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Why DIY Fruit Fly Traps Don’t Work – Top 3 Reasons

Why your DIY fruit fly traps don’t work? Perhaps, you’ve noticed that the fruit flies aren’t going in trap.

Fruit flies are tiny invaders that eat away at your food without any intention to stop. They can be found in bars, trash cans, mop heads, drains, garbage disposals, and even under kitchen tiles.

If not addressed quickly, your fruit fly infestation can multiply quickly. The only way to get rid of them is to kill them, and traps are your only way to do that. However, if your traps don’t work, you’re in for an issue.

In this article, we’ll discuss why DIY fruit fly traps don’t work, and we’ll offer you some alternatives that’ll help you with your fruit fly infestation.

fruit flies

3 Reasons DIY Fruit Fly Traps Don’t Work

If your homemade fruit fly trap has been up for a week, and it hasn’t caught any flies, there’s definitely something wrong with it. Here are three things that could go wrong with DIY fruit fly traps.

Reason 1: You’ve Identified the Flies Wrong

Contrary to common belief, fruit flies aren’t the same as gnats or drain flies. They’re both different, and dealing with each one of them needs to be done separately.

Fruit flies have rounded bodies; they look strikingly similar to house flies but a lot smaller. Meanwhile, gnats have long bodies and dangling legs; they look more like a mosquito would.

If you don’t have enough time to look at the flies’ shapes, you can see where they’re coming from. Gnats usually gather around plants and soil, while fruit flies love rotten produce or vegetables and overripe fruits, along with trash cans.

So, if the gnats keep coming even after using a DIY trap, that’s probably because you’re identifying them wrong and keeping the plant without treatment. Remove the source, and the fruit fly infestation will go away.

Reason 2: There’s Something Wrong With the DIY Fruit Fly Trap

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The most common DIY fruit fly trap is the apple cider vinegar bowl with plastic wrap on top of it. The key to catching flies with this flycatcher is poking a few small holes thin enough to block the flies’ exit but wide enough to let them in.

If you poke the holes too wide, the flies will get out, and vice versa. This can be the reason the flycatcher isn’t working.

Another example: if you’re using diluted apple cider vinegar, you may have added too much water. The scent will get too weak, and the flies won’t be attracted to it. Apple cider vinegar is better than white vinegar for DIY fruit fly traps.

You might also want to check if you’ve added enough dish soap to create surface tension.

The first thing you should check is the flycatcher itself. If everything is alright with it, then there’s another reason for the malfunction.

fruit fly bait recipes

Reason 3: The Homemade Fruit Fly Trap Is in the Wrong Place

If the fruit flies are around the fruit bowl in your kitchen, and your flycatcher is in the living room, it’ll hardly catch anything but air particles. Not to mention, if it’s away from the source of the fruit flies, there’s a high chance it won’t work.

The key to placing the homemade fruit fly trap correctly is looking for a place close to the source of the fruit flies or close to their population.

For example, if the fruit flies are coming out of the pantry, that’s where you should put the flycatcher. It means the whole population is inside there, and they’re probably breeding eggs and larvae that are constantly hatching.

On top of that, the windows, seams, doors, and wall grooves are the most likely places for insects. Place your traps close to these, and look for results.

Lastly, if the fruit flies get attracted to your fruit bowl, using a rotten fruit trap in it will work wonders. Thinking smart is your best bet at getting rid of these pesky tiny invaders!

attracting fruit flies

Reason 4: You Will Need to Keep Replacing the Bait

To catch fruit flies using a DIY trap, you will need to constantly change your bait, namely the rotten fruit, with something slightly less rotting fruit in order to attract fruit flies.

You could also use items that attract fruit flies including vegetables, meats, beer, wine, soda, alcohol, mushrooms, and more. Fact is, fruit flies aren’t just attracted to overripe fruit. Fruit flies are attracted to any decaying organic matter.

How to Create a DIY Trap

Trapping fruit flies can be a challenging task, but it’s certainly not impossible. With a little dish soap, some plastic wrap, and a bit of rotting fruit, you can make your own DIY flycatcher in no time. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apple cider vinegar-filled mason jar
  • Dish soap
  • A piece of plastic wrap
  • Rotting pieces of fruits or produce like bananas
  • A paper cone
  • A rubber band
Read More Are Gnats Fruit Flies?

To assemble the flycatcher, simply cover the top of the vinegar-filled jar with plastic wrap and secure it in place with a rubber band.

Next, tape the paper cone, making sure that the small end of the cone is pointing downwards.

Finally, add a piece of rotting fruit to the bottom of the jar. Bananas are great for fruit flies with red eyes. The dish soap will break the surface tension of the water, allowing the fruit flies to fall into the liquid and drown. And that’s it!

Your DIY traps are now ready to catch those pesky fruit flies.

fruit flies in kitchen

Why DIY Fruit Fly Traps Don’t Work – How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Successfully

Now that you know why your trap isn’t working, you can start exploring more ways to get rid of these pests. If you manage to get the traps right and follow these tips, you’ll get rid of the insects in no time.

Remove Their Breeding Grounds

Your best bet at getting rid of fruit flies is destroying their breeding grounds where they lay their eggs in the first place. If you don’t have their eggs in the house, their numbers won’t increase, and you’ll be able to get rid of them faster.

Get Rid of Breeding Grounds

The first step in removing the breeding grounds is getting rid of any rotting fruit. Throw out rotting produce, and always put food in the fridge. Clean up fruit juice or alcohol spills.

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Clean Your Space

Secondly, make sure to take the trash can out every day. The larvae of the fruit flies feed on the slime in these cans. If you leave it in your kitchen for days, you’ll just increase their chances of hatching eggs.

One more thing to avoid is leaving spilled beverages for a long time or leaving half-empty glasses out. Any sugary scent will attract the fruit flies in an instant, and you’ll find their numbers increasing instead of decreasing.

The last thing to do is to clean your drains. Leaving them untended is an open invitation for drain gnats.

Seek Professional Help

diy fly killer

Hiring professional help may cost you a lot, but it’s a nice option to consider if things are getting out of hand. It’s the last resort if you’ve done everything and the pests are still there.

There are some downsides to exterminators that you should be aware of, though. For example, you’ll probably need to relocate your pet, if you have any, so the chemicals don’t harm him.

Additionally, the exterminators working inside the house aren’t ideal. You’ll have to stay out while they’re treating the affected areas, and the chemical smell may persist for a few days afterward.

The last downside is that you’ll still have to do some things yourself. For example, you’ll still need to clean the kitchen and keep the counters with no crumbs. In addition to that, you’ll have to avoid keeping fruit bowls out. So, hiring professional help isn’t a magical click that’ll get rid of the infestation.

Buy Store-Bought Traps

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Buying store-bought traps is an average solution that’ll help you with your issue. You won’t pay a lot of money, and you won’t need to make the traps yourself and endure seeing them fail. All you’ll have to do is pick the right trap, place it in the right place, and hopefully, the pests will be out forever.

You can opt for an electric zapper. Some options, like the Crio, can be used both indoors and outdoors. You’ll only plug the zapper in and watch it do its magic.

Alternatively, if you want a temporary solution, you can opt for flypaper. These are sticky papers that come in bright colors to attract pests. You can hang them around the house or keep them around plants in the case of gnats and other insects. They’re quick-acting and convenient.

fruit fly apple cider vinegar trap

Why DIY Fruit Fly Traps Don’t Work – Final Thoughts

Although DIY fruit fly traps are cost-efficient and easy to make, there’s a chance they won’t prevent fruit flies from invading your home.

If the reason is associated with their place, it’ll be easy to solve. However, if you tried everything, and you still have fruit fly infestations, you may have to resort to alternative solutions to kill flies and solve your fruit fly problem.

To view our complete line of all-natural pest control traps, CLICK HERE!

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