Trapping Flies and Gnats Naturally

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fly Trap - Plastic bottle

During the warmer months my windows and doors are wide open. It’s my natural air conditioner, it makes the house less stuffy and I can smell all the scents the garden has to offer. Open windows and doors are also a gold sealed invitation welcoming flies into the house.

During summer’s harvest the kitchen counter is laden with the day’s pick, fermenting jars of sauerkraut or whatever, granules of sugar from the last jam making session and bowls of ripening fruit waiting to be eaten. It’s all too much for flies to ignore.

The goal is to protect your fresh produce. Your mission is to abate (or bait) the unwanted fly population.


These simple homemade fly trap solutions can help put a stop to pesky flies or ruining your bounty and summer serenity.


TRAP #1:  This is a simple DIY project that involves a plastic bottle, water and stinky stuff. This larger trap is great for using outdoors, or in the barn or coop.

Take a 1-gallon water bottle and cut the top off, about 3-4-inches down from the mouth of the bottle.

Invert the cut off portion into the body of the bottle, leaving a several inch gap between the top and bottom of the bottle.

Pour about a cup of water in the bottom and add the stinky stuff, i.e. overripe soft fruit, a bit of leftover meat, manure, you get the picture. You can also use sweet stuff like sugar or honey.

Now—put in a few drops of liquid dish soap, 3 to 5 should do the trick.

The stinky or sweet attracts the flies while the soap weighs down their wings making it impossible for them to fly. Mission accomplished!


Remember…flies love stinky and sweet stuff, so use whatever you have around.


TRAP #2:  This is a variation on the plastic bottle trap, using a Mason jar, wine bottle or decorative jar. I use a decorative jar because this trap sits on my kitchen counter, and who wants to look at dead flies in a trap? Not me!

Similar to the stinky, sweet version, this one uses a cup apple cider vinegar as the attractant.

Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into the jar and add 3 to 5 drops of liquid dish soap. Place it near where you keep ripening fruit.


TRAP #3:   Who said the sediment in the bottom f a wine bottle wasn’t useful?

Fly Trap - Wine Bottle

Leave an empty wine bottle open on the counter. Make a small funnel using an 8-1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper and insert it into the neck of the bottle. The small amount of wine that remains in the bottom will attract the flies. They will fly in, but they won’t fly out.


TRAP #4:  This is probably the least appealing fly trap, but it works.

Fly Trap - Bowl of Fruit

Place overripe fruit or peels in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Punch several small holes in the plastic. Amazingly, the flies find their way in, but can’t find their way out.


Remember—flies like stinky and sweet, so the stinkier or sweeter the better. Don’t be afraid to let your trap sit and get really smelly.

When the trap is full…or you just can’t stand to look at it anymore anymore, dump the contents into the compost bin and wash out the bottle or jar to use again. If you’ve used the plastic bottle version, simple toss the whole messy thing into the trash and make yourself a new one.

This is war, folks. Fight to win!



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