When you read articles about how to get rid of houseflies naturally, essential oils are almost always mentioned. But do essential oils get rid of houseflies? And what essential oils are the most effective?
Essential oils can help get rid of houseflies
Yes, essential oils can help get rid of houseflies — thanks to their natural fly-repelling properties. But their effectiveness is so limited that you shouldn’t rely on them as your primary fly control method. They work more as a complementary fly control method that you add to your fly control plan.
There are many reasons why essential oils have limited effectiveness. Their effects are inherently not as potent as synthetic insecticides. And even if they are, they still evaporate too quickly, limiting their longevity as repellents.
There is also the issue with their concentration and quality. Different essential oil brands and manufacturers have different extraction methods and storage conditions and use different plant species. This makes it difficult to determine the exact formulation that will help get rid of houseflies.
Commercial insecticides, on the other hand, are already specifically formulated to get rid of pests, including houseflies. They are more foolproof because you don’t have to mix them yourself.
How to use essential oils to get rid of houseflies
Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to use essential oils for housefly control:
Step 1: Choose an essential oil to get rid of your houseflies
Here are the essential oils that will potentially repel houseflies — peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, citronella, and lemongrass. Select the one you like the most. Make sure to buy one that is pure and of high quality.
Step 2: Prepare the essential oil solution
Essential oils are highly concentrated. Dilute them in water. If you don’t, they may be too strong, causing skin reactions and leaving stains around your home. Use about three drops of the essential oil per ounce of water. And then put the resulting essential oil solution in a spray bottle for easy application around your home.
Step 3: Spray the solution throughout your home
Spray the essential oil solution in areas where you see housefly activity. Spray them on potential passageways too, such as doorframes and windowsills. This may help control the in and out movement of houseflies throughout your property. Consider spraying on housefly attractors too, such as garbage cans. But it’s still better to just empty garbage cans to prevent them from attracting houseflies.
Step 4: Reapply as needed
Essential oils evaporate quickly, especially when they are mixed with a carrier oil or water. Make sure you spray every few hours to maintain their deterring effects. There are a variety of factors that determine how often you will spray again, such as the concentration of the essential oil you have used and the temperature around your home. But a good rule of thumb is every few hours.
Step 5: Use other fly control methods
Essential oils by themselves will probably not get rid of your housefly problem. You can complement them with commercial insecticides or fly traps. You can also try fly swatters if you want a more hands-on method. Don’t forget to close doors and windows, seal gaps like cracks and holes, and throw away garbage. These preventive measures can help get rid of flies and keep them from thriving on your property.
Essential oils you can use to get rid of houseflies
1. Peppermint oil
Houseflies don’t like the strong smell of peppermint, so they avoid areas riddled with the scent of this aromatic leaf. There is very limited science behind the power of peppermint to repel houseflies because most of the research focuses more on repelling agricultural pests and mosquitoes. But there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support peppermint’s ability to repel houseflies. Many commercial fly repellents and insecticides also have peppermint as part of their ingredients list.
Those who like the DIY approach also sometimes use real peppermint leaves instead of essential oil. They crush the peppermint leaves and put them in water.
2. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil contains eucalyptol, an ingredient that is proven to have insecticidal and repellent properties against many pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. The strong aroma of eucalyptus oil also disrupts the olfactory receptors of insects. This disruption makes it difficult for insects to breed, feed, and locate targets. You can use this to your advantage to prevent houseflies from thriving around your home.
3. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is often suggested as a natural repellent for a variety of household pests, such as cockroaches. This is because of several compounds like linalyl acetate and linalool that are said to contain aromatic and repellent effects. Because of its pleasant smell, lavender is also often planted by homeowners and gardeners to naturally repel pests from the outside. Lavender planted on the edge of their property can act like a natural repelling barrier against houseflies.
4. Citronella oil
Citronella oil has citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol, which are known to have some natural repellent properties. This oil also has a very characteristic odor, creating a barrier of scent that masks insect attractors. It can mask the smell of food, fresh or otherwise, and sweet scents like sugary beverages and overripe fruits. Yes, citronella is one of the many essential oils you can use to help get rid of houseflies. But you can also just get rid of the housefly attractors.
5. Lemongrass oil
Lemongrass oil contains citral, an ingredient that has natural repellent properties. This oil is similar to citronella oil in the sense that it’s good at masking the smell of insect attractors. If you can’t find citronella oil, lemongrass oil can be a good alternative. And it also has a pleasant aroma.
Essential oils can get rid of houseflies, but…
Essential oils can help get rid of houseflies, but you shouldn’t rely on them as a housefly control method. You can use more proven methods together with essential oils to give the houseflies on your property a miserable time.
Most essential oils for houseflies also have aromatic and pleasant scents, so that’s another advantage of using them. Compare that to, say, garlic and vinegar sprays, which are not as aromatic and pleasant.