Controlling flies can seem like an impossible battle. They reproduce quickly, and they’re unbelievably challenging to catch. You need an effective product that you can set up to catch those buggers, with little effort on your end.
With the best fly trap, you can install, hang, or plug it in and forget about it while it does its job, which is what you want when the weather’s warm. You’d rather be grilling or tossing a Frisbee in the yard than playing bug-buster and knocking knickknacks off the shelf with errant swats of a flyswatter.
These traps use sticky pads, electronic zappers, and good old-fashioned funnels to trap and remove flies from the equation. Here’s a look at some of the best fly traps for DIY pest control.
- BEST OVERALL: Victor M380 Fly Magnet Reusable Trap
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black Flag Fly Paper Insect Trap
- BEST DISPOSABLE: RESCUE! Outdoor Disposable Hanging Fly Trap
- BEST BUG ZAPPER: Livin’ Well Bug Zapper
- BEST FRUIT FLY TRAP: FlyFix Fruit Fly Trap
Before You Buy Fly Traps
Understand that these fly traps are not for everyone. You might find that some traps don’t last long or fill up too quickly to be useful in situations with a heavy concentration of flies (like near cattle ranches or horse corrals).
Also, if you’re particularly squeamish about dead bugs, choose your trap carefully. Most of these options require emptying, meaning you’ll have to handle a trap full of insect bodies to use them more than once. Keep that in mind if you’re determined to decimate a fly population in your home or yard.
Types of Fly Traps
Calling an exterminator for most crawling bugs is a good move, but for flies, you’ll find that it’s money down the drain. The best way to end their reign of disgusting terror is to trap and ground them for good.
If you aren’t familiar with fly traps, these products have special designs that lure flies into their grips and never let them go. Some might zap the bugs while others trap them until they dehydrate. Poison also is a popular choice. Your needs and where you plan on installing these fly traps (indoors or outdoors), should determine the style you choose.
Outdoor-Use Fly Traps
Outdoor fly traps have features best appreciated outside of the home. They’re excellent for backyards, patio areas, barbecue grill stations, and even a garage or shop setting. They typically hold lots of dead bugs and sometimes feature a reusable design.
Although it may seem strange to use a fly trap intended for outdoor but not indoor use, the difference typically comes down to the design. Plus, if you enjoy family meals on the deck or patio, outdoor fly control keeps the activity fun and bug-free. Most outdoor fly traps contain chemicals or liquids that would make an awful mess if they leaked or were dropped inside a home.
These chemicals attract the flies through scent, killing them once they’ve eaten the liquid or exhausted themselves inside the trap.
Odorless Indoor Fly Traps
Some indoor fly trap options can help to control the winged bug population in your home without the unattractive odors or chemicals of outdoor-style models.
Some tabletop indoor fly trap models include a bug-attracting light that lures the flies in, a fan to push them into the base, and a sticky surface that grabs hold and doesn’t let go. To reuse these models, you simply replace the sticky strip and set the trap back out on the table.
Another fly trap option that works particularly well with fruit flies has a bait (juice, sugar cube, or something relatively pleasant and chemical-free) to lure the flies into a funnel. Once in the trap, they can’t find their way out, thus creating their final resting place. These can get a little nasty over a few days, and users need to pour the juice out and replace it, typically while it’s full of floating bug bodies.
UV Bug-zapping Machines
For waging serious warfare against these pesky pests, UV bug zappers are the way to go. The light attracts the flying insects (flies, mosquitoes, fruit flies, and moths), and once they land on the light, the zapper electrifies and kills them.
These fly trap models are particularly useful at night when the light is most noticeable to bugs, although they can help control flies during the day as well. They’re most commonly used outdoors, however, you can purchase some indoor models (if you don’t mind the sound of a bug frying while you’re watching TV).
These fly traps don’t require sticky pads, scented lures, or anything messier than emptying the tray of dead bugs every now and then. Otherwise, you can set them up in a raised position slightly away from the area you’d like to turn bug-free, plug them in, and let them get to work.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Fly Traps
The number of fly trap products on the market can overwhelm buyers, so it really helps to have an idea of what you need before you decide on one. Some products veer toward more of a gimmick than an effective solution, but others are extremely effective at maintaining a no-fly zone over your picnics and kitchen. Here are some things to look for in the best fly traps.
The method that traps the flies is important to understand.
- For buyers who like to keep things simple, a sticky pad or strip will grab hold of the flies’ bodies so they can’t escape.
- Another effective method is the funnel-style trap mentioned earlier. Whether they’re used in conjunction with a sticky surface or a chemical poison, funnels create a puzzle that flies can’t seem to figure out. They land on the funnel and walk in, but they can’t walk back out.
- Other more technologically advanced methods include zappers and fans that dehydrate the bugs to death. These are effective, but require a power source like an extension cord or set of batteries.
It’s essential to consider the safety of the style of the fly trap you use. If you have children or pets, you can’t put safety considerations on the back burner.
If you’re determined to use chemical traps, you must hang them high enough so that a child, dog, cat, or even livestock can’t get to them. The chemicals are intended to kill bugs and simply are not safe for human or animal contact.
For plug-in outdoor zappers and traps, plugging them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet proves safest. In the event of rain or water, a GFCI can trip when it detects a surge, shutting the outlet and attached devices down, and keeping everyone safe.
Ease of Use
The simpler you make your fly-trapping campaign, the more likely you’ll succeed with it. Complicated traps and chemical concoctions might turn you off to the process altogether, so think about maintaining and emptying the fly trap you choose.
Electronic models that can hang on a nail or screw, or sit on a tabletop, will start trapping bugs in no time at all. Some even forgo an on-off switch. All they need is a power source and they’ll set about their job automatically.
If you’re using another fly trap method, it’s worth checking into how users set it up. Traps that require a lot of fiddling with trap doors, chemicals, and complicated hanging methods can frustrate users even if the traps work well.
One of the least desirable features of fly traps is the few times a year that you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and empty the tray, replace the sticky strip, or throw out a wet bag full of dead flies. The cleaner and simpler the design makes this step, the better off you’ll be.
Look for products that are easy to empty or dispose of. For electronic models, having a removable tray makes discarding the waste a simpler process than removing an entire device and dumping it over a trash can.
If you’d like a straightforward solution, consider purchasing disposable, non-reusable traps that you can throw away without any messy trap doors or leaky joints. Quality disposable products make this process a focus of their design.
Our Top Picks
DIY pest control can be a dicey territory for those with a weak stomach, and that’s okay. But some of the best fly trap choices consider this in the design. Consider these top-rated fly traps for your DIY pest control needs. Purchasing the right one will help keep your home’s winged bug population to a minimum.
Victor’s Fly Magnet Trap is an effective way to trap and kill flies over and over again. The bottle-style traps use bait and a specially designed entrance to trap and kill flies effectively. The extremely potent bait and the white color of the lid attract lots of flies.
The bait lures them in, but they’re unable to get out. They eventually drown in the very liquid that lured them into the trap. To reuse, just dump the contents of the jar and replace the bait with a new packet of lure from Victor. Maybe best of all, this product is nonpoisonous and safe around children and pets.
These Fly Magnet traps are extremely effective and will catch a lot of flies. The mix of flies and liquid can lead to a nasty mess if users are not careful while emptying. Squeamish individuals might prefer disposable traps.
If it’s savings you’re after, then a fly paper trap like this one from Black Flag is the way to go. These traps resemble strips often seen in horse and cattle barns. Simply open the package, allow the paper to unravel, and hang the trap in a spot that sees the most flies. They’re attracted to the surface and stick once they land.
The sticky traps are perfect for users who don’t mind looking at some dead bugs and who don’t want to rely on harmful chemicals. They don’t hide the bugs they’ve trapped—flies just sit on the surface and die. That’s easily overcome by placement, such as up high where flies gather in warmth but out of the direct line of sight.
For a truly effective disposable trap, the RESCUE! brand hanging fly trap is a pest control favorite. This model uses a chemical compound that activates when the user fills the bag with water. The chemical then attracts flies into the bag and poisons them. In a fly-laden yard, it’s possible to fill an entire bag with dead flies within a week. When filled, simply remove the trap from its perch and throw it in the garbage. This is a simple, effective, and mess-free method of controlling fly populations.
Though the disposable nature of the RESCUE! makes it mess-free, the trap is so effective that users might have to replace it more often than some fly traps. Users can purchase an 8-pack of the traps for season-long use in most areas.
The Livin’ Well Bug Zapper has a lot to offer shoppers looking for the efficiency of a bug zapper with an updated design. This attractive model mimics the look of a lantern and can rest on a tabletop or hook, or hang from an RV awning. No matter how you use it, the zapper’s light will attract flying bugs. Once they land, they’ll receive a 4,000-volt jolt, killing them immediately.
Simply remove the tray at the bottom of the lantern and dump the dead bugs. The Livin’ Well is weatherproof, and can even work indoors if desired. Although this is an easy-maintenance fly trap, the dead bugs often get stuck in the grid, requiring users to dig into the lantern a bit to clean it out.
Fruit flies are seriously annoying. They appear in droves, and prove difficult to control. With FlyFix’s Fruit Fly Trap, users can catch these pesky buggers with this relatively attractive countertop or picnic table ornament. These traps separate in half for easy baiting with old fruit or juice. Flies will travel down the funnel and get trapped inside, unable to find their way out. When the bait loses its effectiveness, simply separating the halves and dumping the contents in the trash cleans them out and readies them for refilling.
It’s best to use a relatively smelly bait, because the funnel has a tiny opening and the scent might not compel all fly-by bugs to enter. Old bananas work best.
The Advantages of Owning the Best Fly Traps
If you and your family enjoy spending time in outdoor living spaces, you’ll appreciate having your own fly trap. These models can hang, plug into outlets, or activate anywhere you’d like to sit and have a relaxing evening. Sitting outside will be more enjoyable when you’re not swatting flies away from your favorite snacks.
For those with active children or pets, it’s hard to keep bugs out of the house. They’re always opening the doors and traipsing in and out. Inevitably, bugs make their way in and start pestering you. An indoor fly trap can help to offset this swinging-door inconvenience by quietly plucking insects from the air and collecting them on an easily removed sticky pad.
It’s also worth noting that flies can spread disease. Research has shown that houseflies can transmit germs and bacteria leading to food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea. Having your own fly trap allows you to handle the problem before these insects have the chance to make you or your family sick.
- You’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor living spaces peacefully.
- You’ll catch bugs that make their way into your home through doors left open by children and pets.
- Fly traps prevent diseases like food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea by trapping flies.