7 Herbs to Get Rid Of Flies Naturally

Last Updated on: October 24th, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Flies are one of the most irritating insects on the earth. Though they look harmless, in reality, they are one of the most deadly insects present in your homes. Flies are the carriers of dangerous diseases including salmonella (food poisoning bacteria), typhoid, and cholera.

These pesky little creatures are often hard to deter. But fortunately, there are some plants that fly hate. Actually, these plants generate some kind of insect repellent oils, they gradually bring small quantities of this oil to their leaves and release it into the air. And this is something that flies don’t like.

In this post, I am going to highlight a few such herbs that can help you to get rid of flies naturally.

1. Basil:

Basil Leaves

Basil is one of the most popular herbs, it is a multipurpose plant used generally in cooking but it also has a medicinal value. The word ‘basil’ comes from a Greek word “basileus”, meaning “king”. Basil leaves release out a subtle fragrance that flies hate.

In sunny fly-infested areas, you could use potted plants of basil to deter flies. You can use them near external doorways or near your picnic tables. One important thing about the basil plant is that it should always be watered at the root and not on the leaves; as this will produce a stronger fragrance.

If for some reason you are unable to use fresh basil, then you could also use dried basil. You can keep dry basil leaves in a muslin tea bag, near the infested area.

2. Bay Leaf:

Bay Leaf

Bay is another herb that is used in cooking and also has a medicinal value. Bay Leaves generally have a bitter taste, but their fragrance is something for which they are used in cooking. Bay also produces a subtle scent that flies hate. Other insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hate the fragrance of bay leaves.

You can grow Bay Plants in the infested areas, to keep the flies away. Dried bay leaves are equally good in repelling flies away.

3. Lavender:


When it comes to fly control, Lavender has its own special place. Lavender has a heavenly fragrance and lavender buds are used for cooking purposes. The sweet smell of Lavender repels flies, moths, and fleas.

You can grow lavender in your garden to repel outdoor flies. For inside, you can hang some dried lavender near the infested area to discourage flies.

Lavender Oil can also be used in making homemade fly repellents.

4. Mint:

Mint Leaves

Mint is a useful and inexpensive herb that also can repel flies. You can use mint in both forms i.e. in fresh or dried form to deter flies. Apart from flies, mint is also helpful against mosquitoes, ants, and mice.

You can keep crushed mint leaves in a shallow bowl, to keep flies away. If you want, you can also fill a few muslin teabags with dried crushed mint leaves and keep them in the infested areas.

5. Tansy:

Tansy Herb

Tansy is another flowering herb that does a good job of keeping flies and gnats away. It is more suited to grow outdoors, apart from flies it is also effective against moths, ants, mice, mosquitoes, roaches, mites, and bedbugs.

Tansy looks like Marigolds, it is also known to have cleansing properties. It should be noted that Tansy contains a volatile oil which can cause dermatitis in certain people.

6. WoodWorm:

WoorWorm Herb

Woodworm is an herb, bitter in taste, and has insecticidal abilities. Woodworm plant has grayish-green leaves with yellow flowers.

Woodworm is known to repel ticks, flies, and moths. You can plant this herb near your entrance to repel flies and other insects.

7. Rue:

Rue Herb

Rue is a woody plant, which has disinfectant and insecticidal properties. It can repel flies (particularly fruit flies), mosquitoes, and a number of other insects naturally. Rue can grow up to 2 feet tall and has bluish leaves.

Rue leaves in crushed form can also be quite effective against flies. But be careful while dealing with this plant as it causes skin irritation in some individuals.

So, this was a list of few plants that can deter flies. By using them, you can choose an environmentally friendly way to repel flies and save your children from the harmful effects of chemicals sprays.

Have a Nice Day.

About Ankit Zadi

My name is Ankit Zadi, and I can call myself a 'Fly Expert'. My adventures with flies began when we shifted to our new house seven years back. My goal on this website is to share everything that I know about flies. Check out my full story here.


  1. I appreciate this information. I will test them out, of course, but all of them are useful. Thanks.

  2. Merchalle Assy says

    Thank you for these useful tips – most definitely going to try it out. However will an infusion of these herbs sprayed over my dogs help keep the flies off them? Many thanks

    • Check very carefully, especially with essential oils.

      Many may harm dogs through skin absorbtion.

    • Chuck is correct. Many aromatic herbs are toxic to cats or dogs so cannot be sprayed on them directly. some can be put onto the outside of their collars so it doesn’t touch their skin. You can also put sachets between their cushions and the cushion covers or near their beds. Make sure the pet can’t get at the sachet easily – small things are an irresistible ‘prey’ for some animals.

  3. Do any of these work with fruit flies? Every time I try the vinegar and dish soap, I end up with more fruit flies than I started with. I don’t want to try to trap them, I just want to be able to keep them away!!!!

    • william maxey says

      the last one mentions fruit flies

    • This is the most simplest way to get rid of fruit flies use a small baby jar put a banana or any type of fruit inside the baby jar stretch saran wrap over the top of it and take something sharp and poke tiny little holes tiny little holes in the saran wrap the fruit flies fly into it.
      Because they are going to the scent of the banana or whatever you have in there and they’re too stupid to fly back out hence the remedy of getting rid of the fruit flies is Concord…
      Works every time the jar can be set in an out and away place the fridge underneath your cabinet wherever you want it fruit flies go right to it check it from time to time if you want once you got rid of all the fruit flies throw the jar out problem solved.

  4. Gwen Chaloner says

    I had Tansy on a farm I lived at in New Zealand. Very attractive plant but invasive. I hung bunches of them in the kitchen. We still got the odd fly now and then but not as bad as before.

  5. stephanie says

    Thank you for the helpfull tips, I will be trying some .

  6. I found mint works the best, I had about 10 pesky flies flying around my porch and i hung a sprig of mint underneath my ceiling fan and within minutes only had one stubborn fly left. Thanks for the tip!!!! I also found that vanilla will keep the mosquitoes away….who knew lol!!!!!

  7. Hi I hate flies and I have the pesky critters in my back yard for some unknown reason, so I will try your tips and let you know thanks.


  8. Hafsah Singh says

    Love the tips. Will definately try them out.

  9. I got tried of strong chemicals well several times I had to large the house.
    I love the information on lavender . I make an airfreshner out of Lavender by boiling water (about two cups), with 2 tbsp of dry lavender then strain it and add 4-6 drops of soap. It works great it will kill flies and most flying pest. Because they can’t fly with mild diluted soap on their wings, convincing that with the lavender makes a great air fresher, mild cleaned and its good to breath.
    Have a nice day!

  10. Kathleen McGeorge says

    Great article very informative and I am definitely going to be trying all of these!

  11. Joao Machado says

    I can attest for the bay leaves, I made a couple of bouquets of bay leave branches and eucalyptus branches. Also, take a bunch of leaves, crush them by hand and put them in the water of the vase. Then periodically swoosh the water and the smells rise up. It can last for over a week! Living close to a dairy, I can tell you it works.
    Will have to try and add the Mint and see if that helps as well!