Flies are attracted to garbage, rotting produce, and many other things. Learn more about what attracts flies.



House flies and other "filth flies" are nuisance pests that can spread diarrhea-causing diseases, including food poisoning and dysentery. Flies lay their eggs in or near their food sources, which can be animal waste and rotten food. By knowing what attracts flies you can prevent them from invading your home.

What are flies attracted to?

Other flies. Flies are attracted to other living flies and the smell of fly specks on walls and ceilings. Use a borax and water solution to wash fly specks off your walls.

Garbage. House and blow flies are attracted to moist organic material in your garbage. Blow flies lay eggs in meat and vegetable scraps. Keep your trash in tightly sealed containers and empty it frequently.

Rotting produce. To keep fruit flies away, throw out or refrigerate overripe fruit and vegetables.

Sweet or fermented liquids such as syrup, liquor, soda and vinegar. To control fruit flies, wipe up any spills and rinse your soda or beer containers before recycling them.

Dirty or leaky drains. Drain flies and fruit flies are attracted to refuse in drains. Drain fly maggots eat the bacteria and organic matter in drains. Clean your drains and repair any leaks to keep these pests away.

Dead animals. If you have a lot of blow flies in your house, there may be a dead animal trapped in your walls. You may need to tear open your walls to remove the corpse. However, blow flies are only attracted to fresh carcasses, so they don't stay very long.

Pet waste. House and blow flies lay eggs in animal manure, so dispose of pet (particularly dog) waste frequently.

Spilled animal feed. Clean up pet or livestock feed to keep house and stable flies away.

The best way to control flies is by keeping your kitchen, bathrooms and yard clean and waste-free. Getting rid of what attracts flies eliminates their breeding sites. Contact Terminix® to have one of our pest control specialists inspect your property for signs of a fly infestation.


Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County

Illinois Department of Public Health