Fruit flies (Drosophila sp.) are one of the most annoying household pests worldwide. Not only do they buzz around seemingly aimlessly, but they also carry germs of their own and spread bacteria. And owing to their quick 14-day life cycle and ability to quickly multiply, they're a nuisance that never seems to go away.
Fortunately for you, if you've run into a fruit fly problem in your home, there's a solution: fruit fly traps. While fruit fly traps vary in size and design, most are easy to set up and make short work of ridding your kitchen or home of these unwanted visitors. With a good trap, in no time, you'll turn each fly into a "flew." That was corny, we know. What we're trying to say is that even if you have a fruit fly infestation on your hands, with the right fly trap, you won't have to call in the S.W.A.T. team. Ok, we're done.
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We've laid out some things to consider when shopping for a fruit fly trap and selected the best fruit fly traps on the market in 2022.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Fruit Fly Trap
Type: There are three main types of fruit fly traps: electric, sticky and hybrid.
- Electric fly traps, while usually more expensive, are also the most effective. They use UV lights to lure flies to their deaths (by electric current). Some can be hung up for better aerial access, while others need to be plugged into a wall outlet.
- Sticky fly traps use a mild, sweet scent (practically odorless to humans) to lure flies and then capture them on sticky paper or cards. They're often yellow and are inexpensive, making them a great quick-fix option. However, they can look pretty gross once they've accumulated a bunch of dead flies, so if you're worried about appearances, other fly traps are more discreet.
- Hybrid fly traps employ a combination of tactics. First, they use a UV light to attract the flies. Then, instead of zapping them with electricity, a fan sucks them inside the trap onto sticky paper. Unlike sticky traps and some electric traps, hybrid traps need to be plugged into an outlet, so they may be more difficult to set up outdoors.
Placement: Consider both where you'd like to place your fruit fly trap and the likely point of origin for the infestation. In many cases, rotting food in your kitchen is what attracted the flies in the first place. That's why common breeding zones include fruit bowls, sinks, trash bins and compost containers—basically, anything with food residue. These fly hotspots are also great locations for you to place your fly traps. Most fruit fly traps are pretty small, so you can easily place them on or above these areas with old or decaying food to target the flies better. Some varieties of electric and hybrid fly traps, for instance, can be placed on the kitchen counter without being too much of an eyesore.
Bait: Many fruit fly traps involve some sort of bait, so if you want to keep things ultra-simple, you might want to avoid buying traps that call for pungent fermented products like vinegar, alcohol or rotting fruit. Sticky fly traps, for example, don't require any bait at all. If you don't mind using bait, apple cider vinegar works well, but it depends on the trap. Every trap is a little different and may have different bait recommendations, if any.
With these considerations in mind, we've rounded up the best fruit fly traps on the market in 2022:
The Best Overall Fruit Fly Trap
DynaTrap® DOT (Discreet Outlet Trap) Indoor Plug-In Fly Trap
DynaTrap's fly trap design is extremely convenient: It requires no bait, has no odor and doesn't take up counter space. Just plug it in and let it do its job. The DynaTrap instantly attracts flies, as well as moths and gnats, to its UV light. It's been designed to blend in with most any decor so it won't attract a lot of attention (except from flies!). Once they land, flies get stuck to the sticky glue card, which you can easily dispose of. The manufacturer claims effectiveness up to 400 square feet, which should be plenty of coverage for most kitchens.
To use it, first, peel off the glue card backing and insert it into the trap. Then, plug the cylindrical device into any outlet in a room that has a fly problem. The glue card is on the side of the device facing the wall, so trapped insects stay hidden from view. The manufacturer says glue cards are designed to be effective for 21 days, while the plugin itself can last for up to 20,000 hours. All you have to do is replace the inserted card at that time, or when it becomes full. You should keep the trap running continuously for nonstop protection. The only point against it is that the trap is more effective at night than during the day, but it's still worth keeping plugged in the whole time.
The Best Budget Fruit Fly Trap
Terro T2502 Indoor Fruit Fly Trap
Terro is a trusted veteran in the household pest control market, but the great thing is, their products are very affordable. Terro's instantly recognizable classic fruit fly trap, with its red apple shape and sprinkling of holes across the top, can be found at most any home improvement or hardware store. Thanks to its small size, you can place it just about anywhere, including kitchens and bathrooms. Its unique design is inconspicuous so it's not obvious that you're trying to solve a fly problem. And it requires very little setup, cleanup or maintenance.
Here's how it works: The holes on top of the trap serve as a one-way-only entrance for flies The interior basin is filled with Terro's patented lure, which fruit flies find irresistible. Once flies enter through the holes, they can't fly back out, providing instant control and trapping them until they die. Every two-pack comes with a bottle of the liquid lure, and the manufacturer says it should last 90 days. The window built into each fruit fly trap allows you to check on the trap's progress before deciding it's ready to empty. The only downsides are that you need several of these traps since they're so small, and they can spill if they get tipped over.
The Best Electric Fruit Fly Trap
Katchy Indoor Electric Fruit Fly Trap
Probably the best-looking fly trap on our list, the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap works similarly to the DynaTrap by offering a UV light source that flies find difficult to resist. Apart from catching just fruit flies, Katchy traps attract mosquitoes, gnats and no-see-ums, as well, making them one of the most versatile options in our roundup. The trap is powered by a 5-volt USB cord, and the bulb should last approximately 20 hours. After entranced flies enter the trap, they get stuck on a glue board (a pack of four is included), which slides out easily from the bottom of the trap. Once the board is full, just peel off the top layer and toss it out. Consider adding a few drops of honey or vinegar and dish soap to the sticky board for even better results.
The trap offers two modes: automatic, which senses when it's dark enough for optimal pest attraction; and manual, which allows you to control various aspects, such as fan speed. What sets this trap apart from similar models is that Katchy doesn't rely solely on light; it also employs an air current that forces flies downwards towards a sticky board trap when they approach the light. The modern design allows you to put the trap just about anywhere, without making it obvious that you have a fruit fly problem. You can even bring it on camping or RV trips, provided you have a way to charge it.
The Best Fly Trap for the Kitchen
Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch! Fly Trap (2-Pack)
Perhaps the most unique fly trap in our roundup, this relatively new product makes catching fruit flies as simple as flipping a lid—and we mean that literally. It's incredibly easy to use and blends in with the rest of your kitchen because it looks like a spice shaker (in fact, it may blend in a little too well!). You might even forget it's there. The product works for up to 30 days and requires no upkeep. It works best when placed next to other potential lures, such as bowls of fresh fruit, honey or sweet-smelling dish or hand soap.
The manufacturer says the company partners with the non-profit Environmental Working Group to reduce dangerous ingredients in their products. As such, the bait used is a mix of vinegar and fermented fruit, so it's completely nontoxic. It comes in a plastic shaker vial that resembles a small spice container you'd find at the grocery store store. Once you insert the bait and flip the lid, flies find their way through the shaker holes to the lure inside and are instantly trapped.
When the 30-day period is up, simply toss the trap into the trash. The package comes with two traps, which you can use concurrently or consecutively. Since each trap lasts only one month, this option can be more costly over time compared to some other fly traps, but it's also one of the least intrusive and least ugly.
The Best Fly Trap for Protecting Plants
Mosqueda Sticky Bug Traps for Plants (36-Pack)
Gardeners and people with houseplants can use these sticky traps to protect their plants from fruit flies and other bugs. These traps are super low-maintenance; all you have to do is insert them into the soil of your potted plants and watch them work. Don't underestimate them because of their cute flower- and butterfly-shaped appearance—they're really effective. The traps are designed to keep your hands from getting sticky or making a mess, but they're still sticky enough to trap flies and bugs to their, well, deaths.
Each trap is UV-resistant and waterproof for extra longevity. You can use these traps both indoors and outdoors, but you don't have to use them only in potted plants. For instance, you might prop them up in a bowl of grain or flour and place it near some bait, like honey and vinegar, on your countertop, if your kitchen is the real culprit. If you end up using them in your garden, you don't have to worry about your dog or the neighbor's dog experiencing any adverse side effects from digging around them, because they're odorless and nontoxic. If you're looking for a nicer-looking version of fly paper, this is our pick.
The Best Fly Trap for Windows
MaxGuard Window Fly Traps (24 XL Traps)
If you like to keep your fly problem on the DL, a window fruit fly trap is a smart choice because it's simple and inconspicuous. These traps from MaxGuard are easy to apply to a window pane. Just peel one off and stick it onto a clean window surface (such as the window in front of your kitchen sink, if you have one). Once they're stuck, they won't be able to escape, and you can dispose of the trap when it's full.
The traps are transparent so they'll blend in seamlessly with your windows. They're nontoxic, chemical-free and unscented, so they're also a great option in households where people have allergies or dislike strong smells. The only potential downside to selecting this trap is if there's no window near the spot that attracts all the flies, such as the kitchen garbage bin, in which case, you may have to set up some bait on a window sill.
The Best Commercial Fruit Fly Trap
Bar-Maid FLY-BYE Fruit Fly Trap
Besides their clever name, these fruit fly traps are designed to be used around food, making them particularly effective in kitchens, eating areas and even restaurants. Their small design allows placement just about anywhere in a kitchen, such as a countertop or a shelf, and they work for up to a month. They're also safe to use in and around kitchens, as the product uses no volatile organic compounds, which can negatively affect the quality of indoor air.
Similar to the Terro trap design, these small, pot-shaped traps lure flies in by using a two-part food-based attractant (included). Unlike the Terro traps, which are a deep red color, these traps are translucent and let light pass through, meaning you can see everything inside, fly corpses and all. If that sounds too gross to place near customers in a restaurant, you might want to keep the trap in the kitchen, where they're more likely to remain inconspicuous.