No Fly Zones: DIY Pest Strips

Summer brings the sweet ambience of dragonflies, butterflies, and fireflies—as well as infestations of houseflies, cluster flies, and bottle flies.

What is it with the flies? Where do they come from? What do they want? And why won’t they just go away? The answers depend on the type of fly, but in general there are a number of small adjustments you can make to greatly decrease their presence in your home.

The first thing to know is that flies lay their eggs in their food; which is always an organic material. Eradicate access to moist organic material and you can see a 90 percent reduction in your fly population. Make sure your trash cans have tightly fitting lids—also make sure to drain food waste, you can even wrap food scraps in newspaper or used paper bags before tossing it in the trash. Doing this helps to dry out the waste—flies require moisture for breeding. If you have a compost container in your kitchen make sure it is also tightly covered and transfer compost contents outside daily.

Preventing flies from entering the house is, obviously, important as well. Check that your window screens fit tightly and repair holes and tears. Don’t leave doors open unless they also have a barrier—either a screen door or a beaded curtain.

Taking these measures will greatly diminish a fly community —but some situations call for more drastic initiatives. Although fly strips certainly don’t win any awards for their charm, they can be effective. Since conventional pesticides and pesticide-impregnated hanging strips are toxic and should be avoided, we have an alternative recipe that is safe and effective.

All Natural Homemade Fly Strips
1. Combine equal parts honey, sugar and water in a saucepan.
2. Boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, until thick.
3. Remove from heat and let cool
4. Cut strips of brown packing tape, punch a hole on one end and loop a piece of string through the hole.
5. Dip the strips in the thick honey mixture and hang outside to dry, about 30 minutes.
6. Hang the strip in the area of worst infestation, and replace often.

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Elizabeth O.
.3 years ago

Useful information.

Diane Piecara
Diane Piecara3 years ago

I will give it a go...thanks.

Joy Wong
Joy Wong4 years ago

Thank you for all the great info.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago


jennifer curtis
jennifer curtis4 years ago

a good replacement for those ugly fly strips you can buy

Patsy W.
Patsy Webb4 years ago

wow... this is pretty useful

Ana R4 years ago

great article:)
thank you!

Jane R.
Jane R.4 years ago

Sue H. I like the idea of apple cider vinegar and dish soap. I'll have to tell my daughter. Does it work on houseflies too?

Bernard Winchester
Bernard W.4 years ago

I mentioned this idea to a bee-keeping friend who felt that the idea of a honey smelling home made fly paper would not be a good thing because bees would detect it for miles around and droves would come in. Maybe it would be better to use it only in colder weather when bees are not active and windows are closed.

Kerensa M.
Kerensa M.4 years ago

useful, thanks. :)