Make a Fly Trap With Common Household Items

An old soda bottle, wire and bait are all you need

House fly
www.shutterexperiments.com / Getty Images

The word "flies" isn't regularly preceded by the word "pesky" for nothing. They've gained their bad reputation honestly. Having these irritating flying pests land on your food isn't just annoying, it's a chance to get sick. Fight back by making a fly trap to lure them away from your patio, deck, and garden all summer long.​

  • 01 of 06

    What You Need

    soda bottle
    Erin Huffstetler
    • Two-liter soda bottle
    • Serrated knife
    • Permanent marker
    • Piece of wire to hang your trap (optional)
  • 02 of 06

    Mark Your Cutting Line

    mark your cutting line
    Erin Huffstetler

    Draw a line all the way around the bottle, just below the tapered neck.

  • 03 of 06

    Cut the Top off the Bottle

    Fly Trap Parts Cut
    Erin Huffstetler

    Cut along the line to remove the top from the bottle.

  • 04 of 06

    Assemble Your Fly Trap

    assemble and bait your trap
    Erin Huffstetler

    Remove the soda cap. Then flip the top of the bottle upside down so that it looks like a funnel and slide it into the bottom portion of the bottle to complete your fly trap.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Bait Your Trap

    Rotten Pear
    weegeebored/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Fly larvae feed on rotten meat and feces, while adult flies feed on sweet things like decomposing fruit. Bait your trap with either of these things, and you'll attract lots of flies. To keep bees out of your trap, add a splash of vinegar to the mix.

    A note about wasps: Meat and sweets will also attract wasps to your trap. If you only want to catch flies, bait your trap with fruit and vinegar in the early spring and fall months. Switch to meat and vinegar in the summer.

    Want to get rid of wasps, too? This trap can serve a double purpose. Just use meat and vinegar as your bait in the early spring and fall, and sweets in the summer.

    How the trap works

    Flies smell the bait and fly into the bottle to get to it (either to lay eggs or to feed). Once inside they aren't able to navigate back up the narrow opening, and they become trapped.

    Maintaining your trap

    Empty the dead flies and re-bait your trap regularly. If you decide to use meat or animal droppings (chicken litter, rabbit pellets) as bait, you'll also need to destroy any larvae that you find in your trap. Filling the bottle with hot water should do the trick.

  • 06 of 06

    Make a Handle for Your Fly Trap

    make a handle for your fly trap
    Erin Huffstetler

    If you prefer a hanging trap, use a hole punch to punch two holes at the top of the bottle. Make sure they go through both layers of the trap. Then thread a piece of wire through the holes, crimp the ends, and your trap is ready to hang.