What Smell Do Flies Hate?

By Jason Jackson •  Updated: 05/30/22 •  6 min read

Flies can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Especially if you live in warmer climates. That is why more people are trying to plant their garden with natural fly repellents.

What Smell Do Flies Hate?

If you want to protect your garden from pests or prevent infestations within the home, there are some smells that a lot of flies will avoid. Some have more specific repellents, while others attempt to rid your house of houseflies completely.

Not only that, but some of these repellents can make your home feel cozy and inviting for human guests that were invited in.

Flies can be a few different species, all with their own particular characteristics, although no one wants them buzzing around their house or even laying eggs where they aren’t wanted.

Not to mention, flies are unhygienic and can make your house feel dirty and unsanitary.

If you have children or someone with allergies or an autoimmune disorder, these are some smells that flies hate, that will fill your home with a fresh, natural scent.


One of the most widely used natural insect repellents is cinnamon and cloves. There is a reason why so many air fresheners are fragranced with the warm spice, because it works.

The reason why flies hate this scent is largely evolutionary. A lot of the components within cinnamon are toxic to them, which is why the smell is something that they actively avoid.

It is also commonly used for different insects because a lot of them find the scent overpowering, so will not stay in a place that smells of cinnamon or cloves by choice.


Another universally used insect repellent is lavender. This is easy to plant, and attractive to pollen-seekers like honey bees and butterflies. Lavender oil and sage scents repel flies, beetles, and fleas.

What Smell Do Flies Hate?

It is also a plant that has many benefits to us, aiding relaxation and encouraging better sleep. Lavender essential oil is an effective choice for those who are less green-fingered.

Simply put a few drops in diffusers around the house and enjoy the insect-free environment with added calming properties. The strong scent and oils are very effective at preventing an infestation.

You can even try using dried bundles of lavender if you are wanting a safer alternative, place a few around the house for the same effect.


Another of nature’s insect repellents that humans enjoy is the refreshing smell of citrus. A lot of cleaning products include this scent because of the fresh, clean feeling it brings to the home.

Lemons, oranges, and limes alike are all avoided by flies and mosquitoes, so it can be a great way to keep them away. A non-toxic option is to place dried pieces of orange or lemon peel around the house.

Alternatively, placing a few wedges of lemon on your front porch can be perfect for enjoying the warm weather without worrying about bug bites.


This is a commonly used insect repellent because of the sticky oils involved. Sometimes flies avoid potential traps associated with certain smells, which is why pine is often an effective way to keep them out of your house.

Pine solution made from the sap of the tree is commonly combined with eucalyptus oil and vinegar to make a perfect natural insecticide. Spray around the outside of your house including window frames, and it will keep bugs, pests, and fleas away.


Another natural insect repellent is peppermint. The fresh scent of peppermint will eliminate odors as well as prevent unwanted visitors like mice, fleas, ants, and flies.

What Smell Do Flies Hate?

Peppermint oil is a great addition to your diffuser, or you could even make your own spray for inside and outside the house.


An unlikely way to keep pests out is vanilla. Pure vanilla extract can be a great repellent, as it is universally hated by gnats, mosquitos, ticks, and other flies.

Not only that, but filling your home with a vanilla-scented solution will make it feel inviting and have an overall sweet aroma that your family will love.

Essential Oils

If you do not want to plant anything or want a more concentrated version of the natural scents above, you could try introducing essential oils into your home.

Through a diffuser, you can customize what properties you would like, such as insect repellent. It can also be a good way to provide consistent smells that insects and other pests tend to avoid.

Thyme, for example, has insect repelling properties when the leaves are crushed to release its oils.

Some scents are more subtle than others, so it can be fun to try out different ones as well as different strengths of concentrations. Essential oils are commonly used to give cleaning products their flavors, which is why they can be so intense.

To summarize, there are a lot of different scents that flies hate and will actively avoid. Whether you are looking to introduce a new plant to your garden that will keep pests away, or if you want to find a more subtle scent to introduce within the home, there are different options to suit your needs.

Keep a healthy home by ensuring concentrations are not too high. You can even go one step further by only using natural scents that have cozy aromas and insect repelling properties.

As humans, we love to make our homes smell inviting and unique. This is why so many cleaning products feature new scents and interesting combinations of flavors. It is up to you to find what works best for your situation and find an effective way to discourage flies from the house.

Nobody wants to find unwanted guests lingering, so make sure that you eliminate any flies who are currently hiding, as well as be strategic about protecting your garden area and interior.

Not only can flies be inconvenient and irritating, but they are unhygienic and can often bring other species with them. Not to mention bug bites that can carry diseases and illnesses. Protect your home with lavender, cinnamon, and cloves.

Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson

Hi, my name is Jason Jackson, and I have been part of a homesteading settlement in the United States for the last 7 years. I made the move from my apartment in the city, and haven’t looked back. It was the best decision I made, and I love living off the land, being self-sufficient and living in nature. Over the years, I have developed many skills, such as how to milk a cow, and the best way to harvest your own crops. I want to share all of these tips and tricks with you all. Through The Preppers Resource, I hope to educate others on the importance of homesteading, and emphasize how easy it can be.