Building your own mosquito and fly traps is simple, easy, and can usually be made with supplies and tools that most of us have at home. There are two elements to each design: 1) the housing, where the insects become trapped, and 2) the bait, the substance that lures them in. These 10 simple do-it-yourself designs for mosquito and fly traps will help you limit the number of pests in your home and outside without the need for nasty chemicals.
1. Inverted Pop Bottle Design
This design uses a 2-liter soda bottle that has the top half removed and inverted into itself to form a downward funnel that allows mosquitoes and flies to enter, but not escape.
2. Paper Funnel and Jar Design
This design is a variation on the Inverted Pop Bottle Design, but still uses the same principle. Easier to make, this design is quick to duplicate, and works just as good. This is particularly effective against fruit flies. Use vinegar to lure them in.
If you need to buy vinegar as a lure, buy Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider with the Mother. Not because it will lure more flies, but because you can use it for your own health!
3. Cup and Plastic Wrap Design
For this design, you will need a cup or bowl, some apple cider vinegar or fruit juice, plastic wrap, an elastic, and a knife to make a few small holes in the plastic. Nothing fancy, but will get rid of fruit flies fast.
Hey, look at that, the Braggs we mentioned!
4. Homemade Fly Paper
We have all seen fly ribbon that comes in small tubes that you attach and pull to dispense. They’re kind of gross, but man are they effective. You just don’t want to get your hair caught in them!
You can also make your own fly paper. There is a short recipe to make the adhesive liquid that the paper will soak in, and allows you to create as many papers as you might need.
Fly Paper Adhesive Recipe
- a paper bag
- a small pot
- hole punch (ideally)
- string or (as a prepper) Paracord
- 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of water
- Cut the paper bag into strips and poke a hole into one end for hanging
- Combine the honey, sugar, and water into the pot over medium heat until the mixture is fully blended together (sugar dissolved)
- Dip each strip into the mixture so it is coated on both sides.
- Hang your strips up over something to catch the dripping mixture (newspaper should work fine).
- Once dry, hang them up where the flies fly.
5. Fly Repellent for Horses
Have horses on your homestead? You must have horse flies, too. Those things are brutal!
If you do not want to deal with making traps and cleaning them up, then making a fly repellant might be a better solution for you. This recipe can be quickly made. You will need to buy an empty spray bottle for spraying your horses.
Horse Fly Spray Recipe
- Mix the ingredients together in the spray bottle.
- Shake well.
- Spray the horse!
6. Deet Free Homemade Mosquito Spray
It is easy to make your own mosquito spray that is free from the chemicals and fragrances that are added to store bought sprays. This recipe can be made in advance for mosquito season or camping trips. You will, however, need small spray bottles such as these.
- 2 tablespoons of witch hazel or vodka (yes, vodka)
- 2 tablespoons of one of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of vodka (this acts a preservative and is only needed if you’re using it in place of witch hazel)
- essential oils of your choice
Directions: Add everything together in the spray bottle, but leave a little room for shaking it up. Shake up and spray.
7. Natural Mosquito Repellent
This design is probably the simplest mosquito repellent ever. To make your own, all you need are some limes and a handful of whole cloves. You cut the lime in half, insert the whole cloves, and place around your patio or garden. Easy peasy!
8. Ziploc Bag Fly Repellent
This design just requires a Ziploc bag half full of water, and a couple of pennies. Hang it near an area that you want to be free of flies, and they will stay back.
Sound strange? I thought the same thing. Apparently flies are afraid of the water and then get confused by light hitting the pennies and the water. Needless to say, works best where the sun will hit it.
9. Fan and Screen Mosquito Trap
To build this design, you will need a box fan, magnets, and a screen. You will need to make a spray bait that will attract the mosquitos, and the fan will take care of the rest. Follow Wiki’s lead on this one.
10. Cone Trap Design
This design in a heavy-duty fly trap, and is great for areas that have larger than normal fly populations. A wooden frame holds a mesh cone in place over a pan of bait to capture and collect flies, making this model more complex than the others, but able to handle a much larger amount of flies. Follow the school’s lead to build this one.
Non-Toxic Fly Traps You Can Buy
Too much hassle or not finding any success with your DIY fly trap projects? You can buy reasonably-priced non-toxic fly traps if that is a better use of your time. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sewanta Outdoor Disposable Hanging Fly Traps
- RESCUE! Non-Toxic TrapStik
- Flies Be Gone Fly Trap – Made in USA
- 12 Pack Sticky Fruit Fly Trap
- Electronic Bug Zapper
That’s all I’ve got. Do you have other suggestions?