This little farmhouse was originally built before 1900, so one can expect certain pests. But oh the flies! They are so gross! And there are so many of them. Here are a few tips if you find yourself battling a similar old house full of flies problem.
#1- REPLACE THE WINDOWS
I know, I know, the cost. It is absolutely worth it. If you can do nothing else to your farmhouse initially, I recommend replacing the windows. Confession: We had not planned to replace the windows right away. We started this project on a very tight budget and windows seemed like something we could skip. However, a little snafu with one of our neighbors led to the replacement of the two largest windows and so it made sense to go ahead and do the rest at the same time. In retrospect, I am so glad we did!
#2- CHECK THE WEEP HOLES/ WINDOW SEALS
Right after the windows were replaced we did not immediately notice as dramatic a decline in our fly population as we hoped for. Handy Husband to the rescue. The windows on the west side of the house had been replaced prior to us purchasing the house.Upon inspection, the weep holes on these windows were open to the outside allowing the files to crawl right inside the house. Handy Husband put a very small piece of mesh inside each hole, and just like that fly free bliss!!!
Up until the dog days of summer, we battled mostly a type of fly called cluster flies. They are slow-moving, have a horrid smell (yeah, really,) and as their name suggests appear in disgusting, Lord of the Flies like masses. The cluster flies hatch out of the ground, but winter in attics and the walls of old houses.
With the heat came your standard farm fly. With two dogs, two kids, and temperatures in the high 90s our doors are nearly always open allowing so many opportunities for the sneaky flies to come right in the house. I have found a few things that help… sort of!
#3- DIFFUSING ESSENTIAL OILS
I use an essential oil diffuser in the living room. I have found when I blend, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lemongrass in the diffuser it deters the flies from coming in the house. It also seems to slow down the flies that are already in the house. At least that has been my experience. In the evenings when the front door is open, or when they are getting particularly overwhelming I start the diffuser and it really seems to help.
#4 USE THE VACUUM CLEANER
Rather than clean up all the yuck that a fly swatter creates, I prefer to use my handheld vacuum to suck them up. It actually works pretty well. When the flies are in the windows they have a hard time seeing me sneak up on them! I have to stay on top of it, but I have noticed that as long as I take care of them once or twice a day I can keep the situation manageable.