Back Roads Living

Fly Repellent Tips and Traps

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 Natural Fly Repellent Tips and Fly Traps!


Flies have been a nuisance since the beginning of time! Every generation has tried to figure out how to make a good fly repellent, fly trap and even fly bait! There are several ways to do this. Some methods will kill flies and some will repel them!

These Fly Repellent Tips from Back Roads Living are a mix of research, trial, and error! We have forever lived in the country and most of my adult life has been spent in and around farms. As many of us are aware of, farms have a way of attracting lots of flies!

We are just like everyone else in the country and have pets and porches. This is a recipe for flies! Many of us have out buildings that are used for various things and where there are out buildings there are usually flies and other bugs such as wasp and mosquitoes. You can find out m!ore about mosquito control HERE.

Fly Repellent

Since flies are so bothersome and aggravating let’s get to some of the things that can help us prevent them from coming around in our direct vicinity!

Either way, we want them away from us! The buzzing of a fly seriously annoys me! I have set on my deck many summers with a big glass of Southern Sweet Tea and a fly swatter close at hand!

How to make Natural Fly Repellent

There are several natural herbs and oils that flies do not like! I will not be able to cover them all in this article. If I did the article would be much too long to read and you no doubt would become bored.

I will concentrate on the most common and easier repellents and traps I can think of and those that I have found in my research online. There are several websites out there with lots of good information about fly traps, repellents, and baits.

First, we will concentrate our efforts on Natural Preventions.

There is a saying that the best cure for anything is prevention! I am a firm believer in this! If we stop flies from coming indoors, we do not have to make traps to catch them! These added preventions aid in this very thing!

There are many way to help prevent files from coming indoors and the most obvious are,
Screened Windows

Storm Doors

Screen Doors

Door Sweeps

Now assuming you have all these covered, you will still have flies in the house from time to time. As I stated earlier, depending on where you live and the conditions of your surroundings you may have more flies to contend with than other people!


We live next door to our In-laws and they raise cattle. The pasture field pretty much surrounds our house with the exception of the front yard. If I am in the yard and the cattle are near the fence it is pretty obvious. Not just the calm sound of the cattle chewing their cuds but their tails constantly swishing to shoo the flies off their bodies! Horse Flies hurt when they bite! If you have ever lived on a farm with livestock or chickens you know the files can be very bothersome at times! Most chicken owners are familiar with fly prevention methods and baits! Many use the natural prevention methods below.

Natural Fly Remedies include:

1: Diatomaceous Earth

Herbs for Natural Fly Repellent

Herbs are a natural way to deter flies also. With these you do not have to worry about any kind of insecticides or dangerous chemicals. Many herbs will make a good repellent for flies. I will share a few with you a few of the more common ones.

1: Basil

What is Basil?

Basil is a culinary herb used mostly in cuisines.

Using a oil diffuser, put a few drops of basil oil in and set it where you want to keep the flies away from. Areas might be your dining table, outdoor table, counter top while cooking, etc. Flies do not like the scent of basil!

2: Citronella Oil

What is Citronella?

Citronella is an oil obtained from Southern Asian grasses. The oil is used to deter bugs of many kinds including flies! This oil is normally burnt in a torch outdoors by the same means as the oil lanterns. The rope wick absorbs the oil as it burns and emits a smell that bugs hate!

When you have several of these torches in use you can gather outdoors in comfort! We have spent many evenings out on our deck with our torches burning and enjoyed a bug-free evening.

3: Mint

What is Mint?

Mint oil is extracted from mint leaves!

This is use to flavor many different dishes and drinks. It can also be used from everything from beauty products to repellent for flies.

Just like the Deep Woods Off spray, a peppermint spray can be made to protect you while outdoors!
You will need:

  • 1- Spray bottle
  • Use 1 part peppermint oil to 5 parts rubbing alcohol. (Amazon Ad)
  • Spray on exposed body parts before going outside.


Now that we have gone over some Natural Repellent for flies, lets look into some Fly Traps, both homemade and factory produced! Here is another article on making natural repellent for flies.

More ideas:

Using Clear Plastic Bags

20 Natural Recipes for Insect Repellent

Steps To Control a Fly Infestation

Many people enjoy the process of making their own pest traps and repellents! It can be fun getting the little one to help out in some of these and they learn a valuable lesson on how to be saving at the same time.

Canning Jar Fly Trap

You will need sugar water, Using a pint or quart canning jar.

In this method, the size of the jar depends on where you are going to use it. If you intend to use it indoors, I recommend the pint jar as it can be hid easier. We do not want our visitors to see a bunch of dead flies floating around in a jar in the living area!

By the way, a great area of the indoors to keep this is in the laundry room, bathroom or in an area where the pet litter is. The foyers and mud rooms are also a good target area to put these fly repellents in. Be creative and hide them out of sight but where the flies can get to them also!

If using a Pint Jar

  • Fill it 1/4 full of water (Warm water dissolves the sugar faster)
  • Add about 1/8 cup of sugar
  • Add 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • Mix well until the sugar is dissolved
  • Using a punch, awl or nail, punch a few holes large enough in the lid for the flies to get through.

Remember, be creative and hide it, just don’t forget you have it there! If you have a lot of flies It can get messy inside the jar if you forget it for a long period of time. 🙂

For a Quart Jar just double the ingredients!

Plastic Bottle Fly Trap

Another good Fly Trap is made from a plastic bottle such as a soda bottle. You can use either a large 20 oz bottle or a 2 liter.

Cut the top half off just like the mosquito trap we made and make the same mix as in the Canning Jar Trap above. These can be hung outdoors around your property of deck away from the direct area of entertaining.

Paper cone Fly Trap

A wide-mouth jar works well with a paper cone also.

Use a wide mouth quart jar for this as the pint is so small and it will be difficult making the cone stay inside of it.

  • 1 – Quart Jar (Wide Mouth Style)
  • 1- Paper cone (You can make this)
  • Mix ingredients as in the 1st Fly Repellent method.
  • Insert the cone and attach it with tape.
  • Keep the cone out of the liquid!
  • Empty as needed.

Jar or Glass Tumbler Fly Trap

  • 1: Jar or glass without a lid
  • 1- Jar or large glass
  • 1- Small sheet of plastic
  • 1- Rubber Band
  • Mix ingredients as in the 1st Fly Repellent method.
  • Pull plastic snugly over the jar or glass and secure with the rubber band!

This may not be the most beautiful flycatcher in the world but it still works and is as cheap as it gets! 🙂

You can also use plants around the home to help keep flies away. There are several plants that smell that flies do not like.

A few of them include:

  • Elder
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Lavender

There are several Fly Repellents and Fly Traps you can purchase if you are not into making your own.

They include:

Electric Bug Zapper





Some more great information about House Flies is found HERE
Their life cycles and hatching methods. Just one more reason for a good fly repellent plan!

We do not indorse killing honey bees.  Please be careful around where they can be found and try not to destroy any of them. They are very necessary for the pollen distribution and we need them!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on Fly Repellent. If you have suggestions or other means for repelling or killing flies not listed here be sure to leave us your thoughts below.


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