As the weather gets warmer, you may find yourself fighting to get rid of pesky flies around the house. There’s a reason those winged creatures are called pests. They feast on your leftovers, crawl all over your furniture and won’t stop buzzing past your ears when you sleep at night. While you can always find a repellant that will stop the infestation, there are times where it might be too late for them to work. That’s why we’re showing you how to make a homemade fly trap.
DIY this effective bug killer using your household items. The craft is easy to put together, requires minimal materials and can be distributed throughout your house and yard. And if you need more ideas when it comes to at-home strategies, check out our guides to how to get rid of fruit flies, along with different ways to tackle gnats indoors.
Easy step-by-step instructions to make a homemade fly trap:
Luring flies to a trap is the hardest part. Luckily, they’re attracted to anything sweet — simple syrup, honey and fruit — so you shouldn’t have to look too far to find something sugar-y enough to entice them. The Country Chic Cottage uses honey as bait in their fly trap pictured above, but old fruit (apple chunks, for example), syrup and simple syrup work too. Add a splash of vinegar to keep bees out of the trap. The goal: Flies will smell the bait and fly into the bottle to get to it. Once inside, they won’t be able to fly up the narrow opening, eventually trapping and killing them.
- Cut a water or soda bottle, making the bottom half slightly taller than the top. Remove the bottle cap.
- Fill the bottom with water. Add a splash of vinegar to ward off bees. The Country Chic Cottage also recommends adding a few drops of dish soap to the water because it breaks the surface tension of the liquid, making it easier for flies to fall in and drown.
- Stick the top half upside down in the bottom, so that it looks like a funnel. Spread honey, syrup or sugar water around the mouth of the bottle, or fill with decomposing fruit.
- To hang your trap, punch two holes at the top of the bottle. Then thread a piece of wire or sturdy string through the holes, attach the ends and hang it wherever you please.
- As long as the problem persists, empty out dead flies and add fresh bait regularly.
Best of all, this trap also works to lure and kill wasps. Most wasps are also attracted to sweets, so honey, syrup and sugar water will work for them. But as a last resort, you can always swap sweet bait for rotting meat or animal droppings (rabbit pellets or chicken litter) to complete the job.
Amanda Garrity is a lifestyle writer and editor with over seven years of experience, including five years on staff at Good Housekeeping, where she covered all things home and holiday, including the latest interior design trends, inspiring DIY ideas and gift guides for any (and every) occasion. She also has a soft spot for feel-good TV, so you can catch her writing about popular shows like Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias, Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart and more.
Mariah Thomas (she/her) is an assistant editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers home and lifestyle content. Mariah has more than four years of editorial experience, having written for TLC, Apartment Therapy, Women’s Health and Avocado Magazine. She received her master’s degree in journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and published her first book, Heart and Soul: Poems of Thoughts and Emotions, in 2019. She’s also the founder of RTF Community a platform for creatives of color to connect, learn and showcase their work.
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