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Picture of Easy Fruit Fly Trap
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I used to make the inverted cone type traps but one day I didn't have any tape so I tried this. Much to my surprise it worked just as well, but was way easier to make.

Fruit flies can be a pain in the kitchen, but with a good trap it's surprising how quickly you can get rid of them.

The steps are:
1. Put bait in the bottom of the container
2. Cover top with plastic wrap
3. Secure with rubber band
4. Poke holes so flies can get in

 
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Step 1: Materials

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Materials:
1. A container
2. Plastic wrap
3. Rubber band
4. Bait

Tools:
1. Something pointy

Step 2: Choose a container

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You want something small, and hard to knock over (especially if you're baiting it with red wine). I have found the bottom half of a water/pop bottle or a little yogourt container to be ideal.

Disposable?
I like to use disposable plastic containers because the thought of cleaning out a fruit fly hotel does not appeal to me and I'd rather just toss the whole thing at the end.

Step 3: Bait the trap

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Bait the trap by putting a little bit of something yummy in the bottom of the container.

Generally this is whatever the fruit flies are hanging around. Some good standbys are wine, old fruit, bananas/banana peels, and orange juice. It's usually desirable to have some liquid in the bottom so they drown instead of setting up families.

Edit: I've been told cider vinegar is also a good bait. Also, adding a little bit of dish detergent* will encourage drowning.

*Be careful with adding detergent, the green apple detergent I have right now scared all the flies away. A second trap with the same bait and no detergent worked great.

Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and secure

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Cover the container with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

Step 5: Poke holes

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Poke one to four entrance holes in the plastic wrap. Try to imagine how big a fruit fly is and make the hole a little bit bigger than that (say 2 mm). This doesn't have to be precise or clean. Pulling the plastic wrap tight will make this easier.

Step 6: Remove hiding spots (op)

Picture of Remove hiding spots (op)
Now to really eradicate the little bugs you need to remove their hiding spots. This means removing their access to anything tasty except your trap. Put fruit in the fridge, seal it in plastic bags or cover it tightly. Throw out any fruit thats starting to spoil and take the garbage/compost out. You'll only have to do this for the first couple of days. The more disciplined you are at this the better and faster the trap will work.

In the summer when there's a lot of fruit coming and going I tend to forgo this and just leave a trap out all the time.

Step 7: Freeze 'em (op)

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Fruit flies will start breeding really quickly so if you want to keep the trap for more than a few days and not have a fruit fly farm on your counter (trust me you do not) it's a good idea to kill the flies off periodically. The best way I've found of doing this is to put the whole thing in the freezer overnight.
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tmv221 year ago

i dont understand. if the flies can get in a hole. why cant they get out the same hole?

dgateley tmv2212 minutes ago

The scent draws them to the holes to get in but from inside nothing about the hole attracts them. A few will exit via one by accident and escape but statistically they'll end up in the trap.

ArtS1 tmv229 months ago

To get out, they would have to fly out through the hole, which they can't do even if they could see the hole.. They don't have sticky feet that would let them walk upside down on the inside of the plastic wrap.

MelissaC8 ArtS12 months ago
Oh yes they CAN get out of the hole, it's very unlikely but I've watched them do it afew times. The fewer holes the better the chances they won't get out.

I physically watched them escape from the same holes. Get your facts straight...

I physically watched them escape, what hell does that mean?

FredE1 tmv2211 months ago

They smell their way in but have no smell to guide them out......

grogers83 hours ago
I have always found a little brandy or tequila work the best for a bate. About once a week I add just a small amount more and all the fruit flies die and disintegrate into the liquid. I've tryed everything previously mentioned over the years in many traps at the same time but these two always catch far more flies than any other baits.

I've had faster results with the container with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap added. I don't put a cover on. The soap lets them break the surface of the water when they visit the local swimming pool and they drown a slow death. I tried the covered method with apple vinegar and that didn't work nearly as well as water + soap.

Plus when they're all gone, you're left with a tasty drink that's full of protein.

HazelL26 hours ago

Got two in the place. One in the kitchen close by the fruit bowls and one beside my parrot's cage ... they don't work. Be lucky if one fly ventures in. Vacuum works better.

PJSolarz6 hours ago

The cover is not needed. Just add a dot of dish detergent and a teaspoon of water to 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a small jar, glass or cut-off plastic bottle. The flies go down to the surface to lay eggs. The detergent breaks the surface tension and they fall in and drowned. Change the cider mixture once a week.

For really bad infestations, I use a vacuum as well as a trap. Suck up the little suckers. I sneak up on my compost and as soon as I disturb it, they fly up and I get them. I leave my vacuum sitting there for the day and do it frequently. Then at the end of the day I have a manageable amount of flies to contend with and finish them off with a trap. Great for when you have an indoor worm composter. None of the methods (like a thick layer of shredded newspaper) suggested by the composter instructions worked. My walls and windows were black with flies. Vacuum worked best.

Cymru20 hours ago

If you make the trap with apple cider vinegar, the flies die and distnegrate.

SimplyJenn made it!2 months ago
Thanks. I made it and it took care of the problem quick. I didn't have a rubber band nearby. 5 twist ties worked fine. ?
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MweniE4 months ago

Stupid little things... They have been giving me a headache. Followed the steps above and worked as expected. Thanks for sharing. My racket insect zapper is going on a vacation and so am I.

greyjoys6 months ago

I've found that taking out the trash and then spraying the trashcan (with or without the bag) with Windex or similar clearning sprays - it makes the flies more less attracted to what could be there. Just a thought :)

richarpo5 years ago
You could take the cling film off, and put it outside to let them escape.
What would the benefit be of letting them escape outside?
DaveJ2 crickle32110 months ago

I like to let them go so that they can make their way back inside and I get to go through the process again. It's really the thrill of the hunt for me.

To provide food for other insects/birds etc. that eat bugs... yum!
acicigoi110 months ago

What do you do with them once you catch them?

account3r22 years ago
Speaking of vinegar... Has anyone tried this with honey and caught more than with vinegar? :D

Vinegar works better. Grandma's sayings are lies! (watched pot eventually boils, red at night is not necessarily a shepherds delight, a penny saved has already been earned, and is thus not earned again, liquor/beer drinking order does not effect sickness.)

smf2573 years ago
Used lemon-lime gatorade and some banana

25 minutes in and still no flys in the trap!

HELP! our office is infested!
pompeii smf2571 year ago

burn some incense or light a candle, keep the area ventilated. that should keep employees away

NoFiller (author)  smf2573 years ago
This is one of those 'watched pot never boils' situations. Leave the trap out for at least 24 hours. If it still isn't working here are some suggestions:

1. Use a more natural bait. For maximum attraction you actually want the bait to start going bad. That's why wine and vinegar work so well, because they are already fermented. Banana always works really well, but I might worry about the gatorade scaring them off. I have had this problem with some dish detergents.

2. Make sure that the flies don't have anywhere else to go. Even the best trap will have a hard time competing against a garbage can full of half eaten lunches.
For those who prefer glass or don't want to use throw away plastic bottles, simply put the fruit fly filled glass in the freezer for a couple of hours, clean out, and reuse if needed.
vteeuwen1 year ago
Was sceptic, but after squashing the grapes in the cups it actually worked very effective. Natural alcohol speeds it up ;)
KWDragon2 years ago
This worked great. I would guess the cloud of fruit flies in my kitchen was cut down maybe 90% in the first 24 hours. I am going to leave it out another 24 and see if it finishes the job, as I suspect it will. Thanks!
Have you tried the fly trap here? I have never done it but there were many people there claiming it is effective.
macrumpton2 years ago
My Mom's kitchen has a big fruit fly problem, and I just put out a small bowl with some apple cider vinegar and a little red wine vinegar mixed up with a couple of squirts of dish soap, no cover necessary. Within 3 hours there were 20 FF dead in the bottom of the bowl, overnight that number doubled.
lonnac32 years ago
Just read this, went into the kitchen, opened the cabinet with the cider vinegar, got a face full of fruit flies and the cider vinegar bottle had about a dozen floating in it. There's a testament to this! I liked the martini glass idea. Optimistic that it will help.
renwoman2 years ago
While reading the instructions a fruit fly landed on the computer screen. Irony in action. This looks like it might work. Only step still needed is how to bribe a loved one to take the full trap to the trash. I like the idea that I can do this myself with stuff that's hanging around my house. Wish me luck!
smf2573 years ago
@NoFiller

I really appreciate your help. We retooled our trap a bit and have really de-bugged the office! The cup of Apple Cider Vinegar with a small bit of banana left to ferment over night proved to be irrisistable to the flys. Also we cleaned out the small garbage can that was a breading ground due to one of our office mates (Jeff) constantly tossing fruit peels and cores in there.

Another colleague (Dan) found great success using a bit of red wine and banana at his home. After leaving it to germinate for a few days he was slaying fruit flys left and right!

thanks so much for the help!

happing hunting to all!
mainah smf2573 years ago
Tell, Jeff, to take his scraps home and compost them or you'll toss him in the dustbin. ;-)
NoFiller (author)  smf2573 years ago
Thanks for the update, I'm so glad to hear that your office has been reclaimed.
I use a large martini glass(the more flat area to allow the flies, in the better), cover with plastic wrap with dime sized holes in it(the flies will not be able to crawl from glass to plastic wrap for some reason), and use about a half ounce of sweet vermouth in the bottom. It's like a drunken fruit fly orgy in there.
Wolfbird4 years ago
You can also cut the top off a 2 litre soda bottle and reverse the top to make the funnel. No tape required, it makes a pretty good seal on its own. I've been resuing the same one for a few days, I just bring it outside and knock out the contents.
Napole5 years ago
Neither vinegar nor coca cola attracted any flies into the home made fly trap :-( but whatever the commercially sold fly trap used as baits has been working like a charm. The first hour there were at least 20 flies dead and no more lit' buggers buzzing in our kitchen. Now we need DIY moth traps.
rainbowlory5 years ago
i live in the wine country in California and when they start to lay out the grape skins back in the fields it stinks so bad and then we are so at the mercy of fruit flys...... i'm so excited about this.. thanks
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