Best Homemade Fly Traps to Catch Flies

Last Updated on: January 28th, 2020 at 8:39 pm

Homemade fly traps are one of the best ways to catch flies. Although, these days market is full of commercially available fly traps, but you can also come up with your own homemade versions. A homemade fly trap, when compared to a commercially available fly trap is equally effective against flies.

The best part about these traps is that they don’t have any bad effect on environment and are a cheap but effective solution for fly infestation. These traps can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Now, before we learn how to make a fly trap, let’s see how a fly trap works:

How a Fly Trap Works:

A basic homemade fly trap works on two facts:

  • Flies get attracted to food by their sense of smell, they are 10 million times more sensitive to sugar than human tongue.
  • Flies have compound eyes, this means that they have a very bad vision but they can detect movements and changing light patterns very well.

Recommended Reading: House Fly Facts

Based on the above facts, a fly trap basically consists of a container containing a fly attractant with a small hole on the top. The attractant attracts the flies and following the scent flies enter into the container through the hole. Once they are inside the container, they cannot move out as they have a poor eyesight and thus are trapped inside the container.

Now, let’s see how you can create your own fly traps.

Homemade Fly Trap 1:

To make this fly trap you need following items:

  • Wide mouth jar
  • Sugar + Water
  • Paper cone

First, cut a small hole of around 1 cm diameter at the apex of the paper cone.

Paper Cone

Next, pour the sugar syrup in the jar, and then place the cone in the jar upside down as shown in the below image.

Homemade Fly Trap 1

Make sure that the cone is not touching the liquid. You can also apply some cellophane tape on the sides of the jar so that it can hold the cone firmly.

Now, due to the sweet liquid inside the jar flies will get attracted to it and will go down through the cone into the jar. Once they are inside, they won’t be able to fly outside and are drowned in the liquid.

Homemade House Fly Trap 2:

This one is very similar to the one that we have seen above, with the only difference that, it is more robust and can be reused.

To make this housefly trap we need following items:

  • An empty plastic bottle (soda bottle or water bottle)
  • A sharp knife
  • Cellophane Tape
  • Sugar Syrup

After you have collected all the items, take the knife and cut the plastic bottle as shown in the below image.

Cut the bottle

Next, drill a 1 cm hole in the cap of the bottle.


After this, pore the syrup in the lower part of the bottle and place the upper part upside down as shown.

join the bottle

Apply the cellophane tape on the edges to fix them properly.

Home Based Fly Trap 3:

This home-based fly trap is very easy to make and it can be made quickly. Below is the list of items that you need to make this one.

  • A tumbler
  • Sugar Syrup
  • A plastic sheet
  • A rubber band

Take the tumbler and pour the sugar syrup in it. Cover it with the plastic sheet and tie it with the rubber band as shown.

Tumbler with Plastic Cover

Next, poke some holes into the plastic sheet and your home made fly trap is ready.

Note: If instead of houseflies you are dealing with any other type of flies, then for effective results you can simply change the attractant. Attractant should be such a material to which flies get attracted – For instance house flies are attracted to sugar syrup, flesh flies to rotten flesh, fruit flies to apple cider vinegar, etc.

Check out this article: What Attracts Flies Into Your Home Or Surroundings?

Recommended Reading: How to get rid of fruit flies and keep them away

About Ankit Zadi

My name is Ankit Zadi, and I can call myself a 'Fly Expert'. My adventures with flies began when we shifted to our new house seven years back. My goal on this website is to share everything that I know about flies. Check out my full story here.


  1. Thank you for these ideas.
    House flies are driving me nuts right now
    I bought a can of commercial so called natural
    based fly spray but don’t want to use it
    so I think their days are numbered now with these ideas
    Too easy:-)

    • Thanks for the tips; after reading the last comment about the natural spray, I got out my water spray bottle (normally used for the rebellious cat’s attitude adjustment) and stopped the fly when it landed on the glass window. Now that is a natural spray (just don’t spray where a little water is undesirable).

  2. I melt the jawbreaker and mix it in a little water 😀

  3. James Gregory says

    We have a lot of neighborhood cats that we feed on a regular basis. And I noticed that they are attracted to the dry cat food, so I played around with a couple of ideas.
    I have two traps for flies one is a 5 gallon water jug and one is quite smaller i took the dry cat food in one and i soaked some cat food in water until it left the water a pink colored hue and poured it in the smaller container the liquid one started drawing flies almost immediately so i set up both with the liquid BTW the dry cat food i used is kit and kaboodles works great.

  4. Sugar water will work for fruit flies after it starts to ferment, but it won’t work for house flies.

  5. If you want some fun, buy a ‘bug-a-salt’. Its a gun that shoots grains of table salt at flies and other pests and blasts them away with one easy shot.

  6. Cut the top off a soft-drink or water bottle, put a little piece of meat in the bottom, add some water, put the top on upside down so that it’s like a funnel pointing down and hang it in a tree. The flies love it, but they can’t get out.

    I have been using the old-fashioned fly papers; ugly but effective. For some reason, we are having late summer plagues of flies here in New Zealand, and sellers of fly papers are doing a great trade.

  7. A tip for increasing the effectiveness of any trap: flies naturally move towards light. If you paint the underside of the trap entrance black and the top a bright color. Also put a black cover over top of the trap with a 2-3cm gap by using dowels, sticks etc. with a bright color on the top. The cover can be cloth, cardboard, plastic, etc. so long as the underside is black. Now when the flies enter the trap, and look for bright spots, they won’t head back towards the trap entrance and possibly escape. It significantly increased the fly count when compared to an identical trap without the black right beside it.

  8. These reminded me of an idea my friend did last summer on her front porch, molasses or maple syrup in a jar with holes big enough for the flies to fly in and when they went to eat they got stuck. every so often she would take a spoon (disposable) and scoop it out wash it and do it again.

  9. I have found using a spray bottle filled with Vinegar useful for chasing them out of the room. They do not like it on them , don’t know if it kills them as they fly out of thy room quickly.