keeping flies out of the house

naughtywildcat(7Maryland)July 3, 2004

this is the best forum i could find to post this, so i hope it belongs here.

my question is this, we live in a townhouse, and have a relatively small back yard, with two dogs. most of the back has gravel down, because they were killing the grass, but there is one box with some grass in it. the problem is that the flies tend to get into the back yard no matter what i do.

i know that in the old times, that people would plant a lot of plants around their doors and by the windows to deture the bugs from flying into the house.

i was wondering what kinds of plants could be insect repellent, and if any of them would do ok in hanging baskets. i would be able to hang them under my awning, pretty close to the door i hope.

thanks for any suggestions!!

~naughty wildcat

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Sophie Wheeler

Scoop the dog poop daily because it is an attractant and then put screens on the windows.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 10:40AM
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Jonesy(z6 midwest)

I second that and also hose the area down after picking up the poop. We have a house next door that will soon be rented or sold and I hope that the future owner doesn't have outside dogs, because I will be all over them. I will not have my outdoor life destroyed by the smell of poop and barking. There are ordinances against both of those problems here.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 10:30PM
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well, thats not the answer i wanted, but i suppose its logical enough. it doesn't seem to matter how often or not we scoop, with two dogs and a postage stamp for a back yard, thats how it works. i was hoping someone would have some natural tricks up their sleeve.
as far as being "all over" the next person that moves in with dogs, you'd better check out your local ordinances. while there are sound ordinances, most of them don't cover dogs, simply because there is no guarentee to keep the dog from barking. if it feels like its territory is threatened, its going to bark. i live in a townhouse community, and things are very close, and there is a lot around to make a dog bark. its just something that you have to live with. check the law before you make threats. and i wouldn't want to make enemies of my neighbors over something they obviously love anyway... its not worth it. besides, dogs are good things to have around, even the presence of a small dog will make someone doing something they're not supposed to think twice about it. not to mention that their presence keeps out a lot of other unwanted pests, like rats. (as long as you don't leave out other things that will attract rats, like dog food).
as for putting screens on windows, i have them. but that doesn't do me a lick of good when i have to open the door to let the dogs in anyway.
i guess i'll keep searching for an answer.
thanks though.
~naughty wildcat

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 10:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You got a natural answer. There are no "tricks". YOu can install fly paper, fly traps, and a doggie door as an assist, but the primary way to control flies is to control their food and reproduction source, which is the dog feces. Daily scooping is a MUST. Twice daily if you can manage it. It's not hard if you let the dogs out in the a.m. and p.m. and follow them with a pooper scooper. It's the feces that lies around that the flies eat and reproduce in. And yes, I know what I'm talking about. I work with a Humane Society that kennels an average of 45 dogs that we poop scoop daily. We also hose down the exercise yard after scooping to water in those "bits" that sometimes aren't so easily scooped up. And then we lime to keep the acidity from building up as well as for odor control.

Most munipalities have noise control ordinances that include dog barking as a noise that you can be cited for. Not everyone is a dog lover, so keep that in mind. Dogs who are well trained don't bark at everything, they know to only give the alert when a stranger is on their property. Obedience training is very helpful in teaching what is and isn't acceptable alert behavior. Dogs that are left in backyards all day for "exercise" are bored and destructive and can bark out of boredom. Most muncipalities also have health regulations in regards to animal feces as well since it can affect the health of their citizens. Daily scooping isn't only a preventative to annoying flies, it helps you be in compliance with Health Department regulations.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 8:49AM
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Not only do most cities have noise control ordinaces that prohibit excessive barking, but if you live in a condo or other development with CC&R's (Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions), the CC&R's also generally prohibit such nuisances at pretty much the same level. Enforcement, in both instances, is very uneven. Approaching the owner in a civil and polite fashion is certainly the best first step ... sometimes that doesn't work and one must involve outside authorities, whether that is the Board of Directors for the Homeowners' Assoc. or the local authorities.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 2:48PM
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Jonesy(z6 midwest)

I have already spoken to a police officer about dogs. He said that is one of the easiest of their problems to solve. If dogs bark, call the police, the officer will take a report from the complainant, then visit the owner of the dog. He will tell them to keep the dog quiet or it will be removed from the home on the next complaint. All I have to do is call again and the dog will be removed.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 9:44PM
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Vallari(Zone 8 E.VA)

Jonesy You sound like an icky neighbor. If a dog barks incessantly I can feel your pain but you call one time and only have to do so again for removal! That's crap! I mean what if someone is training their puppy? The poor baby is bound to bark more than ONCE. Come on and lighten up. There's more to life than nitpicking. Also, I think the lady asking her question seems like a clean pet owner and not a lazy one. The whole "pet advice" from the kennel was over rated in my humble opinion. This was about someone asking for an answer to a specific question, and all you ppl gave her was unsolicited advice and none too kindly either. I stopped in to see if there were any good answers to the question. Sorry there wasn't. So apparently none of you know about any plants that deter the flies like allium and basil. Anyway I don't want to step on toes it's just that i think this person was unfairly treated that's all. I don't like to see a thread where a person is told what to do but never is helped with the original problem. Happy Pestcontrolling.~Vallari

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 12:55AM
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bpagallasd(9 -San Diego)

I joined this forum to get an answer about some sort of natural (homemade) spray that one might make up to help keep houseflies out of the yard also. We have a dog, that we DO SCOOP up after every day, and we wash the poop area down with a hose.. we STILL have a lot of flies in the yard.. I agree with Vallari that the rather "hostile" answers given were not necessary. We who have dogs OF COURSE know to scoop up the poop..and to install screens on the windows.. .WHICH HAS TOTALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH BARKING DOGS... How very impertinent. Do you think Wildcat is a total idiot? Really..that's the way you sound. I personally will quit this forum and find an answer elsewhere where people treat other people with a lot more respect.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 6:50PM
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bpagallasd(9 -San Diego)

By the way Naughtywildcat.. check for a gardening site with Jerry Baker..he has homemade solutions and tonics from household stuff that might work. good luck

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 6:54PM
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major thanks to bpagallasd and Vallari for your sensible answers.
as i did say, or i thought, we do keep the yard clean and hosed down. there are still flies. just like there are still rats, i live in a marshy area, theres no getting around it.
i guess, as both of you suggested, that i'll just have to check elsewhere, where maybe people are more polite and on topic, and hopefully respectful in the least with their answers.
~naughty wildcat
PS, i'm glad i don't have rude and presumptuous neighbors like you in my close community.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 7:30PM
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PuraVida(Costa Rica)

on topic: The farther away the dogs do their business from the house the less flies you'll have. Also them urinating close to the house can lure more flies into the houseI donÂt think itÂs just the Âpoo Weather conditions can also make a difference.

I have an old dog and she doesn't like to go out as far into the yard as she once did. I see a direct relation to how close they do their business to the house and how many flies I have in the house due to this. Also I went through a three month period where I was unable to let my dogs just go out in the yard, so I walked them twice sometimes three times daily in front of the house. After living in New York I got use to cleaning up their business, no biggy--plastic bag inside out (check for holes first) pick it up, turn it in-side-out, put it in the trash, wash hands. I had very few flies durring this time.

off topic: I too am glad I don't have 'icky' neighbors like some people who responded. What ever happened to baking some cookies and going over to get to know your new neighbors?!? I can't imagine having a 'plan' to make enemies with new neighbors. Good neighbors are one of the best things in life! IÂm also glad I live somewhere police officers waste their time with barking dogs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 12:04PM
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you do have a point with how far away the dogs are in relation to the door. unfortunately when you have a postage stamp for a back yard, 'far away' isn't an option, lol.
even with as much as i clean up and hose down there are still flies around. but i think that is life sort of... sort of like flies and horses, you couldn't seperate the two if you tried.
on a slightly different note, i have found that there are some types of treats that you can give the dogs that are supposed to help neautralize their waste (as well as their breath and gas!) which sounds like a good option. it claims to help prevent the 'burned' spots where they pee, which would be helpful. i'm going to see if i can get ahold of some and see what it does, if it works, i'll certainly pass that knoweldge along!
i did do some digging around, and haven't found anything specific, but i did find a short list of things that flies "don't like". i suppose you could sort of mix up your own concoction to keep them away. if anyone figures out anything that works, let me know!!
the list is: cedarwood, clove, eucalyptus, orange, and lavendar.
the article recommended using the essential oils on strips of paper next to windows and such, i was thinking of getting a bottle of cloves and putting them around to help see if that works. the article also suggested scratching some orange peel, and leaving it out, apparently they don't like citrus. the only worry i have with that is whether or not that would attract ants. i don't want to loose the flies only to have ants!
i also know that things like pine and mint work as well, and someone else above suggested basil.
so its a good start, and i'll have to see what works. i think unfortunatly we'll be moving to an aprartment, but i'm planning on growing things on the balcony, and will definately have some of the natural fly repelents out there since the dogs will have to use the porch or patio.
thanks for the help!
~naughty wildcat

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 5:34PM
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someone emailed me directly, and it went into my junk and i deleted it (this is what happens when you return from a two week vacation!! lol).
anyway i wanted to post what i had found, and i hope that they keep checking back. my apologies for deleting the message.
so far, i have found a few things that are said to detur them, however, i haven't had a chance to try them out.
the list is Cedarwood, Clove, Eucalyptus, Orange, and Lavendar. they recommended that you could put orange peel out side, and it would detur them, i'm not sure if it would attract ants and create another problem though.
hope that helps!
~naughty wildcat

    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 8:29AM
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annaneaves(Canada (NS))

For urine burn spots, if you scatter a handfull of ordinary table sugar on the spot AS SOON as you see it start to turn (Or if you see them pee, you can do it then, before anything even starts) you can minimize the damage done to the grass. The sugar helps give the soil microbes an extra boost so they can digest all that extra nitrogen (from the pee). Also a thorough soaking right after they pee will help as well.

What do you do with your poop when you scoop it?? I was having some fly problems when I dog-sat for my parents, I was scooping all the time, but the flies were actually comming from the garbage box where some of the poop had fallen out of the bag.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 12:28PM
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hi annaneaves,
then sugar suggestion is awesome. i'll have to remember that. i've half way given up on the grass in the box now. whats there is there to stay, and whats gone is gone forever. being september too, there isn't much of reason to plant any more, since winter will kill it soon enough.
i still do have problems with the flies, even scooping and hosing the whole area down good every day. though they aren't as numerous as if i didn't do it regularly. i think the biggest thing is to scoop when they poop, so that you don't get anything dried onto the ground. i also have a small trashcan (like bathroom sized) in my shed that i put a grocery bag in, then i use one bag to put all the poop in and tie it up tight. each day i just get a new bag, then on trash day i tie the entire thing up together. it seems to work decently and be relatively manageable. i have about decided that you just can't get completely rid of the flies, they're just going to be there like they are in a barn. at this point i'll be happy when it gets cold!
~naughty wildcat

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 11:00AM
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ann84(z6/7 phila pa.)

It all sound pretty gross to me. I would walk the dogs and keep it out of my yard altogether. Then you can throw it in the public trash that gets picked up everyday. You are going into an apartment and the dogs are going to poop on your patio, or balcony? Call me icky, but I am glad you're not my neighbor.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 11:36PM
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anna84: do you own dogs? or any other animals?
with my schedule its far easier to simply let the dogs out the back door into our yard, and clean up the yard once or twice a day. i don't have time to walk them around the block, not to mention that i live in a neighborhood, and there aren't public trashcans scattered around. if i were to walk the dog, he'd be going on someone else's lawn anyway, and no one, i suspect you included, would like that, even if i do clean it up.

if we moved into an apartment, they could get taken out on a leash. unless of course, it was a really nice apartment with a large patio where they would be safe. then of course, same routine of cleaning it up daily and hosing everything down.

if that is your attitude towards those of us that choose to keep pets, i'm glad you're not my neighbor either. thanks.
~naughty wildcat

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 12:02PM
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WaterTitan(z8a WA)

well just read the whole thread, and first off to the angry dog guy, dude if u were my neighbor and u got my dog taken away (even for a nite), i would pour gas all over your freaking yard and lite that $hit! i'll do the time for it if need be, whatever, but nobody messes with my pooch. nobody!

anyways enough of the unpleasentness, i never scoop, like never, i just blast it with the lawn mower and spray that fertilizer all over the

i do however have no fly problem, what i do is about once a week i take a bar of Dr.John's all natural peppermint soap (it might be St.John's can't remember),i cut into three pieces and shove it into one of those miracle grow containers that attaches to the end of your hose, and then u can spray with it. i spray everything, the grass the plants, the deck (so it runs under the deck). it seems to work wonders, i never see flies around my yard, or in my house, but my neighbors do and they don't spray the peppermint!! i also have three enormous lavender bushes around my back door so there may some truth to the lavender repelling flies thing!! anyways thats my all natural tip!!

oh and again, Eat $hit angry dog guy!! better hope your never my neighbor!!ass!

well im probabaly

so take care all!! happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 5:34PM
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Excellent idea to spray the peppermint, I will definitely try that. That would probably help with all kinds of other little pests as well. I have never heard of Dr. John's soap, is it available in the grocery store?

I just finished spraying our gardens with citrus to repel the ferral cats, and I believe the peppermint may even annoy them a little. I believe I also read that eucalyptus oil is a mosquito repellent so you could add that to the mix.

I'm glad my entire neighborhood is "icky" because otherwise nobody would have dogs, cats, horses, goats, or any other animals and none of us would get along. All the kids would be missing out on the fun they have learning and interacting with animals and nature. Life is choices and I guess when we chose to live near all the horse poop, the flies came as a bonus.

We have flies, and LOTS of 'em. More at certain times of year, more at certain times of day. If the garage door is left open at the 4pm hour the flies come into the garage and hang out on the ceiling until morning. They also hang out on the ceiling of our back patio. In the summer the temperature is in the 100s, so maybe they are getting relief from the heat. First thing in the morning we open the back door (to let the DOG! out) and leave the door open WITHOUT the screen and any fly that happens to be in the house usually leaves. I'm convinced it's all about the weather here -- hot afternoon, cool mornings -- or maybe they leave in the morning for a nice breakfast of horse poop in the pasture...

I would rather have live flies on the ceiling of my patio than fly tape full of dead flies hanging around. I have searched for several years for a garden plant that repels flies with no luck thus far. Unfortunately Basil or other plants that need sun will not live under the shade of a porch. I just read that Pennyroyal is a repellent so I will do some experimenting. It doesn't seem that something planted far from the door would work (as in perimeter of the patio). We'll see.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 6:41PM
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sindy937(7 TN)

Hang a ziplock bag of water over your doorway.It worked for me. I have 5 dogs and I have flies .The water scares them I think. Wash your porches with pine-sol .I hope you still read these
let me know if it works

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 3:42PM
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romur1(z7 NM)

Basil repels flys. The water in a ziplock works too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 2:41AM
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Thank you to all of yall that have added your words.
I believe the brand name is St John's and I think they have a whole line of all sorts of soap and things. With our tiny half postage stamp sized yard I am sure that it will probably only take a third or a quarter of a bar of soap to hose it down. So that would be a great solution for us. I'll have to try the bag of water, which sounds so strange! Anything is worth trying though!

kpick: I agree that I'd rather get rid of the flies without nasty fly paper or traps hanging around for sure. Those things look gross. Will certainly let you know if the bag of water trick works. Sad as it is, I wish I had the horses to put up with the flies for! Here's hoping...

Thanks everybody for your added suggestions! Bound to be one of them that works!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 6:27PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

Dear lord...

To the dog attitude people on both sides: read the post of the person who works for the Humane Society, it's a sane posting. I cannot be calm about this issue: I love dogs. Right now, I don't own one.

People who truly love dogs don't own them, in my opinion, unless they take the time to walk them daily. So many people think their yard or their fenced in space, however nice--and it can be the nicest land on earth--is the answer to their time problem in regard to their pets...which is rubbish. You don't deserve to own dogs if you don't "have the time" to walk them.

It cracks me up that people who claim to be dog lovers let their dogs walk all over them and their neighbors when in reality these animals are just being dogs, and often are crying out for help or attention. When a neighbor politely approaches to tell you your dog is ruining their quality of life--and believe me a barking dog can ruin a neighborhood if it barks long enough or often enough--inevitably the dog owner (who is, again, the actual problem, not the animal itself) will pounce on the person being abused by noise or smell, and you'll find the dog owner suddenly becomes just like so many who have out of control animals--overtly rude and worse than the dog. Many people are simply afraid to approach them. Why? Because they are intimidating somehow, or people don't think it's possible to control dogs--which is a myth. A person who is in possession of a barking dog will inevitably blame the person complaining, just about every single time.

So what do you have? These people can't even take responsibility for their dog, there is NO reason on Earth to think they will respond calmly or practically to your request to have a decent standard of noise control/quality of life. You have, after all, asked them to do something about a problem. Since they don't see a barking dog as a problem, and they don't take responsibilty for problems, you've asked them to do the impossible. The rubbish is these dog owners. They CAN do something about their problem, but they simply won't.

Barking dogs are NOT a comfort, by the way. A barking dog just screams out for a predator to kill or in some other way disarm it--and informs the criminal you're a good target--you're careless. Your dog barks all the time, at anything. Nobody is going to even pay attention.

A good, calm animal will bark at perceived danger, until it realizes there is no threat, not incessant barking at everything that walks by. That is not appropriate, or even normal dog behavior.

So of course you, the person who doesn't own a dog, because he is responsible enough to realize he's too lazy to take care of one properly, should approach the ignorant dog lover with care: bring cookies and don't be too direct, since you may "offend" the rotting-sore-on-the-bottom-of-the-neighborhood by pointing out his/her animal is out of control... I'm sorry but mistreated animals is a touchy subject for me and if your dog is barking at everything you have not or are not properly caring for her.

If you don't have time to walk her each and every day without fail, don't get a dog, or more dogs, thinking that with another one they will keep each other company...please.

Walking with a dog properly is the one surefire way to inform the dog who is in control (get some actual advice on this if you own out of control or distressed canines) and reassure the dog that you, in fact, are in control, (the alpha), so the dog or dogs can then relax and do what you want. You can even train your dogs to poop in a particular area of the yard--hey, there's an answer to the small yard problem--training.

Properly and regularly walking, and keeping with it until the dog is actually trained to do as you command, is actually ALL you need to really do for your dogs and they'll do the rest by being their natural "want to please" selves. If you don't have the time or ability to train your dog, don't get one. Or, don't jump all over people who ask you to control the barking.

Just because they wag their tails when you get home doesn't mean they are happy. Oh, and clue: If you're not spending time with them AND you have unhappy neighbors you can pretty much be assured and KNOW that all you have are confused, upset animals who would be better off with someone else. Neighbors are rarely the problem.

One more thing. If you're the person who's tried dealing with the obnoxious dog owner/lover and the very first time you get a poor, uncooperative response when you claim his/her dog is causing YOU a problem, don't keep at it--CALL the police. Rarely will you get a cooperative response from a person who doesn't take the time to train animals they take into their home and YOUR neighborhood. You're not the problem. The dogs aren't. The owners are, in almost every case. Often the local rules that state how people can live together in peace don't do anything about barking dog complaints. When this is the case, seek other remedies. There are devices you can use to "help" keep dogs from incessantly barking. Of course you will have to buy these, you will NOT receive cooperation from someone who owns out of control animals.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 4:03AM
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I apprecaite your thorough post, however it was totally off topic. My original question had NOTHING to do with barking dogs what so ever. That started after someone else commented on it.
Your answer is knowledgeable and thorough, but doesn't contain any suggestions that are really useful to me. My dogs currently stay inside most of the time, and don't bark eccessively. There are dogs that live in my alley that *do* bark a lot, and being an animal person, I don't mind it too much. Its part of living so close to so many other people that happens to have dogs, pets, children and active lifestyles. My dogs aren't trained as well as they could be, but they are also my first dogs. When people start turning out perfect kids, then we'll start talking about prefect pets too. We're learning, and we're better than we were, but everyone has to start somewhere. The education in your note could only have been made better by a slightly more positive attitude. But thats ok, because thats obviously your soap box, and everyone has one.
Next time, please be more helpful and add to the suggestions that are asked for. If I'm not mistaken, Gardenweb *is* pretty adament about staying on topic.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 2:44PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

My comments are on topic considering the various paths this thread has taken, one of which pertains to dogs, and although not directed toward you but to others who've commented in it, the subject did come up about how to control them, with some very personal comments directed toward a member who suggested calling authorities who was virtually attacked. You supported this redirect of your topic by commenting, I might add.

I respond to the attack on the member called a bad neighbor. I strongly disagree.

On the subject of barking dogs being a charming addition to the neighborhood sounds, I also disagree. I do not think tolerating it is in any way being a good neighbor, just a tolerant one. We used to avert our eyes and ears to evidence domestic violence in our neighborhoods too. And although I disagree with the neighborhood getting involved in the personal lives of distressed neighbors, if we withness something or someone in pain, should we ignore the problem?

The sound of distressed animals bothers me quite a bit.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 3:05PM
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At least most (not all, you're right) other people that commented while they may have commented on barking dogs, or rude neighbors offered some sort of advice on flies and maintaining the yard. Whether that advice was original or constructive is a different story.
I appreciate your insight, I only wish that you had more positive vibe to your writing. I also wish that for the rude neighbor up there that would call the cops without ever attempting to speak to the neighbor and find out what the story is. Assumptions make an ass out of everyone, even in a situation where a dog barks a lot.
I have a different take on the abusive neighbor situation, though I won't go into it here. Things are not always as they seem, and its important to talk to people and communicate in a friendly manner to get things done. That includes here, and when confiring with a neighbor about how they handle their pets, children or lawn. Should you call social services because a child won't stop screaming in the grocery store? I personally find that worse than a barking dog. But people will choose to have children too, whether they are prepared to care for them or not, just like people will have dogs despite the level of care they can give them.
I think the reason that the "bad neighbor" was attacked was more for their tone and attitude than what they were saying. If a few comments had been reworded I know for certain it would have changed my response greatly. Thats all part of communication.
It boils down to the fact that your opinion is just that, your opinion. The better we each state our opinions in a positive manner with a positive attitude the more likely it is that we'll ALL get along. You may or may not be right, just as I may or may not be right. But we're all going to do what we're going to do until something comes a long that gives us cause to change our minds. And if that happens to be knowledge that is shared by someone else, the better that knowledge is presented the more likely it is that it might change our minds.
As I said, it simply would have been nice if you contributed a little something to the original queery. Thanks for not being as rude as half of the responses up there.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 7:39PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

I understand what you're saying and I'm usually a polite person. I just find namecalling unsettling and then when it's directed at a person whose quality of life is compromised by what is likely an incessantly barking dog, it doesn't really seem fair.

That person likely can see by other than barking dog evidence that it is not worth his time to try to reason with the dog owner, you think? As I've said, and the concensus is (by people doing informal studies of this social issue) that dog owners whose dogs are causing people's lives to be disrupted are most often not going to take responsibility but rather make you, the complaining person, seem to be the problem. Weird, isn't it?

And where I've lived the past year it's a real problem. Everyone owns dogs and keeps them penned in a yard so that when you walk by you feel attacked by raging, foaming at the mouth, out of control animals which would likely kill you if they could only get at you. What a life.

I actually thought my opinion was quite restrained, by the way. ;)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 10:49PM
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I don't like name calling either. I try pretty hard to not attack people, but to deal with their idea, which is completely different from attacking someone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. People often mistake the two no matter what you do anyway.

No one likes to be told that they are in the wrong, for some reason society has pushed that to the limit... people can't stand to be in the wrong, and they'll do everything they can to avoid being so, despite clearly being wrong. Not really sure why this is, or what has to happen to change it...

My dog often jumps at the fence when kids go past in the alley. I don't like it. But I also know that part of the reason that he does it is because when he was a puppy the kids thought it was funny to tease him through the fence. It was happening when we couldn't do anything about it, and we were between a rock and a hard place about it. My gate has a lock on it now because someone else's kid thought it was fun to just let me dogs out into the alley and "play" with them whenever she felt like it. It happened twice before we finally understood what was happening, because the kid was shutting the gate after they were out, and then simply leaving them out. Thanks GOODNESS nothing happened to them either time. So now the gate stays locked. I've caught kids throwing snowballs at my dogs from a few yards over, and I've caught them baiting my dog and teasing them. Its no wonder that dog owners don't want to comply when things like this go on all the time. Its a shame that parents don't teach their kids to respect other people's things better, not to mention that a dog is a living creature. Like I said, my dogs aren't trained perfect, but I sure try.
We really lucked out, for two free dogs, they behave REALLY well. Barking occasionally a bit too much and sometimes snapping at people on the other side of the fence when they are out is really their only vice. They don't chew on things they're not supposed to, and they don't get into things either. They're great dogs.

Its amazing that people's opinions differ so greatly, which is why conflicts happen in the first place... It sure is a challenge to overcome that and "live and let live" in a way. Having our own limited range of experience and opinion is what leads us all to believe what we do... Makes for a tough time sometimes...

You weren't too bad, but I could certainly tell anyway that you were on your soapbox and were a little bitter about the subject... Sometimes that will scare people off more than help them. I know cause I have that trouble myself.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 1:58PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

I felt a bit tongue in cheek as I was typing away that night, naughtywildcat...Sorry to hear the kids were teasing your dogs. Dogs will generally bark until the threat is gone, walks away, etc. It's a dog instinct. I was watching a discovery channel story that's been on lately called. Living with Wolves or something like that. What a beautiful programme. It reminds me of why I love dogs so much. They are such intelligent, complex creatures. Domesticated dogs have many of the same attributes and instincts as their wild cousins, still.

I recommend walking dogs as the perfect way to establish your dominance over them. Teaching them to walk at your heel, not in front of you, is something that works very well since wild dogs travel so much. When hanging out you'll then be able to use feeding time as well, to establish dominance easily. Once they know you intend to be in charge, they will obey you to please you and are happy to know their place, finally. The excercise also relaxes them so they're not likely to bark at everything that moves by their field of vision of auditory territory.

Dogs crave, they need to know, who's in charge. Once they know, they may still test it, since the pack leader will once in awhile let the omega dog move up in the pack. But there is always an alpha, beta, and omega dog. They are vehement about this, in packs.

And if our domesticated canines don't know their place they will desperately try to figure it out and this can result in some strange, even destructive behavior. Barking is one end result of this confusion, but not the only one--each dog is different and will find different ways of expression.

Of course some dogs don't seem to worry about it as much as others. I think though, that it confuses dogs to be fed and kept by "a pack" of humans, then to be left out all the time. (They can understand it some of the time, if brought in and socialized with the family regularly.) That's how people around here seem to be. They keep dogs out all the time, "for protection." It would take so little to remove the dog as a threat if a burglar chose to however. Security is another hobby of mine.

I am trying to train a neighbor's dog currently but he won't follow through and I am just now ready to call it quits. It's too confusing for the dog, which behaves beautifully for me until the neighbor is present, then doggie goes nuts, almost literally. It's actually painful to me to know how well she behaves while enjoying the training, only to lapse right back to jumping up, barking, incessantly licking and neurotically running in circles.,..poor thing.

Anyway, if you want to chat more feel free to email me.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 4:25PM
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I heard that All laundry detergent would work for this. I wonder if Ivory bar soap would work for flies in a hose sprayer. We had a guy who rented the house next to us and he used the place to store his 3-8 hunting dogs, he would stop there for 10 minutes a day to feed them.
He has moved out but the pens are still a foot deep in dog manure. You can still smell it when it rains. I would love to find some thing I could spray over there to knock down the smell. any help appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 2:54PM
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saer23(Malaga, Spain)

well well, i just found this site searching for a solution to my fly problem. Must say this forum is highly amusing. Sad to see how many rude Ass"·$%& there are out there!

It was angry dog man who set it all off. I wish his new neighbours an easy time, however i feel they may have to be treading on eggshells. Some people just need to move where they have no fellow humans or (animals come to think of it!)around. Have you thought of an uninhabited island off Galapagos? hmn second thoughts the birds may make a little too much noise for you. Maybe a sealed soundproofed cupboard would be more suitable.

Anyway - naughtywildcat - you have handled this delecate discussion with decorum and respect - well done, I could not have suffered fools comments and not voiced back.

Back to subject of FLIES! I live in the mountains, we have 3 cats, but as cats do they roam freely so they are not the problem. Their food is dried and resides in a sealed dustbin. We have compost bins, but these too are sealed. The flies come into the home during the day and vanish come night. I am watching a threesome fly nookie session as we speak. I am a permaculturalist and trying to live as low impact on the environment as possible. All is successful, no pests other than these pesky flies!

I have recently grown an abundance of basil, and brought in some plants to test the theory. Did it work? did it hell, the winged fellows were mounting each other with glee on the leaves - even when crushed to release the scent.

I have noted other solutions listed here and will search for some spanish alternative to this peppermint soln.

So, thanks for proffering some hopefully useful tips.
Yes incessant barking does do the head in, but come on angry people out there - ease up - life is too short. Here is a tip - get one of those household plant water sprays, and spray the face of the dog whenever he/she barks. Its a good way to train animals and dosent hurt them - they soon get the idea.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 1:24PM
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to bassketcher: does anyone live in the adjacent yard anymore where those dogs were kept? If no one lives there, or even if someone does, you can probably report it to your local authorities. Smells to that extent really should be cleaned up, not to mention that in that quantity it is a biohazard and a health hazard to those living around there. Living in Baltimore they frequently send out flyers about rats; having so much water around and swampy land the rat problem here is higher than in most cities. They tell you not to leave animal food out, and to clean up their poop because it will attract the unwanted pests. Give your local authorities a call, and simply ask some questions about it to find out what you have available to you to get that cleaned up.

saer23: thanks for the compliment. And I have to agree that living next to a neighbor like that would be like walking on eggshells. Part of being a neighbor is an effort on BOTH sides to get along - that includes the person *with* the barking dog, AND the person that has no dog. BOTH people have to be respectful. And the person without the dog was NOT respectful in the way that they posed their message, which I can only assume that means that they're not going to be kind to live next to.

I should explain a bit about where I live as several people have made comments about the way that things work and the way that things should go...
I live in an old townhouse community, probably built in the 50's or so when the war boom was on and steel was in high demand. The mills are only about five minutes from my house and they really don't run at capacity anymore, which is somewhat sad... But lots of people still live here, all shoehorned into the same space. I used to deliver flyers for a sub shop and I could flyer about 500 houses in two or three hours. That should tell you just how many houses are crammed into one space. Our yards are postage stamp sized (my backyard is probably literally 30 or 40 feet long, ending at the alley which is only 20 +/- feet wide.) Some yards are deeper than others, depending on how the houses sit on the street. My front yard is no bigger than the back, and the whole thing is only as wide as my house which is probably about 25 feet or so. I really don't like living here...
There are 6 houses in my section that are all attached to each other. Some sections have 7 houses in them. In my section of houses there are six dogs. Two belonging to me, and one to my neighbor and three to the other neighbor. One house is being remodeled so no one is living in it, but the previous family also had a dog before they moved. In the section of houses that backs up to mine there are also 6 houses. And a total of six dogs as far as I can tell. The section of houses just beyond mine has a dog that lives in the end house, and beyond that, I'm not sure. To say that there are a LOT of dogs in my neighborhood is an understatement. I dare say that it probably works out to be about one dog to every two houses or so, +/- some...
Dogs bark. At any given time, there is going to be a dog outside along our alley, probably more than just one somewhere. If you ride down the alley, the dogs *will* bark. A large part of this is because the alley ends right up at their fences. Its in their nature to bark at things that come close, and their yard is their territory.
For comparison: we drove our dogs down to visit my parents in north carolina, 8 hours down the road. They stayed out in the back yard the *entire* time because I didn't want them to tear up my mom's house. They did not bark once. Not even at the school bus that they could see through the side of the fence. Not at the neighbors or their dogs, or their kid that loves to come up to our fence and talk my Mom's ear off while she's gardening. Not even at the squirrels or birds. Nothing. So a large amount of their barking comes from the fact that my dogs have a small yard with lots of "threats" that come very close to their territory. And there is little I can do about it when I have them outside, except bring them back in again.
My dogs are wonderful dogs, well behaved considering the amount of training that they have gotten, which has really been the bit of reading up that me and my boyfriend have done. They are no where near perfect, and I do worry about them doing things sometimes because they aren't as well socialized as they should be in some regards. But I've done the best I've known how at this point. Would I do things differently? Sure. Will I whenever I get another dog? You bet. But these are my first dogs, and so we're still learning as we go. I have a funny feeling my next ones won't be so well trained despite my best efforts; they'll end up being chronic chewers or something despite all my efforts to train them well. Such is nature's way of laughing at one human's punny attempts to control their situation.

So the whole point of explaining this is that one neighbor's moaning obviously shows they really havne't bothered to understand the situation. You can rant and rave all you want, but the only thing you'll succeed in doing is making enemies out of the people you live next door to, and frankly, thats not something that I desire to do. So call the cops all you want, just be sure you let me know *before* I move in next to you that you're going to be a pompus jerk about your opinion of MY choice of life. That way I'll have plenty of time to choose another place to live where I'll be perfectly content with my imperfect dogs that bark a bit too much and don't sit and stay as well as I'd like and jump just a bit too much on friends and strangers sometimes.
Oh, yeah, and when you turn out 'perfect' children, I'll make sure my dogs are too.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 9:19PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

Hi again naughtywildcat! Have you found a good way to keep the dang flies out yet? It drives me nuts when they get in; I find myself hunting, along with my cat, until it or they are gone...

I want to suggest hanging a few of those fly catcher strips near the door? but maybe you tried that way way back upthread and I forgot...

Barking dogs are often only doing their job, quite literally. And the sound of this type of barking, I agree, is natural and not bothersome at all. But if they get so that they are barking at nothing, or at something far away, across the street, viciously and in a state of frenzy, as if they want to break through the fence and kill, they need some time with their owners.

We recently lost the sound of two dogs who barked endlessly, at every movement down three homes even would start them off again, but they were always barking when they were out. I was just about to offer to walk them for free when I learned that the elderly couple had moved to a nursing home, the man dying of cancer. Those two had absolutely no way to deal with dogs in that condition. The dogs got a new home.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 1:03PM
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im here to see things about flys and i get all this? jesus wake up theres no sense in all this!

now whats the best rememdy for flys? LOL

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 10:59PM
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wow..what a waste of space some of those replies are..and you guys obviously spent a lot of time on those emails...hobbies are in dire need ya'll!!!! i myself have a toy poodle who is an absolute joy...and he will bark his head off if he feels the need to!
ANYHOO! here is the solution! i too had what seemed like a million flies set up camp in the bushes by my front i hung 4 sandwich bags from wire coat hangers (saw it once on McGuyver) and the flies went away immediately! yes immediately!!! i will be totally satified in the a.m. if they are all still gone! so try that if you are still having fly problems...maybe my jerk neighbor can call and complain about Scooter's barking and the tacky coat hangers and get it all handled w/ one phone call...cause believe me! these people probably B*tch all the time and have many many phone calls to make.
have a good night! and best of luck getting rid of your flies!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 10:44PM
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CharlieUK(NRW, Germany)

I too only wanted to know about keeping flies out of my house, My dog training is left to the qualified!
After trawling through some of the useless unrelated information, I've come across some really handy tips. The main thing was wanting something as natural as possible to keep them away, so that nothing upset the helpful insects or my dog. Thanks to all those who posted the helpful tips and NaughtyWildcat for asking the question. I feel sorry that your perfectly acceptable question, got turned into a mud slinging match. To end on a high note.....I've also read that the herb Fennel is good for keeping flies away,it's also good for keeping greenfly off your plants.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 10:06AM
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Eithne(z5 IA)

naughtywildcat, you obviously live in a very crowded area. It's possible that the flies aren't coming from your own yard but are coming from one of your neighbors. If the flies are flying over after hatching out on someone else's property, there's not much you can do to prevent breeding.

Look around a bit at the areas within 150 feet of your own yard. If you see any places where flies might be breeding, one possible thing you could do is order fly predator wasps and discreetly sprinkle them. Although they are wasps, they are tiny--around the size of gnats--and do not sting animals or humans.

You can take steps to keep them out of your own house. One simple solution is to set up a fan inside the most often used door pointing out so that when the door is opened the breeze is pointed out the door. Flies are not great flyers and many of them won't be able to go against the wind.

A friend of mine came up with a beautiful solution. She made a fairly large wreath of dried flowers and herbs to hang on the outside of her door. She spritzes it once or twice a day with a mixture of essential oils diluted into a quart of water with a couple drops of dish soap so they stay emulsified. She uses about three drops each of: tea tree oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, sweet orange oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil and pine needle oil. She says proportions aren't particularly important and if you don't like the way it smells you can put in more of one oil to change the scent. If you happen to be allergic to one or more of these oils, simply omit it.

You can also buy disposable fly trap bags at Wal-Mart which you add a little water to and then hang outside the door. Pretty gross but they are effective. Sometimes, though, the traps just act to attract even more flies to the area.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 4:13AM
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Well, duh, scoop the poop, why didn't I think of that! We have six dogs. A teenager told us her friend did some research and found if you hang a baggie of water in the doorway the flies won't come in. Does anyone know anything about this? We are trying it and meanwhile I'll scoop the poop.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 3:16PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

What is the idea behind hanging a bag of water? I mean I never tried it so can't say, but it doesn't sound like it would have any effect. I mean flies aren't bothered by water are they?

The dog issue seems beside the point to me. Where I live there are flies and this time of year they are very attracted to the south side of my house for the warmth, not any food source as far as I can tell. If I open a door on the south side flies are waiting to come in. If I open a door on the north side, no problem. For the last 2 weeks as the cooler temps have been prevalent I have never been far from my fly swatter as the things drive me nuts.

I have been thinking of getting a bug zapper and smearing poop on it to attract the flies to it ;-). hehehehe. At least I would get to enjoy the zap sound as they die. Die fly, die!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 11:29PM
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This is a loose quote from The Straight Dope: Apparently the water bags do drive houseflies away. It acts a bit like a lens in which the movements of people in the area are reflected. Even if the fly is too far from the action to see it directly, it can see a shifting of light and dark in the water bag, which it interprets as nearby movement, and it will fly away from the bag. So we put up a Ziploc bag of water over the outside doorway with thumb tacks and it's working pretty good.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:30PM
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Huh, who knew the bag of water really works. What do I do if I have brick doorframes??? Because I would really like to try it!! Though I guess the door is wood... wonder if that would still work.
Of course, I figure this out when it is now in the 40's outside, and there are hardly any flies left!! Figures...
Thanks so much for the constructive help!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:39PM
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Hi...I stumbled upon this site and yes, the water hanging on both sides of the door does work. The flies see their reflections in the water and get disoriented and won't fly through the doorway. My Granddaddy would put a bit of raw meat inside a lidded jar, poke some holes in the lid and hang from the porch. The flies would get in and could not get out.
I've also heard that citranella (sp?) , basil, and marigolds keep those pesky little kamakazi attackers at bay. One more could take an empty one gallon container, poke hole around the part that starts to taper towards the lid, fill it with 1/4 cup syrup, Apple cider vinegar and water. Put the lid back on and sit it around or hang it. Hope something will work for you....Happy Spring!!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Well, this forum has certainly been an interesting read! My neighbor has had bags of water hanging on his porch for years and swears by it. I must admit that when we visit, we never see flies on the porch. Out in the yard is another matter, but we can't eradicate these boogers entirely - darn it!! I'm going to try this as soon as I can figure out how to suspend them outside my sliding glass doors. The peppermint soap that was mentioned earlier in the thread is called Dr. Bronner's Magic soap. They're all natural and organic, so would be safe to spray all over the yard. I haven't seen it in my local grocery stores although the plant is just down the street from me, but I would think you could find it in shops that cater to horse owners, the Grange, etc. I'll list the website on the related links for those of you who want to look them up on line. I think I'll give this a try too since it might help and it certainly won't hurt. I'll post back later and let you all know if either of these solutions worked. Have a great summer, but in the meantime...keep those flyswatters handy!!! :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 2:49PM
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this is the best forum i could find to post this, so i hope it belongs here.
my question is this, we live in a house, and have a relatively small back yard, with three dogs. most of the back has gravel down, because they were killing the grass, but even with diligent scopping we got flies. so many flies

great read.. i love the internet.

copied your message cause I had the same question years later.
and i tought you might get a kick out of the whole full circle.

I'm hanging bags o water.
cleaning the poop
fuel and matches, for bad neighbor (and bail money)

haven't sprayed peppermint, but gonna try.

Does anyone have a full proof poop composting method? or used one of those platic triangles you place over a whole and drop you poop inside?

I'm looking for away to scoop and dispose of poop, without putting a disusting yet organic hence biodegradable product inside a non -biodegrable plastic bag. thoughts..

All without creating a larger fly issue for me and my very understanding, yet sometimes annoyed neighbors.

I guess we all have things we hate about our neighbors, so if they start telling me to keep my dogs quiet, then i may have to tell them to stop yelling at their kids all the time, or excesively reving their gas guzzler, or bringing home drunk partners and partying until all hours.
balance, we all have issues

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 10:36PM
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The negative aspects of this post just confirms the impossibility of world peace :O)

Its funny how people can focus their frustrations on one or two things while being totally oblivious to their own stupidity, ignorance or bad doings i.e. cat owners who let their cat wander freely onto other people property uninvited,people not using their turn signal when turning or changing lanes, etc.

A tightly sealed garbage container and 2 tablespoons or more of Dr. Bonners liquid peppermint soap with water in a old spray bottle works well enough for me, I have a small backyard so i just spray everything once in the morning and evening when I get back.

not trying to start anything but why is it that all the cat owners who let their cat wander freely think everyone of their neighbors would be okay with that? or more importantly do they care.

Dr. B does work on small yards!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 3:35PM
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"HollySprings" and "Vikk" you are both exactly right-on w/ your followups. They really are folks. As for the flies... those new electric fly swatters are a MUST HAVE. They are great!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:50PM
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Wow! I just stumbled upon this and am amazed at how many dog dislikers there are.... My neighbors hate kids and trust me I walk them, feed them, bath them and "Scoop" their poop every day... What more can I do? :)) Kidding. I know i am a couple years late regarding this post but seriously, can't everyone just find a way to get a long. Stick to the question people.... it really isn't that difficult.

Ok Basil by the door does work... Keep in mind it has to be a pretty large plant.

We have synthetic grass because our yard is north facing and we live by the beach. It is very hard to grow grass. My neighbors yard is the producer of flies. Even though my dogs attract them, I clean twice a day and wash. I have used a hose sprayer with vinegar in it. It does ok, but the flies can be bad. I can't wait to try the peppermint soap... I hope I can find it tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 3:02AM
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The ziplock bags with water in them definitely work. I don't know why they work, but they do! We live on a farm with cows and for every fly I kill in the house, 15 more appear! I tried the water in the bag last year and no more flies!! Just hang it by the door. I know it sounds crazy, but just try it! It works all summer long.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 9:20PM
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I have both dogs and not really a fly problem, but a question...

my husband once had an interesting conversation with our next door neighbor, went something like this:

annoyed neighbor:
your dogs bark all the time!

perplexed and slightly amused husband:
yeah?...well your dog poops on my lawn so I guess it's something we both have to live with

I lurrv my husband. A little background, the particular neighbor is an older gentleman who has a bad heart and as the years had gone by, had become very overweight and his mobility was greatly reduced. He could hardly walk 10 ft without having to stop for 10-15 min to catch his breath.

At the time, he used to open his front door and let his dogs out and they would just make themselves at home on my front lawn.

What could I do?...he's an old guy and we're both pet owners. Sadly, both his doggies were also geriatric and are no longer with us. I'm glad my husband chose to point out the obvious without getting rude with the old guy who by the way wasn't very nice when he complained about my dog barking.

'nuff's my *real* question....I have a med. sized lavender plant right by my front steps. About 3-4 days ago I noticed there were 8 or 9 dead flies stuck to the underside of the plant's leaves....what's up with that???

For the record, I am the proud owner of 4 yes 4 dogs. I walk them 3 times daily around the block 2 at a time. I scoop their poop and have been blessed with the time and inclination to have been able to teach them to void in the street where I can easily clean it up.

They urinate in the street in front of my driveway and after our walks a little dish soap and the hose, with coffee in hand, I wash down the street.

We keep a small tightly lidded tin trashcan with a garbage bag in it, I deposit the poop bags after our walks in the can and out the whole thing goes with the rest of the trash 3 x wkly.

The lavender plant is in pretty close proximity of the trash what's with the flies stuck to the underside of the leaves?

For the record, we live on long island (NY) and our neighbors are separated by the width of a double driveway as far as the eye can see :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:55PM
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I put up clear plastic bags filled with water. I'm not sure about the science behind this method, but it's actually a common technique that seems to keep flies and wasps away.

Just hang clear plastic bags up where you want to keep the flies away. Fill the bags with water and put some pennies inside the bags. I'm not really sure what the pennies do, but it's how I was told to do it from the beginning to I still do.

The reflections the bags and water create deter the flies I think.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Jonesy- You sound like a complete and utter b**ch. You would seriously get rid of someone's family pet because it barks occasionally? Obviously you live alone, without a spouse and children, or you wouldn't be such a selfish, unfeeling, uptight b**tard.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:50AM
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OMG, that is a great thread !

I'm so glad so many people here love dogs ! (and cats, and all animals, humans included !) (Jonesy excluded)

I live surrounded by my neighbors' old ponies, cute little ones that are more than 20, and my place is their dogs' place during the week end because they appreciate the company of me gardening and my dogs hanging around.

Obviously I have flies all around. Which is why I came to read that thread.

But what I have too in this place full of flies and dogs and old ponies is happiness.

After having lived in 20 or so different places, more or less residential (less when I was young and poor, more before the crisis of 2008), there's something I'm pretty sure of :

Give me flies and more flies, as long as I have old ponies and nice people who keep their old retired ponies instead of sending them to death, I'll be happy (and happier than if living near Jonesy !)

Nevertheless I'll try the plastic bag with water ;-)

And congratulations to the wild cat who handled the rude and off topic answers beautifully !

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:35AM
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