I am talking about house flies. Blue bottles, green bottles, anything large, loud and irritating! They are like other people's children. As soon as they enter your house they deliberately pester you, distract you, make a whining noise while eating your food. And to make things worse, they leave dirty little foot prints all over the work surfaces. It is enough to want to kill them, and the same can be said for the flies!

As a child, I found that the best way to get rid of flies was to flick them hard with a speeding elastic band. The fly's natural reflexes are indeed formidable, but they cannot compete with a child's eye to hand coordination combined with a heavy duty loop of rubber. The downside to this technique is a selection of squashed fly parts across the walls and on the ceiling. Some could have called this art, but my mother wasn't one of them.

Prevention is better than cure!

The best way to get rid of flies in your house is to stop them from getting in their in the first place. While flies are attracted the food we eat - raw or cooked, they are also partial to rotting food. More specifically, the sulphur compounds that given off from rotting food.

So if you are cooking in the kitchen - keep your windows closed. If you are getting way to hot, then open the window, but have a fan blowing at the window as flies hate strong air currents. Clean up kitchen work surfaces and put ingredients away as you are are working, and do not leave standing water in your sink. As you can tell, a lot of the issues that can cause you to have flies in the house are due to poor hygiene and laziness!

The kitchen bin is a classic fly magnet. Make sure it has a lid that is 'fly proof' when shut, and make sure that it remains shut when not in use. In addition, make sure that both your bin and bin lid is cleaned regularly to prevent a build up of fly attracting mould and stink.

Keep the drain in your sink from releasing fly attracting smells by regularly pouring boiling water down it, and  once a week pouring down some bleach. Where gloves and something to protect your eyes and clothes when handling bleach.

From the outside in !

If your house and kitchen is a beacon of cleanliness then you fly problem may be due to a high concentration of flies outside your house. If that is the case then you just can't help but get a few flying in through the doors and windows. Of course, you can try and keep all doors and windows shut but in hot weather this just isn't practical.

Flies like dog poop, so if you have a dog that poops in your garden - get the pooped cleaned up and disposed of.

If you have fly and door screens, make sure they are fitted properly and replace any that are broken.

Flies love tall grasses and brush, so if your garden and lawn is overgrown, now is the time to get out and tidy up.

If you have a smelly, fly attracting compost heap, make sure that it is either covered or moved to the far end of the garden.

The last resort!

If all else has failed then there is always the last resort - a physical and overt strike on the local fly population.
This can include the fly swat, the electric racquet and fly spray.

If you want to be a bit more fluffy then consider products containing citronella.

Citronella is known for its mosquito-deterring properties, but it does have an affect - if somewhat limited - on house flies too.

Other plants that have fly-repelling reputations, and can therefore be planted by your ground floor windows are false indigo, lavender, elderberry, basil and mint.

If all else fails then you can always try my favourite - the elastic band.

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