How to Make Cinnamon Spray for Flies

Flies can be obnoxious, but one or two buzzing around doesn’t always warrant busting out the heavy chemicals. Sometimes a natural repellent can be used to keep flies at bay for long enough to finish what you are doing.

Natural fly repellents are easy to make, don’t have harsh chemicals, and can be made cheaply from household plants, saving you time and money.

Quick Answer:

To make a cinnamon spray for flies, mix 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray where flies are frequent. Remember, while it may deter flies, it won’t kill them or solve a large infestation.

Unfortunately, you can’t just stick anything into a spray bottle and expect all your flies to disappear. If you are not careful, you may use something like apple cider vinegar which attracts flies and only kills them if combined with a few drops of dish soap.

You need the right strong-smelling ingredients to stop flies naturally, and when it comes to pungent spices, few are as potent as cinnamon sticks.

Below is all the info you will need to repel flies with cinnamon sticks.

How to Use Cinnamon to Repel Flies? 

The smell of cinnamon will disturb and discourage fruit flies and common house flies from coming into your home or onto your patio. While it is not a permanent solution, cinnamon essential oil in a diffuser is enough to make most flies stay out of a room. If cinnamon oil in the air isn’t enough to keep fruit flies at bay, you can fill a spray bottle with water and cinnamon sticks. 

White vinegar in a spray bottle can be mixed with cinnamon essential oil for a solution that burns flies and covers the smell of vinegar with one more pleasant to us. Spraying white vinegar with a few drops of cinnamon onto animal waste can prevent flies from landing and cover it with a scent of cinnamon.

Warm water and white vinegar are common carrier liquids of natural fly repellents.

Can Cinnamon Repel all Types of Flies?

Some flies are more sensitive to certain smells than others. House flies pick up a wide range of odors and will be the most affected by the natural ingredients in cinnamon-scented bug repellents. The aroma of cinnamon will keep bugs at bay, but it is temporary at best, and a more direct application will do more. 

For the best chance of stopping more flies with your natural fly repellents, you should add more ingredients that complement the cinnamon. Insect repellents use peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and a lemon eucalyptus essential oil to protect against a wide variety of pests. Cinnamon is a good home deodorizer, and boiling a few cups of water with cinnamon in it will repel most flies out of a room. 

Natural Fly Repellants

There are many products that can repel flies, and many of them can be made with cooking and kitchen materials. Utilizing everyday foods and spices to fight pests is a great way to save money and reduce the toxic load of commercial pesticides. While natural ingredients may be harder to work with at first, once you have a few proven formulas, you will be able to fight bugs safely. 

The best repellent recipes will use a combination of natural ingredients and cover a range of smells and contact effects. Essential oils, citrus, vinegar, and other ingredients can stun, kill, or deter flies if mixed correctly and applied thoroughly. Below are some of the best active ingredients for homemade bug spray. 

Active IngredientReactionEffect
Essential OilStuns, Kills, or DetersMasks smell and remove flies from the immediate vicinity 
Ground HerbsChemical Reactions and ResidueCan have residue effects when dried and prevent landing on certain surfaces 
CitrusChemical ReactionsBurns insects and smell deters them
VinegarChemical ReactionsBurns insects and smell deters them
Ginger and GarlicStuns and DetersSpice knocks flies down and keep them away
AlcoholStuns, Kills, or DetersBurns the insects and causes dehydration

Essential Oil

One of the quickest ways to make bug spray for mosquitoes or flies is to take a few cups of water and add peppermint essential oil to it. This combination works well, but peppermint oil can be enhanced with tea tree oil, lavender oil, citronella essential oils, and a drop of cinnamon oil. Citronella-based repellents make effective fly repellents and stop mosquitoes too. 

Ground Herbs

Cinnamon spray can be made from ground spices and other herbs as well. Using a few cups of water and cooking the ground spices can help infuse the water with the scents and repelling chemicals. Adding dishwashing soap can help it stick to surfaces and knock flies out of the air. Cloves, bay leaves, and pepper can be very strong when mixed in water with dish soap. 


Many commercial repellents will have some citrus products in them. Save money and your health, and just use the citrus with either water or vinegar. The acid in citrus products can harm soft-bodied bugs like flies and maggots, and the scents can work as natural repellents. Adding citrus to your cinnamon spray can help it linger longer and make your cinnamon for flies even more effective. 


This is a powerful acid that is great for cleaning and insect control. It has a strong smell that many people, animals, and bugs find unpleasant. It can kill bugs on contact and leaves a smell that makes it hard for pests to use their chemical signals. You can improve vinegar by adding citrus or essential oils to make the smell more rounded and nicer for indoor spaces. 

Ginger and Garlic

These soil-growing roots can add a lot of punch to pesticides. Both of these plant spices can make a dish taste amazing while also repelling nasty bugs. Adding garlic and ginger to a spray bottle with water can create a mist that is deadly to soft-bodied insects on contact. To act as a repellent, other aromas like cinnamon incense sticks or citrus should be added.


Like vinegar, a blast of alcohol will stop most insects dead. If it doesn’t kill the flies, it will stunt them and make them easier to kill. Alcohol will also dehydrate any insects it comes in contact with and stop them from escaping. Oils can be infused into alcohol to make your own fly-killing super potion that includes all your favorite essential oils and spices. 

Are Plant-Based Products Better Fly Repellants?

In most cases, plant-based repellents will be effective at stopping the occasional pests that make it into our homes. Gone are the days when our cabinets need to be filled with special pest killers. When we do need to repel some flies, all we have to do is take some common cleaning or aromatic ingredients and mix up a homemade repellent.

Without toxic chemicals, you can have more peace of mind when spraying near areas where food is prepared or in the same area as children and pets. Cinnamon spray for flies is better than chemical sprays for the occasional critter.