10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Flies in a Kitchen (Or Just About Anywhere)

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A clean kitchen is everyone’s goal in life.

But once in a while, you’ll see this bunch of flies going after your food.

And doing this.

Image: Screengrab of video

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the reason why flies appear in your kitchen, but it seems that they’re pretty common in out hot and humid tropical weather. (Read: Singapore and Malaysia.)

These are some practical ways you can get rid of them.

Eliminate the Attractions

Flies tend to turn up when they smell something rotting.

That means they’ll be attracted to things like unwashed dishes, rubbish and old fruits. To minimize the presence of flies, clear out your rubbish every day, and make sure you get a rubbish bin that has a cover.

This way, the flies can’t get to your bin, have a feast and lay eggs. Yuck! (but it happens).

If you have fresh fruits, either store them in the refrigerator to prevent them from getting bad fast or cover them with a dish cover or food cover.

Same goes for any exposed dried food like potatoes, onions, garlic and more.

Get a UV Flytrap

These electric flytraps are the types you see in kopitiams that attract flies using a purplish UV light and then zap them with a small electric voltage.

Image: harveynorman.com.sg

This UV Flytrap machine can be found in many hardware stores but you have to be sure to buy the indoor version.

Place the machine at least 1.5-1.8 meters above the ground so that the flies can see the light, and your pet cat doesn’t get curious and get zapped by accident.

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Set Up a Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies are attracted to any strong smell of fermenting fruits, so you can trick them into thinking that there are fermenting fruits in your kitchen and turn that into a trap.

Image: theselfsufficientliving.com

The easiest way to do this is to get a bottle or jar and fill it with Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar or some red wine.

Cover the mouth of the jar with a clear plastic and secure it with some rubber bands. Next, poke small holes in the plastic layer with a toothpick or fork.

The flies will be attracted to the smell and climb in, but they won’t be able to climb out.

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Clear Your Drainage Pipes

Rotting food can hide in places where you can’t see.

In your kitchen, that would be your drainage pipe in the sink. Whenever you wash your dishes, bits of food will get stuck. This is why you need to flush your drain from time to time.


Image: blog.azacamis.com

One way is to make a mixture of about 10% ammonia in water.

Pour about 500-800mL down the drainpipe and let it sit for half an hour before flushing it down by turning on your tap until the ammonia smell is completely gone.

It also helps to spray rubbing alcohol or mild insecticides down your drainpipe every month.

Use Natural Insecticides

There’s this very interesting insecticide that comes from chrysanthemum flower extracts. It’s called Pyrethrin and can be found as a spray. You can use this directly on any flies that you see, or cover doors and surfaces with it.


Image: horti.com.sg

Compared to other chemical insecticides, this one is relatively safe but you can still be affected if you breathe in a very large amount of fumes. Be sure to read the Pyrethrin user manual before spraying.

Make an Environmentally Friendly Repellant

Making a fly repellant is pretty easy. All you have to do is find some lemongrass essential oil.  Prepare half a cup of warm water and add about 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Give it a good shake and put it in a spray bottle.

Image: purearomaoils.com

Keep in mind that this spray doesn’t kill flies, and only keeps them away. Spray it on your countertops, window panes, door frames and other hotspots where flies may come in.


Apart from lemongrass, you can place sprigs of herbs like basil, lavender, mint and bay leaf to repel bugs around your kitchen.

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Set Up Fly Glue Trap Paper

You can make a simple fly trap by buying fly trap sticking paper from any hardware store. Some people just place them on counters and the ground.

However,  the best way to set these up is to cut strips and hang them up with string or a hook so that the flies will collide with them while flying around.

Using Plastic Bags of Water

Flies have hundreds of eyes, so having light reflected from water-filled clear plastic bags will overwhelm the senses of the flies.

Flies will be less likely to come into areas where there’s too much reflective light.


These clear plastic bags are only effective if your kitchen is well lit. Hang them at windows and doors where the flies may enter.

Adopt a Pet Venus Fly Trap

Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants and they make very fun pets.

Image: medium.com


You can’t really play with them, but they can help keep your kitchen free of flies as much as possible. This also means you can save on buying special feed for your Venus Fly Trap.

Clean Up Nooks and Crannies

And finally, just clean up.

Image: me.me

In the kitchen, spills and sprits are common. It’s important to clean them up, especially portions of food that get stuck in cracks and corners because these can attract flies as they decompose.

You’ll also have to look out for any dead insects or lizards because these too strongly attract flies.


Plus, it’ll keep out other pests like cockroaches and ants too.

As you can see from the list, it’s obvious that keeping those pesky flies away is pretty easy and affordable.

Most of the methods are DIY possible so you can just grab whatever you have in your kitchen or bathroom storage to start clearing your kitchen from those flies today.