How to deal with bluebottles

Written by david koenig
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How to deal with bluebottles
Bluebottles are attracted to food and strong smells. (bluebottle fly image by haemengine from

The fly known as the bluebottle has a shiny metallic, blue back, distinguishing it from the smaller housefly. Bluebottles grow exclusively in the rotting carcases of animals and food, and as well as being an annoyance, they pose a risk to household health and hygiene. Following some simple advice can help prevent or deal with the problem of these flying pests.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Keep your house clean and store food appropriately. Flies such as bluebottles come inside in search of something to eat. Keep food in a fridge, cupboard or containers.

  2. 2

    Seal garbage bags and remove them from the house as often as possible. Maggots quickly breed in food left to rot, and they soon become bluebottles. A forgotten apple core or a mouldy piece of cheese can trigger an unpleasant infestation.

  3. 3

    Place outdoor waste sites, such as garbage cans and compost heaps, away from the home.

  4. 4

    Find the source of an infestation, remove it and clean the area. In a house, causes may include dead animals, such as mice, under floorboards and in areas usually invisible.

  5. 5

    Purchase and use a fly spray, available from most supermarkets and hardware stores. Cover food before spraying across an area and leaving to settle. Clean food preparation surfaces after use.

  6. 6

    Purchase and use alternative pest-control methods, such as ultraviolet fly-killers and flypaper. You can find these in most supermarkets and hardware stores.

  7. 7

    Use a flyswatter, a hand or another implement to kill bluebottles directly, washing the surface and your hands afterward. Bluebottles can see side-to-side movements, but do not perceive movements directly toward them. You can easily kill individual flies by approaching them head-on.

Tips and warnings

  • When using insecticides, such as fly sprays, always avoid contact with food, skin and surfaces used for food preparation and always wash afterward.

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