchen that are not tight-fitting to the floor and/or wall. Remember that mop water full of food particles that accumulate under the baseboards.
  • The replacement of the mop water/solution with a biocide is recommended.
  • Floor drains. If there is gunk in a floor drain and it is suspect, cover the cover/grate with duct tape for 24 hours, but leave the center 1/2″ uncovered. If flies are coming from the drain, they will be stuck to the tape.
  • Apply a biocide foam (microbes and/or enzymes used to remove the gelatinous layer inside the pipe just above and below the waterline where these flies breed) weekly for the first month and then on a regularly scheduled monthly basis; bleach does not work.
  • Trashcans. Be sure the inside of trash cans are clean (especially underneath the liner) and emptied daily.
  • Counter laminate that is peeling up and scum/goo is building up under the laminate. Until repaired or replaced, treat this buildup with a biocide foam to remove the gunk/goo where these flies breed on a regularly scheduled monthly basis.
  • There are special traps made to capture/harvest these adult flies which have a vinegar based lure in them. However, these flies will outbreed the catching ability of any trap.

If the flies are drain or moth flies:

  • Inspect all drains in the immediate area. These flies are weak fliers and rest on vertical surfaces near the infested drain. They can be seen hovering over the infested drain about dusk (sundown) each day.
  • If there is gunk in a floor/sink drain, it is suspect even though no flies are observed in the immediate area. One can verify infestation by covering the drain cover/grate with duct tape (except for the middle 1/2″) for 24 hours. If flies are coming from the drain, they will be stuck to the tape.
  • Apply a biocide foam (microbes and/or enzymes used to remove the gelatinous layer inside the pipe just above and below the waterline where these flies breed) weekly for the first month and then on a regularly scheduled monthly basis; bleach does not work.

If the flies are fungus gnats:

  • Overwatered potted plants are the most common source, the problem 99% of the time. To confirm a suspected potted plant, place a plastic bag (see-through kind are easiest to use) over the plant and secure it with tape to the pot for 24 hours. If flies are caught within the bag, the source is obvious. Note: Also check the immediate outside area to be sure that the plants and/or mulch are not being over watered. Freshly installed mulch could be the source.
  • For quick relief, the infested potted plant can be taken to the outside until the soil completely dries.
  • If this cannot be done, then:
    • Remove any mulch and the top inch or so of soil where the larvae breed, if practical.
    • Replace with sterile soil.
    • If removal of soil is not practical, apply an appropriately labeled pesticide to the treat the top 1” of soil as a drench. Note: First be sure that the pesticide will not harm the plant by checking the label and with a florist or cooperative extension agent.

So, start with the correct identification (have this verified by a pest management professional), then inspect to find and eliminate the source(s), or employ the services of a pest management professional to do the inspection and work with you on eliminating the source(s).

Cluster Flies – Information, Images & How to Get Rid of Them

Cluster flies are large black coloured flies with the scientific name ‘ Pollenia rudis’, they show up in homes from late fall through early spring.

A Cluster fly is very much similar to a house fly.

Cluster flies come from the ‘Calliphoridae’ family. This is the same family to which bottle or blow flies belong.

Cluster flies are also known as attic flies. This name describes its characteristics very well i.e. the tendency of clustering in large numbers inside attics.

Unlike blow flies, cluster flies do not reproduce indoors and so home owners do not have to worry about the flies originating from a dead animal carcass or any other unpleasant material within the attic or walls.

Cluster flies emerge in the summer or autumn. Often in large numbers, they enter houses in order to find some warm places where they can hibernate. These flies do not bite humans and are strictly parasitic on earth worms.

Cluster Flies Fact Sheet:

Now let’s see some important facts about cluster flies:

Physical Appearance:

The physical appearance of a cluster fly resembles very much to house or a bottle fly. Adult cluster flies are dark gray in color and about 8 – 10 mm long. They have yellowish golden hairs on their thorax. The abdomen of a cluster fly has a prominent dark and light coloured chequered pattern.

Unlike house flies they do not have dark stripes on their thorax and also they don’t have bluish or greenish metallic coloured bodies like the ones that bottle flies have. At rest, both the wings of a cluster fly overlap across the abdomen.

They may give off a sickly, sweetish odour like buckwheat honey if disturbed. Another important feature of cluster flies is that they are slow and sluggish.

Habitat and Behaviour:

As soon as the fall approaches, the cluster flies begin to enter homes and buildings in large numbers. At this time of the year, the days become shorter and temperature begins to fall, hence they enter human houses in search for overwintering sites.

And as during this time the west and south facing buildings are exposed to more sunlight, so the cluster flies are attracted more to such buildings due to the warmth they can get there. They enter these buildings through small openings or cracks and crevices near window or door frames, open or unscreened windows/vents.

Once inside they gather together in an isolated, safe place such as attics or false ceilings and begin to hibernate. Generally these sites are the upper south or west sides of the buildings. Once the temperature again crosses 12 degree Celsius they become active.

If the temperature inside the building is manually controlled above 12 degree Celsius, the cluster flies may come out thinking it is spring. Cluster flies are strongly attracted to light, so you can also find them near windows and near lamps at night.

Check out this article: What Attracts Flies Into Your Home Or Surroundings?

Feeding Habits:

Cluster flies are not harmful to property, they enter buildings in the autumn simply to hibernate and nothing else. They do not have biting mount parts like horse flies or gnats. Unlike blow flies cluster flies are not associated with animal carcass, faeces, or woollens.

Cluster flies are strictly parasitic on earthworms. After hatching from eggs the cluster fly larvae find and burrow into the body of an earthworm to feed. The poor worm does not usually survive the experience.

Life Cycle:

In general, per season there are at least 3 to 4 generations of cluster flies. The beginning of a typical cluster fly lifecycle begins after the adults leave their over-wintering sites in the spring and lay eggs on the soil that contains earthworms. The eggs are mostly laid in the soil cracks.

After 3 – 4 days these eggs hatch and the maggots (larvae) enter the body cavities of earthworms. These larvae then feed on the host earthworms for few days. The maggot stage in cluster flies lasts in about 13 to 22 days.

After this they molt and pupate in the soil. Pupal stage lasts 11 – 14 days after which adult flies come out and are ready to start the cycle again. The total lifecycle of a cluster fly is of 30 – 50 days.


  • They are predominantly considered as a nuisance because of their habit of hibernating inside human houses. But they do not cause any damage the homes.
  • These flies sometimes leave tiny dark-coloured spots of excrement on walls or windows, but these spots are not known to carry any human disease causing organisms.
  • Cluster flies may give out a strange odour when disturbed.
  • Also, if flies die in wall voids, they may attract larder beetles.

Difference between a House Fly, Bottle Fly and a Cluster Fly:

Cluster fly is very different from a house or a bottle/blow fly. Below features can help you to distinguish between a house or bottle fly from a cluster fly:

Cluster flies (8 – 10 mm) are larger in size than a house fly (6 – 7 mm) but smaller than a bottle fly (10 – 14 mm). Cluster flies are a bit darker and have dark and light chequered pattern on their abdomen which house flies or bottle flies do not have. Cluster flies have short yellow or golden coloured hairs on their thorax.

In appearance, bottle flies can be easily distinguished from the other two types of flies, as they have a greenish or a bluish metallic coloured body. Another important aspect that can differentiate between a cluster fly and a house fly is the speed of movement. House and bottle flies are lightening quick whereas cluster flies are slow and sluggish.

If you notice carefully a cluster fly at rest, you will see its wings overlap, whereas housefly’s wings remain separate during rest. Cluster flies enter homes in order to search for a warmer place to hibernate whereas houseflies enter human houses in search of food and water.

How to Prevent Cluster Flies:

The best way to avoid Cluster flies is by mechanical exclusion. Cluster flies can enter your homes through the smallest cracks around door and window frames or through any other tiny unsealed opening.

To prevent cluster fly infestation you could use following tips:

  • Fill all the cracks or crevices, in walls, window or door frames with caulking. Make sure to seal every possible hole or crack like (around – windows, doors, siding, behind chimneys, utility pipes, underneath the fascia etc) in the building.
  • If there are any damaged screens on doors or windows they should be repaired or replaced.
  • Try to install insect screening or mosquito nets over air vents in soffits.
  • In addition to the above tips you could also use synthetic pyrethroid or neonicotinoids insecticides like (bifentrin, cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, sumithrin, tralomethrin, dinotefuran etc) on the south and west side walls of your homes to deter cluster flies. But make sure to repeat the application after every 2 – 3 days.

Recommended Reading: How to get rid of house flies outside

How to Get Rid Of Cluster Flies:

In this section, we will see how you can get rid of cluster flies after they have gained access to the interiors of your home. In such situations you could use the following methods:

Use of Insecticidal Aerosol Sprays:

Once the cluster flies have entered your home and you have identified the infested site, then this is the best method you can use to kill them.

Scientific studies have indicated that indoor aerosol pyrethrin based insecticides are quite effective in killing exposed flies during the winter and spring months. These pyrethrin based insecticides are prepared from natural plant extracts and hence are safe to be used indoors.

Such pyrethrin based insecticides are also safe for pets and are effective against a vast majority of flies and pests. But please make sure to clean the dead insects because there is a possibility that these dead flies may attract carpet beetles that will first feed on the dead insects and later attack woollens.

You can check out this pyrethrin based insecticide at Amazon.

Use of Mini Vacuums (My favourite Method):

As we know that, cluster flies enter our houses in order to find some places where they can hibernate and hence during this period they are slow and sluggish. And because they are sluggish you could easily use a mini vacuum to catch them.

This is my favourite method as it is simple and doesn’t force you to deal with chemicals or mess. For this task, I have Black Decker BDH2000PL which is lightweight, portable and gives the adequate suction power.

You can check out Black Decker BDH2000PL here on Amazon.

Note: Please make sure to clean your vacuum after use, otherwise cluster flies can release an unpleasant odour inside the vacuum dirt bag.

Use of UV Light Traps:

Another way to get rid of cluster flies is to use the UV light traps. These bright light traps consist of a small but high intensity UV lamp and adhesive glue boards. Cluster flies are attracted to the UV Light and as soon as they land on the lamp they get stuck on the glue boards.

The glue boards are replaceable and can be replaced after few days or months. Such fly traps consume 9-12 watts of energy and are effective in 600-800 square feet.

Check out this one on Amazon, it has lots of positive reviews.

Use of Cluster Buster:

Cluster Buster is a revolutionary product to get rid of cluster flies. Most people say it works like a charm against the cluster flies. You just have to fasten the trap inside the glass of any window near the infested area. The traps are filled with super finely ground (powdered) egg shell.

Also there is a cross section at the top of the trap. The light from outside when enters the trap, then the translucent walls of the trap emit a light that attracts the cluster flies. Once the flies enter the trap and land on the powdered egg shell, they actually sink into the powder as it is very light and fluffy and hence a ‘quicksand effect’ is produced.

The powdered egg shell clogs the openings in the cluster flies respiratory system and hence kills it instantly. These traps are non toxic and a single trap can be used for 2 – 4 years and can kill up to 1000 flies.

Check out Cluster Buster on Amazon.

So, this was all about cluster flies and the methods that can be used to get rid of them. Do let us know your stories or any other methods that you find useful against cluster flies.

Cheers 🙂

How To Get Rid of Flies On my Porch

Having a porch outside your house is nice. It gives you a great place to rest at mid-day with a chilled lemonade in your hand. Letting you enjoy the hot afternoon. A porch is an ideal place for summer festivities and to have coffee during chilly nights during the fall, however, nothing takes away the joy like flies buzzing on your porch.&nbsp

When the temperatures are high, flies are especially active and will hang around wherever they can find food and breeding grounds. If they are frequenting your porch, our expert advice and top recommended fly control products will help rid them from the area.


While they may look and behave the same way, there are many different types of flies that may infest your porch area. They may be fungus gnats that like to frequent outdoor plants, fruit flies that love rotting food or the common house fly that may be around because there is food or filth that is attracting them to the area.

No matter the species, they are all an annoying nuisance to have around. Fortunately, they can be treated and prevented largely in the same way with a combination of integrated pest management (IPM) which involves cleaning up and eliminating food and breeding sources, as well as using the superior products we carry for fly control.


Where To Look

Flies are always looking for places to breed. Places that provide them with even the littlest of food are good enough for them. There are bound to be food traces on your porch; spilled tea, cookie crumbles, sugary residue from juices and sticky handprints of your kids somewhere on the porch –there are numerous sources of food on your porch for flies. Moreover, flies have strong senses to detect odor, so they would be flying in from afar if you have a welcoming porch for them.

What To Look For

Flies look for dirty places, especially garbage to lay their eggs and if your porch does not get thoroughly cleaned every day, then it is open ground for the flies to invade. If you have pets and they have a habit of littering near your porch, then that could invite in the flies as well. If there is any feces lying around in your yard or garden, flies will definitely come around.


Solutions Pest & Lawn has professional fly control DIY products that can help you to eliminate the presence of flies on your porch. A combination of high-quality fly traps, baits and insecticide sprays will do the trick in eliminating a fly infestation.

Step 1 – Clean Up Your Porch and Yard Area

Before applying any products, we recommend doing a clean up around your porch and yard. Take out and seal any outdoor garbage cans, pick up any pet waste and cover any outdoor food. This can greatly reduce the presence of flies in the area.

Step 2 – Apply MaxForce Fly Spot Bait

Maxforce Fly Spot Bait is an awesome product to use as it can kill flies within 60 seconds of them coming in contact with the formula. Maxforce Fly Bait contains scent and pheromone attracts to lure flies and the product can last up to 30 days when sprayed outdoors.

Maxforce Fly Spot Bait comes in 16-ounce packets that you can mix in water. Simply mix Maxforce Flyspot Fly Bait in a spray bottle with some water, shake it and it’s ready to be used. Apply at a rate of 8 oz for every 1,000 sq.ft. Spray on surfaces on and around your porch where you have seen flies gather.

Step 3 – Use Musca-Stik Fly Traps

Musca-Stik traps are an affordable and effective fly trap that attract flies visually and via Musca-lure pheromone attractants. Simply sprinkle the Musca-Lure attractant into the catch basin of the trap and then hang it from a tree branch, from a window or somewhere around your porch area. Flies will get stuck on the trap and you can easily dispose of it after it’s full.


Now that you know it is very common to have house flies especially in over your porch, you might wonder how can you get rid of them to have a pleasant summer or autumn evening sitting at your porch?

Here are some effective and proven ways to keep the flies at bay.

  • Citronella infused incense and candles

You can light up citrus candles and place them on your windows or around the porch floorboard in the evening to ward off flies. What works best is citronella infused incense, which will keep your porch smelling great in the evening and repels flies at the same time. Other than that, citronella infused tiki torches are also a great way to keep flies away from your porch especially during summertime, lightening up the surrounding and working as a repellent.

  • Plant nice herbs around your porch

Planting herbs around your house is a way to make your porch look attractive and repel flies at the same time. You can put them in a pot and place them on your window bars, or line them up on the porch floor or hang them with gauge wire in glass bottles. Basil leaves, lavender, citronella grass, rosemary, mint – they are fragrant and highly repellent at the same time.

  • Use essential oils after cleaning the porch

Essential oils are known for their soothing effects on our nerves, their healing properties and aromatic benefits. However, they are not as friendly when it comes to flies and other insects. Essential oils can be effectively used to make repellant for flies.

Take a sprit bottle; add two cups of water in it and 24 drops of essential oil. Peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil are the best choice for a bug repellant that is effective and refreshingly aromatic.

All you have to do is that whenever you clean your porch, make sure you clean it thoroughly with water, scrubbing the floorboard, door and the windows (if any). When you are done, spray the mixture you made with essential oil. It will leave your porch clean and fresh with spray acting as an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal.

  • Replace UV light bulbs with warm yellow bulbs

Houseflies, among many other flying insects are phototactic. Their eyes have a special mechanism which can see patterns in Ultraviolet light, which is why they are attracted towards white lights. UV lights are known to bring in swarm of flies and insects during the night. If you have white lights in your porch or in your garden, you can replace them with warm orange or yellow lights, as they are less likely attract flies. This is the reason why flytraps have UV lights in them; as flies are most likely to be attracted in.

Key Takeaways

  • During warm temperatures, flies are very active and are known to frequent porch areas, looking for something to eat and a place to lay eggs.
  • Cleanup is an essential part of controlling the fly problem. Locate and clean up feces, organic matter and decaying food before applying products.
  • A combination of fly baits, traps and sprays can remove an infestation and keep it gone so you can enjoy your porch free from flies.

Common Pests & Bugs Found in the Garage

Identifying Bugs in the Garage

Silverfish in the Garage

Known to infest almost all parts of the house, silverfish are particularly fond of garages. They either gain entry by sneaking under doors or by being brought in via infested items like cardboard boxes. Once inside, these fast and agile pests will feed on paper items, glue, clothing, and food such as flour, meat, and even other silverfish. An infestation can quickly grow, as females can lay up to three eggs per day, hiding them in cracks and under objects.

Crickets in the Garage

Camel crickets, named for their humpback appearance, will often invade structures such as garages when the weather gets too hot and dry for them. Camel crickets are also able to traverse environments using their jumping abilities and can wreak havoc in garages by damaging fabrics and clothing, no matter how high of a shelf they are stored on.

Mice in the Garage

During the winter months, deer mice will seek shelter from the harsh conditions in garages. While these invaders will build nests in storage boxes and wall voids, they can even sneak into cars for extra warmth. Plus, cars have an abundance of chewable items – from food crumbs to wires – making garages even more enticing to them. Able to squeeze through holes as small as a pencil, deer mice can easily make a home out of any garage that is not properly sealed.

Spiders in the Garage

Feeding on smaller insects, house spiders have a difficult time surviving in modern day homes that employ effective pest control methods. As a result, they migrate to areas of the house that are more susceptible to pests, such as garages, in order to feed themselves. Once inside, they will get started spinning webs and laying eggs.

Sowbugs in the Garage

Sowbugs are land-dwelling crustaceans with worldwide distribution. Sowbugs are confined to areas of high moisture because they lack a closing device for their respiratory system and an outer waxy layer of their exoskeleton that would reduce water loss. For this reason, they are inactive during the day when the sun is shining and instead hide under objects to prevent moisture loss. They can be found around buildings and will occasionally enter homes via door thresholds. Homes with sliding glass doors are particularly susceptible to a sowbug infestation. If a homeowner finds multiple sowbugs inside, it likely means that there is a large population immediately outside the home.

Flies in the Garage

Homeowners may encounter flies in the garage and other areas of the home. Flies are attracted to buildings by air currents and odors. Oftentimes, they will enter garages when the garage door is open. House flies can be found resting on nearly any surface including on walls, floors, window sills and other various objects found in the garage.

Ground Beetles in the Garage

Ground beetles get their name from their general habit of occurring on the ground. They are usually found hiding underneath stones during the daytime. Most species are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. Ground beetles enter homes by crawling under poorly sealed garage doors or flying through open windows.

How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Your Garage

It is safe to say that maggots are among the most disgusting creatures on this planet due to their behavior and the fact that they usually are active around filth. Maggots have a tendency of showing uninvited to people’s homes and businesses and is a clear sign that a detailed cleanup needs to be done.

If you are one of those unfortunate people who have found maggots in their garage, rest assured you are not alone and we will help you get rid of these maggots once and for all! Follow along below for the top expert tips and product recommendations to clear maggots out of your garage permanently.

A maggot is essentially the larva of a fly such as the common housefly, cheese flies and blow flies. They look like little pale colored worms.These insects feed on other dead prey or rotten food and are not very agile, which is exactly why they are easily devoured by other insects. Maggots have no legs and have large mouths which help them eat decaying flesh; however, they do not have an effective digestive system. They are however a sign that something has died or is rotting nearby.

Maggots don’t just suddenly appear, but are brought in by flies who have laid eggs in filth or rotting material because they treat it as a breeding ground. Once the eggs hatch in the filth source, the maggots come out. By performing a thorough inspection you can track down the filth source where the maggots are gathering.

Where To Inspect

You’ll want to look in your garage as well as any other areas of your property where there may be spoiled or rotting food. You should also inspect any garbage cans that may not be closed properly or the trash has been sitting for some time without being discarded.

What To Look For

Look for maggots themselves, active flies and for decaying carcasses or filth sources. Maggots will appear in the form of little white-colored worms wiggling around in whatever filth, dead flesh or rotten food they are found on.

Once you have located where the maggots are concentrated, you can move forward with treatment. Make sure that before applying any of our recommended products that you first make sanitation a must. No amount of pesticides will help if you do not make sure the area is clean and the filth source is removed.

Once you have sanitized your garage, we recommend using a combination of Novacide Aerosol and Gentrol Aerosol to kill maggots and prevent fly eggs from hatching.

Step 1: Sanitize Your Garage

If there are maggots in your garage, it’s likely you have found the source of why they are there. Filth and garbage are the main reasons you’d find them in the garage so you need to find that filth source and throw it out and then perform thorough sanitation and clean up of your garage thoroughly. Clean your surfaces, mop your floors, eliminate any moisture sources, toss out any stored food and take out the trash. This is most important of all the steps and is half the battle in eliminating maggots.

Step 2: Apply Novacide

Once your garage is sanitized, you should treat with the maggots with a synthetic pyrethroid product called Novacide. Novacide contains 4 different active ingredients, one of which is an insect growth regulator. Insect growth regulators disturb the life cycle of target pests such as flies and maggots. This combination will kill maggots immediately and make it so flies can’t reproduce. An application of Novacide leaves a residual, providing continued control for up to 7 months.
Novacide comes in an easy to use aerosol can that allows the spray to come out in a fan shape. This helps to cover a lot of surface area in a short amount of time. To apply, hold the can about 36 inches from the application area, and spray a fine mist over your baseboards and shelving. Next, treat all floor surfaces, moving in a sweeping motion with some overlap, covering 100 square feet over ten seconds.

Step 3: Apply Reclaim IT and Martin’s IGR Regulator

Next, we recommend applying a combination of Reclaim IT and Martin’s IG Regulator to treat both the exterior of the garage and the interior cracks and crevices. Reclaim IT is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is labeled for treating over 70 different pests, including flies and their larvae. It also has a long residual effect that can continue to control pests for up to 90 days after application. Martin’s IG Regulator is an insect growth regulator which will sterilize flies. This will also ensure maggots do not reach maturity and develop into adults. Mixing both products together addresses all phases of the fly life cycle.

Measure the square footage of your garage to determine how much Reclaim IT and Martin’s IG you need to cover the entire area.1 ounce of Reclaim IT with a gallon of water will treat 1,000 square feet. Adding 2 ounces of Martin’s IG in 1 gallon of water will also treat 1000 feet. After mixing the appropriate amount of Reclaim IT in water, add in the Martin’s IG Regulator, agitate and fill to the final volume.

Apply the Reclaim/Martin’s IG mixture inside your garage, focusing on specific spots, crack and crevices and void applications where you have seen or suspect maggot activity. Outdoors, treat the exterior of your garage, especially around any opening that may serve as a point of entry and along eaves, if applicable.

Step 4 – Use Forid Drain Gel

If your garage has a sink or drain in or near it, it would be wise to treat the drains with Forid Drain Gel Cleaner to remove fly breeding grounds. Forid is a natural Microbial Grease Degrader (MGD) which can contain flies attracted to or living in dirty drains by breaking down the decaying matter accumulated inside the drain.

Before application, let 1 to 2 gallons of hot water flow through the drain and then measure out and then pour in 4 ounces of the Forid drain gel. Make sure to get an even coating all the way around the sides of the drain. Repeat this process daily for 5 to 7 days until you see no more fly or maggot activity.

As we mentioned before, maggots only show up when there is filth development in the garage. Here we have provided some tips to ensure your garage in not re-infested.

  • Invest in self-sealing trash cans and store them indoors

  • Seal all of the food going into your trash cans
  • Set up fly strips around the perimeter of your garage
  • Use bleach to clean all of the garbage cans in your home
  • Pour a cup of bleach down the plumbing fixtures present in your home
  • Make sure that there are no entry points in your garage. Seal with caulk.
  • Do not leave pet food out in the open.
  • Kill or get rid of the flies present in your home or garage
  • Ensure that your garage is clean, decluttered and completely bacteria-free

If you follow all of these mentioned instructions, then you won’t have to worry about having any maggots or flies coming in the kitchen or anywhere else in your house.

  • Maggots are the larvae stage of flies will infest a garage if there is rotten food in storage or trash that is decomposing as it provides a perfect breeding ground for flies to lay eggs.
  • It is important to conduct thorough sanitation of your garage to remove the breeding source prior to using chemical means of control.
  • Apply Novacide, a combination of Reclaim and Martin’s IG Regulator, and Forid Drain Gel to areas of your home to kill both maggots and flies, putting a halt to the infestation.
  • Maintain sanitation and exclusion measures in your garage to prevent a reinfestation of maggots.

Found about 2 dozen DEAD Flies in house

My house was permitted in 1989 and we were the first owners when we moved in at the end of 1991 — it was just about the last (and least expensive) house in my neighborhood, where newer houses are more "grand" — higher ceilings, two-story foyers, additional gables, turrets, etc. — My home is traditional style home that I have deemed "neo-whatever" in style. So we missed some of the excesses of the 1990’s, and I totally share your belief that one should be true to the style of the house, but what the style is one that is best determined by consultation with an Architectural Historian. I like my traditional cabinets in the renovated kitchen, but I chose modern hardware because it complemented the appliances. It’s an easy fix — just like the cabinet (anyone can paint my mahogany stained cherry cabinets after I am gone). The original cherry cabinets developed zebra stripes from the natural light. So it was paint or a dark stain. Maple is always in style. That said, here is what we did and did not change — this may help you prioritize what you want to do to modernize your 1990’s gem — apart from decor. Our house was not inexpensive — in 1990 — we were the only buyers in two affluent zip codes looking in this price range. Our home is now "moderately priced" for the area. KITCHEN: (1) 30" kitchen wall cabinets are now 42", and a peek-a-boo pass through that was a leftover from the 1970’s, with hanging cabinets above was removed, along with base cabinets — to open up the kitchen to the informal eating area and family room. Added island with stove — again a personal choice. (3) The base cabinets were raised from 34" to 36" and the stained Corian countertops were replaced with granite and a granite tile backsplash – under counter lighting – a more powerful fan above a gas range (we had electric before, but had added gas heat). (4) Island with bar seating — better, more adjustable lighting in the kitchen (and a sound system in the ceiling so we can hear the plasma while the fan is running — brilliant!) (5) larger appliances — gas stove with double ovens and grill/refrigerator/microwave/warming oven (we don’t use often), a second dishwasher. The entire kitchen is far more functional — even a large kitchen can be improved. But with planning, we renovated a family kitchen to one that can serve 100 for a cocktail buffet. Cabinets: Yes, you can repurpose the cabinets elsewhere in the home — the benefits are improved storage elsewhere and under cabinet lighting. We moved the matching desk unit with file cabinets and drawers to the downstairs for crafts, and improved the lighting above the family room table for homework. The 4" backsplash from the Corian countertops was used to cue cars to stop when backing up into our driveway. Habitat was happy to receive my 25 year low end cabinets. The ones in my laundry room were much less expensive (below the lowest quality at a big box store) and I installed 42" 1990’s cabinets (poplar plywood, high end maker) from Habitat that needed only cosmetic upgrades. Some people believe a kitchen is outdated every 15 years, but our new one will last 30. Your maple cabinets would make superior garage storage, but I would advise against investing heavily in countertops and appliances that fit openings that are no longer standard for new construction. Energy Efficiency: We did not change any of the windows, because they are already double glass, and innovations since then would not justify replacement. Sliding doors could be replaced with "French" doors, one day. We have been required to make repairs to three windows out of 36. Recently, we finally removed and replaced the insulation in the attic, up to R-55, but have not changed it over the garage. Upgraded gas furnace, adding a second system for the top floor in both heat and A/C, an early upgrade, was recently replaced and upgraded again. Doors: Neighbors whose homes faced west have been required to replace their front doors and sidelights. Not all of your windows and doors may need replacement. Even after 25 years. If a custom size is required, consider the aesthetics of a larger opening. Security: Locks can be upgraded with newer security; we upgraded when we moved in, and have since upgraded with satellite technology. We added a security system when we moved in, and have upgraded twice, and expanded once. Air cleaning: When we moved in we added air cleaners, and have since replaced and upgraded, when we upgraded the A/C. Do clean your ducts, if any, although I skip the sanitizing because it seems more cosmetic than useful. Be prepared for more dust for the next six months — use filters — but then your air quality will be improved. WINDOW COVERINGS: I still like my Levolor metal blinds — I know some people say they date a house, but I use them on the west side (back), and found one to be the optimal choice above a sink in the kitchen, where I also have a lot of metal (stainless appliances). And in the laundry, where I lack space, and have higher humidity (wish I had a fan there). BATHS: When we renovated the baths — we chose a 2016 approach — however, the powder room is a 3/4 bath and we renovated that in 2005, adding lots of stone, and a higher quality fixture and medicine cabinet. if we were to sell we would need to upgrade some of these fixtures, and they were first quality in 2005. So some fixtures do look tired after 10 years, and your next owner may want to make some of the same choices you are making now. Just be careful not to spend too much for updates on top of originals, that will all need to be torn out. Bathroom vanities are now at least 34" and usually 36" with a countertop — most people prefer a quartz material, not Corian — replace the composite popular in the 1990’s. Some faucet fixtures can be cleaned up and repurposed, if you are DIY, but if you replace there may be low flow models with long lasting ceramic valves. The improvements in porcelain tile have revolutionized the industry, but your 1990’s proportions may require 12×12 not 24×24 — . But 12×24 may still look good, depending on your rooms — it’s can read like a 12×12. MASTER BATH: we doubled the size of the 3×4 shower, taking space from a very large walk in closest. Our home was one of the first with a large bathroom (150 square feet) and a walk-in closet (90 square feet) — if you don’t have these in your home, I would consider an enlargement of both rooms as well as an upgrade. Kitchens and baths sell homes — and people like new cabinets, not old ones. Sorry — but I would replace them for resale — but maybe not right away. LIVING ROOM /DINING ROOM: Our home was one of the first with a smaller living room (our music room) and larger dining room. And we had two rooms to use for our dens — a lot of flexibility — if your living room is unreasonably large for your purposes, and you don’t have a separate den, consider using a quiet area for a small study area — with a custom storage wall. FOYER: I chose 16×16 for my 1990’s foyer, and it looks like 24×24, but fits the scale more appropriately. For the new hall baths we used 12×24 in dark tones. If the tile is dark or highly figured, please change it — to a more neutral approach. Even a large foyer can be beautiful with inexpensive vanilla porcelain in the foyer – perfect for a family. Can be upgraded later. Stairs: In 1990’s people painted the risers on their stairs — I never knew why — unless these risers were really cheap wood – the paint just show the scuff marks more — we did not wear shoes in the house, so our stairs are in great shape — but if that is not the case in your house — it is an easy fix. Adding carpet to cover the walkway will cost as much or more. CARPETED STAIRS — we had one set of stairs to the basement that was covered in wall to wall — Berber, high quality, but it was showing the wear when we moved in because the basement had been finished after the carpet was installed. Eventually we had it removed, and added 1/2 inch of oak on top of the pine. This was expensive, but added greatly to the quality of the home. FLOORS: We expanded the hardwood into the kitchen and back foyer — a personal choice — but our rooms are not large. And those 8 foot ceilings! Keeping the floor simple and aligned with the expansive ceiling opens up the space. We had planned to stain it the same custom color as the rest of the house, but chose a different stain (updated) when the cabinets arrived. If you have already moved in — you will likely be choosing pre-finished 1/2" thick wood flooring just like we did. You may also want to restain existing floors to match the pre=finished when preparing to sell. We added pre-finished hardwood upstairs, on top of the subfloor, and porcelain tile in the basement. Add heat before you add stone, but not under wood. Wood finished in a poly (three coats minimum) is an economical choice if you are not adding heat. Yes, get rid of all of the carpet. Changes in floor levels up to 1" can be addressed with a custom threshold in wood or stone to match or coordinate with the floor. WALLS: Remove wallpaper. Don’t install any more if you are selling in five years. Light walls are never out of style. If you want one dark room — make it a small one, like a powder room. We added CROWN MOLDING wherever we could, in the public areas, but not in the secondary bedrooms — just stock molding, as in the rest of the house. If yours is custom, or no longer available (ours is), considering having a metal guide made for yourselves so you can have more custom molding made as needed. You will need to add floor molding, at least quarter round, when you pull up the carpets, and if there is hardwood underneath, you may even be required to refinish the floors where metal tacks have rusted. A less expensive solution may be to deepen your floor molding to cover the holes. LAUNDRY: We also upgraded and improved the storage in the laundry area — adding a sink base cabinet — but kept the tile floor– and it is cycling back into popularity! Fortunately washers and dryers are still 27" wide, even though wall ovens have expanded to a basic width of 30". Replace your water hoses! LANDSCAPING: Landscaping can freshen a home and make it look updated when it’s not. Similarly a slightly different paint color helps, too. We chose a brighter white, but a traditional color, nonetheless — Navajo White, because it looked good with our brick, and the two new garage doors (insulated) and siding that we decided not to paint. But we added chartreuse junipers and soft pink azaleas and lavender to offset the blue shutters. OUTDOOR LIGHTING is a nice upgrade, too, especially if it turns on at dusk. This was new in 1990. Be sure your soils have not settled around the house, and add or subtract what you need to in order to preserve your dry basement. BUILDING CODE: Our guide in making renovations has been (1) update for building code standards — a large guest bedroom in the basement is no longer used as a bedroom because it would not be a bedroom under code improvements. (2) Similarly, there are protections for better valves in bathrooms to avoid accidental scalding. (3) Third, I would consider upgrading your electrical panel, and making sure (4) that your sump pump has an automatic battery back up if the power is out. A generator is a nice addition if power goes out in your neighborhood frequently. No one uses land lines anymore, but because you have them, keep a phone hooked up, or near by. Chances are your internal phone wiring is still in good shape. PRODUCT CODES: When Federal codes are upgraded, manufacturers are often allowed to distribute, and distributors are allowed to sell, stock on hand. About 1990, the standards for garage doors were upgraded at the Federal government Ievel, and local governments were required to amend local building codes to comply. Our house was built with an existing door — something I learned when I needed to replace them. The 1990 code up grade required new safety features — electric eyes and an improved, more sensitive bounce back feature such that even a 1/4" branch or a waving flag would need to be removed before the door could shut. I wish I had known this when I bought my house, and I would have changed the doors immediately. Thankfully, there were no accidents when my children were younger. When I learned this I called my reputable builder, and verified whatever else I would need to comply with current codes, whether they were instigated at the Federal level or not. Fortunately, my local jurisdiction was fairly progressive, and the only change we needed to make was to stop using the downstairs bedroom for sleepovers. Our young guests would now sleep on a pullout near the basement walk-out, instead of in the bedroom, until we enlarged the window to 4×5 feet from the 4×1.5 feet required when the home was built. FUTURE RESALE: Although you are not selling for 5-10 years, it may be prudent to inquire what code changes have been made since 1990, and what changes are expected before 2025. When you make any upgrades, you would then be able to go one step further, and apply best practices, not the minimum requirement, and to do so after "pulling a permit". Then it might not matter as much whether your home has a 1990’s decor or a 2015 décor, as long as it is 2025 safe. I would like to hear from other Houzzers as to what changes they have made to make their even older homes safe.

Flies are a common problem in most areas. House flies, fruit flies, biting black flies, horse flies, and whiteflies are the most common fly pests for most homeowners. Not only are they an unsanitary nuisance, but flies carry diseases. For your health and mental satisfaction, we need to get rid of those flies quickly and efficiently. I am going to help you find the best strategy to get the job done.

Part of getting rid of the flies is understanding its life cycle. Very simply, the adult fly lays eggs in the available moist organic matter. The eggs develop into larvae which feed on the organic matter. The larvae then move to a dry place to pupate. Three to four weeks later, the adult flies begin the process over again.

To effectively get rid of flies, you need to break this cycle, preferably in several places. There are many ways to do this, and I’ve tried to be thorough here and show you all of the effective remedies as well as a few fun ones. I hope these tips help you get rid of flies forever.

How to Get Rid of Flies Outdoors

1. Use a Fly Zapper

UV light traps do an excellent job of luring in flies and other insects. Once inside the grid, flies are killed by an electric shock. These insect traps come in indoor and outdoor versions.

Tips on Using a Fly Zapper

  • Place the zapper at about 4 to 6 feet height
  • Keep light traps away from doors and windows. You don’t want to lure more flies into the house
  • For inside use, use a zapper designed for indoor use. Outdoor models allow the dead flies to drop to the ground.

2. Get Rid of Flies with Citronella or Camphor Smoke

Flies don’t like citronella, camphor, or smoke. That’s why smoke is an effective way to keep flies away. Citronella smoke and camphor smoke are especially effective for discouraging flies.

Light a citronella candle or a piece of camphor and place them in strategic areas to get rid of flies.

3. Use a Plastic Bag Half-Filled with Water to Repel Flies

This method seems a little suspect, but scientists report that it does work. Admittedly it is one of the most curious methods of how to keep flies away but it is effective as a natural bug repellent. Fill a plastic bag half-full of water and hang it in doorways, windows, and in areas where flies are a problem. The water reflects light in many different directions which interferes with the flies vision.

Flies have compound eyes with approximately 8,000 lenses in each eye. This gives flies excellent vision in all directions at once. But stray light reflections caused by the bag of water can be confusing and cause problems with the flies vision. They leave the area to get relief.

4. Use a Fan

Outdoors, a fan can keep flies away from an area. Use a pole fan set to blow approximately 4 to 6 feet high, or elevate a box fan to this height. The air currents created will keep flies and mosquitoes away.

Indoors, a fan can be used to keep flies away from a designated area, but they will relocate to another area of the house.

Homemade Fly Traps

5. Use a Vinegar or Wine Trap

Fruit flies and gnats are attracted to fermentation products and fruit products like wine and vinegar. You can make a simple homemade fruit fly trap using leftover wine or apple cider vinegar as bait.

Simple Vinegar / Wine Fly Traps

  • Cut a large soda bottle into two pieces, about two-thirds of the way up the bottle. Invert the spout end and place it back on the base so that the pour spout is pointing down. You can tape the pieces together, but it is not necessary. Pour wine or vinegar into the bottom of the bottle. Flies will be lured into the bottle through the pour spout, but will not find their way out
  • Pour some apple cider vinegar or wine into a bowl or jar. Cover the opening with plastic wrap. Punch a few holes in the plastic. The flies will smell the vinegar and crawl in but will be unable to get out
  • Mix a few drops of dish soap into some apple cider vinegar. Place it in a bowl on the countertop. The soap reduces the surface tension of the vinegar and flies will drown
  • Leave a wine bottle on the counter with a small amount of wine in it. Flies will be able to easily enter the bottle but will have trouble finding their way out.
  • Make a simple trap with a glass and a piece of paper. Pour a half-inch of vinegar into the glass. Form the paper into a cone that will fit into the glass above the vinegar. Tape the cone to hold the form. Cut the tip off of the cone to make a small hole large enough for a fly to fit through. Place the cone into the cup so that it rests above the vinegar. Tape it into place if necessary to hold it above the vinegar.

>> More about wine traps for flies: How to get rid of fruit flies

6. Make a Trap with Sugar Water

Use any of the trap forms above with sugar water instead of vinegar or wine. The adage says that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And it is true for some flies.

Which bait is best depends on the type of fly you are dealing with. Try both and see which works best for you.

7. Try a Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Fly Trap

This trap is a very effective trap for those pesky fruit flies and has been used historically all over the world. Fruit flies are attracted to the milk solution and land on the surface. They are quickly suffocated and drown.

Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Trap Recipe

  • One cup of milk
  • One tablespoon sugar
  • One tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Pour into a bowl

How to Keep Flies Away – In the House

8. Use a Fly Vacuum

You can vacuum flies with a regular vacuum, but they may fly out again when you turn the vacuum off. Special hand-held vacuums for catching flies have a trap door that prevents the fly from getting back out.

A few minutes hunting flies with one of these vacuums every morning and night may quickly solve your fly problem.

9. Use Fly Paper

Flypaper and fly tape is coated with an attractant to lure the flies in and glue to trap them when they land. It works also very well to help get rid of gnats. A very simple and effective method.

How to use Fly tape / Flypaper

  • Hang the roll in areas where flies congregate
  • Do not hang directly above food preparation areas or dining areas
  • Replace the rolls frequently

10. Make Your Own Flypaper

You can make homemade fly paper from a brown paper bag or kraft paper and corn syrup. It is easy but takes a while since the paper needs to soak and dry.

How to Make Flypaper

  • Cut a brown paper bag into 2-inch wide strips
  • Bring equal parts corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add the paper strips
  • Soak the paper in the syrup for 4 hours or more
  • Remove the paper and hang them to dry for 2-3 hours
  • Hang them with thread or string in fly-infested areas

11. Boil Some Malt Vinegar

While most flies are attracted to apple cider vinegar, they cannot tolerate a component of boiled malt vinegar. Use this to your advantage by bringing a small amount of malt vinegar to a boil.

Turn off the heat and allow the hot pot and vinegar to sit in the area infested with flies. The flies will leave the area.

12. Use a Pheromone Trap

Commercial pheromone traps are effective for all types of flies, either indoors or outside. They use powerful sexual hormones to attract the fly and trap it. The only drawback with pheromone traps is that they only trap the flies of one gender.

13. Use an Electronic Fly Swatter

Electronic fly swatters work on the same principle as the bug zappers, except they don’t lure the bug in. Instead, you swat at the fly and deliver the electronic shock when the paddle makes contact. With an electronic fly swatter, you can swat the fly in the air, without waiting for it to land.

14. Use a Fly Gun

A fly gun is a fun way to attack the problem of flies. You shoot a plastic projectile to “swat” flies. A round disc on the projectile hopefully hits the fly and kills it.

I’ve never tried one of these fly guns, but they look like they might take a little practice to be able to hit the fly. A fly swatter is probably more reliable, but may not be as much fun.

15. Use a Bug-a-Salt

Another way to get rid of flies while having fun is the Bug-a-Salt rifle. You load the rifle with regular table salt and shoot at flies and other pests.

The rifle shoots a concentrated pattern of salt and can be used on any insect. The salt will not harm your furniture or carpet. With a little practice, this might be a fun way to solve a frustrating problem.

16. Use a Fly Swatter

An old-fashioned fly swatter is an effective way to get rid of flies but takes a little patience.

You stand ready with the fly swatter, waiting for the fly to land on a hard surface – hopefully not a breakable one. The minute the fly lands, you swing hard to hit the fly and crush it.

17. Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth kills insects by damaging the exoskeleton. The particles are sharp and create tiny cuts which desiccate the fly and kills it. It is one of the most effective natural methods to keep flies away.

Put a few tablespoons of diatomaceous earth into a squirt bottle, shake, and puff it out onto your houseplants and around other areas that attract flies. A fine dust of the diatomaceous earth is all it takes to kill flies and other insect pests.

18. Cultivate Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants will not solve a large fly infestation, but they will kill flies. If your problem is not overwhelming, carnivorous plants may be the answer. Keep a few Venus Fly Trap or Sundew plants for slow and steady fly eradication.

19. Use Citrus Peel or Citrus Oils to Repel House Flies

Many commercial cleaners and bug repellents use citrus oils and kitchen herbs to clean and repel insects naturally. The pleasant smell we enjoy makes an appealing air freshener but is a repellent for house flies. Use a citrus oil spray in fly-infested areas and clean with citrus cleaners.

You can also repel house flies by putting out a bowl of orange or lemon peels. Stir the peels or rub them occasionally to release the oils. We cover using citrus oils and citronella in our what repels mosquitoes tips in more detail.

However, if you have a fruit fly infestation, avoid using citrus oils. Fruit flies are attracted to citrus.

20. Use Hairspray

A quick spritz with hairspray creates problems for a fly, slowing them down and allowing you to swat them easily.

The sticky hairspray gums up their wings and brings them down, but you need to finish off the job with a fly swatter or a rolled up magazine.

21. Use Dish Detergent

Dish detergent kills flies in a couple of different ways. The soap reduces the surface tension of water and coats the mucous membranes, suffocating the fly. Borax, an ingredient in most soaps, is also an insecticide in higher concentrations. Our recipe for Dish Soap Fly Spray uses both these properties to kill flies instantly.

Simple and Effective Dish Soap Fly Spray

  • Two cups warm water
  • 7-10 drops dish detergent
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Borax

Mix until the Borax dissolves. Spray directly on flies.

Using Insecticides to Kill Flies or Keep Them Away

22. Treat the Entrances

Treat doorways and window screens with a Pyrethrin based insecticide. Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide made from chrysanthemum flowers to repel and keep gnats, flies and other insects away.

Spraying the doorways discourages flies from entering the house.

23. Spray Flies with Insecticide

You can also spray flies with a pyrethrin-based insecticide to kill them instantly. Avoid using any insecticides in food preparation areas. Although pyrethrin is natural and relatively safe, it still requires caution. Follow the label instructions carefully.

24. Use a Commercial Fly Bait

Commercial Insecticide fly baits are designed to attract flies and poison them with insecticidal ingredients. You will find fly baits in many forms, including traps, pellets, liquids and window decals.

Keep all insecticidal products such as fly baits out of the reach of pets and children and follow all safety instructions.

25. Use a Fogger

Flies are persistent and annoying. If your fly infestation is not responding to other fly repellent methods, consider using an insecticide fogger. Look for a pyrethrin based foggers.

Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide that degrades quickly and is considered safe. Please follow all label instructions.

26. Use Insect Growth Regulators

Insect growth regulators are hormones that interfere with the molting process and prevent the insect from maturing and reproducing. While insect growth regulators will not get rid of existing flies, they interrupt the life cycle and eventually reduce the fly population.

Insect growth regulators combined with an eradication program such as trapping or insecticides can be an effective way to solve the problem permanently.

Use Essential Oils to Repel Flies

Many essential oils are natural insect repellents. Use these oils in an oil diffuser or spray them in areas where flies are a problem.

27. Use Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is a strong insect repellent. Use it as an air freshener, spraying it around doors and windows. It is safe to use in the kitchen and any other area where flies congregate.

Lemongrass Oil Fly Repellent

  • Hang the roll in areas where flies congregate
  • Do not hang directly above food preparation areas or dining areas
  • Replace the rolls frequently

28. Use Clove Oil to Discourage Flies

The scent of cloves is particularly distasteful to flies and will repel them. The scent of clove oil is very strong, so a few drops goes a long way. Use witch hazel to make a spray for your skin, or use water for other surfaces:

Clove Oil Fly Repellent

  • ½ cup water or witch hazel
  • 5 drops clove oil
  • 5 drops cinnamon oil (optional)

Mix ingredients, shake well and spray in areas where flies are a problem.

29. Use Cayenne Pepper Spray

Flies Hate Cayenne Pepper and will leave the area when they detect it. Mix up a spray of water and a spoonful of powdered cayenne pepper.

Spray in fly-infested areas to repel flies. Caution: do not get this in your eyes or you will also be repelled! Check the wind direction before spraying outdoors.

30. Essential Oils that Repel Flies

Certain essential oils work great to repel flies in the first place. Either sprayed in a diluted solution or left as room refresher, they work really well for home entrance areas.

Best Essential Oils to Repel Flies and Mosquitoes

  • Clove oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Basil oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Neem oil
  • Citronella oil

31. Grow Fly Repellent Herbs and Plants

Your herb garden can serve multiple purposes – producing edible herbs for cooking while repelling flies and other insects. A small windowsill garden can keep the flies away.

Plants that Repel Flies

  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Elder
  • Tansy
  • Wormwood
  • Cucumber
  • Onions
  • Rue

For more on fly repellent plants and flowers, head over to our tips on 17 amazing plants that repel mosquitoes.

How To Best Keep Flies Out of the House

32. Avoid Leaving Food Out

Flies are naturally attracted to food, food wastes, and other moist organic material. Keep all food put away when not in use and make sure flies don’t have access to food sources in your house.

Sanitary Rules to Avoid Attracting Flies

  • Store all food in the refrigerator or sealed containers
  • Put away food and wash dishes immediately after a meal
  • Clean up spilled foods immediately
  • Keep garbage tightly sealed and take it out regularly
  • Keep the garbage disposal area clean and sealed
  • Keep compost materials in sealed containers
  • Wash garbage cans and lids regularly with hot, soapy water

33. Dispose of Used Diapers Immediately

Diapers and other waste materials attract flies. Use a sealed container to store used diapers until disposal. Take out trash containing diapers as quickly as possible.

34. Keep the Kitty Litter Clean

Animal waste is another attractant for flies. Change the kitty litter frequently and take all animal waste out to a sealed garbage can.

35. Clean Under Appliances

Areas under and around your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, and other appliances can gather condensation and other materials that attract flies and provide a good breeding area.

Clean these areas regularly with warm, soapy water.

36. Hang up Mops and Rags to Dry

Damp mops, rags, and sponges can be excellent breeding areas for flies and other insects. Hang them up where they will dry quickly to prevent future problems.

37. Keep Screens on Windows and Doors

Window screens and screen doors are one of the easiest ways of keeping flies out of the house. Check your screens regularly for holes and tears. Patch or replace damaged screens.

38. Screen or Seal Other Openings

Open areas in vents, drains, and the attic fan can give flies and other pests access to your home. Cover these areas with screen and seal up other openings.

39. How to Prevent Flies in Drains

Drains clogged with organic matter can attract flies and other insects. Clearing the clog and cleaning the drain is a good start on eliminating the problem. Follow these steps to get rid of flies in drains and keep them out.

Simple Tips to get rid of Drain Flies

  • Use a plunger or drain cleaning tool to clear out clogged drains
  • Clean the drain with a stiff brush and an antibacterial drain cleaner. Clean regularly until the fly infestation is gone
  • Treat your drains with Gentrol (S-hydroprene), an insecticide that interrupts the fly maturation process

40. Use a Natural Fly Repellent Spray

Flies are naturally repelled by the smell of vodka. A vodka-based fly spray can be used on your skin or on surfaces to keep flies away. Our Vodka Fly Spray recipe uses vodka and naturally repellent essential oils to get rid of flies.

Repel Flies with a Vodka Based Spray

  • One cup vodka
  • One teaspoon lemon eucalyptus oil
  • One teaspoon essential oil blend
  • Two teaspoons aloe vera juice (optional)

Use Nature to Keep Flies Away

41. Encourage them to Leave at Dusk

Scientists tell us that flies are particularly attracted to the light wavelengths at sunset. Open your doors just before the sun sets and allow the flies to leave the house. Then close the doors again before it gets dark.

42. Darken the Room

Flies and other insects are attracted to light and will naturally be attracted to well-lit areas. Use this to your advantage by turning down your lights and encouraging the flies to find a better lit space.

43. Control the Temperature

Like most people, flies hate temperature extremes. They cannot live when the temperatures rise above 116 degrees Fahrenheit or below 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is sometimes possible to allow your room temperatures to rise or fall within these limits, solving your fly problem. I would suggest that you try this solution when you are not home since these are not pleasant temperatures for people either.

How to Get Rid of Biting Flies

Biting flies are becoming a big problem in some areas. Not only are they a nuisance but they can also carry diseases. To keep them away try one of these tips:

44. Use an Insect Repellent

Commercial repellents containing Deet are the most effective commercial option, but many homemade essential oil repellents are just as effective.

Try one of our recipes for an essential oil fly repellent to keep flies away. Spray on your clothing or directly on your skin for best results.

45. Wear Light Colored Clothing

Biting flies are attracted to darker colors, so wearing lighter colors gives you an edge. It may not keep them away completely, but at least you aren’t actively attracting them.

46. Wear Treated Permethrin Clothing

You can now purchase insect repellent clothing designed to repel flies, mosquitoes, and other pests. The clothing is treated with long-lasting repellents that help keep pests away.

47. Treat Your Clothing

You also purchase a product called Premium Insect Repellent Clothing Treatment that you can apply to your clothing for long-lasting insect repellent properties. Or simply spray your clothing with one of our fly repellents before going outdoors. Refresh the repellent every few hours for maximum effects.

48. Use BTI or Mosquito Dunks In Standing Water

BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), often sold as Mosquito Dunks, are effective in controlling black fly populations as well as mosquitoes.

BTI kills the flies and mosquitoes in the larval stage before they can mature. Use BTI in small streams, ponds, and other areas of standing water.

49. Use Neem Oil Repellent

Neem oil is a natural insecticide and repellent. Despite its reputation as an insecticide, it is completely natural and safe to use on yourself and pets. In fact, neem oil is considered beneficial to the skin.

It must be diluted before use, however, since the essential oil is strong and can cause skin irritation. Try our Natural Neem Oil Repellent recipe on your skin or use our Neem Oil Insecticide Spray to cover large areas.

Natural Neem Oil Repellent

  • 10-20 drops of Neem oil, less if you have extremely sensitive skin
  • A few drops of lavender oil or other pleasant smelling oil
  • Warm coconut oil (liquid)

Fill a 2-ounce bottle with warm liquid coconut oil and add the other ingredients. Shake and spray on exposed skin.

Neem Oil Insecticide Spray

  • One cup of warm water
  • Five drops of dishwashing liquid
  • One teaspoon Neem oil

Spray this mixture directly on flies and in fly-infested areas.

How to Get Rid of White Flies

A whitefly infestation can be a difficult problem to treat. You need persistence and multiple treatments to get rid of the flies forever. Use these tips together to get rid of whiteflies:

50. Vacuum Away Whiteflies

Use a hand-held vacuum or the upholstery attachment on your regular vacuum to remove whiteflies on infested plants. Vacuum the undersides of the leaves; this is where they hide.

When done, place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag and keep it in your freezer for at least a day to kill the insects, then dispose of the bag.

51. Remove Damaged Foliage

Trim the plant, removing diseased foliage and any leaves that have white eggs or a sticky coating on the underside of the leaf. Seal the diseased leaves in a plastic bag or burn them.

52. Wash the Foliage

Wash or spray the plants with soapy water, paying attention to the undersides of leaves. The soap not only removes the flies but helps to suffocate them. As an alternative to soapy water, you can use our Neem Oil Insecticide Spray recipe.

53. Use Repellent Plants

Whiteflies naturally avoid marigolds and nasturtiums. Plant these throughout your garden to keep whiteflies at bay. Repellent plants alone won’t solve an infestation, but it is an effective deterrent.

54. Use an Insecticide

Neem oil, a natural insecticide, is effective against whiteflies. Combined with the tips above, repeated applications of Neem oil will help you get rid of whiteflies permanently. Follow all label instructions carefully.

What Flowers Repel Flies?

Many plants repel flies and other pests. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, geraniums, nasturtiums, tansy, and lavender are all known to repel mosquitoes and flies.

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Flies?

Getting rid of flies for the long term requires a combination of methods. A good insecticide will kill flies that are currently bothering you, but a new crop will appear in a few days to take their place. Using all of the methods presented here will have the best results over the long term.

Seal up the house and use screens, kill or trap existing flies, use insect growth regulators to prevent the development of new flies, and remove all organic matter that could attract new flies. By combining these methods, you will have the best results.

You’ve probably tried many of these methods yourself, and I hope they have worked for you. To be effective over the long term, you need to combine methods that attack the fly at all stages of its life. Then keep at it. Flies will continue to arrive, but if you follow the methods I’ve listed above, you won’t attract them, and you’ll be able to get rid of them quickly.

Let me know which techniques you have tried and which ones work best for you. Perhaps you know other essential oils or plants that are effective as fly repellents. Or maybe you use a method that I missed here. If so, please let me know in the comments section. I want to make this guide as complete as possible so that it will be useful in every situation.

How To Get Rid Of Flies In Your Garage

The Garage is the gateway to your home and most likely the most frequently used access to your home as well. The problem is it’s also one of the best ways for Flies to get into your home. That’s why we have 8 proven ways to get rid of flies in your garage which then prevents them from making it into your home.

1. Clean Your Garage Thoroughly: Start by removing any old clutter that can be either sold or given away.
Keeping your garage free from clutter eliminates crucial breeding grounds for flies. We suggest wiping down your walls window wells seals and make sure to Clorox any spills that might be attracting flies. Vacuum up the entire garage with shop vac and make sure that storage shelves or cabinets are all wiped down and dust free. While cleaning patch any holes or dents in the drywall where flies can easily land and lay eggs.

2. Go On Killing Spree: Take your favorite fly swatter and spend a few minutes killing as many flies as you can. This is a way to get a good jump start on eliminating flies in your garage. Make sure to dispose of all of the dead flies outside of your garage and clean up any bug guts that will attract more flies.

3. Upgrade Your Trash Cans: It is really common to keep a trash can or two in your garage so that the can in your house doesn’t fill up to quickly.
It’s also very common for families to put their beat up or outdated cans in the garage because they do not care how they look. However due to summer heat and open containers the trash can in your garage can end up being the number one issue when it comes to controlling flies in your home. Make sure you clean your cans once a month during the hot summer months when flies are at their worst. Additionally it’s crucial that you choose a can that has a closing lid that way flies have a hard time getting inside your can and if they do they get trapped and disposed of. We highly recommend self closing cans that are close to air tight. If that isn’t in the budget pickup simple cans that have lids that can be securely placed on top of your trash cans.

4. Check For Leaks: Check around window seals, refrigerator sand chest freezers to make sure there are not any leaks. Flies thrive in moist damp areas where they can reproduce and lay eggs. If you find any moisture it is important that you figure out the source and stop it.

5. Place Fly Traps In Strategic Areas: Utilizing high quality fly traps can help catch those flies that prevention just can’t keep away.
Spend a few minutes watching the flies in your garage and taking note to see where they are landing and spending their time. Depending on the surface you can utilize hanging fly traps or flat surface traps to attract flies catch and then kill them. Once a week or so get rid of the old trap and setup a new one. Catching lies inside your garage is not only easier than inside your home but a lot less gross.

6. Light Traps: If you have an open air garage or carport utilize a Light Fly Trap to attract and eliminate flies. There are dozens of high quality models on the market that are fantastic at helping control flies around your home or yard. Keeping an open air garage fly free is harder than a traditional garage but not impossible with the right tools. Follow the steps above and add a light focused fly trap to your setup and you are sure to have solid results.

7. Residential Pesticides If you are open to utilizing pesticides around your home there are a host of residential safe pesticides that can be sprayed on surfaces where flies congregate. These pesticides when used properly can be a powerful deterrent for flies long term. Many home owners have success spraying just once a year as the weather starts to warm up.

8. Homemade Fly Traps: Looking for natural ways to capture flies in your garage and get rid of them using safe materials you have on hand? There are dozens of homemade fly traps that are excellent for using inside your garage. We are huge fans of Soda Bottle Fly traps.
Simply empty and clean out a plastic two liter bottle of soda or juice. Cut the top 25% of the bottle and fill the bottom portion of the bottle with some water and a little bit of sugar or a piece of fruit. Place the top portion of the bottle inside the bottom portion utilizing the spout as a funnel to trap flies inside the opening. Once full or when all of the flies are gone you can simply toss the bottle in the garbage. While a little to unsightly for use inside the home they are excellent for outdoor and garage use. Compared to most commercial traps they are just as effective and they can be a fun way to get your kids involved in the project.

The reality is combating flies inside the garage can take a little bit of effort especially if your garage could use a good deep cleaning. However stopping flies before they get into your home is crucial to keeping the pests at bay. Because you go in and out of your garage multiple times a day it’s one of the easiest ways for flies to get into your home. Luckily employing all or a combination of the tasks above will allow you to keep flies at bay in the garage and keep them out of your home. Have a tip for getting rid of flies in your garage? Let us know by sharing it in the comments!

Winai Pantho/

As temperatures drop in the fall, some insects become less active, which is a relief. However, those same cooler temps make cluster flies come out in full force.

Slightly larger than the common house fly, cluster flies are dull-gray in color with black markings. They also have golden-yellow hairs on the thorax and they make their debut in autumn. In search of sunny sides of homes to escape the cold, the over-wintering pests crawl out of wall voids and attics to enjoy the warmth, clustering in large numbers on the sunny exterior of buildings, as well as at windows within the home. Note that these flies give off an odor that some describe as smelling like buckwheat honey.

Cluster flies may be a nuisance, but they won’t reproduce within your structure and do not carry any diseases. In fact, the only damage you’ll likely see are small dark-colored spots of excrement on windows and walls. (Gross.)

Many flies, like cluster flies, love the sunlight and warmth, which is often why they buzz against windows. So always make sure your open windows have screens to keep flies from entering. Likewise, don’t leave doors without screens open for long periods of time. Here’s more on how to get rid of flies, in general.

While you’ll find that cluster flies are slow enough to capture and swat, you might be hoping to avoid them altogether. Your best bet is to do a little investigation. Where are they coming from? If they’re on the exterior of your home, you can use exterior insecticides consisting of a synthetic pyrethroid or a neonicotinoid, which you’ll want to hire a licensed pest control professional to apply. It’s important to note, however, that because the application is occurring in a sunny area, which breaks down the insecticide, the effectiveness may decrease after a week.

Check out this fly trap hat!

How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies

Are the flies in your home? Locate the openings and seal those cracks! They’ll likely be behind baseboards, around windows and nearby door trim. You can also use a hand vacuum to get rid of them.

Other options include hanging sticky fly strips or using a glass jar with sweetened water inside and a perforated lid to trap them. Just be sure you make the holes large enough for the flies to enter and change out the water every day. Keeping food covered is also important. Cluster flies especially love decomposing food and sweets! A contact pyrethrum spray like CB-80, which is approved for indoor use, can help, as well. Spray it lightly, as needed, for contact kill.

To prepare for the next season, you can spray areas where you suspect these pesky flies will cluster. In early summer, be sure all your suspect cracks are sealed up. You can also apply a residual pyrethroid-based insecticide such as Suspend SC or Demon WP on the exterior of the building in late August or early September, right before adult cluster flies show up.

Ready to deal with more bugs? Here’s the ultimate guide to getting rid of the creepiest bugs for good.

Check out the most insane pest control ideas we could find.

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