Herbal Mason Jars Are One of The Best Fly Repellant Ideas

How to Make a Natural Fly Repellant With Common Herbs and Mason Jars


Flies are the bane of not only every backyard chicken keeper, but anyone who has ever tried to have an outdoor picnic, barbecue or birthday party. I hate using chemical sprays, so instead, I created these attractive herbal fly repellant mason jars. This is an excellent peppermint plant use and an ideal use for growing basil because these are scents flies don’t appreciate. Add in some vanilla, which also has fly-repelling properties, and you’ve got yourself not only one of the safest, best fly repellants, but also an effective and attractive one.  That might not matter much if you’re putting them around your chicken run and coop area, but these are cute enough that you can use them right on your picnic table or back patio.

What You Need:

Small Mason Jars

Fresh Mint and Basil Leaves

Cotton Balls

Vanilla Extract

A Small Piece of Cheesecloth


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What You Do:

In a small glass mason jar, pour a liberal amount of vanilla extract over several cotton balls. You can even learn how to make homemade vanilla extract to create the most natural product. Add some fresh basil and mint leaves, rubbing or bruising the leaves a bit to release the oils. Cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit over the top of the jar and then replace the screw part of the lid, leaving the round cover off so the scent can escape.

Place the cups anywhere you don’t want flies to congregate. These work especially well near your feeders (also try setting a few on your picnic table or patio during barbecues to keep flies at bay). Clean out and replace the contents when the scent starts to dissipate.


For more natural chicken raising tips to help you keep your flock happy and healthy, visit me on Facebook at Fresh Eggs Daily or my blog by the same name.

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What are your best fly repellant strategies?

Originally published in 2014 and regularly vetted for accuracy.

    • I would imagine so that the chickens or other animals doesn’t eat it or try to disturb it.

  • Can you use artifical/imatation vanilla? With the cost of Pure vanilla being costly if you want to make quite a few..hoping imitation can work.

  • What is the brown stuff on the bottom of your mason jar picture. It looks like rocks or something?

  • Yellowjackets are a lot bigger problem for me when it comes to outdoor activities. Any ideas for them?

    • I have stapled a brown paper bag to the ceiling of my front porch! Bigger than lunch bag but smaller than grocery bag. I blow in it to poof it out and then just staple in place. It resembals a hornets nest. I hardly see yellow jackets or red wasps on my porch though it doesnt seem to detur honey bees! This is second year i have done this.

  • oh I am trying these. I hope they work. Flies are the worst, right there with the squirrels. They hang out and eat right there with the chickens. Any tips on getting rid of squirrels??

    • A nesting pair of red shouldered hawks are keeping the squirrels at bay. I just need enough squirrels to keep the hawks fed. So far, they haven’t gotten the chickens. BTW, the juvenile hawks are fun to watch. They will try to take a squirrel that their wings and talons won’t handle.

  • Friend O.

    Any ideas how to get rid of flies INDOORS? Right now, I have two huge flies trapped between the screen and the window glass – which means I can’t open those windows. I’m not very good with the flyswatter. Thanks!


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Herbal Mason Jars Are One of The Best Fly Repellant Ideas