Herbs That Attract House Flies

... Growing basil may attract houseflies.

Flies are a nuisance but also provide some benefit for your home and garden. Flies are a primary source of food for spiders and other bugs that might eat harmful pests on your plants. Certain types of scents attract flies, including the scents from plants and herbs growing in your garden. Learning which herbs attract flies help you learn how to best plant your garden.

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Attractive Herbs

Dill, which has a spicy flavor and pairs nicely with fish, attracts certain types of bugs, including hoverflies, ladybugs and lacewigs. Bronze fennel contains seeds that manufacturers use for spice mixture and appears in sauce recipes. Fennel plants attracts flies, butterflies and ladybugs. Lavender, lemon balm and rocky mountain penstemon all attract different types of flies to your garden. The flowers growing on parsley attract tachinid flies and hoverflies.

Repelling Flies

While certain types of herbs attract flies, others repel flies. Planet Green suggests growing basil in your garden. The multiple types of varieties are suitable for salads, spaghetti sauce, pesto and dishes with tomatoes. The herb also repels houseflies from your home and garden. Plant a small amount of basil in your flower garden to keep flies away and plant basil in window boxes, which keep flies out of your house. Tansy adds a bit of spice and flavor to soups and stews, and the tansy flowers repel houseflies.


According to Wayne's Word, different types of flies like the scent of flowers, herbs, plants and other types of vegetation that smell like rotting meat. Carrion flowers release a soft scent that mimics the smell or rotten or dead meat. Houseflies, midges and flesh flies all find the scent intoxicating and gather in areas with a large number of those flowers. Even certain types of orchids, including the Pterostylis and Bulbophyllum may release these scents.


If you want to attract houseflies for beneficial reasons, plant a combination of basil, lemon balm, tansy and the other herbs in your garden. Place the herbs around the edges of the garden or create a dedicated herb garden. You can also grow herbs in small window boxes along the windows in your house. Keep in mind that certain types of herbs, including tansy and basil, cannot survive in colder climates. During the winter months, bring the herbs inside if you have no way of keeping the plants warm outside.