How To Make A Homemade Fly Trap
DIY tends to get a bad name, mainly because it’s done badly. However, fly problems can be solved with little know-how and creativity. There is a range of proven homemade fly traps that will take care of flies with little issue. However, for them to be truly effective, they must be appropriate and deployed properly. There’s no use choosing the wrong trap for the wrong fly. Understanding the different types of flies will help you to associate what traps work best. For example, fruit flies are attracted to different things than black flies.
In this blog, not only will we cover how to make a homemade fly trap, but we’ll also cover the different types and how they attract different flies.
Another important thing to mention is the timely construction of traps. Once you notice a fly infestation, it’s important to move quickly. Some fly species reproduce incredibly fast, this makes it important to devise a trap that will capture them almost immediately. Without a fast response, it could be too late, and more serious measures may be required.
Before we discuss different fly traps, let's cover some different fly types.
House flies are one of the most common insects on the planet, if you’ve come across flies before, there’s a big chance they were house flies. They tend to breed and feed in the garbage, feces, and rotting or spoiled food. Pretty nasty right?
House flies are normally grey in appearance and have four distinct black stripes on their thorax. Adults tend to be 4 – 8mm long, with hairy bodies and a single pair of wings. Most people categorize them by their red eyes which have to allow them wide vision with incredible detail.
Since they love to live in such close proximity to us humans, house flies are very unwelcome guests. While most are just a nuisance, they can also carry a host of diseases that are harmful to humans and pets. They pick up bacteria, as well as viruses, before spreading these via food and water.
They also like to take advantage of structural issues in our properties. This means damaged windowsills; wall cracks and old doors are prime entry spots. These pesky pests are also attracted to buildings by various air currents and odors.
The significance in catching them lies in the fact that several health problems can develop from house fly infestations. This can range from food poisoning and dysentery to tuberculosis. Common practice like regular cleaning will help to limit areas where they breed, but more serious measures are normally needed to remove them entirely.
Fruit flies aren’t too dissimilar to house flies. However, the smell of ripening fruit and decomposing food will attract these insects. While fruit flies can be a pest problem throughout the calendar year, they are more likely to be a problem during the summer months. However, you must be prepared for their arrival all year round.
As you can imagine, fruit fly infestations have to start somewhere so let’s cover it. Fruit flies travel into kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of our homes if they sense a distinct food source. They love overripe fruit or any fermenting material in drains and trash cans. These can also arrive from our gardens, or even our shopping from the grocery store.
The most worrying part is, under good conditions, fruit flies can live up to 40-50 days. They can also lay up to 500 eggs at a single time — mostly in sweet and decaying material. If you don’t catch these things fast, it may be too late.
Let’s cover some traps, shall we?
Fruit fly trap
For the base of your fly traps, try using a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap. The vinegar smell is irresistible to the flies. Once they arrive in the trap, they move towards the vinegar. However, the dish soap cuts the surface tension of the mixture, leading the flies to sink to their death.
You can then use this mixture in a variety of different ways. Wine bottles work really well, so does a simple kitchen dish.
In our experience, fruit flies disappeared from our kitchens when we used this method. It’s so easy to create and not expensive either. Just remember to be consistent. One trap won’t do the trick. Remember to empty and refill to ensure you have a peaceful summer period.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any apple cider vinegar, then try this instead. You can also trap fruit flies by placing a piece of overripe fruit in an open plastic bag. Just wait for the fruit flies to gather on the fruit. Then, carefully seal the bag behind them, capturing all those bastards inside!
We go into some incredible detail here on how you can make a fruit fly trapping machine using homemade materials, so be sure to have a read!
If those don’t take your fancy, then there’s a whole host of other traps at your disposal. Try some of these…
Flies hate herbs like basil and lavender. Try to keep a potted herb on the counter to deter and repel them. You could also pluck the leaves off it and place some in the bottom of the fruit bowl to really deter fruit flies from the good stuff.
They also can’t stand the smell of basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and clove. If you’ve had a fruit fly problem in the past, then hanging these fragrant herbs in sacks or tea bags will help to provide a natural barrier around your home.
If you have any beer lying around (like most of us do), then pour a half cup in a jar with a lid. Poke a couple of holes in the top and then secure. Flies tend to move to the beer but are unable to escape. This means they eventually die or drown in the beer. Simple but effective.
If you’re short of sweet stuff in your kitchen, then maybe try this. Pour some milk into a bowl, stir in some raw sugar and ground pepper and then proceed to simmer over the stove. Afterward, pop in the microwave for a short while (around 1 minute should do the trick). Following this, pop on the kitchen side and watch the flies arrive.
Flypaper can also be a winner. Modern versions are now nontoxic, they’re just naturally sticky. Although the use of flypaper has dropped in popularity in recent times, the use of flypaper is still extremely effective. Just be aware that dead flies will be hanging around your home so make sure to remove and replace them regularly.
Lastly, there are some carnivorous plants that may help you on your way to fly freedom. The Venus Fly Trap is a great example. However, this is only effective for shorter-scale problems.
Don’t get us wrong, all the ‘tried-and-tested' methods of removing houseflies from your home all have drawbacks. For example, flyswatters are messy, whilst pesticides run the risk of releasing dangerous chemicals into the air of your home. However, an easy and sly way to remove flies from your home is with the use of an empty soda bottle. Seriously, we’re not joking. With a little bait of water and another attractive item of your choosing, your DIY soda bottle trap will capture flies in no time at all.
Your unwanted guests will smell the bait and fly into the bottle to get to it. However, once they’re inside, they become trapped in the neck of the bottle. Flies aren’t capable of navigating back up the narrow opening of the bottle. They will also struggle to fly at all if their wings are dampened. This is the ultimate trap for ease. It can also be used both indoors and outdoors, winner!
Your run-of-the-mill store-bought fly repellents normally contain chemicals that smell harsh, and get absorbed by your skin. These can be damaging to your health if consumed directly. It seems counterintuitive to spray something deadly for both you and the flies. Don’t you agree?
If, like us, you’re looking for a more natural, DIY solution, look no further. We’ve got you covered.
Undoubtedly, a lot of plants have insect repellent qualities that will help you and your fly problem. The science behind this is pretty simple. Plants aren’t keen on insects gnawing on them, just like us. Therefore, as they evolved, plants have developed various bug repellent properties that make them useful to us and themselves. For example, many plants release a vapor when eaten, making them perfect to repel and even kill flies.
A very popular natural repellent against flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects, are plant-based oils which can be added to numerous products to help deter flies. Try including plant oil in candles and place all around the house. This will not only deter nasty flies, but it also smells amazing too!
Water can also help you. As you may or may not know, flies have eyes with thousands of little lenses. This makes them very sensitive to light. If you leave a bag full of water on your windowsill or doorstep, this can create a DIY disco ball effect, repelling flies via their eye sensitivity.
While there is a case to be made for natural fly deterrents such as the ones we’ve mentioned, the overall backing science has yet to prove how effective they really are. Sadly, most natural solutions are unscientific remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation via anecdotal stories. Don’t get us wrong, we believe a lot can be effective. Just don’t believe every suggestion you see.
To get rid of flies...
Ultimately, to truly remove flies from your living space, a controlled strategy is required. Its great to create different traps and watch flies disappear from your living space. However, if you don’t maintain a clean home, then flies will no doubt return to torture you once more.
In our experience, maintaining a clean home will vastly help your chance of a fly-free summer. Not only that, but your home is much more pleasant to live in too. Here are some tips. Remember to clean up after your pets and wash down all working surfaces like the kitchen and countertops. It’s also important to consider your outdoor spaces too. Flies love to reproduce in the long grass. Therefore, keeping your lawn short and sharp will stop them from getting frisky unnoticed. Also, generally speaking, don’t leave food out under any circumstances! Flies love food, rotting and fresh. If you’ve left food out, particularly during summer, then you must assume flies have deposited nasty material onto it. To combat this, store all food in air-tight containers and remember to refrigerate any leftovers after mealtimes.
The Ranch Fly Trap
If you’re suffering from a more serious fly problem, then a store-bought fly trap may be the answer. The Ranch Fly Trap has been used by thousands of property owners in recent years and the results have been incredible. Not only are they effective in capturing flies, but our barrel traps can be emptied and reused all summer. We also provide our own bait recipe, meaning there’s no messing around with the smelly stuff. Simply fill with the water and bait and you’re ready to go.
Now don’t get us wrong, you may need more than one if the problem is bad. We know how bad fly infestations can be. However, don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. We offer a number of packages, perfect for a range of fly problems. From starter packs to fly domination kits, you’re sure to find the perfect solution.
As we said before, time is of the essence. Flies move fast, so should you. If you still need convincing, here’s what some of our customers had to say.
‘’Just got my traps and 20 hours in and I'm not disappointed! Easy to assemble and the tray makes it easy to refill with bait!’’
‘’Ours has been out less than 24 hours and already has a tonne of flies!’’
‘’I love The Ranch Fly Trap. It’s taken a day or two for the flies to find it, but once they do, they tell all of their fly buddies!’’