Homemade Fruit Fly Traps – Effective DIY Solutions

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

There are very good insecticides and pesticides that you can use in and around your home to eliminate fruit flies. You can use sprays, granules, foams, baits, traps, and the list goes on.

Having all that in mind, there are always issues of time and safety. Do you have enough time to go out and buy a specially designed formula, can you wait for an online delivery, do you have money to buy a certain product, and are you worried for the safety of your pets and kids?

DIY fruit fly traps can save you both time and money. And, there are so many variations, that you’ll have plenty to choose from for specific occasions and levels of infestation.


First things first, you’re not going to accomplish much if you don’t properly prepare the room or rooms infested with fruit flies.

By preparation, I mean getting rid of everything that may have drawn them there in the first place. Throw away rotten or overripe fruits, meat, and vegetables. Dispose of opened beer, juice, or wine bottles that have gone stale.

Then, get your ingredients ready and start building some homemade traps.

You may want to set aside some of the leftovers and seal them in a container or a bag. I’ll tell you how to incorporate them in some efficient traps later on in the article.

The Classic Fly Trap

You can make a classic fly trap out of a bottle, bowl, jar, soup plate, or anything else that can hold a liquid solution and isn’t covered. To prepare your fly killer, blend some apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap.

The vinegar will lure the flies in, and as they hit the solution, the dish soap will kill them. Don’t worry too much about proportions either. If the dish soap doesn’t kill them, the vinegar will surely drown them.

The Bag Trap

What can you do if you don’t want an entire room to smell like vinegar? Or, what if you’re out of vinegar and have to act quickly? Well, you can actually use one or two pieces of overripe fruit.

Throw away all the big bits and keep one or two small ones as bait after you’re done cleaning. Put each piece into a bag and then just wait for all the fruit flies to flock.

Once you’re satisfied with how many flies are in each bag, close them up and throw them away. You can also throw in some water and dish soap and swirl the closed bags a bit to make sure all the flies are dead. Otherwise, they might just start thriving in your garbage bin.

Covered Jar Trap

This trap uses the same vinegar and dish soap concoction from the previous recipe, but adds an extra element. Once you’ve added your mixture into the jar, take some plastic wrap or cling-film and cover up the jar. Use a toothpick or a matchstick to poke a few holes in the wrap.

What this does is ensure that the flies can go in through the openings, but that they’ll have a very hard time getting out. The cover is very convenient if some of them manage to escape the vinegar solution, or if they don’t fly into the vinegar and rest on the sides or the glass instead.

Repurposed Wine Bottle

A repurposed wine bottle is another way of catching fruit flies. You don’t have to ruin a whole bottle of your favorite wine, though. Just make sure that when you’re done, you leave some at the bottom.

Put that bottle, uncovered, in a room infested with fruit flies. Slowly but surely they’ll fly right into the wine and drown themselves, as they are naturally attracted to fermented alcohol.

You can do the same with beer, soda, fruit juice boxes, etc. But, remember that these things also attract flies in the first place. Don’t overcrowd your home in fruit fly traps like these, as your plan may as well backfire.

The Milk & Pepper Trap

This method has been around since the 1800s. It’s a fruit fly trap that takes advantage of the facts that fermented milk attracts fruit flies and that pepper can suffocate them.

It works like this. You take one glass of milk, mix it with a cup of sugar, and throw some raw pepper into the mix. Put it in a pan and bring it to a simmer for one or two minutes. After that, you let the mixture cool in a bowl, large jar, or a deep plate.

Split the solution into several containers if you’re not sure where your fruit flies are coming from. The fermentation of sugar will signal the flies to come and take a sip. Once they try to get fat on your surprise milk recipe, the pepper will finish them off by clogging up their mouths, essentially suffocating them.

Another upside to this is recipe is that milk and pepper make a very nice combination. If you’re a fan of pepper sauce, then the smell of this milk trap will be right up your alley.

The Fruit Peel Jar

Another type of trap that repurposes things you have lying around the kitchen, is the fruit peel jar. This trap calls for fruit and veggie peels and skins or apple cores, and other parts you may be throwing away.

These will act as bait, even if they haven’t gone bad yet and started fermenting. You should cover the jar with a plastic wrap with a few holes in it to let the pesky little flyers get in.

Of course, you can use this method with just about any type of container, whether glass, crystal, or plastic, with a large opening or a small one. Use whatever is handy and you don’t need to use for something else.

DIY Traps Are More Effective Than You Think

Don’t discount DIY homemade fruit fly traps just because they are simple and often very cheap to make. The fact of the matter is that fruit flies are attracted to sugar and fermentation. This means that as long as you use the proper type of bait, fruit flies won’t think twice before nose-diving on it.

Just make sure that there aren’t other enticing produce in the room where you set the traps. And, also consider whether you want to kill or just trap the flies. Not all liquid baits will kill them, not if you don’t add some dish soap into the mix.

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