How to Lure House Flies

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Houseflies are a common nuisance in many homes. They propagate in garbage. Even you keep a tidy home, small piles of debris hide underneath the fridge, in the basement or outdoors near windows or doors where flies commonly invade your home. Because they feed on garbage, flies naturally pick up bacteria. Though most diseases carried by flies rarely transfer to humans, the presence of flies in your home still poses a small health risk. Chemical sprays kill flies fast, but they aren't the best choice for homes with pets or small children. For natural fly control, you can lure flies into homemade traps.

Things You'll Need

  • Fly attractant
  • Masonry jar
  • Soapy water
  • Rubber band
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Place a fly attractant inside a masonry jar. Attractants are sold at some gardening stores, often including housefly pheromones. Do-it-yourself attractants include old fish, meat and other protein waste, as well as fermented molasses or stale beer.

  • Fill the jar with an inch of soapy water. Once lured into the jar by the attractant, the soapy water traps the fly. Soap reduces the surface tension of water, drowning the flies when they get caught in it.

  • Secure a piece of paper to the top of the jar using a rubber-band.

  • Cut a dime-sized hole in the center of the paper. Flies are lured through the hole by the attractant's smell, but they find it difficult to navigate back out of the hole after feeding. This keeps houseflies trapped in the jar longer, increasing the likelihood of drowning in the soapy water.

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References

  • North Carolina University Extension Integrated Pest Management Program: House Fly
  • "Public Health Significance of Urban Pests"; Xavier Bonnefoy, et al.; 2008
  • "Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles: Amusing & Useful Techniques for Nontoxic Housekeeping and Gardening"; Ellen Sandbeck; 2000
  • "Residential, Industrial, and Institutional Pest Control"; Pat O'Connor-Marer; 2006
  • "Trapping: A Practical Guide"; James A. Bateman; 2003
  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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