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Published Sep. 17, 2021

Few things are as annoying as a housefly buzzing around the kitchen, landing on countertops, tables, and unprotected food, or crashing a backyard barbecue as an uninvited guest.  While a good old-fashioned fly swatter is one way of eliminating this problem, a good trap will also do the trick, but you’ll need to make sure you chose the right one. 

Bag style fly traps, with their smelly baits and high capacities are excellent options for reducing your outdoor fly population while sticky glue tapes are well-suited for trapping and killing house flies. Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the different types of fly traps on the market so you can decide on which one is best to solve your pest problem. 

How We Picked the Best Fly Traps

Methodology

In a sense, we’re all experts when it comes to houseflies as they are a nuisance that we all must deal with from time to time. While it’s tough to beat a good flyswatter or rolled-up magazine for dealing with these winged annoyances, I’ve found that fly traps are an excellent passive way to catch flies when you lack the time or energy to chase them around the house. I analyzed numerous traps and considered several factors when deciding what type of flycatcher works best, taking into account that what’s best for outdoor use won’t necessarily work indoors and vice versa. 

Capacity: While capacity didn’t matter as much for indoor use, where one may need to eliminate a few flies each day, I considered it to be crucial for managing outdoor fly problems, where the fly population could be quite high. With that in mind, I favored fly traps with high capacities for outdoor use. 

Lure: For indoor traps, I favored those that use no bait at all or a bait that had no scent, while for outdoor traps I leaned toward those that used a bait that would best attract flies regardless of the smell. 

Aesthetics: Since no one likes to look at the lifeless bodies of flies whether in the kitchen or lounging in the backyard, I chose mainly traps that concealed their victims until it was time for disposal. 

Ease of use: Setting up or disposing of a fly trap shouldn’t be a complicated task. With that in mind, I only chose traps that were easy to use and could be disposed of quickly.

The Best Fly Traps: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Rescue! Big Bag Fly Trap

Prolific Destroyer

This fly trap can kill up to 40,000 flies and is easy to set up and dispose of. Rescue!

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Why It Made The Cut: Of the fly traps we reviewed, this one by far has the most kill capacity with its ability to trap and take down up to 40,000 flies.  

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40,000 flies
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoor
  • Lure: Scent

Pros:

  • High capacity of 40,000 flies
  • Simply fill with water to set up
  • Does not use toxic pesticides

Cons:

  • Smells horrible
  • Must be hung, which limits where it can be located

If a fly trap is going to be effective for outdoor use, then it better be able to catch a lot of flies, especially if you’re using it to ward off these annoying pests in places that attract flies, such as in a stable or near garbage cans. The aptly named Big Bag trap does with its ability to catch and kill up to 40,000 flies. Using Big Bag is simple. Fill it to a premarked line with water, then hang it from a tree. 

Big Bag uses scent that attracts flies but is foul to humans (it certainly isn’t catching flies with honey), so you’ll need to hang the bag at least 20 feet from any living areas. The flies fly into the top of a bag where they fall into the water and drown. Each bag lasts up to 30 days. To dispose of the bag, simply drop the trap into a plastic bag and remove the hanger from the branch.

Best Indoor: Garsum Fly Clear Window Fly Traps

Sticky Situation

This fly trap uses a fly’s natural attraction to windows to trap them in glue. Garsum

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Why It Made The Cut: We liked the fact that this indoor fly trap effectively catches flies without resorting to using foul-smelling baits or hazardous pesticides. 

Specs: 

  • Capacity: About 10-15
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Indoor
  • Lure: None

Pros:

  • Easy to use 
  • Effective design
  • Does not use toxic pesticides
  • Affordably priced

Cons:

  • Doesn’t last long

This fly trap takes simple common house fly behavior and uses it against them. When a fly enters the home, it’s often attracted to the light and warmth of a window, which is why it bounces off the glass. This trap by Garsum, which consists of clear paper with a double-sided adhesive, sticks to any window. When the fly bumps into it, it becomes stuck to the adhesive and dies. We love how easy this tape is to use. Simply peel off the backing and apply the tape to the window. Once the tape is full, simply grab one of the corners, peel off the tape and throw it away. 

The tape leaves no sticky residue and, since the corners are not treated with glue, it also leaves your hands clean. There are also no offensive scents or harmful pesticides to worry about. Unlike conventional flypaper that hangs from the ceiling, this product is virtually invisible, until it starts collecting bodies. Depending on your fly problem, you may need to change the paper fairly regularly. Fortunately, Garsum’s traps are affordably priced, especially when you buy them in bulk.

Best Reusable: Sewanta Victor M380 Reusable Outdoor Fly Traps

Long Lasting

A reusable design makes this fly trap a great option for those who don’t want to keep buying traps, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Sewanta

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Why It Made The Cut: Design features that allow it to catch flies more quickly while making it easier to hang than bag-style traps set this trap apart. 

Specs: 

  • Capacity: 20,000 flies per bottle
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoor
  • Lure: Scent

Pros:

  • Each bottle has a high capacity of 20,000 flies
  • Large hook and chain makes hanging easier
  • Does not use toxic pesticides
  • Reusable design

Cons:

  • Bait is foul-smelling
  • Cleaning out bottle can be quite unpleasant

For those who don’t mind the unpleasant disposal process, these reusable traps from Victor are an effective and affordable way to handle one’s fly problems. This trap works similarly to bag-style fly traps. Simply fill each bottle to the fill-line with water and apply the bait. Flies are attracted to the pungent smell and enter the trap where they become trapped and drown. 

The difference with this trap is that Victor uses a bottle as opposed to a bag. Once the bottle is full or the water has evaporated, simply unscrew the top and empty the victims into a trash bag to dispose of. 

The bottles have several advantages over the bags. They have a wider mouth with four openings, allowing it to catch more flies at a time while making it easier to clean. They also have a better design for hanging. Rather than a loop of string, they come equipped with a chain and metal hook, which make it easy to secure these bottles to a tree or post.

Best Value: Stingmon Sticky Fly Traps

Affordable Yet Deadly

This set of 20 pieces of double-sided flypaper is an affordable way to tackle one’s fly population. Stingmon

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Why It Made The Cut: This flypaper is one of the cheapest ways to catch flies while still being as effective as other more expensive means. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 300
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Indoor or Outdoor
  • Lure: None

Pros:

  • No smelly bait
  • The design makes hanging it easy
  • Does not use toxic pesticides

Cons:

  • Unsightly, especially when it begins trapping flies

If you don’t mind the decidedly unsightly look of flypaper hanging from the ceiling, then these classic sticky fly traps are an excellent way to catch a lot of flies on the cheap. This value pack from Stingmon includes twenty 28-inch long sticky strips of flypaper that come in individual tubes. To use, simply pull the paper out of the tube via the loop at its top and hang it from the ceiling. 

The paper is coated with sticky glue that traps the fly (and any other flying insect that happens to land on it). And, unlike bags, which use a smelly bait that prevents them from being used near any living areas, these strips have no odor. And while their unattractive appearance means you wouldn’t want to hang them in a living space, they are suitable for use in basements, attics, garages, barns, and sheds.

Best for Fruit Flies: RSVP International Endurance Ceramic Fruit Fly Trap

Stealth Actor

This trap attracts and kills fruit flies without negatively impacting the aesthetics of your kitchen. RSVP International

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Why It Made The Cut: No one likes to see a fly trap in a living area, much less the kitchen, which is why we like this trap that disguises itself. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: N/A
  • Indoors/Outdoors: indoor
  • Lure: apple cider vinegar

Pros: 

  • Attractive cover hides trap and dead flies
  • Attracts flies using apple cider vinegar
  • Easy to empty and reuse

Cons:

  • Perforated top can hinder fruit flies from entering the trap

Tiny fruit flies can be tricky to catch due to their small size, and while there are home remedies for catching fruit flies, a dish or cup or dead flies is an unpleasant thing to have sitting on a kitchen counter or coffee table. That’s why we love this fruit fly trap from RSVP International

It uses the same concept as other home remedies to catch fruit flies. Fill its cup with apple cider vinegar, which lures fruit flies to their death by drowning. Only with this model, you don’t need to see all those little bodies floating around as you’re cooking or serving food. That’s because the cup is covered by a metal top with perforated holes. The flies fly into the holes where they meet their demise without being visible. 

To empty, simply remove the attractive white ceramic top and empty the cup. Just make sure you don’t confuse this trap with the salt shaker.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fly Trap

Method

While you may find some expensive electric options for sale online that claim they can catch houseflies, most users report that they don’t work. While that may change in the future, low-tech traps that use either glue or baits and water are the best options right now. The most effective indoor traps are still sticky tapes, which include the less visible window options and the rather unsightly classic fly tapes. Outdoors, bags with smelly baits that attract flies are still the most effective means of trapping a lot of flies. 

Location

While bait traps with baits are the most effective, the pungent odor of the lure makes them only usable in places that are away from living areas. This not only means they shouldn’t be used indoors, but they should also be a fair distance from any outdoor living areas. This, of course, means that indoor traps should be scentless. 

Capacity

Before you go hanging a strip of fly tape outdoors, consider what you’re up against. Depending on where you live, the yard can be home to hundreds of flies, along with thousands of other flying insects. That can quickly overwhelm a strip of tape, preventing it from barely putting a dent in your fly problem. Bags, on the other hand, can hold up to 40,000 flies. Consider the capacity of your trap and go with bags for outdoor use and tape for indoor use. 

FAQs

Q: How do I get rid of flies in my house?

Aside from purchasing a quality trap, you can also use a home remedy by mixing a solution of apple cider vinegar and dish soap and placing it in a bowl on a table or counter. When the flies drink the solution, the soap will kill them. To eliminate flies outdoors, keep trash cans tightly sealed and clean up after pets regularly.

Q: Do fly traps bring more flies?

That depends on the type of trap you use. Never use bait traps inside a shed, garage or barn as the scent will attract flies from all over the area, exacerbating your fly problem.

Q: What smells do flies hate?

Flies hate the smell of cinnamon. Use a cinnamon air freshener in the home to deter flies from entering your home. They also dislike essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.

Q: What is the most effective fly trap?

The Rescue! Big Bag Fly Trap with its high capacity and use of scent to attract flies is one of the best fly traps on the market for outdoor use. For indoor use, consider Garsum Fly Clear Window Fly Traps.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right fly trap largely depends on where you’re catching flies—indoors or outdoors—and how much you can stomach when it comes to disposing of your victims. 

If you’re catching flies indoors, your best option is to use a scentless trap that consists of tape treated with glue that traps flies when they land on the paper. 

Bags, with their high capacity and effective baits, are the best option outdoors as long as it is far enough away from a living area. If disposing of hundreds of fly bodies doesn’t bother you, then consider a disposable solution.

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