A Guide for Business and Home Owners

All pests need food, shelter and water, including flies. Fruit flies (known as vinegar and dark flies) are drawn to fresh produce, yeast and the bacteria in fermenting foods. Large flies are mainly attracted to raw filth, such as: garbage, compost and animal feces. The heat of summer speeds up the general rate of composition, encouraging both types of flies to become a source of problems in homes, restaurants and other commercial businesses. 

How do you get rid of these flies and consistently prevent them from causing problems? The answer for businesses and home owners is generally the same:

1. Identify the Fly:

Understanding the pest you’re dealing with helps determine the best steps to take in the exclusion process. For example, fruit flies have the ability to breed and multiply inside while large flies typically enter a structure from the outside. In both cases you could be looking at a sanitation issue or simply an open window. Identifying the fly will help determine the best steps to prevention.

2. Find the Source of Interest:


  • Sanitation is very important. Food left out on the counter overnight or small bits of food decomposing in a corner of the floor could become immediate attractions. 

  • Make sure that wine bottles are not left open and beer and soda cans are appropriately thrown away.

  • Interestingly, residential fly problems can also stem from simple things like the smell of a cat litter box. Regularly cleaning the litter box and keeping windows and doors closed should help discourage flies. 


  • Make sure sanitation practices are being followed: employees are consistently taking out the garbage, cleaning when appropriate and not leaving food out longer than needed. Note that sinks and trash receptacles are hot spots for flies to gather. 

  • Move trash receptacles and dumpster areas away from doors and windows to keep flies from finding their way into your building.

Removing the source of interest is as equally important in preventing flies as excluding them.

3. Trapping and Exclusion:

Residential and Commercial:

  • Make sure windows, screens and doors are kept closed as much as possible. Large flies often come in from the outside. Fruit flies typically breed inside, but also need passage from the outside.

  • If windows need to be left open, install a fan close by that will create strong air currents and blow the air toward the window. 

  • Store food in sealed containers to limit attractive odors and possible food sources.


  • Flies are attracted to UV light. Setting up light traps inside is a very effective trapping technique. Although it does not exclude the flies, it prevents them from traveling around inside a home or business. 

  • Sticky boards can be arranged out of sight to instantly capture gathered flies. These traps are also useful when arranged around garbage and dumpster areas.

  • Check air intake vents for proper screening to prevent flies from being drawn into your building.

  • Use air curtains above doors to prevent fly entry.


  • If flies have become a problem to the point where closing doors and windows isn’t enough, sticky traps are also a great, non-chemical way to capture flies.

  • Another technique used by professional pest technicians is fly bait, in granule or spray form. It is applied in two foot squares under porches or low overhangs where flies congregate and quickly knocks down nuisance fly activity.

Last but not least, these techniques are always the most effective in combination. Just taking out the trash or only closing doors will not thoroughly solve fly issues. Sprague Pest Solutions draws from a wide range of effective fly control strategies to tailor their fly programs based on fly biology and the environment. For more information, contact Sprague Pest Solutions (888) 522-2009 or info@spraguepest.com.