‘Natural and effective ways’ to repel flies using scents – ‘keeps them away long term’

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With the UK is set to reach temperatures of almost 30 degrees in the coming days and Britons open windows and doors for better air circulation, a cool gust of wind isn’t usually the only thing to blow through the house. Flies are most active during the spring and summer months and tend to flock to areas where humans inhabit to search for food. This means you’re likely to find these unwelcome guests buzzing around kitchens and bins more so now than in prior months.

Flies typically have a lifespan of 21 days, which doesn’t sound too long and threatening. But don’t be fooled because within this period female flies have the ability to lay up to 900 eggs.

So if you start to find an increasing mass of flies, you’ll want to stop these pests in their tracks before they get too comfortable.

Flies have a strong sense of smell which they use to find accessible food sources.

Homeowners can take advantage of this trait by using scents they dislike around entry point of the home.

Zack DeAngelis, creator of Pest Pointers said: “No one wants to have swarms of flies in their yard or home, and if you have been burdened by some flying critters then you are likely looking for effective ways to repel them.

“Luckily, there are many natural and effective ways that you can repel flies with ease.

“You can use a fly’s strong sense of smell to their advantage when it comes to repelling flies.

“There are many smells that flies hate, and we will be describing the benefits of the most notable scents that repel flies.”

These include peppermint, basil, pine, rosemary, rue, lavender, eucalyptus, and bay leaves.


Lavender is a “great scent” to use when it comes to repelling flies because it is both “effective at its job” and it “smells great”, according to the pest expert.

He said: “This scent also provides the luxury of having the option to employ it in many different ways.

“For indoor spaces, you can use lavender to repel flies in several ways. 

“The first common way that people use lavender to repel flies inside is by spritzing lavender oil on and around problem areas such as in kitchens and around windows.

“You can use lavender oil straight out of the bottle or dilute it by mixing it with a carrier oil. 

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“Many people also use lavender oil in an oil diffuser or grind up dried lavender leaves and put them in a pouch around beds and seating areas.”

A very common and easy way to use lavender to repel flies is to have lavender plants growing in your yard. 

This can be especially helpful when planted around patios, decking, and other high traffic outdoor areas. 


Like lavender, homeowners have the option to use peppermint in many different ways to repel flies.

Zack explained: “Peppermint is yet another popular, natural, and effective way to repel flies.

“Planting peppermint in your garden and around high trafficked outdoor areas is a great way to protect vulnerable plants and keep swarms of flies away from your home.

“However, peppermint oil can do a marvellous job at repelling flies from the inside of your home as well.

“When applying, it’s always best to go with a market-tested product rather than try to make a solution yourself, in my opinion. 

“This will give you the best chance at success because others have already used and reviewed the specific product concentrations”.

In one study published by nature.com, researchers found that several common essential oils, geranium, peppermint, citronella, and thyme-oil, significantly repelled both male and female fruit flies from cotton wicks containing raspberry juice.

Interestingly enough, the researchers found that peppermint oil, specifically was particularly effective in repelling fruit flies for up to six days post-application.

Homeowners also have the option to use dried and ground-up peppermint leaves in a pouch around places such as beds, couches, and other seating areas. 

For those who have pets, stick to keeping the grounds out of their reaching distance.


Both the basil plant and the basil essential oil have been known to repel flies naturally and effectively.

The expert said: “Basil smells great and is an excellent way to repel flies from outdoor seating areas. 

“You even have the option to have a small basil plant in indoor areas as well such as on coffee tables and kitchen counters.

“Basil also comes as an essential oil, which can be very useful when spritzing some common problem areas when it comes to flies such as around windows.”

Like all essential oils on this list, if you do use them they should be diluted properly as a carrier oil.

Also like lavender and peppermint, use dried and ground-up basil leaves as a fly repellent as a great way to keep flies away from small indoor areas.

While these scents work “effectively” to deter flies, they should be paired with other methods to “keep them away long term”.

Doing things like keeping outdoor spaces clean, keeping bins closed, eliminating standing water around your property, and setting up some fly traps will help to keep flies at bay.

Zack said: “Using these four tactics along with fly repelling scents will ensure that your yard and home are fly-free.”

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