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6 Homemade Fruit Fly Trap methods (That work)

Fruit Fly Trap Methods Header

There’s no doubt about it: fruit flies are relentlessly annoying, especially if they have taken over your eating or preparation areas.

We get it, we’ve been there and dealt with these annoying flying pests time and time again.

Now you might have been online Googling and stumbled across hundreds of products to help get rid of these pests, but the majority of them involve chemical sprays.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to help deal with your fruit fly issue using homemade DIY fruit fly traps which are not only a more natural approach, but cost effective.


In this guide you’ll learn:
  • What causes fruit flies?
  • How to catch fruit flies
  • 6 DIY Fruit Fly Traps
  • Our favourite method
  • Tips and tricks

Most of the methods we talk about involve materials you’ll likely have laying around the house.

Fruit fly close-up

What causes fruit flies?

Before we dive into the best homemade methods to help solve your fruit fly problem, we are going to explain what causes fruit flies to appear and suddenly plague your kitchen.

You might find yourself wondering, where did they come from all of a sudden?

There are a few reasons which can affect the influx of fruit flies in your home. One is that Fruit flies prefer high temperatures, and thus are more populous during the summer/autumn months.

This coincides with the second reason: fruit flies have a keen sense of smell. They are attracted by the smell of fermentation. This could be your fruit slowly ripening in the bowl, or the red wine you’ve just uncorked. This is the same reason why you’ll see lots of fruit flies near your vegetable patch and compost heaps.

Fruit flies are aided by the wind that passes attractive smells through open windows and doors.

In this article, van Breugel showcased an experiment where a dozen flies were tracked using cameras and a 3D tracking system to see if they could locate the attractive odor.

Benefits of a homemade fruit fly trap

Fruit fly very close-up

We recommend choosing the DIY pest control option for solving your fruit fly problem. This is due to two main factors that it’s cheap and easy. Most shop bought fly traps that are available are made from the same ingredients that you would use in your own trap.

Another benefit of making your own trap is it’s a more natural approach. Of course you could pop down to the shop if you’re short on time, and invest in some fly spray, but you’re contaminating your home with chemicals and potentially inhaling these fumes. Not to mention the possibility of covering eating surfaces or even your food with these sprays.

To summarize why homemade fruit fly traps are the better option:

It’s cheaper than shop bought fly pesticides
Everything you need might be in your cupboards already
Natural method to rid your home from these flying pests
Homemade fruit fly traps are the most effective method to catch fruit flies

Unless you have just moved into your new condo or house, there’s a high chance you’ll have all the things needed to make a homemade fruit fly trap. It’s a cost effective method of dealing with these insects, as you probably won’t have to go to the store to buy something extra. Well, you might need to buy a mason jar, but if you do it can be re-used for other things in your home.

Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of produce such as fruit and vegetables, especially if they are overripe. This is where the homemade fruit fly traps step in, essentially acting as camouflage. The fruit flies won’t be able to tell the difference between a sugary food source that’s exposed, to one that lies within a trap.

6 DIY Fruit Fly Trap methods

We recommend six classic homemade methods to trap and kill those pesky fruit flies that have invaded your home.

The basic concept of each one of these methods is to leave an attractive sweet aroma for the fruit flies within some form of vessel that traps and drowns them.

Let’s get right into it.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar, Glass, & Plastic wrap

For this homemade fruit fly lure, put three or four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass or jar. Cover the top of the glass or jar with plastic wrap and secure in place.

Then, using a screwdriver or knife, poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap, to allow the fruit flies to enter in search of the cider vinegar odour.

The smell of the cider vinegar will lure them into the trap and they won’t be able to fly out.

2. The Wine bottle trap

This method is the easiest to set up, however, we found it also to be the least effective. If you’re a wine lover, this is ideal as you’ll already have an empty wine bottle lying around.

Leave a few drops of wine in the bottom of the bottle and mix with some dish soap. This method will catch a few fruit flies, but the other methods have proved to be more effective.

3. Paper cone in a jar trap

fruit fly paper cone trap

This method requires a mason jar, plain paper, and some juicy bait such as apple cider vinegar. Have a look through your pantry or kitchen for a mason jar or alternative such as a peanut butter jar, pasta sauce jar, or any other condiment jar you might have.

Place your chosen bait inside the jar. We suggest using apple cider vinegar with a small amount of dish soap mixed together.

Next, find a piece of paper, newspaper. or card, and roll it into the shape of a cone, then grab some tape and place a small piece on the joint of the paper.

Now insert the cone into the top of the jar with the small end pointing into the jar.

Place the fly trap near your fruit basket or area where you’ve noticed an increased number of flies.

4. Beer trap

Yes, you read that correctly….we said beer trap not bear trap.

Pour about half a cup of your least favourite beer into a jar or glass, leave the glass without a cover. The fruit flies will enjoy your leftover beer and then not be able to fly out.

5. Fresh basil

It’s been recorded that fruit flies can’t stand the smell of fresh basil. So try keeping a basil plant next to your fruit bowl, or even a few basil leaves underneath your favourite ripe fruit.

6. Mason jar with holes in the lid

This method involves using a Mason jar, but this time keeping the lid on. Using a hammer and a nail, punch a few holes in the lid.

Unlike the plastic wrap method, the flies won’t accidentally make the holes bigger as they fly in.

This is our favourite method, and one that we recommend to try first before going down the route of fly sprays.

Let's wrap it up

There we have it, 6 different homemade fruit fly traps to help rid your kitchen of these pests. Each method is somewhat effective, and when planning a strategy it’s important to use 3 or 4 traps dotted around your kitchen.


We suggest using multiple methods that we listed in your anti fruit fly strategy to mix things up.


Remember, fruit flies love the smell of fermenting fruit!
Learn more about Fruit flies

If you are looking for other fruit fly related articles – be sure to check out our other pest guides to help rid you of your pests.

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

Read more here.

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