How to Get Flies Out of the House Without Killing Them

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Houseflies aren't just annoying with their pesky buzzing in your face. They're also harbingers of disease, including cholera, ​E. coli​, dysentery, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and more. While you may not want them in your home, that doesn't necessarily mean you want to kill them. Whether you're adverse to killing a fly because you worry about spreading germs or you just don't like the ethical implications of killing another living creature, there are plenty of ways to shoo flies out of your home without dirtying your hands literally or figuratively.


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Chase Them Out

While you typically don't want to leave your door open during fly season, doing so at dawn will minimize the risk of new flies entering your home. Simply turn off the lights in your home and houseflies will instinctively head for the light outside your house. If they need a little motivation to get outside, grab a newspaper or magazine and use it to gently shoo them toward the exit.


Alternatively, use a table fan or box fan to help push them out the door. Flies aren't very strong, and a carefully directed blast from a fan can help direct them where you want them to go: outside. To keep flies from entering your house in the first place, you can place some strong fans by your door so they won't be able to fly inside.


Bring in Some Herbs

Houseflies are naturally repelled by a number of strong herbal smells, including cloves, citrus, lavender, basil, pine, and cayenne pepper. Fill your home with these scents to send flies packing. You can make a particularly powerful fly repellent by poking about 20 cloves into the skin of an orange. Hang a few of these around your home to make the air smell fantastic while the flies book it out of there.


Another popular fly-repelling recipe can be created by mixing a cup of water and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Add the solution to a spray bottle and squirt it wherever you see flies congregating.

Make a Humane Fly Trap

Many fly trap recipes use soap that will kill the flies, but trapping them is enough to get them out of your house, and you can do that without harming them. Simply get an empty 2-liter soda bottle and cut off the top of the bottle just above the label. Put something flies like, such as fruit, meat scraps, or leftovers, inside the bottom of the bottle and then put the top of the bottle upside down into the other half. Tape the top of the bottle in place and leave the trap out for a day or two until you've trapped all the pesky flies. Then, take the bottle outside, remove the tape, and set the houseflies free.