How to Get Rid of Flies

Flies can be a persistent nuisance for homes and businesses in the Philadelphia, PA region. Here are some effective tips to get rid of flies and prevent future infestations:

Identify the Fly Species in Philadelphia

The first step is to identify the type of fly you’re dealing with in the Philadelphia region, as different species require different control methods. Common flies include:
house fly on a yellow flower

House Fly

House Flies

These are the typical nuisance flies found around homes and businesses in Philadelphia. They’re attracted to food sources, garbage, and animal waste. House flies can spread diseases like salmonella, so it’s important to control them. They’re about 1/4 inch long with four black stripes on their thorax.

Fruit Flies

Tiny flies that infest overripe fruits, vegetables, and fermented items.
Fruit flies are reddish-brown and often found near drains and garbage disposals. They live for about a week but reproduce quickly—a single female can lay up to 500 eggs! Their small size allows them to enter through extremely small cracks.
fruit fly on a leaf

Fruit Fly

Drain Flies

Also called moth flies or sink flies, these small, fuzzy flies breed in the slime buildup inside drain pipes. They’re fuzzy moths about 1/8 inch long and are typically seen around sinks, tubs, and floor drains. Drain flies don’t bite but can spread bacteria.

Fungus Gnats

drain fly

Drain Fly

These tiny black flies infest overwatered houseplants and damp potting soil. The adults are about 1/16-inch long, while the larvae feed on fungi and organic matter in the soil. Fungus gnats can damage plants but don’t bite humans.
Proper identification helps target breeding sources and choose the right control methods for these common fly pests in Philadelphia.


Remove Breeding Sources

Eliminate sources that attract flies and allow them to breed. For house flies, keep kitchens and bathrooms clean, take out trash regularly, fix leaky pipes, and remove standing water. For fruit flies, dispose of overripe produce and clean out drains/disposals with a brush and enzymatic cleaner. For drain flies, use a foaming drain cleaner or baking soda and vinegar to clear slime buildup. For fungus gnats, allow potting soil to dry out between waterings.

Use Traps and Baits

Fly traps and baits can be effective in controlling adult fly populations. Look for products containing attractants like pheromones or food-based lures. Popular options include:
  • Sticky traps: Coated with a non-drying adhesive to capture flies.
  • Bag traps: Disposable bags with lures that attract and trap flies.
  • UV light traps: Rentokil’s Lumnia uses UV light to attract and capture flies.
Baits containing insecticides can also be used, but take precautions around children and pets.

Seal Entry Points

Seal cracks, crevices, and other potential entry points to prevent flies from getting inside your Philadelphia property. Ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens or remain closed. Use caulk or sealant to close gaps around pipes, vents, and utility lines.

Consider Professional Pest Control

For severe or persistent fly infestations, especially in commercial buildings, consider hiring a professional pest control service like Presto Pest Control in Philadelphia. Experts can identify the source, recommend targeted treatments like insecticide sprays or baits, and implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program. IPM combines multiple control methods for long-term fly prevention. By following these steps and being proactive about fly control, you can effectively eliminate flies and keep them away from your Philadelphia home or business.