When you’re ready to crack your windows letting in that spring air, avoid uninvited guests with these natural tricks. (We’re talking about houseflies, these tricks won’t work on your in-laws.)

Soon the season will be changing. The leaves will turn green, the flowers will start to bloom, and a whole crowd of unwanted guests will fill your home the first moment you crack your windows for some fresh, springtime air. Yes, houseflies. They are tremendously annoying and frustratingly impossible to get rid of—or so it would seem. We have discovered five wonderful home-friendly ways to keep flies away without swatters or sprays or creepy tape traps. What makes them so home friendly? They are all centered on specific scents. Scents that make your home smell lovely and keep flies away.

1. Cloves

Poke about 20 whole cloves into a ripe apple or a piece of citrus fruit of any kind, place it on a plate and watch the flies disappear. In your home, these fragrant pomanders (as they are called) can last for weeks.

2. Lavender

Lavender is one of the easiest ways to get rid of houseflies because it is available in so many forms. Plus, flies absolutely hate it. Growing lavender plants outside, putting a bouquet of fresh lavender in a vase, burning lavender oil near the window, or simply placing candles and plug-ins around the house are just a few ways that you can use lavender to keep the flies away while keeping your homes smelling beautiful.

3. Citrus

Here’s a secret for you: many manufactured bug repellants contain orange or lemon extracts not just for the scent, but because citrus oil is a natural bug deterrent. We mentioned above using citrus in the pomander. But you may also try putting fresh citrus peels in an area where the flies are buzzing. Place the peels in a small cloth pouch or muslin teabag (for more aesthetic appeal) and rub the peels every once in a while to keep the scent fresh.

4. Basil

Flies do not like the scent of basil, however, basil is a terrific herb that works well in gardens, flowerbeds and potted plants. Plant basil near the window or entryway to prevent flies from entering the house, or in your flower bed near your porch to keep the flies away when you’re outside.

5. Pine

Although it can get expensive, pine oil is a very effective method for keeping the houseflies away. Dab a few drops on a cheesecloth and place it near the flies and they should fly away quickly. If you don’t have cheesecloth, soaking cotton balls in pine oil should have the same effect.

BONUS: 6. Trash

If you need to pull out all the stops to get rid of house flies, start with the root of the problem: too many goodies for flies to enjoy. If you have large garbage bins in your home, it might be time to downgrade to smaller ones—at least during fly season. This will lead you to take out the trash more frequently and by consequence, remove old food rinds, sweets crumbs, soda cans and other morsels flies love to nibble on. If you really want help cutting down the problem, try moving the garbage bins outside entirely. You may need to walk a little further to dump your food scraps, but you won’t have to worry about flies floating around your kitchen.

BONUS: 7. Outside

If you’re asking yourself how to get rid of flies outside, your main tactic is prevention. Flies love stagnant water, so be sure to refresh the bird bath and get rid of any rain-collecting buckets. Next, make sure that trash lids are on tight and that any compost bin you might have is far away from the house. If things are still buzzing, you can create mini fly traps with small jars of molasses and cornmeal.

After dealing with house flies, it’s understandable if you want to give your home a nice deep scrub. If you’d like a break from cleaning yourself, and need a professional cleaning service, give The Maids a call at 1-800-THE-MAIDS. We’ll get your home in tip-top shape in no time! Get an estimate today!

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