Best traps for fruit flies

Fruit flies are a common pest often attracted to garbage cans, fermented foods and fruit. While one or two fruit flies may not be cause for concern, they can quickly multiply until they’re flying around your entire home. Sometimes you only need to remove the source that attracts them. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll need a more tailored solution to get rid of these insects. One of the most common solutions is a fruit fly trap.

Causes of fruit flies

An adult female fruit fly can lay anywhere from 500 to 2,000 eggs in its lifespan. These eggs hatch into maggots within a couple of days and quickly grow into adults, ready to continue the cycle.

Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to see these eggs with the naked eye, so it’s hard to get rid of them before they hatch.

Fruit flies usually lay their eggs on surfaces near whatever source attracts them. Common causes of these insects include:

  • Damp locations: Sink drains, toilet, trash cans, used cleaning rags, brooms, wet mops, garbage disposal, etc.
  • Fermenting foods: Vegetables, ripe fruits, spilled wine and juice.
  • Sweet items: Sugary drinks, other food items and crumbs.

If you have fruit flies, try to identify what’s causing them. Clean up any spills and make sure you dry out any wet objects. If the pests are hovering around the garbage, consider using a well-sealed trash can to keep them out. If you still can’t get rid of them, a reliable fruit fly trap can help. Worst case scenario, you might need to hire an exterminator.

Types of traps

There are a few types of fruit fly traps. Each one uses a different method to attract and kill the insects. The most common ones are:

  • Liquid bait: You can use various nontoxic liquid baits to lure fruit flies. Most people use apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar mixed with liquid dish soap to catch the flies and drown them.
  • Powdered bait: Powdered bait is another effective lure and uses ingredients that attract fruit flies, such as vinegar. Some also have toxic ingredients that kill the pests once they ingest the powder. Others use sticky tape to trap the insects until they die.
  • Electric: Electric traps use a very strong light, similar to bug zappers, to lure fruit flies into a charged grid or a sticky paper strip. Some more advanced models incorporate fans to help draw in fruit flies.
  • Color: Certain colors draw in fruit flies more than others. Combine yellow or blue colors with a thin, sticky strip, and you’ll have an inexpensive trap that keeps the insects from escaping.

Placement

When it comes to placing a fruit fly trap, you have several options. You can hang some traps around the house while others go behind kitchen appliances or underneath the sink. Others go directly into the garden or around indoor plants.

Certain traps, such as electric ones, require a nearby outlet to work. They’re also limited by the length of the cord. Sticky or color traps usually have stakes that go into the ground, so you should install them outside or in a potted plant.

Avoid placing traps near any food prep areas unless you’re dealing with an immediate problem. Fruit flies can carry different types of bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. If you put the traps on the counter, make sure to thoroughly clean the area before preparing any food.

Range

The distance and range each fruit fly trap covers depends on the trap itself. Many manufacturers list the range in square feet on the label of the trap. For example, the DynaTrap DT3005W Dot Indoor Plug-In trap has a range of 400 square feet. If you need a wider range, consider getting two or more traps to cover the problem area fully.

Duration

Electric fruit fly traps will work as long as they’re plugged in or fully charged. Others only require you to refill the powdered or liquid bait. Most of these traps last between 30-45 days before you need to replace or refill them.

Certain traps, such as the sticky paper ones, eventually run out of space. When this happens, throw it away and get a new one.

9 best fruit fly traps

Garsum Fruit Fly Trap Yellow Sticky Fungus Gnat Killer

Garsum Fruit Fly Trap Yellow Sticky Fungus Gnat Killer

This sticky trap attracts fruit flies and many other flying bugs with its bright color. You can pick from different shapes, including a poplar tree and a butterfly, and it comes in either a 12 or 24 pack. It’s also eco-friendly, making it safe for use in and around potted plants. Sold by Amazon

Yellow Sticky Bug Traps

Yellow Sticky Bug Traps

You have two options to pick from with this sticky paper trap: a 25-pack shaped like butterflies and a 20-pack of standard yellow sheets. The sheets are two-sided, so they last a long time. They’re also easy to set up and work well in small areas. Sold by Home Depot

Rescue! Nontoxic TrapStik For Flies

Rescue! Nontoxic TrapStik For Flies

This trap works similarly to sticky paper traps, but it has a larger surface area and hangs from nearly any surface. It’s intended for indoor use or in areas with minimal foot traffic. It doesn’t have any odors or toxic chemicals. Sold by Amazon

Fruit Fly BarPro

Fruit Fly BarPro

This powerful insect-killing solution is highly effective at luring and killing several fruit flies at once. It’s available in a one, five, and 10-pack and covers up to 200 square feet. It can also prevent pests for up to 120 days. Since it’s so strong, make sure you place it away from food and areas with heavy foot traffic. Sold by Amazon

Terro T2502 Ready-to-Use Indoor Fruit Fly Trap

Terro T2502 Ready-to-Use Indoor Fruit Fly Trap

Offering up to 45 days of protection, this effective trap works quickly. It comes in two, four and 12-pack options and uses a liquid bait to lure and drown fruit flies. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch

Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch

This liquid trap uses quality ingredients, such as vinegar, to attract and trap fruit flies. Each pack lasts around 30 days, and you can place it inside or outside. Sold by Amazon

DynaTrap DT3005W Dot Indoor Plug-In

DynaTrap DT3005W Dot Indoor Plug-In

This plug-in fruit fly trap covers up to 400 square feet. It uses a UV LED light to attract flying insects and a reusable glue card to trap them. The discreet design fits anywhere, including the kitchen or bathroom. Sold by Amazon

Dynatrap FlyLight AtraktaGlo Basic Model

Dynatrap FlyLight AtraktaGlo Basic Model

This large trap comes with three StickyTech cards and a replaceable bulb that lasts up to 4 months. It has a maximum range of 600 square feet and can catch fruit flies, gnats and moths. It works best at night. Sold by Home Depot

Katchy Indoor Insect Trap

Katchy Indoor Insect Trap

Available in either black or white, this round trap uses UV lights and a fan to lure and suck in nearby flying pests with ease. There is a sticky glue board inside that traps the pests, too. Sold by Amazon

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