Campus News

Entomologist shares best ways to keep flies away

Elmer Gray, an extension entomologist and researcher in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, spoke with Southern Living about methods to keep flies out of homes.

Flies can spread pathogens that cause illnesses such as food poisoning, cholera and dysentery, making it important to take steps to keep flies from inside our homes.

“The truth is there’s no silver bullet with fly control,” said Gray. “But we can take some basic steps to limit their access to our homes.”

Gray recommended numerous methods including making sure window screens are in good repair, tying bags up and sealing them tightly inside the garbage can, cleaning up pet waste daily, covering picnic foods with fine mesh food covers and hanging sticky traps in the garage and near entrances.

Though many claim that DIY “repellants” like bars of soap and essential oils will keep flies away, Gray doesn’t recommend them.

“None of these theories are supported by science,” said Gray.

When flies do make their way indoors, turn to old-fashioned fly swatters.

“It’s an effective, pesticide-free way to kill them,” said Gray.