How To Get Rid Of Flies

19 March 2021 · 5 min read

How Do You Get Rid Of Flies?

Any fly is a problem in a food business.  Check these 4 steps to help you get rid of flies in your hospitality business.  Identify,  exclude,  restrict  & eliminate.

Black blow fly with transparent wings

 The Fly Lady Natural Fly Spray 
Food Safe And 
Suitable For Indoor Commercial And Domestic Fly Control.

Broken down into four steps.

Step 1 – Identify.

What kind of fly is that?

You don’t need to know the exact species.  If the fly is  dull grey, black, blue, green or bronze he is likely a house or a blow fly.  Species vary in size from 5–13mm.  These common Australian species are about the size of your little finger nail.

If the fly is small like the size of a pin or match stick head it falls into the fermentation fly category such as  is vinegar or  fruit fly.

Read on below to see what attracts these flies.

Step 2 – Exclude.

The simplest method of indoor fly control is to stop flies entering the building in the first place.  This is the idea of exclusion.

Step 3 – Restrict.

Restriction is about preventing the spread of flies once they are inside your premises and removing potential sources of food and possible breeding sites.

Step 4 – Eliminate.

Looks at food safe, efficient and cost effective control measures for repelling and eliminating flying pests inside food spaces such as commercial kitchens, butchers and  bars.


In Australia there are thousands of fly species, the majority yet to be scientifically identified.  For fly control purposes, identifying the species is less important than noticing the behaviours.  By observing where flies gather in your particular environment and what has attracted them to these areas,  you will be well placed to eliminate them and control the circumstances that attracted them.

Where & what are the flies attracted to?

If there are larger flies in your establishment first thing in the morning, they have likely been trapped in there overnight.  Your larger flies generally appear when the day warms up a bit and the food and good smells start circulating.

First thing in the morning is the best time to check for the little flies.  They have been undisturbed for the longest period and they will be congregating around their hot spots.  Have the first staff member in the door to have a look around and take note.  Where are the problem areas? Check under the bars,under the sinks, the bins, especially any bottle recycle bins, dirty linen bags, floor and sink drains, spirit and red wine bottle necks, signage, ledges and shelf edges, bulk heads, artificial plants, stored fruit and veg, flour bins, dry store area, wet area, dish racks, .  This will identify the areas that require attention.

Blow Flies & House Flies

  • Size of little finger nail

Attracted to

  • Kitchen Waste
  • Bins
  • Rotting Meat & Waste
  • Organic Refuse
  • Sweet Liquids
  • General Food Stuffs
  • Moisture
  • Smells

Vinegar Flies & Fruit Flies

  • Size of match head

Attracted to

  • Sugar & Yeast
  • Bottle RecyclingBins
  • Fruit Ripening/Decaying
  • Organic Waste
  • Dry Store Goods
  • Bins
  • Moisture/Drains/Spills/Leaks
  • Spills/ Leaks


Keep them out in the first place.  Easier said than done.

  • The obvious one is fly screens.  Put one on your back door and put a big spring on it so it automatically closes after the delivery man, after everyone!
  • Ensure all fly wire screens fit correctly and are in good repair.
  • Strip doors can be a suitable option in some situations.
  • In my experience, air curtains do not stop flies from entering buildings.

Do all you can to keep those flies outside in the first place.

  • Move your rubbish bins away from your back door.  Don’t be inviting those flies to your back door.
  • Rinse your bins regularly.
  • Always close bin lids.
  • Put a fly trap in your bin area or even further away.  Enviro Traps are inexpensive and available at Bunnings.  They are very smelly but work a charm.  Just remember they attract flies so do not put them anywhere near your back door, open windows or customers.
  • Ensure all rubbish bags are tied closed before they are binned.
  • Spray your back door screen, the door frame and surrounds with a fly repellent.

Give your wheelie bin a spray with a fly repellent, especially if it is kept undercover.  Spray the inside of the lid.   Suitable fly repellent  to use as a spray or to pour on a cloth and use as a surface wipe is available online Click Here


Restriction of flies is about discouraging them once they have entered your premises. Restriction is achieved by removing situations that encourage flies,  provide food or facilitate breeding.  Regular cleaning up, wiping down, and general hygiene is vital.  Consider covering food displays, closing cabinets, refrigerating as much as possible.  Wash-out and store mops, floor mats & bar runners outside over night.  What about your dirty t-towels? Can you get them out of the kitchen every night or at least seal them up?

Restriction is a fundamental piece of any successful fly control program.  It is a bit of a set and forget item.  Once your staff have the practices and procedures in place during service and pack down it should become part of the daily routine.

I have compiled a list of 50+ things you can check in and around your establishment that will help you to identify  potential problem areas where a restriction method or an update procedure could be of benefit to your fly control program.

Click here for your free copy.


To create an environment that is safe for both your customers and your food,  but not for flies.  Fortunately,  in the majority of  situations, this outcome is easily achieved and you will be happy to know that this is what l specialise in.

Creating environments that flies must to leave. Buzz off critter!

The Fly Lady dispensers and spray create a fly free zone by delivering a measured does of food safe, fly repellent into the air.  This mist, unlike other sprays, is fine enough to stay airborne thus creating a no-go zone for flies.   Unlike warm blooded creatures,  insects are unable to metabolise the plant based repellent.  If they wish to survive, they must leave the space.  Flies  will not die in front of your customers or in your prep, making this solution ideally suited to fly control for all food and beverage situations.

Positioning of the automatic dispensers will depending to the areas you are choosing to cover,  the layout of your premises and the air flow throughout your space.  This is where l come in, consulting with you to find the optimal positions for dispensers in your particular environment.

As the solution is simple, cost effective, HACCP approved and can be applied across commercial kitchens, bar spaces, front of house and  dry stores, your days of having fly problems are over.

Natural, sustainable, Australian grown,  manufactured and owned.

The Fly Lady has been helping Australian restaurants, cafes, hospitality and food businesses with their fly control since 2009. 

Call Pip to discuss your fly control needs today.