Hard to beat the old fly swatter to keep flies away

Keeping flies at bay can be extremely trying, and at least annoying.

Prevention methods in and around your home are essential, like installing tight fitting insect screens to all windows and doors and rubber extrusion strips on the bottom of doors to seal gaps.

FLY PROBLEM: Queensland fruit fly, one that we do not want around.

FLY PROBLEM: Queensland fruit fly, one that we do not want around.

If they still manage to find their way in you cannot beat the old-fashioned fly swatter, especially once you become deft in its use.

Or you can try any one of the following repellents: rubbing windows, glass doors, window and door frames, sills, and other places where flies come in and settle with a cloth soaked in lavender oil, or water which has been used to boil up onions.

Pennyroyal oil brushed onto woodwork around doorways and kitchen benches will also help.

Burning eucalyptus oil in a ceramic simmering pot will repel blowflies, as will other oils like lavender, citronella and peppermint.

Simmering pots are available from most gift and novelty shops and are designed to sit on a dining table or lounge room coffee table.

You can imitate old-fashioned fly paper by spreading glue on yellow cardboard 30 centimetres long by 5 centimetres wide.

Place a small hole in one end and attach a piece of string to hang it up. It will also work outside the house in areas like verandas.

Combined with pots of fly repellent herbs like lavender, basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, will make outdoor living areas more enjoyable.

A simple trap can be made from an empty soft drink bottle. Discard the cap, cut the top off the bottle at the shoulder, turn it upside down, then insert it back in the bottle and secure with masking tape.

Drop a small piece of meat into the bottom, add a little water and cooking oil, attach a length of string and hang where flies are a problem.

To keep flies from breeding in your garbage bin, soak strips of old bed sheeting in a liquid repellent made by dissolving 10 drops of citronella oil and three drops of peppermint oil in a litre of water.

Also check for other breeding areas, like compost, damp bedding in dog kennels, chicken pens and yards, rubbish piles, and leaking septic pipes and outlets.

Ask neighbours to do likewise. Although I seldom use a fly spray, on the odd occasion that I have had to a spray, I have had success with the following recipe.

Dissolve 20 millilitres of eucalyptus oil and six millilitres of bergamot oil in 100 millilitres of methylated spirits, then combine with 10 millilitres of white wine vinegar and 1.25 litres of distilled water, mixing thoroughly.

Store in a pump-spray bottle and use as required. This spring and summer, do not let flies get you down. Try simple and easy-to-do natural solutions instead.