Ever heard the old saying about flies and vinegar? Well, the old saying is wrong, as this homemade fly trap proves.
As with so many things, why pay for a commercial fly trap (or worse, some nasty poisonous spray) when you can easily make a homemade fly trap from household materials?
Sorry, a Venus flytrap isn’t really a viable option here. While very cool, they’re really hard to find and don’t eat nearly as many flies as you’d think. And they’re so tiny! We’ve been misled by The Little Shop of Horrors and all those other schlocky sci-fi movies featuring man-eating giant plants, see.
But I digress.
You Can Catch More Flies With… Vinegar?!
Contrary to popular belief, flies — especially fruit flies — far prefer vinegar to honey. As it turns out, the official scientific term for fruit flies is “vinegar flies” anyway. Thanks for telling everyone, Science.
To catch fruit vinegar flies, you need three ingredients: a small paper funnel (a cone-shaped coffee filter with the tip snipped off will work), a small glass or jar, and a few ounces of a sweetish vinegar. Either apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar will work great.
Pour the vinegar into the glass, then suspend the filter point-side down just above the surface of the liquid. If it’s too small to fit snugly, you can use tape to keep it in place.
So Then What?
Set your little fly trap where the flies are worse, and wait a bit. The flies will go after the vinegar, flying down the hole into the container where they’ll buzz around and get buzzed until they can fly no longer, whereupon they’ll fall in and drown.
You would think this would be a clue to other flies not to enter the trap, but they can’t seem to help themselves, and by golly, fruit vinegar flies are pretty dumb. Comes from having just a few neurons to rub together, apparently.
When the flies are all dead or the vinegar has lost its potency, you can clean out the trap and start over as necessary.
That’s Fruit Flies. What About Regular Houseflies?
As it happens, regular houseflies like vinegar, too. In fact, even plain white vinegar draws them in better than honey. Take that, Popular Belief!
You can follow the directions above to craft your housefly traps, or you can just pour vinegar into shot glasses and leave them around your house. After the bugs drown their sorrows, just pour the vinegar into the toilet and flush.
And There You Have It!
So that’s one dandy old saying demolished. Next thing you know, we’ll be telling you that a watched pot actually does boil after all. If vinegar is a crucial component to a decent homemade fly trap, whereas honey sucks, there’s no telling what might happen.