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The Best Homemade Fly Repellent Recipe

My neighbors’ cows were troubled by flies on hot summer days, which troubled me as well. I felt their discomfort, which motivated me to look for an organic solution to the problem. My search led me to various DIY formulas, but I eventually found one that seemed to be effective not only for cows but also for other livestock and humans..

The IndoorHomeGarden Fly Repellent Recipe

Pleased with the potency of my concoction, I decided to replicate it at home. Storing essential oils in large, translucent containers reduces their effectiveness over time. As a result, I make small batches every few weeks to ensure that the oils remain in their original packaging. This process takes only six minutes and is cost-effective: my version costs approximately $0.36 per ounce, while commercial options cost approximately $0.77 per ounce. Additionally, my mixture smells lovely and is organic.

Preparation Notes

Although other oils can serve as binders, mineral oil has been reported as the most effective. For apple cider vinegar, any inexpensive variant is suitable. I source my essential oils from Bulk Apothecary for their quality and affordability. This repellent requires daily reapplication, which is standard for most organic solutions.

DIY IHG Repellent Recipe

Here’s a simple guide to prepare your own fly repellent:

Apple cider vinegar1 cup
Mineral oil1 cup
Lemongrass essential oil½ tsp
Citronella essential oil½ tsp
Eucalyptus essential oil¼ tsp
Bitter orange essential oil½ tsp
Clove essential oil¼ tsp
Bio Kleen Concentrate (or dish soap, for emulsifying)2 tbsp


  • Mix all ingredients in a storage jar.
  • Dilute the concentrate with water at a 1:5 ratio in a spray bottle.
  • Ensure thorough shaking before and during use.
  • Apply daily.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Does lemon juice repel flies?

Lemons and cloves are effective repellents for flies because flies detest the aroma of both. Any citrus fruit will work, so you can use lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruits. Simply slice the fruit and embed it with cloves. You can place the slices around your home or business to keep flies away.

Here are some other tips to keep flies away:

  • Keep your home clean and free of food and garbage.
  • Repair any leaks in your home that may be attracting flies.
  • Install screens on your windows and doors.
  • Use fly traps or fly swatters to kill flies that do enter your home.

How is vinegar effective against flies?

Flies are attracted to the smell of vinegar because it contains acetic acid, which is similar to the smell of fermented fruit. Dish soap breaks the surface tension of water, which makes it easier for flies to drown. By mixing vinegar and dish soap in a trap, you can create a solution that is both attractive to flies and deadly. To make a fly trap, simply combine equal parts vinegar and dish soap in a bowl or jar. Add a few drops of food coloring to make the trap more visible to flies. Place the trap near an area where flies are active, such as near a window or door. Flies will be attracted to the vinegar and will drown in the soapy water.

Flies are attracted to your home by the following:

  • Uncovered garbage: Flies are attracted to the smell of food, so if you have any garbage that is not covered, they will be drawn to it.
  • Decaying organic matter: Flies are also attracted to the smell of decaying organic matter, such as compost or animal waste.
  • Overripe fruits: Flies are attracted to the sweetness of overripe fruits, so if you have any fruits that are starting to rot, they will be drawn to them.
  • Unsealed beverages: Flies are also attracted to the smell of sweet beverages, so if you have any drinks that are not sealed, they will be drawn to them.
  • Drain residues: Flies are also attracted to the smell of food that is stuck in drains, so if you have any dirty dishes or spills in your sink, they will be drawn to them.
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To keep flies away from your home, it is important to keep your home clean and free of any food or drink that could attract them. You should also make sure to cover your garbage and keep your drains clean.

Concluding Thoughts

We’d love to hear feedback on this DIY fly repellent and your own experiences or recipes. Share any additional insights or questions for a collective learning experience!