5 Ways to Control Fly Breeding Sites

One of the best ways to combat flies is to go after them where they breed.
One of the best ways to combat flies is to go after them where they breed.
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No one likes having flies in the house -- it's that simple. These little creatures might play an important role in nature, but when they get into our homes they tend to land on our food, buzz in our faces and become tiny nuisances that are quite hard to get rid of.

While you could chase a fly around with a swatter (or a shoe) all day long, one of the best ways to combat flies is to go after them where they breed, outside of your home, and keep them out of the house in the first place. We'll show you some of the best ways to control the spots where flies breed so you can hopefully get rid of the problem once and for all.

Take out the Trash
Take out the trash regularly and don't let old bags sit around for weeks.
Take out the trash regularly and don't let old bags sit around for weeks.
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Flies feed on garbage, old food, animal remains and feces in your yard. Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? And yes, it is. But these spots are also where they lay their eggs so more flies can sprout out. (Again, gross.) So one way to deal a big blow to the fly population around your home is to keep things clean. Take out the trash regularly and don't let old bags sit around for weeks. This goes for inside the home as well -- don't let plates with old food sit around forever. Outside, try to clean up any animal waste you find on the ground. Keep the yard clean and don't give the little flying nuisances anything to feed and grow on.

Control your Compost Heap

Composting is a proven way to increase the quality of the soil you use in gardening while making good use of the waste from your yard and kitchen. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems you'll run into when composting is flies. The manure and food scraps in the compost pile are very attractive to these little pests. There are ways to combat them, however -- even out here in the smelly compost heap.

The gardening blog SheKnows.com recommends turning and stirring the compost pile every two or three days. If that doesn't work, try pouring boiling water on the pile. Your compost needs water anyway, and the heat will effectively kill the flies and their larvae.

Trap 'em

Another great way to take on the flies in your back yard is to put some kind of flytrap in place. There are all kinds of traps -- some use liquid, some are electrical and others use some kind of food source as a bait. Typically, they all function by luring flies into a confined space and either keeping them there or killing them instantly in some way. Many of them are reusable and most are environmentally friendly.

The University of Arizona's Center for Insect Science Education Outreach even has great tips on how to build your own using a two-liter soda bottle and some raw meat. It's time to take back your house (and your yard) from the flies!

Keep 'em Out

Are you ever reluctant to open your windows on a nice day because you're afraid you'll let flies in? It sounds simple, but window screens are probably the way to go. Putting screens on your windows is one of the very best ways to keep flies and other insects out of your home.The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also recommends caulking your windows and covering entrances to the house from the outside. Make sure to do all of this during the spring and summer months before they decide to buzz in and lay a ton of eggs in and around your home! Adding window screens are also a great and inexpensive way to keep your home cool in the summer months, cutting down on your energy costs.

Spray the Yard
It's time to fight dirty.
It's time to fight dirty.
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So let's say you've tried the other four steps on our list, and you're still finding your home and yard inundated with flies. That means it's time to fight dirty. There's a variety of pesticide sprays available specifically designed to treat a yard for flies, as well as other insects like fleas and ticks. A thorough and proper application of these sprays should be enough to put down the flies living in your lawn.

To apply these chemicals, you'll need a pump sprayer, some sort of misting system or a device that attaches to your garden hose. But if hosing your lawn down with harsh chemicals doesn't sound ideal, a growing number of organic insect sprays are available as well. The blog Organic Gardening.com recommends a spray you can make yourself using onions, garlic and cayenne peppers. In other words, you have options available -- it just depends how aggressive you want to be when you finally go after the flying pests in your lawn.


How Bug Spray Works

How Bug Spray Works

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  • Ogg, Barb. "Flies in the Home." Lancaster.unl.edu. (July 17, 2012) http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/flies015.shtml
  • Organic Gardening. "All-Purpose Insect Spray." Organicgardening.com. (July 17, 2012) http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/all-purpose-insect-pest-spray
  • SheKnows.com. "Compost Fly Control." Jan. 31, 2011. (July 17, 2012) http://gardening.sheknows.com/2011/01/31/compost-fly-control/
  • University of Arizona. "How to Make a Fly Trap." Insected.arizona.edu. (July 17, 2012) http://insected.arizona.edu/flyrear.htm