Easy Do It Yourself! DIY Homemade Fly Traps

The summer and beginning of fall brings a lot of great things like fresh garden food, pool parties, and all those awesome BBQs. It also brings flies. 

I don’t think there is anything in this world more annoying than flies. They’re vile creatures that live and breed in your garbage, road kill, feces, and rotten food. They’re also carriers of diseases such as E.coli and salmonella.

Here in Idaho we have had weeks of HOT weather, which is perfect for these little guys to keep multiplying! I have purchased hanging fly traps in the past and they do work. However, I was having to buy them almost twice a week. So I started researching ways to make my own homemade fly trap with items I already had around the house. This saves money and keeps me from having to make another trip to the store.

Here’s how to make the perfect DIY homemade fly trap. Try it, and say goodbye to house flies for good! Got fruit flies? Scroll down for those directions!

Supplies Required for Catching House Flies:

How to Make Your DIY House Fly Trap

The measurements really don’t need to be perfect for this and to be honest I don’t always measure things out. Your goal here is to attract the flies and then drown them.

I just added roughly 1/4 cup of sugar, about 3-4 inches of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup or so of water, and a drop of dish soap to my jar. You don’t need to dissolve the the sugar, I just stir it up a little bit.

I had more of the apple cider vinegar on hand so that is what I decided to use. I also read that if you are not sure exactly what kind of flies are the nuisance at your home, a vinegar mix attractant is the best because almost all flies will be attracted to it.

Attach something to your jar to hang it if you would like. You can use some of the holes in the lid for twine or any other hanging material.  If you don’t have the lid to the jar or don’t want to ruin a lid like I did, you could just put some saran wrap over the top of the jar and put some holes in it so the flies can get in.

Then put a rubber band or the jar lid around the mouth to secure the saran wrap. If you don’t have a jar around, you can use an empty 2-liter bottle cut in half with the original opening flipped upside down and put into the bottom half. I have done this before, and it works too. It’s just not as pretty.

Once you have caught a bunch of flies (it won’t take long) you will need to empty this out.

You can toss the whole jar if you are grossed out (ew). But if you want to keep it really frugal, it’s best just to empty and rinse it out and make your attractant again.

Most people have all of these items at home so they can make one right away to keep the flies away. If you don’t have all of these items you can still buy them and save money over buying fly traps.

What About Fruit Flies?

This time of year I bring lots of locally grown produce into my house to dry, can and freeze. See how I preserve produce.

Fresh produce is great, but it also brings those annoying fruit flies.

Fruit flies require slightly different supplies than regular house flies.

Fruit flies multiply rapidly. They can lay hundreds of eggs in just 8 days. When it gets out of control, the sheer massive volume of them can seem terrifying and impossible to remove from your home.

I found a really simple solution for getting rid of them and I have been using it for years.

Supplies Required for Catching Fruit Flies

How to Make Your DIY Fruit Fly Trap

The process for making a fruit fly trap is similar to making a house fly trap. Here are the instructions below.

  1. Put 1/2 – 1 cup or apple cider vinegar in a cup, mug or jar.
  2. Cover with saran wrap.
  3. Secure with a canning ring or rubber band.
  4. Poke small holes in the plastic wrap with a fork.
  5. Set the cup near where the flies are gathering.
  6. Wait for the magic to happen.


Whether you have house flies or fruit flies, or both, this DIY fly trap is one of the best methods of removing them completely.

Of course, removing the flies is just part of the solution. You must remove the source.

This is extremely quick and easy to make, and most people may even have all the supplies necessary already.

The best part is, it’s very effective. You should be able to see results instantly.

Good luck!

I hope you love these simple, handy ideas! Be sure to pin this so you have it when you need it!

Homemade fly trap that really works pin

Other Posts You Might Like:

Easy Do It Yourself! DIY Homemade Fly Traps


  • Apple Cider Vingar or White Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • A Mason Jar or Empty Bottle


  1. In a Mason Jar or bottle, add about 1/4 cup of sugar, 3-4 inches of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup or so of water, and a drop of dish soap.
  2. Stir it up a little bi
  3. Attach twine or string to hang the jar (optional)
  4. Place saran wrap over the top of the jar and put some holes in it so the flies can get in.
  5. Put a rubber band or the jar lid around the mouth to secure the saran wrap.


If you don't have a jar around, you can use an empty 2-liter bottle cut in half with the original opening flipped upside down and put into the bottom half.

Types: Remedies, Adult
Categories: Gardening, Home, Inside The House, Natural, Outside The House, #StayHome, 4th of July, Fall, Halloween, Spring, Summer


  • Great idea! This simple project will definitely come in handy… especially for outdoor get-togethers.

    • What does the dish soap do?

      • Hi Diane, good question! The dish soap is a little sticky (on legs and wings) and slows the fly down.

        • This isn’t correct – John’s answer below is correct.

        • Hi Cathy! I am an ardent Pinerest user. Most all of them are very good. This one didn’t work for me. Not 1 nasty fly in it this am. There were plenty in my house to take a dip in this delicious special made mix for them. I found 1 in am empty wire bottle that I must not of rinsed out after i emptied it last night. So think I’ll go with a little bit of wine in a glass. They seem to like to take a dip in my glass of wine. Have wasted more wine because of these dirty critters!!! Got some out now. Trouble is I pour them a taste and think I need a glass!!! Oh well it’s Sat!!!!!!!

          • Ha ha! Nice, Sharon. Sorry to hear this didn’t work for you! Seems like you’ve found yourself a (less than desirable) solution? 🙂

        • Nope. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water/vinegar so the flies drown, instead of flying off again.

        • If you don’t know what you are talking about, please do not just make up answers.

        • The detergent breaks the surface tension of the water.

      • A fly can land on water and fly away again, due to the water’s surface tension. A drop of dish soap breaks the surface tension of water, so when the fly lands on the water it will simply slip into the water and drown.

      • It will break the viscosity on the water and if the flies touch the water there is a better chance of the drowning.

      • Keep them from getting out and also hope it makes it smell a little better 😬

      • Breaks the surface tension on the water

      • from. what I was td it makes it so they can not fly

      • the dish soap makes the flies stick to the surface of the cider, without it they can just land on the water, drink up, then fly away… the soap messes with the surface tension of the water/cider

      • Makes it harder to get out of water.

      • The dish soap breaks the “Tension” of the water surface or the flies could walk on the water.. By breaking this tension the flies will sink into the water and drown,, Other wise you will have a trap of live flies trying to escape!!

    • I had bought a wasp trap several years ago. I didn’t have much luck with their bait. I decided to use the top part of the trap for the vinegar mixture. I was amazed at how many flies, moths, etc. it caught. I had to dump it several times. This fall I’ve been bothered by large black wasps around the outside of the house and some actually get in. This bait works for them. I hung it from a hook outside on the porch.

      • Nice hack, Lucille! Thank you for taking the time to share that!

      • It also is attracting wasps, which I seem to have plenty of.

      • Thanks for this tip. For whatever reason, my house is so infested with houseflies, not gnats or fruit flies, but big old gross houseflies. We’ve have had some success with the tacky yellow strip things, and also the really stinky barn bags used to attract horseflies. We also have one of those handheld electric fly swagger gadgets, it kinda works about 50% of the time. Granted we live in the country, 21 years now, but I’ve never ever experienced something at this magnitude. I have multiple yellow wasp traps, I’m gonna give your tip a try. Fingers crossed!

  • For fruit flies inside the house I like to use shot glasses filled with apple cider vinegar and Dawn apple scented dish soap. They are small so I can put them in my kitchen window so no one notices them. I fill them 3/4 full with apple cider vinegar and then just a couple of drops of Dawn apple scented dish soap..this has worked really well in the past. It’s the straight walls of the shot glass that really prevents them from climbing back out. They just fall right in and they don’t come out!

  • i have used this method for a long time,well sorta, I only used the apple cider vinegar. It works . I have even used Rice vineger (couldn’t find my apple cider or even just vineger in my house) and it worked great!!, almost want to say it might of worked better / faste. I don’t use much,maybe a couple of tablespoons in a small bowl or glass.

  • Plastic drink bottles make good cheap throw away containers. Discard top. Cut top off plastic bottle. Invert the top inside the base. Fill bottle as per recipe. Place in discreetly in gardens. Discard bottle with dead insects when full. Also fly’s hate citrus so cut some lemons, grapefruit, etc in half and leave on window sills or around doors. Both ideas work a treat.

  • I don’t know which idea to try first.

  • I tried the lemons and didn’t work for me.

  • Great idea Amber. I HATE FLY’S. Hope this works for me. I will definitely try this. Thanks

  • What does the 3-4 inches of apple cider vinegar mean?

  • I hate flies and have tried this with the water bottles and in a jar, after 5 days, the jar is at zero, the flies just walk along the saran wrap. The jar, I have one fly each in two jars! I will try the lemons.

  • I’m trying it now… hope it works cuz I don’t know where these flies are getting in my house from but it needs to stop…

  • Will this work outside? I need something to reduce flies during cookouts. Thanks for the tips.

  • I have just tried all the suggested mix’s of solutions, just Apple cider vinegar, a mix of both, and then just white, with the recipe for the indoor flies we have here in Las Vegas, NV and so far nothing has worked. I’m very flustered! Our neighbors have a zoo in their backyard it seems! I don’t mind the animals, just these flies!

  • Can you put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it around the house and outside on the porch

    • The solution actually attracts the flys and then captures them. So I for sure would not spray this around the house (plus it will be smelly!) 🙂

  • It doesn’t seem to be working. Made it yesterday and zero flies.
    I bought some natural spray a week ago that is made from lemongrass oil but it doesn’t smell very good I was hoping this would work!

  • I’ve tied this solution, even added syrup to the recipe but not a single fly. So, I started spraying the vinegar directly on my dogs, and rub into their coat, which needs to be re-applied every few days but whatever works! Any effective solutions for house flies will be greatly appreciated! I’ve purchased fly traps but probably too smelly for inside the house or garage. Please advise!!

    • Great idea about spraying the dogs. If you don’t want traps in the house, then I’d catch them outside, around the entrances to the house. It does require smelly things to attract the flies, so keeping it outside the doors is a good alternative. Good luck!

  • In researching solutions to this problem such as these I came across one that is pretty much the same thing or idea as this (but they use rotting food, animal droppings etc. Things the flies are most definitely attracted to) but the only difference, which I found to make complete sense and may be what some of the failed projects I’ve read above may beneifit from was they used black plastic instead of clear syran wrap and also put a black cover over the very top above the holes. The cover wasn’t touching but hungover sort of like an umbrella. But the reasoning they had was some fancy term, but explained that flies are naturally attracted to light (hence they are found in windows and doorways etc. a lot). So they use that against them or to our advantage. So by using black plastic to put the holes in they are less likely to want to fly back up to it or stay on it. And the black umbrella type thing that hangs just above that is use to block as much of the light coming through the holes as possible. Therefore setting it up so that the flies will want to fly down into the jar or bottle (clear would be best) going towards the light they see. Genius!!

  • Oh wow! I’ve never even heard of black plastic wrap! But sure enough, here it is! https://amzn.to/2KK8sT2

    We don’t have flies yet where I live, so as soon as they start showing up, I’m going to test this out! Thank you Melissa!

  • I’m surprised it worked that fast. I put it in my bathroom that had 4 flies in it. I came home 4 hours later and 3 out of the 4 were in the jar dead. This is a true miracle.
    I’m not sure if it will work or not but the link above is a link to a photo of it.

  • Any recipe with household items to use a a fly spray, to kill flies not just keep them off? I would like to spray around the house and barn. I love using house hold products. THANKS!!

  • Does this work for house flies or just fruit flies?

  • For fruit flies you only need a little ACV and a drop of soap, very very effective. For house flies your recipe does not work at all 🙁

  • Thanks, Cathy! Good trap and simple quick to make with household stuff.

  • I found that the mixture also attracts moths. We keep one by the garden and one by the house.

  • It worked so well that the fly wouldn’t even let me finish making the mixture before he landed on the mouth of the cup. Being greedy was his downfall because I just gave him a little shove into the cup and down he went. He should be swimming with the fishes in the Mississippi River by now…

  • chicken stock in bought “Environtrap” jars works brilliantly

  • Do u have a recipe for red wasps? The nests are behind outside walls and we simply cannot get to them. Sprays don’t work well, trust me, we have spent a fortune trying to by what’s on the shelves, but they kill 4 or 5, but not handy when there’s 40 or more. I have been stung 13 times this year and I want them to be gone finally. Please help

  • We used this in our classroom. Only 2 flies were caught, but it was absolutely FULL of fruit flies!! Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve heard of people catching flies and feeding them to their chickens… Would I use the same filler?

  • how long does it take to work

  • I found that red wine vinegar works better that apple cider vinegar for fruit flies. It has a fruitier scent.

  • This works beautifully!

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