In the heat and moisture of summer, insects like to come out into the world in large numbers. One of the most tedious to deal with is the fly. During the hotter summer months, flies can be huge pests—interrupting barbecues, invading your kitchen, and attempting to escape to the cooler temperatures of your home.
Here are a few simple ways to get rid of these pests without purchasing those sticky fly traps at the store that hardly work anyway. Whip up a fly trap or some repellent from items you probably already have around the house to keep the flies out of your way.
1. Fruit Flies
Make homemade fruit fly traps with old water or soda bottles. Cut the top of the bottle off with a pair of scissors, taking care to keep it close to the same height all the way around the edge. Place the top of the bottle, which you just removed, upside down and inside the other piece so the edges meet. Basically, you will have inverted the top of the water bottle and fitted it inside the bottom half.
Use a few pieces of clear tape to hold the top piece in place. Fill the water bottle about one-fifth of the way full with water, and add four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to attract the flies. Then, pour a tablespoon of liquid dish soap or hand soap into the mix and swish it around to make sure the soap mixes in. The soap will help prevent the flies from flying back out of the bottle once they fly in.
Create a few of these traps and place them around your kitchen—in corners or near fresh fruit and vegetables where flies are congregating. You can discard the bottles once your gnat problem has disappeared.
2. House Flies
One of the simplest deterrents for house flies is cloves. Put a batch of cloves in a small cotton bag, or use a piece of cloth or paper towel and tie it closed with a rubber band or string. Hang it upside down near a door, window, or other place where flies may be entering the house.
Cloves can also be poked into a whole apple to keep houseflies away. The juices from the apple help release the odor of the clove, which flies do not like. Stick 20-30 cloves into an apple—all around it—and flies will go the other direction.
3. Outdoor Flies
Outdoor flies are extremely attracted to the smell of meat and food on your barbecue. To keep them away while you cook and dine outside, make a mixture of molasses and cornmeal in a small bowl. Add just enough molasses, maple syrup, or honey to make the cornstarch moist and sticky, then place these traps out of the way, yet still close enough to the barbecue to lure them. Places such as the corners of your porch or deck are ideal. When you’re done for the night, discard the traps.
If you have a persistent problem with flies outdoors, it might be time to make some homemade traps.
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