Homemade Fly Traps

So you have a fly problem. That is truly annoying—we’ve all lost sleep as a black fly buzzes around the bedroom. If it’s in the kitchen, it’s probably grossing you out. You’ve made dozens of swatting attempts, with no success. Your arm is tired and you’re frustrated. What to do?

Here are three options, with things you already have in your home. And none of them involve pesticides or other nasty chemicals.

How To Make Your Own Sticky Fly Paper

A biodegradable sticky fly paper is super easy to make, and it’s just as effective as the nasty chemical-coated stuff you can buy at a hardware store.

What You Need

  • Thick paper, like a grocery bag
  • String
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Water

How To Do It

  • Cut up the paper into inch-wide strips. Make a hole for the string on one end. Tie the string, which you will use to hang the strip, through the hole.
  • Put on a kettle and take it off before the water boils.
  • Using a scale, measure out equal parts honey, sugar, and warm water.
  • Whisk all three ingredients in a bowl.
  • Coat the paper with the warm solution.
  • Let the solution dry on a baking sheet or plate.
  • Hang your DIY fly paper from a fixture in the room with the bugs. Insects will be drawn to the sugar, but get stuck on the honey.
  • When the paper fills up with flies, just toss it in your compost pile.

How To Make A Fly Trap With A Glass Or Jar

This method won’t leave gross fly paper hanging from every light fixture in your house—you can stick this trap somewhere inconspicuous.

What You Need

  • A drinking glass or jam jar
  • Plastic wrap
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Dish soap
  • Rubber band or tape

How To Do It

  • Fill the jar with an inch or two of vinegar.
  • Mix in a few tablespoons of sugar.
  • Mix in several drops of dish soap.
  • Make sure that you can’t smell the soap in the solution.
  • If you can, add more of the other ingredients until the smell goes away.
  • Cover the glass with plastic wrap and fasten it with a rubber band or tape.
  • Poke small holes in the plastic wrap.
  • Place the trap where flies will find it.

Flies will be attracted to the smell of vinegar and sugar.

Normally, they’d be able to land on or near the surface of the mixture and dine to their heart’s content—but the dish soap will make them break the surface tension of the solution, fall into the vinegar, and drown.

Variations Of The Drowning Method

There are several other ways to make a trap that will drown flies. Popular methods include:

  • Wine bottle traps: Just leave the dregs of a bottle of wine in the bottom or use the same vinegar solution described above. Then, roll up a piece of paper into a cone shape and stick it in the neck of the bottle. Leave just enough space for a fly to get through.
  • Plastic bottle traps: For this method, cut the top off of a plastic drink bottle. Pour an inch or two of the soapy vinegar solution into the bottom of the bottle. Take the bottle top and turn it so that the mouth faces downward, like a funnel. Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke holes in it.

Written by Peter Johnson

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