Homemade Fly Repellent – Keep Flies Away with Pine sol

This homemade fly repellent formula uses the common household cleaner Pine Sol. The reason it works is because of pine oil. Read on to discover why this fly spray works.

Keep flies away with Pine-Sol!We all know how bothersome flies can be in any outdoor gathering. Keeping them away often means using harsh chemicals.Close up of a fly

What if I told you that a common household cleaner, Pine-Sol, could be used to do this job?

Keep flies away with Pine Sol!

Sometimes, common household products can be used in unusual ways to treat insects. I recently tested Borax and apple cider vinegar in a quest to kill ants. Find out the results of my Borax ant killer tests here.

We recently had a huge graduation party for my daughter and the flies were a problem for us. At the time, I did not realize that one way to keep flies away from my tables was to use the household cleaner Pine sol.

I did a bit of research on the subject and now I am sold!

Why does Pine-Sol repel flies?

Pine oil is quite expensive, but very effective at keeping houseflies away. You can test this by putting a few drops on a cotton ball and placing it near flies. They should quickly fly away.Pine oil and lavender oil on a purple towel

Other essential oils that are reputed to repel flies are lavender oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lemongrass oil.

I made a homemade mosquito repellent recently with some essential oils. See the DIY essential oil mosquito repellent formula here.

Since this worked out so well, I decided to see what I could find about repelling flies.

Pine oil and flies

A recent study showed that using pine oil is very effective at repelling flies, even after 24 hours.

The findings about keeping flies away applies to concentrated pine oil, but what about Pine Sol? The product has a strong pine scent. Does it contain pine oil?

Unfortunately for those wanting to make a homemade fly repellent spray, the answer is “it depends.”

The original Pine Sol, a widely used pine oil based cleaner, contained 8-12% pine oil, along with other ingredients. Alas, two things have happened over the years. The original formula of Pine Sol is no longer sold in stores and Pine-Sol has changed!

Today, the cleaners that are branded as Pine-Sol contain no pine oil. However, in response to consumer requests for the original formula, Clorox, the owner of Pine Sol, has made available a product containing 8.75% pine oil. This product is not sold in stores, but is available to online purchasers.

Trying to find the Pine-Sol product with 8.75% pine oil is a challenge if you are shopping locally.

The reason you cannot find the original product in stores is that pine oil is quite expensive to manufacture. This is the main reason it was discontinued in the Pine-Sol brand.

Have the flies got you bugged? Use the common household product Pine-Sol to keep flies away this year. Head on over to The Gardening Cook to find out how to do it. #flyrepellent #PineSol 🦟🦟🦟 Click To Tweet

Homemade fly repellent spray

If you have some of the original Pine-Sol, you can make this homemade fly repellent easily and quickly.Bottle of Pine-sol homemade fly repellent

This spray is great for outdoor and indoor use. Flies seem to HATE pine-sol. To make the fly repelling spray, mix the original Pine-Sol with water, at a ratio of 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle. Use to wipe counters or spray on the porch and patio table and furniture to drive the flies away.

Note: Please take notice that this homemade fly repellent spray is not meant to be used on children, pets, on your skin or near food. Treat Pine-Sol fly repellent spray just as you would any other chemical in your home.

What methods have you used to keep flies away for outdoor parties?; Please leave your comments below.

Label your homemade fly repellent bottle

Print out the instruction card below, which has a label for your spray bottle. Use a glue stick and attach the label to the bottle so that everyone will be aware of what is in the bottle.homemade fly repellent label

Pin this homemade fly repellent for later

Would you like a reminder of this post to keep flies away with Pine Sol? Just pin this image to one of your household boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.homemade fly repellent spray

Admin note: This post on how to keep flies away with Pine Sol first appeared on the blog in June of 2013. I have update the post to add all new photos, more information on pine oil, a project card and a printable label.

Yield: ! bottle of fly repellent spray

Homemade Fly Repellent with Pine Sol - Keep Flies Away!

Pine-sol homemade fly repellent

The original Pine-Sol product contains pine oil which is know to repel flies. Make your own homemade fly repellent with this formula to keep flies away.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $2


  • 12 fl oz Original Pine-Sol formula
  • 12 fl oz Water 


  • 24 oz spray bottle
  • Glossy Photo Paper
  • Printable label (shown below the instructions)


Make the fly spray

  1. Mix the original Pine-Sol cleaner with the water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour into the spray bottle.
  4. Use the fly repellent spray on tables, screens and other hard surfaces outdoors.

Print the label

  1. Load your printer with the glossy photo paper.
  2. Print out the label, trim, and attach to your bottle with a glue stick.fly spray label


Keep the spray away from pets and children. This formula is not meant to be used on skin.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  20 comments for “Homemade Fly Repellent – Keep Flies Away with Pine sol

  1. Renee
    06/23/2017 at 6:21 pm

    We’re going to try it! There’s a cow pasture next door.
    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Terri Liddell
    06/29/2017 at 4:09 pm

    Going to try this camping this weekend!

  3. Tammie
    07/06/2017 at 6:43 pm

    Can you use this in your hedges without it killing them?

    • Carol
      07/06/2017 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Tammie. I have no idea, since I have not tried doing this. I just use it occasionally on outdoor furniture and it appears to give me some benefit. Carol

  4. Debbie
    08/26/2017 at 12:14 pm

    The pine sol really works. Husband cooked breakfast out on grill and flies were all over. I remembered hearing this so tried it. Flies are gone. Wow ?

    • Carol
      08/26/2017 at 7:31 pm

      glad to hear it worked for you Debbie!

  5. Stephanie
    04/11/2018 at 12:19 am

    Im going to try the pine-sol and water in a spray bottle. Last year i made my own fly traps with soda bottle cut in half put something sweet in it and hung it up and it caught flies, bees and i loved it so im going to make them again!

  6. Esther
    07/06/2018 at 6:08 am

    Can I put mixture in cups and just put on the tables?

    • Carol
      07/06/2018 at 10:46 am

      Hi Esther. I’ve never tried it that way. Spraying it on the tables puts in on all the landing spots, so I think it might work better. Carol

  7. Marsha
    09/13/2018 at 10:02 am

    Leaving open glass containers of Pine-Sol in your camping trailer while it is in storage for the winter helps keep the mice out of your trailer. I sit one in the shower and another one in the kitchen sink.

    • Carol
      09/13/2018 at 6:50 pm

      Good idea Marsha. Thanks for the tip. Carol

  8. kelly
    09/30/2018 at 1:03 pm

    I took a jar out holes in the lid and filled with 50/50 pine sol/water. Then set the jars on a table of food during a cook out. Flies didnt go near the food table.

    • Carol
      09/30/2018 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for letting us know how it worked for you, Kelly. Carol

      • Teresa
        07/15/2019 at 8:48 pm

        Would this be safe around animals?

        • Carol
          07/15/2019 at 10:44 pm

          My understanding is that Pine Sol is not safe around animals if they can get to it.

  9. 03/09/2019 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this informative article, nice job.

  10. Cody
    05/10/2019 at 11:12 pm

    Please mix vinegar in your fly/mosquitoes/wasp traps. Bees are not aggressive and are endangered.
    Thanx for the pinesoil tip.

  11. Teresa
    04/21/2020 at 11:23 pm

    Will the pinesol hurt my car paint. Flys are all over my white car

    • Carol Speake
      04/22/2020 at 11:56 am

      I do not recommend using Pine-Sol® to wash a car, since it is know to damage a car’s finish. The FAQ page on Pine Sol website says this:

      Q: Can I use Pine-Sol® Squirt ‘N Mop for washing a car?

      A: No, we do not recommend using the product to wash a car. It could possibly damage the paint or finish.

      • Tlh
        07/11/2020 at 8:38 am

        Use 50/50 Pinesol mix to keep flies down in the stable. Spray aisles, walls and stall walls. Don’t use on your horse.

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