Picture of Fly Trap
Fly traps are an ancient solution to the fly problem. Surprisingly not used as much today. You have a fly problem and the usual response is to grab a can of poison. The main problem with poisons are that they kill not only the bugs you want dead, they also kill the ones you might like to keep alive, not to mention the idea of yourself or loved ones coming into contact with them.

Over the thousands of years Humankind has dealt with garbage and other wastes, they have had to deal with the biological duties of Flydom. Though flies are dirty and carriers of disease, the world would be buried in crap and carcasses if it weren't for their intervention. However, they carry disease and are really dirty, so control is an issue.

Some of the earlier controls were to take a certain poisonous mushroom and float it in milk, stinky baits with a similar funnel setup, sticky traps, and the Dog. These forms are not pragmatic for whatever reason, the dog gets full, it takes days to get the stink just right, the stink is stinky, and lack of mushrooms come to mind.

This trap is pleasant enough to keep in the house and works much better, is more efficient, than any of the other methods commonly used.
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cammosutra1 year ago
Several thoughts on this topic.

I used to own a store bought flytrap made from a canning jar lid, a disk of screen with a small hole in lieu of the metal lid, and a small plastic cylinder with a hole that fitted thru the hole on the screen. I think the hole was drilled or molded onto a "T" shape. I put some dog stuff in it, screwed on the lid, and it worked like a charm.

When Dad was on Saipan in WW2, he told me they made industrial size fly traps there because the flies were so bad after the invasion. I thought he was joking and about a hour later we were finishing a homemade fly trap with some scrap screen and two 1x10 chunks of wood. The wood held a length of screen shaped like a arrowhead with small holes in the apex of the "shaft" end of the arrowhead. Placed over bait the flies flew through into the screen enclosure through the holes. A small length of wood sealed the two screen ends at the "point" of the arrowhead. It worked very well. It remains a great memory of father/son bonding for me.
jjoines1 year ago
if you have some sort of insectivore you could either channel them to his enclosure or do what others have suggested and freeze them. Revenge is best served cold?
Hippykidz1 year ago
Thanks for the design. I use cellophane and a wine glass for fruit flies but didn't know what todo for house flies. Off to my shop I think I have everything I need except the right bait. Hmmmm? what to use, what to use............?
My late father was a carpenter and made many fly traps for friends out of:

* four long pieces of wood about 1/2" square and a foot long
* one piece of wood notched to fit and secured about 1/3 of the way up
* a fairly large hole cut in the piece of wood
* form a funnel with window screen to fit over the hole
* secure the screen funnel with staples, glue, etc.
* fray the tip of the funnel so flys can squeeze thru the fibers but not back out
* wrap window screen around the four sides
* make a "cap" of window screen

To use: stand the trap over bait out in the yard: fresh dog poop, a chunk of an ear of corn, some rotten food, etc.

As mentioned in the article, flys like to depart from their "lunch" by moving straight up. When they do they enter the funnel on a one way trip.

To empty remove the cap, dump the dead flies then replace the cap.
You spent a lot of time trying to be funny and informative about fly behavior, and next to none explaining and providing pictures about how to make the trap. I have an M.D. degree and after reading your instructable, I'm at a loss as to where to start. I'm not even sure about the light thing, although I guess by painting one part black, you expect the flies to go the other way. It looks like it might be a good set up, especially if, as you say, the trap doesn't smell like some others tend to, but you didn't address that either. Sorry if I'm being negative, but I would have liked to make this trap.
CapnChkn (author)  kidsleepinfo1 year ago
It's not brain surgery! Maybe you need to be a farm boy! Here's a comment from 2007:

Ouroboros439 says:
Well CapnCnkh it did not take me long to make mine and for a try out I took it to my uncle's dairy farm.  He has asked me to make him 10 more, I think it worked.  Thanks A Lot

It's the same basic funnel trap used for thousands of years with a jar for a cage.
RA_12344 years ago
What was used for bait?
CapnChkn (author)  RA_12344 years ago
You have just asked the most often asked question! In actuality, I get mine from an old Thunderbird in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The flies seem to really like that CRAP. I don't know what's in it, but when I visit the cave I find pots of simmering SPAGHETTI SAUCE, old cans of TUNA FISH, jars of PEANUT BUTTER, and LEFTOVERS FROM HIS REFRIGERATOR. I've tried to find what the flies are into out there, but of course there aren't any flies around, or if they are there, there aren't any CARCASSES or OLD BONES laying around for them to get into. I actually think he takes the tears and sweat of old cows and horses that are too old to actually make a living in the normal way and distils a liqueur using stuff like OLD BREAD, BEER, SWEATY SHOES, URINE, SWAMP MUCK, ETC. I mean, I'd like to help you there, but he won't give me his address, won't answer my calls, it takes all I got to get him out of the place when I go up to visit. Sorry buddy. By the way, any of you know Jeanie? Hi Jeanie! I love you too!
Thank you for your fly trap design. I appreciate the work you did to make it and post it. That's about all the nice stuff I can say to you. It's less insulting to your audience if, in your comments, you don't try so hard to be a tool, though.
CapnChkn (author)  feistyjournalist1 year ago
I admit the comment is snarky.  How many times can you be asked what you use for bait?  If you have flies crawling on your food, would you think to yourself, "Geez, I need some fly attractant from the Farmer's CO-OP to catch these guys, cause it's the ONLY thing that works?"

This 'ible is about how to make a fly trap, not how to catch flies.   What kind of flies are you trying to catch?  I would say if you're trying to catch carrion flies, use meat.  If you're trying to catch houseflies, use the leftover spaghetti.  What did I use for bait?  What the flies eat!
chuckr442 years ago
This trap will work for several species of flying pests.
- Fruit flies like sugar water (soda or fruit juice)
- Yellow jackets like sugary things in early summer, protein (rotten meat) in late summer.
- House flies prefer, well, any rotten food.
- I wish I could catch horse flies and deer flies, but they prefer live animals.
Or you can buy Phermone at Walmart.
There are no pheromones for house flies, but they have pheromones for yellow jackets, a type of wasp, and Japanese beetles.
bodie3 years ago
My trouble was with fruit flies, so I made a couple of small changes. I used a plastic water bottle and cut off the top of the bottle and inverted it. This made its own funnel. Then I attached the whole assembly to a small rectangular plastic baby food container. This made the whole assembly small enough that I could sit it on the window sill and my wife didn't mind it.

I colored the outside of the baby food container with a black sharpie and I used a blackberry to bait the fruit flies. I also found that a slit was too big of an opening, and the flies flew back out of it. Instead, pushing the tip of a ball-point pen through the side of the container made the opening just right. I caught HUNDREDS of flies with this thing.  Great 'ible.
shveet3 years ago
if they fly straight up... then why do they fly around my head?
RetroTechno3 years ago
5 stars for not only being really inventive, but also really well written. With the 4th of July holiday coming up, maybe I will make one of these to entertain my friends at our cookout. Muhahaha! Coming to the comments late, I don't know what sabarblatoe wrote, but I'm guessing that he/she couldn't read the text in that big pink box below the commenting area about being nice.
Nicholai3 years ago
you could add honey tothe inside of the jar to make even more flies want it and come in and then laugh at their feeble attempts at escape muah-hua-ha--ha-ha
Just made my first miniature fly trap .. Hoping it helps with this sudden invasion. Thanks for the instructable.
goobyalus3 years ago
We always just took an empty soda bottle, cut the funnel-shaped top off, inverted it, and taped it on. If the leftover soda wasn't enough bait, we added something sugary. Flies would go down the funnel and not figure out how to get out. This seems a little complicated for a fly problem.
Joe22c4 years ago
haha, I appreciate your subtle sense of humour throughout the guide:

"[poisons] kill not only the bugs you want dead, they also kill the ones you might like to keep alive, not to mention the idea of yourself or loved ones coming into contact with them."
Yesss. Finally some justice to this method of fly catching, been using this (or a very similar setup) for years and it has never failed me. One point of advice from personal experience by the way is that if you're dealing strictly with a fruitfly invasion in your house rather than with full size house flies, you can simply wrap a piece of paper into a funnel shape with the widest portion slightly larger than the mouth of a glass. Drop something sweet that can rot in the bottom of the glass, drop the funnel over top and make sure there's no clearance between the mouth of the glass and the funnel. That alone will be enough to take care of your whole fruitfly problem I've discovered. ...They are significantly less intelligent than most insects you will deal with. Added bonus is you can take them all outside when it starts filling up and let them go without killing them if you refrain from doing such things for any reason.
Fastest way I've found to kill fruit flies is vinegar and soap in a glass. Leave overnight and harvest all the little corpses the next morning.
I Love the instructable. I Love the GIF even more. Wow, I've heard of army ants, but this is the first time I've encountered a guerrilla fly. B)
Javin0074 years ago
LMAO! Okay, I gave you 5 stars for the ending gif alone.
racecitync4 years ago
They aren't that difficult to catch by hand...maybe I'll do an instructable! lol
There is a commercial product exactly like this called Flies-Away. It's one of the last ADs that Billy Mays did, maybey a couple months ago.

Good to know that someone's patented a three-thousand year old idea and claimed it all for himself.
arirang7774 years ago
OMG! I didn't know about the rambo fly you were able to spot. Maybe a new species developing around nuclear plants. One question, Cptn: Will you get only flies or also some other flying insects like bees, lady bugs, lacewings. wasps, etc. My neighbour got some traditional nectar traps but they caught EVERYTHING, so for the last few years we had have terrible infestations of aphids in everything with sap/green. I want to evict flies, not the good guys. Thanks!
CapnChkn (author)  arirang7774 years ago
Oh! I hadn't noticed the question until now. Actually I get teh Woof spiders. They look so cute and everything when they're looking at the flies in the jar and so on, but you know how it is. Every so often one of them gets in and then it's problems getting them out. I usually try to chill them before they freeze, separate, and block freeze the rest of the biomass. I have, on occasion, caught Cockroaches, I get Ants by the handful, and once caught a Black Soldier Fly. If you set the space in the slots to "Fly Size," you strain out the big ones, use of food as bait instead of say, Jelly Doughnuts, keeps the endangered bees out of the mix, Etc. So to summarize. If you bait your trap with a horse, you will get horse flies. If you bait the trap with Elephants, you will catch Elephant flies.
wazzup1054 years ago
. Neither sleet, nor rain, nor gloom of stormy night shall stay these disease ridden and filthy couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

poetry !

(I admit I bought a commercial fly trap but boy does it deliver.. Yesterday it was so full, flies were lining up outside waiting for to get in. If you think 1 fly is scary, wait till you have to remove a cup of dead flies from the device.)
CapnChkn (author)  wazzup1054 years ago
Thank you! I'm a frustrated poet but don't know it. I actually saved all my flies for a week and had a half a 12 oz peanut butter jar full of the things. I had to throw them out though, cause they got flies in them. Once when I used some old food from a closed container, I captured in one day, I guess, around 1000-1500 of some species with big red eyes.
CapnChkn (author)  CapnChkn4 years ago
I meant an Eighteen ounce jar formerly used to hold Peanut Butter.
jimyb54 years ago
Looks like a bird I was with last weekend...
miiwii34 years ago
this is great if you own horses! like me and my friend.
Before we can defeat our enemy, we must understand his habits. Besides "being attracted to feces, garbage, and unwashed individuals, flies are just plain too fast to catch. In that devious little brain lies all the factors that have kept him and his ancestors to the Nth degree in business. So to defeat him we must study him. The easiest way to do this is to find a big pile of dog crap in the yard and watch it closely" hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Every time I read this, I imagine that it is being said by an old english man, and I can't stop laughing.
Lintballoon4 years ago
Yes, wicked cool picture!
Skaterp14 years ago
I didn't know flies had teeth.
vv00dy4 years ago
Good and simple. I like it. I think I'll catch and release spiders into mine. Yes I have a name for my fly trap, I call it the Octagon.
CapnChkn (author) 5 years ago
HaHaHa!!! I don't know if I can find the picha of that old dude (Google Toothless...) I got the toothless smile offuv. Smilin Jack is just about the way I look nowdays... Cap'n!
dodo915 years ago
GROSS picture, but COOL at the same time! =b
about the flies mouth:O_o

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