You expect insects to crash your summertime barbeque. After all, the outdoors is their world. But your home is your world, so it’s vexing when flies barge in. Here are some ways to keep them out of your home.
What attracts flies into the house?
When winter’s chill wanes, insects emerge from dormancy and begin reproducing at prodigious rates. Then they look for open windows and doors through which they can enter your home. The following will make your house attractive to flies:
- Odors. These are the main attraction drawing flies to your house.
- Food. Flying pests will make a buffet out of leftovers sitting on the stovetop or dirty dishes unattended in the sink. Leave ripening fruit in a bowl, and fruit flies will magically appear. Even a spill on the counter that isn’t thoroughly wiped up can attract flies to your home.
- Pets. Leave a cat litter box unattended for just a day and watch the flies invade.
- Drains. Musty water in drains and the garbage disposal attract drain flies.
- Houseplants. Overwatering houseplants will leave standing water that attracts an annoying gnat-like fly.
What can you do to keep them out of your home?
- Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. If you want spring and summer breezes in your home, ensure your open windows and doors are screened. Pass through exterior doors as quickly as possible.
- Some species of plants are not only beautiful but also repel flies. Plant marigolds, petunias, nasturtiums and herbs such as lavender and rosemary beside exterior doorways.
- Put food away after meals and wash dishes promptly. Wipe counters and the stove top till they’re squeaky clean.
- Clean litter boxes more frequently than usual when flies are a problem. Unfortunately, when flies land on pet waste, their next stop could be a counter or other surface.
- Pour a non-caustic, enzymatic drain cleaner or white vinegar into your drains a few times a year to keep the drain flies at bay.
- Eat that fruit in the bowl on your counter before it gets overly ripe. Move the fruit to the refrigerator if needed.
- Water plants just enough to keep them hydrated, no more. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the top of the soil.