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Whether your backyard is filled with flying insects, your kitchen has a fruit fly problem, or you just have the occasional housefly zipping in your window, you know those tiny pests can be very annoying. Fly traps can help relieve the issue, as long as you pick the right one for the job.
It's important to know what kind of fly trap you're looking for—indoor or outdoor, a sticky trap or one that traps the flies in a jar or a bag, a disposable one, or a trap you can reuse. Most traps use baits to lure flies in, but it's important to look for traps that are safe for your family, especially if they're being placed in your home or a yard where your kids or pets play. We've looked into the best options on the market to help you find the one to fit your situation.
Here, the best types of traps for all types of fly problems.
Best Overall: Starbar Fly Terminator Pro
Type: Plastic | Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 11-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
Can catch up to 35,000 insects
Ideal for outdoor use
This fly trap is favored for its volume and effectiveness in catching a slew of flying insect species. The Starbar Fly Terminator Pro can catch up to 35,000 before it needs attending to.
This is a serious fly trap that is designed to be used outdoors. It has a heavy odor that can be unpleasant to pets and small children who may get close to it. Install it close to where you have the most issues, such as by a backdoor or in the corner of a small yard. Just don't rest it close to a wall or it will fill with cockroaches and other creepy crawlies who are drawn to its significant odor.
Best Budget: Rescue Disposable Fly Trap
Type: Bag | Dimensions: 3.25 x 7.75 x 8.58-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
Easy to dispose of
Spending money on a fly trap is usually not a top priority. That's why this is a top pick of ours: it can eliminate up to 20,000 flies, is sanitary, and comes at a bargain of a price.
Just hang these traps in your backyard, add water, and watch them flock to this attractant. No poisons are used in this so they are safe around pets and kids but they do produce a strong odor. When the trap is full just toss it (without coming into contact with the dead flies) and you are done. What more can you ask for?
Best for Fruit Flies: FlyFix Fruit Fly Trap
Type: Plastic | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5-inches | Intended Use: Indoor
Comes in various colors
Includes a magnetic clip for hanging
Must make your own attractant
Attractive and effective, the FlyFix Fruit Trap looks good on your countertop while clearing your indoor room of those tiny germ carriers. It comes in three colors that can blend into your home décor while attracting fruit flies through a narrow funnel and into the FlyFix hollow core.
The tiny globe uses a small piece of fruit of your choice and some water under its crystal-like top to lure flying pests. Lock it in place and set it out to rid your rooms of flitting fruit flies. It can rest neatly in a bowl of fruit to grab fruit flies at their home base or be placed neatly on a kitchen countertop. FlyFix comes in a two-pack of jewel-toned colored orbs so you can spread them around the home to catch any critters that have traveled beyond the kitchen.
Best Reusable: Safer Brand Victor Fly Magnet Fly Trap
Type: Glass | Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 9.1-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
The Victor Fly Magnet is a tidy container that uses a bait to lure flies under its tented lid and into the depths of its glass chamber. The flies drown in the jar, which can hold hundreds of winged insects. Bees and wasps are repelled by the scent of this compact outdoor fly trap, too.
Small and white, the Victor Fly Magnet Fly Trap is relatively innocuous in its style so it can be tucked behind a plant on a table or set on a porch under a chair to keep flies from ruining your outdoor experience. The bait squares are made of dehydrated food-grade products, and you'll need to cover them in water to activate the trap. Once the jar is full of flies, which should take at least a week for typical outdoor environments. When it is full you'll just toss the contents and activate another bait square.
Best for Indoors: Catchmaster Bug & Fly Clear Window Fly Traps
Type: Paper window trap | Dimensions: 2.87 x 8.25-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
Attracts all types of flies
Can be difficult to remove
The Catchmaster Clear Window Traps are easy to install. They come in a handy four pack and adhere to any glass, wood, metal, or plastic surface. They work best in windows, which naturally attract flies of all species.
Flies just can't resist the non-toxic sticky substance. Once the clear rectangle of film is full of fruit and house flies, gently pull it away from the window and replace with a fresh one. The glue left behind from the adhesive is easily removed with a swipe of rubbing alcohol.
Best for Outdoors: Flies Be Gone Fly Trap
Type: Plastic | Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.2 x 6.6-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
Easy to dispose of
If you've got a serious fly problem outdoors this trap is the one for you. Great for barns, houses with chickens, and more this trap can house thousands of flies and doesn't need to be changed for 30 days. Like most traps on this list, it is pesticide-free and you don't need to touch any of the dead flies when you throw it out. Just be sure to hang it out of reach of children and pets.
Best for Horse Flies: Bug Ball Starter Kit
Type: PVC ball | Dimensions: 7.72 x 5.75 x 2.99-inches | Intended Use: Outdoor
Attractant can be messy to apply
Biting horse, deer, and yellow flies can ruin a backyard barbecue or make working in the yard a painful experience. The Bug Ball baits those biting bugs to their sticky demise. The 18-inch ball is made of PVC and slathered with a formula that is designed to lure big, biting insect beasts.
The drawback is that the ball requires some work to set up. It comes with needles to inflate the ball as well as a suction cup and loop for hanging. The starter pack comes with an eight-ounce can of smelly liquid that you coat the ball with to lure the horse or yellow flies. Once it’s inflated, apply the lure, such as Tangle Trap Sticky Coating. Users like that they can use their own bait on the Bug Ball, however, it works best with the viscous commercial food-grade fly bait than DIY baits that can be significantly thinner.
The balls are weather-resistant and should stand up to high winds and rain when secured properly.
Our top pick is the Starbar Fly Terminator Pro (view at Amazon), a powerhouse trap that can catch 35,000 flies, horseflies, deer flies, and gnats before it needs emptying. If you're looking for a reusable option, check out the Victor Fly Magnet Reusable Trap with Bait (view at Home Depot). It can be refilled with the brand's bait.
What to Look for in a Fly Trap
Traps come in two main styles—sticky traps and container traps. Sticky traps require a fly to land directly on the sticky material, which may catch other debris and need to be replaced more often. Container traps lure flies in with bait and make it impossible for them to leave. Some container traps are reusable with bait refills, while others need to be thrown out once they are full.
Most traps, even sticky ones, use some kind of bait to lure flies close enough to trap. Disposable traps may come with bait already in place to make set up easier, but reusable containers will likely require additional bait to be added after the first use.
Depending on your fly problem, you'll either want indoor or outdoor traps. Indoor traps are going to be smaller and more focused on design, so you don't have to stare at dead flies inside your home. Outdoor traps will have a larger capacity, which means they may only need to be replaced a couple of times as season.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Kimberley McGee, an award-winning journalist who has contributed to The Spruce since 2018. Her work has appeared in several leading publications, such as The New York Times, Today's Parent, and PEOPLE. To make this list, she considered each pick's trap style, bait, and whether it'll have an indoor or outdoor placement.