Herbs That Attract House Flies

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Growing basil may attract houseflies.
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If you've started seeing more house flies around your home, you might be wondering, "Are flies attracted to plants growing indoors?" and "What are flies attracted to?" Flies like certain plants and the decaying matter that grows on and around them. However, there are certain scents that flies like more than others. If you're OK with attracting flies, keep these plants around, but in most cases, you'll want to avoid them.

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What Attracts House Flies?

There are many types of plants that attract flies. Some appeal to many species of flies because of the smell they exude. In addition, any plants that don't repel flies will attract them. Plants that attract flies include herbs like dill, parsley and fennel. Flies also tend to enjoy sunflowers, lavender, lemon balm and certain types of orchids. Flies don't seem to mind cilantro either.

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Be aware that some of these plants will also draw ladybugs, butterflies, lacewings and some other insects to your garden. As a bonus, dill repels some harmful insects, such as aphids and spider mites. Fennel also repels aphids in addition to slugs and snails, while lavender will keep away the moths and mosquitoes. Even though we typically think of flies as pests, they are critical to the health of your garden as essential members of your ecosystem. Cultivating a range of plants that work to attract certain types of insects while also avoiding the most harmful ones can help your plants thrive.

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Herbs That Repel House Flies

Now that you know what plants attract flies, it's also essential to know which repel them. These plants are helpful if you're trying to keep flies away from your garden. It's also a good list to keep in mind if you want to grow some herbs or houseplants inside but don't want to start seeing flies.

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One smell that flies hate is basil. If you want to keep flies out of your garden, include basil plants. You can even cultivate small basil plants between others if flies would be harmful to them. Basil tends to grow well with plenty of moisture and full sun.

Flies also hate eucalyptus and peppermint. To keep flies away, you can grow these herbs in your garden or make an all-natural fly repellent by adding water and a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to a spray bottle. Spray it generously around your garden and home to keep out flies and mosquitoes as well. Does thyme repel flies? It does, but you have to break its leaves to release the oils inside.

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Are Flies Attracted to Plants?

Why do plants attract flies and other insects and animals in the first place? When it comes to flies and many of their fellow insects, what's on or around the plants is typically more important than the plants themselves. Flies primarily feed on the decaying organic matter that grows on and around plants and the soil. Therefore, most of the time, it isn't the actual plant attracting the flies; instead, it's the tiny biome associated with that plant.

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With that in mind, there are certain smells that flies dislike. This dislike is generally because something in that particular plant is toxic to the insects, and they need to avoid it to survive. Sometimes, as with peppermint and eucalyptus, the problem is that those smells are so pungent that they block out others around the insects. That is why they work so well as natural fly repellents.

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