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5 ways to get rid of pesky houseflies

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Having flies in your home is as annoying as having an unwanted house guest. Luckily, there are ways of getting rid of them.

The common housefly is probably the most loathed pest in every South African household. Picture: Supplied

The common housefly is probably the most loathed pest in every South African household. Spreading germs wherever it goes, just when you thought you’d gotten rid of one, another two come buzzing in from nowhere.

Here’s an interesting but equally disgusting fact about houseflies.

According to rentokil, a house fly will regurgitate digestive juices onto solid foods and these juices break down the food into small pieces, allowing them to use their mouthparts to drink the meal.

And like butterflies, they taste with their feet.

But if you thought your fly infestation was bad, Queensland in Australia only just managed to curb an outbreak of their dreaded fruit fly after a 10-month fight in the western suburbs.

Nonetheless, having flies in your home is as annoying as having an unwanted house guest. Luckily, there are ways of getting rid of them.

Cleanipedia, an online resource for cleaning tips, suggests the following five ways to get rid of house flies.

WATCH: What happens when a fly lands on your food

Prevention measures:

Get cleaning

The best way to prevent flies from being drawn into the house is to keep your home clean.

Cleaning products are great for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

Wash dishes immediately after you use them and don’t leave food out on the countertop for long periods; always clean the kitchen thoroughly after preparing food.

Bin flies can be especially persistent and very annoying – food waste is a feast for them, so make sure to prevent left-over food waste from piling up and causing a smell.

Remove all rubbish promptly and remember to wash your bin regularly with a good quality disinfectant bleach.

The vinegar hack

Flies are repelled by vinegar, and the smell of boiling vinegar is an especially effective deterrent.

Pour some malt vinegar in a pot or pan, let it boil, and soon the flies will desperately try to escape.

Make sure to keep a close eye on the pot as you don’t want the vinegar to burn, and be careful not to spill or be splash it on yourself.

DIY fly trap

You can make your own home-made fly trap with a jar, some sugary water, and a paper cone.

The sugar attracts the flies, and the jar and cone make it impossible for the flies to escape once they are trapped.

You can also purchase flypapers coated with a fragrance that attracts flies. The flies will then get caught in the sticky paper, allowing you to remove them easily.

Use Mother Nature to repel flies

Flies dislike certain plants. Mint, for example, is a fly-repelling herb, and also very handy to have around the house to cook with.

Just place a pot of mint next to a door or window or on the kitchen worktop you tend to use when cutting up vegetables and handling meat.

How do I deal with an infestation?

If you are facing an infestation, the first thing you need to do is clean your house thoroughly with a strong disinfectant.

Vacuum and wash all surfaces with a disinfectant spray or wipes to get rid of any fly eggs, and make sure to clean behind furniture and everywhere that might not be easily accessible at first – that’s where flies like to hide.

Remember that it’s important to always read the instructions on the label of any cleaning product first and to wear gloves and ensure that the area is well ventilated.

Test all solutions on a small area of your surface to ensure that they are appropriate and safe to use.