Does Pine-Sol Keep Flies Away?

Flies are a common annoyance in homes and outdoor spaces, particularly during warmer months. When seeking solutions to keep these pesky insects at bay, many people turn to various methods, including natural remedies and commercial products. One such product that has garnered attention for its potential fly-repelling properties is Pine-Sol. Widely known as a household cleaning product, Pine-Sol is recognized for its distinctive pine scent. However, can Pine-Sol effectively keep flies away, or is it merely an old wives’ tale? In this article, we will explore Pine-Sol’s properties, the theory behind its use as a fly repellent, and whether it truly stands up to the task of deterring flies.

CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaner, Orange Energy, 144 Fl Oz (Package May Vary) 3 Count
  • ALL PURPOSE CLEANER: Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaner in a Lavender Clean scent cleans and deodorizes floors, industrial kitchens, restroom facilities and more; Packaging may vary
  • SAFE ON SURFACES: Pine-Sol concentrate cleaner removes tough messes on indoor and outdoor surfaces including appliances, outdoor furniture, garbage cans, showers, toilets, counters and sinks
  • CONCENTRATED CLEANER: Concentrated formula can be diluted to deliver 72 gallons of effective cleaning product for heavy cleaning and light touch ups with the long lasting fresh scent of lavender
  • MULTI-SURFACE CLEANER: Pine Sol powers through tough dirt, grease and grime on a wide variety of surfaces, leaving only a sparkle and the fresh scent of clean behind
  • GREAT FOR COMMERCIAL USE: From CloroxPro, Pine-Sol is ideal for offices, day care centers, schools, hotels, restaurants and other commercial facilities


To consider Pine-Sol’s effectiveness as a fly repellent, it’s essential to first understand what Pine-Sol is and its primary purpose:

  • Composition: Pine-Sol is a cleaning product known for its strong pine scent. It contains a combination of chemicals, including pine oil, surfactants, and other ingredients that contribute to its cleaning power.
  • Scents: Pine-Sol is available in various scents, with the original pine fragrance being the most well-known. Other scents include lavender, lemon, and more, each offering a unique aroma.
  • Cleaning Properties: Pine-Sol is primarily designed for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. It is used to remove dirt, grease, and stains from floors, countertops, and other household surfaces.
  • Versatility: Pine-Sol can be diluted with water and used for a range of cleaning tasks. Its versatility has made it a staple in many households.
  • Aromatic Characteristics: Pine-Sol is recognized for its powerful scent, which can linger in an area after cleaning. Some individuals find the scent pleasant, while others may consider it too strong.
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Understanding Pine-Sol’s composition and primary function as a cleaning product is essential as we delve into the theory behind its potential use as a fly repellent in the following sections.

The Theory Behind Pine-Sol as a Fly Repellent

The concept of using Pine-Sol as a fly repellent is rooted in the theory that certain scents can deter flies and other insects. Here’s a closer look at the theory behind Pine-Sol’s potential efficacy:

  • Strong Odor: Pine-Sol is known for its robust and long-lasting pine scent. Proponents of using Pine-Sol as a fly repellent believe that this strong odor can overwhelm a fly’s sensory receptors, making it challenging for them to locate attractive scents, such as food or waste.
  • Masking Scents: Some individuals suggest that Pine-Sol acts as a scent mask. By filling the air with the Pine-Sol aroma, it may conceal the smells that typically attract flies to an area, making it less appealing for them to gather.
  • Pine Oil Component: Pine-Sol contains pine oil, which is derived from pine trees and is known for its aromatic properties. Pine oil is used in some insect repellent products, and it is believed to have insect-repelling qualities.
  • Repellent Potential: Advocates of using Pine-Sol for fly control argue that the product’s ability to create a potent scent barrier may discourage flies from entering homes or congregating in outdoor spaces.
Pine-Sol Original 24 Oz (Pack of 3)
  • Pine-Sol – Pine Cleaner
  • The actual product may be different than product image
  • Great deodorizer.
  • 24 oz. plastic bottles. Pack of 3
  • Cleans and disinfects.

Pine-Sol as a Fly Repellent – What People Say

Anecdotal evidence and personal experiences often play a significant role in assessing Pine-Sol’s effectiveness as a fly repellent. Here’s an overview of what people have reported regarding the use of Pine-Sol for this purpose:

  • Outdoor Use: Some individuals claim success in using Pine-Sol to keep flies away from outdoor gathering areas. They may mix Pine-Sol with water and spray it around patios, picnic areas, or garbage bins.
  • Indoor Use: Pine-Sol has been used indoors as well, with people sharing stories of placing open containers of Pine-Sol in fly-prone areas or using Pine-Sol-infused cleaning products to discourage flies indoors.
  • Varied Results: Reports on the effectiveness of Pine-Sol as a fly repellent are mixed. While some individuals claim positive results and fewer flies in treated areas, others report limited success or no noticeable impact.
  • Alternative Scents: Some users have experimented with different Pine-Sol scents, suggesting that the choice of scent may influence the product’s effectiveness as a fly deterrent.
  • Frequency of Application: The need for frequent reapplication is often discussed, as Pine-Sol’s scent can dissipate over time, requiring additional treatment to maintain its potential deterrent effect.
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It’s important to note that while many people have shared their experiences using Pine-Sol as a fly repellent, these accounts are anecdotal and may not provide conclusive evidence of its efficacy. In the subsequent sections, we will explore the scientific perspective on Pine-Sol’s use as a fly repellent and consider alternative fly control methods.

Scientific Perspective

While anecdotal evidence and personal experiences suggest that Pine-Sol may have some effectiveness as a fly repellent, the scientific perspective offers a more nuanced understanding of its capabilities. Here’s what the scientific community has to say:

  • Limited Research: There is limited scientific research specifically addressing Pine-Sol’s efficacy as a fly repellent. Most scientific studies focus on other methods and products for fly control.
  • Scent and Insect Behavior: The theory that certain scents can deter insects, including flies, has a basis in scientific understanding. Some scents may indeed disrupt the insects’ ability to locate food sources or communicate with one another.
  • Pine Oil Component: Pine oil, an ingredient in Pine-Sol, is recognized for its aromatic properties. It is used in some insect repellent products. However, the concentration of pine oil in Pine-Sol may vary, and its effectiveness as a fly repellent could depend on factors like concentration and exposure.
  • Not Specifically Designed as a Repellent: Pine-Sol is primarily formulated as a cleaning product and is not specifically designed or marketed as an insect repellent. While it may have some insect-repelling properties, its primary function is cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Variability in Results: Scientific research often emphasizes the importance of controlled experiments. The effectiveness of Pine-Sol as a fly repellent may vary depending on factors such as the environment, fly species, concentration of Pine-Sol used, and other variables.

Using Pine-Sol as a Fly Repellent

For those interested in using Pine-Sol as a potential fly repellent, here are some guidelines and considerations:

  • Indoor Use: If using Pine-Sol indoors to deter flies, place open containers of Pine-Sol in fly-prone areas, such as near doors, windows, or garbage bins. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of fumes.
  • Outdoor Use: For outdoor applications, mix Pine-Sol with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and use a spray bottle to apply it around patios, picnic areas, or other fly-attracting zones.
  • Safety Precautions: Pine-Sol is a cleaning product that contains chemicals. Take safety precautions, such as avoiding direct skin contact, keeping it out of reach of children and pets, and following the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Frequent Reapplication: Pine-Sol’s scent may dissipate over time, so frequent reapplication may be necessary to maintain its potential deterrent effect.
  • Alternative Methods: Consider alternative fly control methods, including natural remedies, fly traps, and electronic fly repellent devices. These methods are specifically designed for fly control and may offer more predictable results.
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In conclusion, while Pine-Sol’s strong pine scent has led some individuals to use it as a fly repellent with varying degrees of success, its effectiveness in this regard is not scientifically established. Pine-Sol’s primary purpose remains as a cleaning product. If you choose to use Pine-Sol for fly control, do so with awareness of its limitations and safety precautions. Exploring alternative fly control methods may also provide more reliable and targeted results.

Alternative Fly Repellents

While Pine-Sol is one potential method for deterring flies, several alternative fly repellents and control methods are specifically designed for this purpose. Here are some alternatives to consider:

1. Natural Remedies: Certain scents, such as lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella, are known to repel flies. Using essential oils or scented candles with these fragrances can help keep flies away from your space.

2. Fly Traps: Fly traps, including sticky traps and electric fly zappers, are effective at capturing flies. These devices are designed to attract and trap flies, reducing their presence indoors or in outdoor areas.

3. Ultrasonic Repellent Devices: Ultrasonic fly repellent devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are unpleasant to flies and other insects, encouraging them to leave the area. These devices are safe for humans and pets.

4. Fly Screens: Installing fly screens on doors and windows can prevent flies from entering your home while allowing fresh air to circulate.

5. Natural Predators: Encourage natural fly predators, such as spiders and insect-eating birds, to inhabit your outdoor space. These predators can help keep fly populations in check.

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Risks and Concerns

When considering the use of Pine-Sol or any other product for fly control, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and concerns:

  • Chemical Exposure: Pine-Sol is a cleaning product containing chemicals. Direct contact with skin or eyes should be avoided, and it should not be ingested. Keep Pine-Sol out of reach of children and pets.
  • Indoor Use: Using Pine-Sol indoors may lead to strong odors, which can be overpowering or unpleasant for some individuals. Adequate ventilation is essential.
  • Safety Precautions: Follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines when using Pine-Sol. This includes proper dilution ratios when mixing with water for outdoor use.
  • Variable Results: Pine-Sol’s effectiveness as a fly repellent can vary depending on factors such as concentration, environmental conditions, and the species of flies present. Results may not be consistent.


In conclusion, the use of Pine-Sol as a fly repellent is based on anecdotal evidence and the theory that strong scents can deter flies. While some individuals report success with Pine-Sol, its effectiveness is not scientifically established, and it remains primarily a cleaning product.

For those seeking reliable and targeted fly control methods, several alternatives are available, including natural remedies, fly traps, ultrasonic repellent devices, fly screens, and encouraging natural predators. These methods are specifically designed for fly control and may offer more predictable results.

When considering the use of Pine-Sol or any other product for fly control, it’s essential to prioritize safety, follow manufacturer instructions, and be aware of potential risks. Ultimately, the choice of fly repellent method should align with your preferences, needs, and safety considerations.

About the author

Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson is a passionate gardener with over a decade of experience in horticulture and sustainable gardening practices. With a degree in Horticulture, she has a deep understanding of plants, garden design, and eco-friendly gardening techniques. Victoria aims to inspire and educate gardeners of all skill levels through her engaging articles, offering practical advice drawn from her own experiences. She believes in creating beautiful, biodiverse gardens that support local wildlife. When not writing or gardening, Victoria enjoys exploring new gardens and connecting with the gardening community. Her enthusiasm for gardening is infectious, making her a cherished source of knowledge and inspiration.

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