Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's a Trap!

Em here, so today we have a great Pinstrosity, Eden, did the foot work for us and did this science-fair-project-status. This is a great project to have on hand, especially this summer with everyone coming in and out of the house all season. She gave us what worked, what kinda worked, and what bombed.

The Original
The Pinstrosity is five other traps that didn't work. Eden did not send pictures because, well let's face it, looking at a picture of a fly trap that didn't work well, that had maybe four dead flies in it just didn't seem... very fun. Eden I will allow this lack of pictures, only because I REALLY hate bugs. Moving on.

Eden had a need, a need for a speedy way to get rid of those pesky flies. Her husband, trying to help, bought one of those disgusting fly tape traps that just kinda hang there like a reminder to the other flies to stay away (which usually doesn’t work thankfully), and as a way to make you stop in your tracks and rethink that sandwich in your hands. Gross right?
So she took to her Pinterest account and went fly hunting (cyber speaking).
She decided on six tests, here they are:

Test 1: I gallon Jug with several pen cap size holes in it, contains 1 C. syrup, 1 C. apple cider vinegar
Test 2:Open jar with equal parts sugar and soap (she used floor soap)

Test 3: 2 liter bottle with the top cut off and inverted into the bottom of the bottle (she hot glued hers) containing 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar, 1/4 C dish soap (again she used floor soap), cut fruit (she used browned bananas)

Test 4: 1 gallon jug with holes, 1/2 C. water, 1 TBSP sugar, 1 TBSP soap, 1 TBSP syrup

Test 5: Inverted top 2 liter bottle contains 1 tsp. active dry yeast, 1/2 C. sugar, 1 C. lukewarm water
Test 6: Inverted top 2 liter bottle 12 oz. carbonated soda, 1 egg whisked

She gave each test 24 hours in her kitchen, at which time she found Test 6 had one fly, and the control had 7 or 8 flies. Wanting to give them all a fair shot, she put them outside and gave them another 24 hours when she found these much more promising results!

Test 1: 1 fly

Test 2: 2 flies

Test 3 and 4: No flies

Test 5: LOTS!

Test 6: 9 flies

She concluded that indoors they didn’t seem to be as effective. However outside they were much more effective.

Good luck with getting rid of the pests, and as Eden put it, Happy Hunting!



  1. well, I will have to test test 5 at my house outside my back door. Maybe it will prevent them from coming IN the back door.

  2. Our house isn't insulated well, and we end up with quite a few unwanted bugs in our house (particularly fruit flies). I use a cup with not even 1/4 cup regular vinegar and a couple teaspoons of sugar. I covered the top with saran wrap and secured it to the cup with a rubber band. Then I poked several holes with a tooth pick in the top and left it near where most of the flies tended to be. After a day, I didn't get too many flies, maybe 6 or 7, but the second day and third day I left the cup, there were so many flies I couldn't see the bottom of the cup! Really gross, but successful!

  3. I tried a lot of the Pinterest remedies too and finally found that the Hot Shot worked the best. Got it at a hardware store and honestly haven't had a fruit fly in sight since.

  4. I tried this with a little piece of meat as was suggested on another web site, it caught flies great but after a few days the site of maggots was not worth the amount of flies that were caught. It was truly disgusting.

  5. Just had a huge party and my house is full of flies so I will be giving number 6 s try! wish me luck!!!!

  6. I had a fruitflies problems last summer and I used the #3 (the one on the picture). It worked wonders. A few details though:
    1- Inside the bottle, I put: Half a banana in pieces and a little bit of beer 2-3 tablespoons.
    2- Before you invert the bottle, seal the (pouring) opening with plastic wrap and poke a small hole in it. If you don't, the hole is big enough for the flies to come back out.
    3- I didn't bother glueing the bottle once it was inverted. Just some tape was enough.
    4- The bottle needs to be changed every 3-4 days. The flies get caught in the bottle but they don't die. So after 3-4 days, you start to see some tiny maggots in there and it's not pretty. Just throw away the whole bottle and replace it with a fresh one.
    5- You have to make sure there's nothing else in the house to attract them. No fruits on the counter or in the cupboards. Sink must be clean and trash can closed.

    After 10 days, my house was completely fruitflies free!

  7. A friend of mine left a glass of wild turkey sitting on a table outside one night after a long night of drinking. My husband and I came over the next morning and the glass was FULL of dead flies. Just thought I'd share in case anyone's looking for something else to try...

  8. I experimented with different fruit fly concoctions. I did the seran wrap with the tiny hole and a piece of stale banana, another dish wish a splash of wine and squirt of dish soap, apple cider vinegar and dish soap, the yeast one described in the post, soda and dish soap, an apple in a container with pin holes.

    I did them all at the same time and there were 15 in the wine with splash of dish soap and one, two, or none in the other methods. They were certainly more attracted to the white zin, little alcoholic buttheads. The soap keeps them from being able to fly away.

  9. I use apple cider vinegar to catch fruit flies/gnats. My employer leaves it up to my coworkers to take out their own trash in a timely manner, and most don't. We have hundreds of them flying around once we go on a three day holiday and it always gets rid of them for me.

    I typically just use a plastic water bottle, cut it in half, pour the apple cider vinegar in BEFORE taping the top part on upside down. It ends up looking similar to you the picture you posted. I do not use honey as the vinegar has always been sufficient. From my understanding, the flies are attracted to the C02 that the foods emit, and apple cider vinegar is c02 potent.

    Two traps were put out on Monday, and here's the result two days later in one of them:

  10. I can't tell you how many times I have tried the inverted 2 liter bottle trap and its never worked for me! When I found out about this trap online they don't really tell you what bait to use and that kind of important. I've tried corn syrup and water, sugar water with vinegar, dried cat food in water and even ham and cheese in water and nothing worked outside! I'm going to try this again with the yeast and sugar to see if that works. In all honesty the fly paper works the best but I rather have something more contained...

  11. I've never had a housefly problem, but several apartments have had gnat issues. The best method I've found for getting rid of them is to get a bottle of wine and drink not quite all of it. (Definitely a bonus for this method.) Put a few drops of liquid dish soap in the bottle with the remaining (quarter-inch or so) of wine and swirl it around a bit. Then just leave the bottle out. They fly in to have some wine, but the soap gets rid of the surface tension so they drown.

    If you hang onto the bottle you can re-use it by rinsing it out and pouring in a little bit of wine from other bottles. (Maybe you got a wine and didn't like it.)

  12. I tried a wasp trap very similar to this one, and it didn't work for days. About 4 days in, I checked again, and it had many dead wasps in it! I grabbed it up to show my dad, and he just laughed at me. Turns out, he killed them with a spray and put them in my bottle to mess with me.. Oh well, we will just use the spray from now on!

  13. The best thing for flies (that I've tried), is to put about a tablespoon of dish soap in a pint jar, and fill the jar the rest of the way with white vinegar. The flies are attracted to the vinegar, they drink it, and the soap kills them instantly.

    So, I guess you CAN catch more flies with vinegar...

    :P Just not live ones.

  14. or..outside she had a better chance of "a" fly accidentally falling into the other traps on the way to the one that worked...

  15. This works well for moths to, we have used it every moth season and it works wonders. I believe my husband uses #5 combination.

  16. I've been trying all kinds of concoctions for getting rid of fruit no avail. So as a last ditch effort I mixed windex and apple cider vinegar. IT WORKS!!! I haven't seen a single live fly since!

  17. like several previous posters have said, i've had luck with wine at the bottom of the bottle. my husband grilled out for dinner and a couple flies got in the house. we had a bottle of wine, and absent mindedly left it on the counter overnight. we weren't even trying to catch the flies, but when we woke up the next morning they were all dead in the "wine residue" in the bottom--such wine-o's :)

  18. I use any sort of bowl or cup with about an inch of apple cider vinegar and nothing else. I secure a piece of saran wrap around it and poke about 10 holes with a toothpick. Works like a charm every single time!

  19. I've had great success catching fruit flies using: a 20 oz. Bottle w about 3 inches full of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Cover top w saran wrap, secure w rubber band, & poke tiny holes. The Soap causes them to drown. No rotting fruit needed! Be sure to throw out any old fruit or garbage they may be attracted to! Leave out for 4 days or more to catch them all, &put in area where u notice the most of them!

  20. Thanks for this! I've just started noticing the first houseflies of the season, and while I know the inverted bottle trick I've had a hard time in the past finding good fly bait. (For houseflies that is. Fruit flies are easy!)

    I'm going with #5 but with a slight modification - we don't seem to have any yeast in the house (too much Christmas baking I guess), so I'm using some of my roommate's Vegemite. I'll report back if it works.

    1. Update: I didn't manage to catch a single fly. (Possibly because the weather got cool again and there weren't many out.) But I did trap maybe a hundred black ants!

  21. Update: I didn't manage to catch a single fly with the Vegemite. (Possibly because the weather got cool again and there weren't really any flies about.) But I did trap maybe a hundred little black ants!

  22. why would one want to catch flies outside?


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