Do Plants Attract or Repel Flies?

Are you tired of hearing the buzzing sound of flies in your kitchen, lounge, or an enclosed area in your backyard? Flies can get annoying, especially when they are around your space where you wish to stay peacefully. 

But who invites them to your safe home anyway? Things such as rotten food welcome flies, and in addition, some plants attract them too. 

Some plants attract flies. For example, houseplants are often desirable to these tiny creatures. However, thankfully, there are very few plants that attract flies as many repel them too.

In this article, we will learn all about these plants and explore some additional facts as well. So, dig in for a great read. 

Do Plants Attract Flies?

Yes, they do, but there are very few of them. For instance, houseplants are commonly found in most gardens and houses, but unfortunately, they attract flies. Flies such as fruit flies, hoverflies, and fungus gnats love to suck the cell content of these plants, feeding on their roots and damaging their overall structure. 

Do plants attract or repel flies?

But what’s so attractive about houseplants that they invite flies? Well, it’s more of the poor air ventilation and high humidity that surrounds these plants that make them quite appealing for flies. 

Besides houseplants, dill, fennel, parsley, and sunflowers attract flies too. However, these plants welcome flies to “eat-up” other pests that might be dangerous for them and the rest of the plants. 

Here are the details on plants that attract flies; however, for good reasons only. 


Dill is a beautiful plant that people love for its unique aromatic smell. But this plant attracts hoverflies, wasps, and ladybugs, only to benefit themselves and other plants.

These pests destroy and eat aphids that often weaken the plants in your garden, and so people often plant them to get rid of these insects. 


Similarly, fennel is another popular plant that attracts flies. Since this plant has fruits and flavored leaves, pests such as ladybugs, butterflies, and flies love to feed on this plant. However, instead of destroying the plant, these pests mainly destroy your garden’s army of aphids and other dangerous insects.


This flowering plant adds a beautiful scent and color to your garden. But this plant also attracts hoverflies, and other house flies, which usually destroy other pests. 

parsely plant


While sunflowers attract onlookers, they invite different wasps and hoverflies who love to sit on them. In addition, these plants often come with tiny pests, so it is better to inspect them properly before planting sunflowers in your house. 

What Plants Repel Flies?

If you can’t bear the presence of irritating flies in your home, even if they are saving your garden from other harmful pests, know that there are a few plants that repel them. The plants below keep all the flies away, so you don’t get overwhelmed by their existence while cooking in your kitchen or playing a sport in your garden. 

Sweet Basil

Whether dry or fresh, sweet basil repels flies, and you can add them to your summer flower collection to kick the flies away. Many people also plant sweet basil close to their vegetable patch to keep different insects at bay. 


Lavender thrives and grows in hot and well-drained climates. Since this plant has fragrant blooms and foliage, it successfully drives many insects and flies away. 


Mint has a unique ingredient called mentha, which makes mint potent against flies and other insects. Interestingly, mint acts as an effective repellent for flies when rubbed on your skin. 

mint plant

Bay Laurel

Many people place the leaves of these plants in their kitchen cupboards to repel insects, mice, and flies. Since this plant has a pungent smell, flies find them disgusting, which benefits many house owners. 

How to Prevent Your Plants from Inviting Flies to Your Home?

With houseplants in your home, expect a visit from flies now and then. At times, you might feel that the number of flies in your home is unbearable, and to cater to that, the following tricks might help you in some way. 

Identify the Fly

Identify their species and habits before you plan action against the flies conquering your space. As stated previously, fruit flies, hoverflies, and fungus gnats are a few common flies that like to feed on plants. By knowing their activities, you can kill them easily. 

Avoid Overwatering Plants

Make sure that you change your watering habits. For example, don’t water your houseplants until the soil is entirely dry.  

Overwatering also destroys plants, and flies love that. So, make sure you only water your plants when the soil is at least two inches dry from the ground. 

Dump Any Decaying Matter

Unfortunately, many “plant experts” believe that dead matter and leaves protect the soil and the plant. Well, that’s just a misconception. Decaying matter attracts flies, and that’s the last thing you want for your plants and house. 

Use Pots that Drain Water 

Pots with adequate drainage have holes that remove excess water with ease. In addition, such pots prevent waterlogged soil, giving flies no chance to breed. 

Sprinkle Cinnamon On Soil

Larvae hate cinnamon, so sprinkling it on your plants can keep the flies away. While this trick might not work every time, you can always try it out once. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Made from fossilized microalgae, diatomaceous earth can dehydrate larvae and gnats, stopping them from growing or moving from one plant. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common queries on this topic. 

  1. Do Flowers Attract Flies? 

Yes, there are many flowers such as sunflowers that attract houseflies.

  1. Do Flies Lay Eggs In the Houseplants? 

Yes, flies usually lay eggs in houseplants, rotten fruits, vegetables, and meat. 

Final Takeaway

Getting completely rid of flies, especially if you own some plants in your home, is quite impossible. They can show up anywhere, and living with them is just a reality we can’t deny. 

However, it is also not fair to hear their buzzing sounds every day as soon as you wake up. Plus, flies sitting on your food and other items isn’t a sight you want to witness daily. So, if you have some plants in your home, avoid overwatering them and keep them clean by removing any decaying matter. 

Finally, if you can’t stand flies at all, place plants such as sweet basil or lavender that repel them. 

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