10 Ways Flies Get Into Your House (And How To Get Them Out)

The Common Housefly Musca Domestica is one of the most widely distributed insects

If it’s come to your attention that you’ve opened a secret fly hotel; you’re probably freaking out. You may get the idea that you have something rotting somewhere, or your house isn’t as clean as you thought. None of these things may be the case!

Flies go inside your home to search for warm or cool temperatures and food. They enter through open windows, unscreened doors, compromised vents, pet doors, attics, garages, and dryer vents. In your yard, manure, pet mess, trash cans, and compost heaps all bring flies near your home.

The moment you discover you have these unwanted dinner guests, you should try to rid yourself of them quickly and deter them from coming in again. Read on for how flies get into your house and how to get them the heck out!

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How Did Flies Get Into Your House?

Fly on window screen, closeup

There are many ways that a fly could enter your home. The first thing to remember is flies fly more than walk, that’s what they do and though a house fly lives on floors as well as walls flying is the main mode of transportation.

The best thing to do to understand your fly infestation is to inspect important areas of the home. Ripped screens, even the smallest hole can invite flies in.

Cracks in windows, badly fitting screened-in patios and doors will let teams of flies in. They also lay eggs once they are in and they do it fast as their lifespan is only 15 to 25 days.

That’s the good news. But, should they lay eggs in the drain or the garbage can, you’ll suddenly get many flies that seem to appear out of nowhere.

If you specifically have flies near your garbage can, I highly recommend taking a look at our article on the 6 simple steps to keep flies away from your garbage instead!

Without further ado, here are 10 ways they can come into the house and then how to get them out:

Open Windows

We typically take open windows for granted. The screens are supposed to keep the flies outright? Well, we all get little holes in screens and sometimes the screens get looser over time.

The part that snaps back into the window frame may not be a perfect fit. A fly is only ¼ to ½ inches in size and can squeeze through little spaces.

Near windows, consider getting a fly catching tool, such as these FENUN Fly Traps, or this Catchmaster Sticky Fly Traps! Both can catch sneaky flies that find a way into seemingly well closed off homes.

Keeping Unscreened Doors Open is Easy Access for Flies

When you don’t have screens, most people don’t keep their doors open. But, when you have a garden that has an ideal fly environment they can come into the house several at a time and quickly; just when you walk in and out of it.

It doesn’t take much, and this is where it becomes a problem depending on what the fly was doing. If the fly was in garbage cans or pet mess, then bringing that into the house is no good.

So, the best way to keep this from happening is to attack the outside and eliminate their habitat. Clean up pet mess and tighten your garbage. Screen up the door if it’s near a vegetable garden or compost heap.

Open Poolside Doors

Water is an attractive element for flies. How fond they are of chlorinated water is unknown, but the pool attracts everything from flies to wasps and bees.

Everything needs water; So, if you have a pool deck and leave the doors open that connects the pool to your home–boom, you got flies!

Simple fix for that. Keep the doors closed until you have to go inside to use the bathroom or whatever you need to do. Also, get picnic covers for the food that you may have out there with you.

I know, it’s a thing to have nachos and sweet tea and yummies around as well as BBQ. So, again, take precautions because the flies are coming to the party!

Vents are Compromised

Macro photo of a fly resting on a wooden plank

Any vents that you have going into your home whether it’s from your drier or your roof draw flies. You can screen them up and avoid flies if you check and maintain them.
Other animals and the elements can make holes.

The screen would have to be fine and doubled up so the small flies can’t get through. It is a cheap and easy fix and every little bit helps.

Weather Stripping is Damaged

Check your home all the way around; doors and windows for any weather stripping damage or any that’s missing.

This is important because windows and doors are the two places flies will come in through and keep coming until you have an infestation.

Weather stripping is also cheap and easy to put on and replace. It comes in adhesive rolls. Just cut it to length and put it on!

Doggie Doors aren’t Closed Properly

Doggie doors are a great way to get your pet to go into the backyard and do his or her business.

However, this causes a two-fold issue when it comes to fly infestation. One, they’re doing their business outside and attracting flies several times a day. So, make sure you bag it up or wash it out with a strong hose daily.

Two, the door needs to be working properly. It may be best to have an electronic or hydraulic one that opens when the dog pushes on it and closes when they’re clear of it. The manual flap is not the most effective against flies.

Outdoor Plants Brought Inside Can Carry Fly Eggs

muscidae helina obscurata mydaea corni musca domestica in a leaf

You also have a part in transporting flies and fly eggs that will hatch in your home. This is typically done when you bring plants, clippings, or vegetation of any kind into the home.

Wash everything well and inspect them well before you bring them in. Not much more you can do with that, but just be vigilant and treat your garden with some of the essential oils that flies hate.

Attics and Crawl Spaces with Unsealed Cracks

The dark and warm or cold places that we don’t use much, are a paradise for the flies. Your attics and crawl spaces that have little vents and windows to the outside will let lots of flies in.

Then, from those spaces that you aren’t thinking about, you will begin noticing flies all over the place and wondering where they’re coming from.

Making sure that you have any openings in those spaces fixed and meshed up would do wonders. If you want to do a quick fix on your own, consider using a high quality product such as the Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal.

Dryer Vents Provide Warmth That Attracts Flies

One thing to understand about flies is that warmth when it’s cold and staying cool when it’s hot is what attracts them just as much as food and other yucky things.

When you see flies on a window they are looking for warmth, they aren’t trying to get out. That’s a fact. They want temperature… period. So, when you have a dryer vent or any vent where they can feel warm or cool air, they will follow.

So, when you see a multitude of flies in the house, check the utility room first if there is no other obvious cause for them to be there.

Messy Garages

House Fly of the species Musca domestica


The garage is a circus for flies. Why? It has an abundance of what flies look for. If you take your garbage cans into the garage, you’ll create a fly buffet fit for a king and his subjects!

So, what to do? The garage must be cleaned to the maximum, meaning your garbage cans must be washed out thoroughly and often if you are going to keep them in the garage.

Seal up all of what you have in the garage that won’t build up fumes in plastic bins or another safe container depending on what you are storing.

Always read containers or look it up to find out. The reason for this is the neater and cleaner the garage is, the less attractive it will be to filth flies. They’re just a different type of house fly.

The issue is mainly that the garage has an interior door that opens onto the house and that is where you’ll get them to come in. So, addressing the sources of attraction in the garage is a priority.

You can also use scents like lavender to deter flies in your garage to help mask any other fly attracting scents!

How To Get Flies Out Of Your House

fly isolated on a white background

The fastest way to get flies out of your house is of course calling a pest control company and letting them have at it. Especially if you have this issue every year. They would contact you for an annual maintenance and prevention job.

Again, it’s more than just spraying your home but actually going forward and working on prevention tips for the future.

Now, the problem with getting flies out of the house is you would have to lead them out a door or window. Have you ever tried to catch a fly? It’s pretty tough.

Deterrence is a better bet, which is what we will go over in-depth below.

If you want to make them disgusted enough to find a point of exit then you may want to try some smells that they hate and find overwhelming enough to leave.

Got pine oil, pine-scented candles, or even peppermint oil? Even the smallest types can be overpowering for humans so flies are going to notice! You can find both pine oil and pine candles online very reasonably.

When you use these scents near your home, it will mask any potential food scents that flies are attracted to and thus, keep them away!

I highly recommend taking a look at our full list of scents that flies hate as you may find one that is better suited to your situation!

That’s A wrap!

Well, that’s all we’ve got. The fly is a tenacious creature. They have a purpose like any creature and bugs of course. However, they are meddlesome when they get trapped in our homes and seemingly come out of nowhere.

So let’s recap a little so you understand what’s up with the flies infiltrating your howe.
We know they are looking for several things including water, food sources, and warmth or cool temperature depending on what they’re escaping.

We know that flies can squeeze through small spaces so you need to inspect the home for any holes in screens, missing screens, and weather stripping around doors and window frames.

Also, look for holes in wood frames and gaps from warped metal, etc. You get the drift, look for any small space, hole, or fissure they can come through.

Fix by meshing and weather stripping the spaces you can. And use scents that flies hate such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and pine oils. We also suggested lighting pine-scented candles safely as well.

If you have a pool or any other water feature that is near to the house enough that flies could come in, then you need to make sure you strategically use the doors for entry.

Don’t leave them open and don’t come in and out too many times. Also, if you have food out while you are in the pool area then use the dome-shaped picnic screens or outdoor food protectors.

Lastly, flies storm into the home and bother people in number. So, securing a professional pest control company that can provide regular pest control on multiple levels can control flies.

However, being real about the fly–they’re hard to control completely so, along with any pest control you engage in, you must always be vigilant against the tenacious fly.

References

Insecticidal properties of several essential oils on the house fly (Musca domestica L.)
Ishrat Nazir, Sajad Ahmad Gangoo, Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Potentials of Essential Oils, Essential Oils – Advances in Extractions and Biological Applications, 10.5772/intechopen.102037, (2022).

Allan T Showler, Jessica L Harlien, Lethal Effects of Commercial Kaolin Dust and Silica Aerogel Dust With and Without Botanical Compounds on Horn Fly Eggs, Larvae, Pupae, and Adults in the Laboratory, Journal of Medical Entomology, 10.1093/jme/tjab140, 59, 1, (283-290), (2021).

Rizwan Mustafa Shah, Sarfraz Ali Shad, Inheritance, stability, cross-resistance, and life history parameters of a clothianidin-selected strain of house fly, Musca domestica Linnaeus, Environmental Pollution, 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116880, 278, (116880), (2021).

P.R. Duchowicz, D.O. Bennardi, E.V. Ortiz, N.C. Comelli, QSAR models for insecticidal properties of plant essential oils on the housefly ( Musca domestica L.) , SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research, 10.1080/1062936X.2021.1905711, 32, 5, (395-410), (2021).

D. L. Chambers, R. T. Cunningham, R. W. Lichty, R. B. Thrailkill, Pest Control by Attractants: A Case Study Demonstrating Economy, Specificity, and Environmental Acceptability, BioScience, Volume 24, Issue 3, March 1974, Pages 150–152,

House fly (Musca domestica): A review of control strategies for a challenging pest
Mahyar Kimiaei, Alireza Jalalizand, Esmaeil Mahmoudi. (2022) Efficacy and horizontal transmission of Beauveria bassiana and its synergistic activity with diflubenzuron against the house fly, Musca domestica L.. Biocontrol Science and Technology 0:0, pages 1-13.
P.R. Duchowicz, D.O. Bennardi, E.V. Ortiz, N.C. Comelli. (2021) QSAR models for insecticidal properties of plant essential oils on the housefly (Musca domestica L.). SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research 32:5, pages 395-410

Ernest Small. (2019) In defense of the world’s most reviled invertebrate ‘bugs’. Biodiversity 20:4, pages 168-221.Naworaj Acharya, Rebecca A. Seliga, Edwin G. Rajotte, Nina E. Jenkins, Matthew B. Thomas. (2015) Persistence and efficacy of a Beauveria bassiana biopesticide against the house fly, Musca domestica, on typical structural substrates of poultry houses. Biocontrol Science and Technology 25:6, pages 697-715.

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