Building An Outdoor Flytrap

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Just about everyone has had the experience of a cook-out or barbecue which has inevitably been spoiled by an overabundance of bugs, especially flies. Wherever people gather and there is food, the flies will also gather to try and spoil the occasion. You could use insect repellent but you can’t very well spray it on the food as well, and fly swatters and stick traps are just not practical outside. There is a way however that you can minimize the effect of flies on your outdoor activity, by using a fly trap. The trick for the trap to work is that it must be more attractive to the flies than your fresh food. This is one method.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

You’ll Need:

                       1/2″ square dowel





                       Insect netting


                       Rotten Fruit


Construct a cube of ½ x ½ inch wooden pieces roughly 1 foot long by nailing or gluing the wood lengths together in the shape of a cube. The 4 upright sides of the wooden cube should be 1’3” long so that the cube actually can stand 3” above the ground. Cover the wooden cube then with insect netting except the bottom side, ensuring that the netting is secured to the wood.


Cut a piece of netting in the shape of the square of the side of the wooden cube but make it half again as large. Cut a 3” diameter circle in the centre of this piece of netting and shape it into a pyramid. Secure the base of the pyramid to the edges of the last side of the cube with the pyramid with the hole on top extending into the cube with the hole.


Take a bowl like container and fill it with crushed up rotten fruit, the sicklier sweet the better. Place this underneath the cube that you have made and position the pyramid and the hole at the top directly above the bowl of smelly fruit.


The smell of the rotten fruit will attract flies and they will land on the bowl and consume some of the fruit or at least walk in it. Once they have had their fill of the mixture they will of course fly off and they will strike the pyramid of netting and find the hole thus flying into it.


Once inside the cube a fly will find it very difficult to find the hole again to fly out and it will remain trapped in the cube for its short lifespan until it dies a few days later. I personally think that the reason this works so well is that the rotten fruit liquid tends to ferment and the flies are actually drunk when they fly off and can’t navigate that well anyway.

Tips & Warnings

                        Change the fruit every couple of weeks.

                        Clean out the dead flies often.

                        Keep the trap away from living areas.


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