How To Stop Flies In Your Compost?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:59 pm

The problem of flies on the compost probably know many and also you would like to know how to get rid of flies on the compost best.

So what helps against flies in the compost and fights these pesky little animals effectively?

How To Stop Flies In Your Compost?

In this article I show you 8 helpful tips against flies on the compost pile, with which you will have long-term peace.

Was hilft gegen Fliegen im Kompost

To combat flies in compost, it helps to reduce moisture by covering the compost, mixing in dry structural materials (e.g., leaves, wood chips), or spreading lime or rock flour on the compost. Also, avoid composting wet kitchen scraps or food scraps. Furthermore, various scents or oils (e.g. pepper, eucalyptus, cloves) but also plant scents (e.g. of roses, lavender, geraniums) help against flies on the compost.

What helps against flies in the compost

For flies in the compost, there are two main causes that need to be addressed to also get rid of the flies themselves.

On the one hand, wetness attracts flies, because they need moisture to reproduce.

On the other hand, flies are particularly fond of certain types of waste, such as food scraps, fruit or vegetable scraps, or even cat litter.

If the combination of wetness and the above-mentioned waste occurs, for example in the form of moist kitchen waste, this forms the ideal habitat for flies, because they like to lay their eggs in rotten, warm, moist food, such as can be found in the compost.

To prevent and control flies in your compost, follow these tips:

  1. Cover compost
  2. Mix in dry materials
  3. Do not compost waste that attracts flies
  4. Lime compost or apply rock flour
  5. Spray chili or pepper water
  6. Use oils and fragrances
  7. Plant defenses against flies
  8. Permanent fly maggot & odor free from Neudorff
  9. Turn compost
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1 Covering compost to keep flies away

A fairly simple and inexpensive solution to getting rid of flies on your compost is to cover it.

Not only does wetness cause your compost to start rotting in the worst case scenario, but it also attracts moisture. This is because flies need moisture to lay their eggs and survive.

So a covered compost will both protect you from rain and wetness, and keep flies out of your compost better because they won’t be able to access it as easily.

You can cover your compost in different ways, depending on what materials you have at home: it works with wooden boards, a light tarpaulin, a reed mat or even with straw.

Here you can find suitable reed mats, willow mats and reed mats* in different sizes.

If you want to know what else you can do against a too wet and therefore foul smelling compost, then take a look at the article that I have linked here on the right.

2 Mixing dry materials into compost keeps flies away

Another tip to combat flies in compost is to mix dry structural materials into the compost, because these absorb the excess moisture and thus deprive the flies of their livelihood.

Dry structural materials have high absorbency and loosen the compost at the same time. As a result, there is less moisture and less crushed waste that flies like.

The following materials are particularly suitable for mixing in:

  • Sawdust
  • Wood chippings
  • Dry leaves
  • Chopped hedge trimmings
  • Corrugated cardboard, egg cartons or newspaper

3 Do not compost waste that attracts flies

To avoid flies on the compost, you should avoid composting waste that flies particularly like.

This includes cooked food, animal waste (such as cheese, sausage or meat), cat litter and animal feces.

All these wastes do not belong in the compost, because besides flies, cooked food and animal waste can also attract mice and rats.

If you have moist kitchen waste or food scraps, such as rotten fruit or vegetables, then you can of course still compost that. However, make sure it has either dried out a bit or add enough dry materials so that the moisture is absorbed.

4 Lime compost against flies or give out rock flour

A quick remedy for flies on the compost can also be lime (for example, this classic algal lime*) or rock flour sprinkled on the compost.

See also  Ants In The Compost? How You Get Rid Of Them

Depending on what you have on hand, you can use lime, primal rock flour (like this one), or even betonite (like this one available from Neudorff). All materials work equally well, with lime being the cheapest of the three.

The advantage of these materials is that they all have a porous, fine or partially floury structure that absorbs moisture very quickly and neutralizes odors.

Spreading these materials destroys the habitat for flies on the compost, because moisture is removed.

5 Spray chili or pepper water on compost.

Flies do not like pungent or burning odors. Therefore, they can also be driven away from the compost quite easily with a dose of chili or pepper water.

To do this, you just need to dissolve a tablespoon of chili or pepper powder in about a liter of warm water and then spread it on the compost with a spray bottle.

This home remedy for flies on the compost will certainly provide short-term relief. However, you should make sure that you also eliminate the causes of fly infestation on the compost, so also follow the other tips (less wet waste, more dry materials, etc.).

6 Use oils and fragrances to control flies.

Besides chili and pepper, there are quite a few other scents that flies don’t like, which are mainly essential oils.

In particular, flies do not like the smell of eucalyptus and laurel at all, but they also shun the smell of lemon or cloves.

Therefore, you can take either eucalyptus or laurel oil and spray it on the compost with a spray bottle diluted in water, similar to the chili or pepper water.

Alternatively, you can take a lemon, spike it with a handful of cloves and then place it near the flies.

7 Plant defense against flies on the compost

Not only do flies dislike certain oils and spices, but they also dislike a whole range of plants, or rather the scents they emit.

So putting certain plants near your compost can keep flies away from the compost.

The following plants keep flies away through their scents:

  • Tomatoes
  • Geraniums
  • Roses
  • Lavender
  • Coriander
  • Laurel
  • Nutmeg

8 Permanent fly maggot & odor free from Neudorff

In addition to the home remedies described so far, there are also remedies against flies on the compost for sale. For example, the permanent fly maggot & odor free from Neudorff.

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This powder (which is available for example here on Amazon*) can be easily spread on the compost (or other waste such as organic garbage cans or garbage bags) and by the contained essential oils flies are deterred.

More specifically, the product contains mainly geraniol and lavandiol (lavandin oil). Both are oils that occur in nature and have a deterrent effect on flies.

Geraniol is found in coriander, nutmeg, geranium, roses and laurel, among others.

Lavandiol or lavandin oil, as the name suggests, is extracted from lavender.

If you don’t have the space to plant these plants next to your compost, as mentioned in the previous tip, you can use the Neudorff product as an alternative, which contains the fly repellent substances in a higher concentration.

9 Turning compost to get rid of flies

If all the previous tips have not helped to get rid of the flies on the compost, you should turn your compost.

Turning means that the layers are piled up again in reverse order in another place in the garden to form a new compost heap. So everything that has been at the top of the compost will go to the bottom of the new compost.

When you turn the compost, you should also keep mixing in dry structural materials so that excess moisture is absorbed and the flies are deprived of their habitat.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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