Fruit flies (Drosophila spp.) can be found worldwide and owe their success to their quick lifecycle of 14 days and ability to find food sources just about anywhere. These same feats that make them impressive also make them one of the most reviled household pests.
To help you with fruit fly management, we evaluated over a dozen readily available fruit fly traps in our own kitchens for a two-week period, and we chose eight that got the job done. We also spoke with Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs at the National Pest Management Association, who encourages homeowners dealing with an infestation to work with a pest control professional to “identify the source of the infestation and eliminate it.”
Here are our top choices for best fruit fly traps.
DynaTrap DT3005W DOT Indoor Plug-In Fly Trap
Easy to use
Sticky trap located out of line of sight
Works up to 20,000 hours
Attracts other flying insects
Not super effective in daylight hours
DynaTrap’s design requires no baits, has no odor, and takes up no counter space. By simply opening the box and plugging it in, DynaTrap instantly attracts flies, as well as moths and gnats, to its UV light. The product is designed to blend in with most any decor. Once landed on, flies get stuck to the sticky glue card, which you can easily dispose of. The manufacturer claims effectiveness up to 400 square feet, about the area of a two-car garage.
After you've peeled off the glue card backing and inserted it into the trap, plug the cylindrical device into any outlet in a room where you’ve seen flying insect activity. The glue card is on the side of the device facing the wall, so trapped insects stay out of sight. The manufacturer says that glue cards are designed to be effective for 21 days. Simply replace the inserted card at that time or when it becomes full. Keep the trap running continuously for 24/7 protection.
Any flying insect—including houseflies, moths, gnats, and other winged pests—is likely to find the trap irresistible, especially at night, when fewer lights compete for the invader's attention. DynaTrap is also inexpensive and easy to acquire at most retailers nationwide.
Price at time of publish: $16.99
Type: UV light with sticky trap | Use: Plug-in | Dimensions: 1.5 x 3.2 x 5.75 inches
Terro Fruit Fly Trap
Ready to use
Inoffensive to decor
Can spill if it falls over
Several needed for large spaces
Terro has been a trusted name in household pest control for decades, and this classic fruit fly trap can be found at most home improvement or hardware stores. The product is instantly recognizable, with its red apple shape and characteristic sprinkling of holes across the top. Its small size allows placement just about anywhere fruit flies are an issue, including kitchens and bathrooms. And the unique design doesn’t scream “Fly trap!” in your kitchen. With its easy-to-use design, it requires little setup, cleanup, or maintenance.
The holes on the top are key for catching flies, as the interior basin is filled with Terro’s patented lure, which fruit flies find irresistible. Every two-pack includes a bottle of this liquid, which the manufacturer says should last 90 days. (Refills are available, sold separately.) Once the pests enter through the holes, they can’t fly back out, providing instant control. You can check on the product's progress through the window built in to each fruit fly trap.
Price at time of publish: $5.89
Type: Lure | Use: Countertop | Dimensions: 12.25 x 10.25 x 8.38 inches
Best for Kitchen
Aunt Fannie's Fly Punch
Easy to use
Could be easily mistaken for spices
Not available in all states
This relatively new product on the pest control scene makes catching fruit flies as simple as flipping a lid. We’ve seen the product catch more than 20 fruit flies in a kitchen over a 24-hour period! What we like best is how easy it is to use. You forget it's even there, and it works up to 30 days, with no upkeep required. This product functions best placed next to other potential lures, such as bowls of fresh fruit or sweet-scented hand soap. The manufacturer partners with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group to reduce dangerous ingredients in its products.
The bait is a mix of vinegar and fermented fruit. It comes in a plastic shaker vial, similar to how grocery store spices are packaged. Once the bait is inserted, and the lid is flipped, flies find their way through the shaker holes to the lure inside and are instantly trapped. When the 30-day period is up, simply toss the trap into the trash.
Price at time of publish: $14.99 (two-pack; other quantities available)
Type: Lure | Use: Kitchen counter | Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 5 inches
Best Drain Treatment
Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Goodbye Gel Drain Treatment
Easy to use
Kills hard-to-see stages of fruit flies
30-day money-back guarantee
Not to be used around pets and children
Frequent application rates
Fruit flies lay their eggs along the inside walls of drains, especially in your kitchen. If you can remove the eggs and pupa stage, which happen in the drain, you dramatically reduce the population. Green Gobbler is a pourable gel treatment that is deadly to fruit flies and is designed to do no harm to your pipes or septic system, according to the manufacturer. The gel includes citronella, a plant oil that most insects find unpleasant.
For the initial application, pour 8 ounces into your kitchen sink drain, making sure the liquid coats the pipes, as well as washes over the flies’ breeding material. (The manufacturer recommends waiting until the end of the day so as not to wash away the application with running sink water.) You may have to repeat the application daily until you see a reduction in the fly population, as well as a weekly maintenance application of half the initial amount. Green Gobbler provides a 30-day hassle-free return, no questions asked, with a full refund if you're unsatisfied.
Price at time of publish: $14.97
Type: Gel | Use: Drain treatment | Dimensions: 3.25 x 3.25 x 10 inches
Katchy Indoor Fruit Fly Trap
Sleek, modern design
Discreetly controls flies
Additional refills must be purchased
Bulbs need replacing
Sleek and classy, the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap works similarly to the DynaTrap, offering a UV light source that flies find irresistible. Katchy catches more than just fruit flies, attracting mosquitoes, gnats, and no-see-ums as well. The trap is powered by a 5-volt USB cord, and the bulb should last 20 hours. The flies meet their end on a glue board (a pack of four is included), which slides out easily from the bottom of the trap. You peel off the top layer and toss it out. To increase the trap’s attractiveness, try adding a few drops of vinegar and dish soap to the sticky board.
You get two modes: automatic, which senses when it’s dark enough for optimum pest attraction, and manual, enabling you to control various aspects such as fan speed. Katchy does not rely just on light alone; it also offers up an air current that forces flies downward toward a sticky board trap when they approach the light. The modern design lets you put the trap just about everywhere, without announcing that you have a fruit fly problem.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Type: Electric | Use: Kitchen counter, bathroom, bar | Dimensions: 9.09 x 5.43 x 5.39 inches
Best for Houseplants
Garsum Houseplant Sticky Traps
Natural pest control
Can use indoors and outdoors
Can trap other organisms accidentally
Decaying matter in the soil of a houseplant, especially if you let it get too moist, can quickly escalate to a fruit fly and gnat hotspot. The Garsum sticky houseplant trap differs from the typical rectangles by offering a variety of styles, including flowers, cats, and butterflies. The sticky trap is on a stake, making it easy to insert one directly into a plant pot instead of searching for a nearby spot to hang it.
Simple for anyone to use, the trap is designed to catch fruit flies, fungus gnats, houseflies, and even clothes moths. Once it has served its purpose, you throw it away. At under $8 for a pack of 21, it is also a bargain. The only downside is, the trap is broad-spectrum, meaning it can trap occasional good insects and other materials on the sticky card.
Price at time of publish: $7.99
Type: Sticky trap | Use: Control around houseplants | Dimensions: 0.3 x 3.77 x 7.35 inches
Best for Heavy Infestations
Fruit Fly Barpro Fly Strip
Kills cockroaches, moths, and other household pests
Easy to use
Covers up to 200 cubic feet
Not to be used around pets or children
Need several for a large space
If you have tried just about everything to alleviate your fruit fly problem, consider giving Fruit Fly Barpro a shot. Fruit Fly Barpro’s time-controlled vapor is designed to repel flies, bugs, cockroaches, and spiders. The vapor is odorless, so it shouldn’t be noticeable, and the hanging strips are small enough not to be immediately noticed.
The repellent lasts up to four months, according to the manufacturer, and each strip treats up to 200 cubic feet (about the size of a one-car garage). Setup is also a breeze, as it simply requires removing the exterior foil and hanging the product above potential breeding zones, such as sinks or garbage cans. Once the strips contact air, they are activated, and they should last up to 120 days. This product should be kept out of reach of children and not hung directly over food-prep areas.
Price at time of publish: $10.99
Type: Hanging trap | Use: Large infestations | Dimensions: 3.5 x 0.5 x 8.75 inches
Bar-Maid Fly-Bye Fruit Fly Trap
Works quickly and efficiently
Traps last up to 30 days
See-through design makes flies visible
Large areas need several
Commercial kitchens, restaurants, and bars have to factor in additional measures when considering pest-control options. Bar-Maid Fly-Bye Fruit Fly Traps are designed to be used around food. Their small design allows placement just about anywhere in a kitchen, from countertop to shelf, and they work for up to a month, according to the manufacturer. The product uses no volatile organic compounds, which can adversely affect the quality of indoor air.
Similar to the Terro trap design, these small, pot-shaped traps use a food-based attractant to lure the flies in. However, unlike the Terro traps, which feature a deep red color, you can see directly into these, flies and all, which may be off-putting to some. If this is a concern, the Barmaid traps might be best left to the kitchen, where they are more likely to be incognito.
Price at time of publish: $22.90
Type: Countertop bait trap | Use: Commercial or home kitchen or bar | Dimensions: 6 x 7 x 2.5 inches
While all the traps presented were effective, the DynaTrap was our pick for best overall due to its ease of use and discreet nature. For a more economical choice, we recommend the Terro Ready-To-Use Indoor Fruit Fly Trap with Built in Window.
What to Look for When Choosing a Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit fly traps include a wide range of types, including hanging, countertop, and electric models. The level of infestation you have and whether or not you have identified the breeding area plays into selection.
● Countertop traps are meant to be set on your counter, preferably near fruit bowls or sinks, which are classic fruit fly breeding grounds. Capturing the pests before they reproduce is key to effectively controlling your fruit fly problem.
● Sticky traps are inexpensive and work by utilizing the color yellow, which most insects see well. Flies are trapped on glue-backed cards. Disposal is as simple as tossing the cards into the trash can. With over-watered houseplants serving as fly hangouts, these can be convenient tools to get rid of pesky fungus gnats and fruit flies in one go.
● Electric traps rely on UV lights to lure fruit flies to sticky boards. This style tends to be more modern in design and can be a simple plug-in to any outlet or a corded countertop model. Both are efficient in just about any room.
To capture fruit flies, you need a lure to persuade them to enter a trap. Fortunately, fruit flies love common fermented products such as vinegar, fruit past its prime, and alcohol. For intense infestations, you can employ several chemical pesticides that can be added through foggers or hanging traps. In a pinch, many of our described traps can be refilled with apple cider vinegar.
Successfully controlling potential fruit fly infestation depends greatly on where you place your trap aids. ”Common breeding zones, such as sinks, fruit bowls, compost containers, and trash cans, are great places to secure traps nearby,” advises Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs at the National Pest Management Association. This is because fruit flies feed on decaying matter, especially fruits and vegetables, so recycling bins and garbage cans can be sources of fruit fly infestation. Most fruit fly traps tend to be small, so they can easily be placed on or above one of these prime locations. Hanging traps are also beneficial, as they can go directly above a target area and benefit from being out of sight. Many electric traps are designed to avoid looking like conventional traps.
Where’s the best place to put a fruit fly trap?
Since fruit flies love to lay eggs in drains, rotting fruit, and decaying matter, such as soil and compost, placing a trap nearby catches them where they are likely to be. Using yellow sticky traps to get an idea of total numbers present also helps you understand whether their population is increasing or decreasing while following your current pest-control regime. This allows for better decision-making and strategic placement patterns.
Are fruit fly traps a permanent solution?
Given that fruit flies have such short lifespans—14 days from egg to adult—total control is difficult but possible. While traps are not permanent solutions, these two tips can boost your pest-control game:
- Understanding the lifecycle and where each stage spends time in your kitchen helps you make the best control decisions. Use the 14-day rule to your advantage: At the end of two weeks, start the treatment process again.
- Use a number of tactics. In addition to a countertop trap, develop a cleaning routine that involves clearing drains and washing sinks well. Using electric traps and sticky traps creates a multi-pronged attack that should see a reduction in numbers.
Can you make your own fruit fly trap?
Absolutely! If you are a chronic DIY enthusiast, you can create a simple trap with a basic Mason jar, lid, and apple cider vinegar. Poke holes in the metal lid of the Mason jar (much more effective than using punctured plastic wrap stretched over the top). Fill the jar with a few ounces of vinegar, and you have an inexpensive fruit fly trap, ready to go! Just remember to empty it every few weeks and add fresh vinegar for the best results.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Amanda Rose Newton, a freelance writer and garden reviewer for The Spruce. As an entomologist, she delighted in personally testing out the products to provide advice to those trying to navigate the confusing world of pest-control products.
To make this list, Newton first consulted with Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs at the National Pest Management Association. Then, she selected products based on factors including cost, ease of use, and purported effectiveness, and tested each in her own kitchen, following each manufacturer's instructions. At the end of a two-week period, she counted trapped flies for each method and compared them.