Out, Damned Flies!

I. Hate. Flies.

I am fine with them being outside where they belong. Want an invite to the cookout? Sure thing, fly! But I hate, hate, hate when they come to visit your home.

No matter how clean a home is, flies will come to visit at some point each year. It’s baffling and annoying. Sometimes, I just yell at them, “What on earth are you even feeding on?!” But they don’t respond. They just keep lilting around in the air, pissing me off, and terrorizing my curious pets.

The other day, one flew onto my keyboard right as I was closing my laptop and got smushed by my screen. I was not happy, to say the least.

While it seems easy to simply spray Raid at the offending flies until they die, sending a plume of chemicals into the air is not recommended if you have young children or indoor pets, or if the flies are buzzing around in your kitchen. Children and pets and cooking appliances all necessitate the need for a more eco-friendly solution.

The victor?

Apple cider vinegar.

I know, I know. Apple cider vinegar is everywhere as some sort of mythical, magical solution for everything from cleaning to weight loss. The thing is…it kind of is. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent multi-use product that honestly everyone should have in their home. And don’t grab the cheapo stuff either; go for the authentic Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother. It’s still very low in price and worth every penny.

“So, how does this stuff help to get rid of my flies, AngieChu?” Well, it’s very simple. All that you need are a few easy ingredients:


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Aluminum foil
  • Empty jar
  • Dish soap
  • Toothpick

See? Easy peasy, and things that you likely already have in your home 🙂

Pour some of the apple cider vinegar into the bottom of the jar. I usually put around one centimeter’s worth. Next, put a smidgen of the dish soap. Yes, a smidgen. If you need something more accurate, use a few drops. This makes the surface of the liquid slick.

Then, place some aluminum foil over the top of the lid and wrap it tightly around the jar. Use your toothpick to poke some holes into the aluminum foil, so that the flies have a way to fly inside of the jar. If you are like me and rarely have toothpicks in your home, a prong of a fork is also a great tool for making these holes. If you are dealing with tiny flies, tiny holes are needed. If you have fat flies, the holes need to be a bit larger.

Now, place your jar near where the flies tend to congregate and wait. This isn’t an immediate solution; you will likely not see any drowned flies within the first few hours. The flies will notice the sweetness of the apple cider vinegar right away, but they aren’t feeling risky…just yet.

I normally wait until the following morning and then check, and there is normally a fly graveyard in the jar. Some flies will still be chilling on the sides of the jar inside, but many will be floating in your death concoction. Leave the jar for another day to capture as many dumb flies as possible.

I highly recommend using a disposable jar, like a spaghetti sauce jar. This way, you can just add another layer of foil to the top to cover the holes and pitch the entire thing into the trash when you’re done. If you use a nice jar, dump the death juices, scrub the jar with a scrub brush, and then run it through a hot dishwasher. I’d still be hesitant to eat out of that jar again, so I advise you to just use a crappy, cheap jar so that you can pitch it when you’re done and avoid having fly ghosts making their spooky homes within your next meal.

Have you ever tried the apple cider vinegar method to rid your home of flies, or is there a different sort of eco-friendly method that you use for ridding your home of flies? Feel free to share your methods below in the comments!

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