Drosophila Trap

It’s summer and that means lots of delicious fruit is in season! And, if your home is anything like mine, we always have to have fresh fruit available for our essentially fruitarian children. This combined with our warmer temperatures and indoor food waste bin, means that we have basically created an ideal breeding ground for fruit flies (aka drosophila), ack!

I tried using a commercially available trap and it caught some flies but then stopped working. It was pretty inexpensive, can’t remember exactly but under $5. However it could add up quickly when you have to keep replacing them every few days to remain fly free. Luckily, a friend told me about this DIY trap. I realize that this is not my invention by any means, but it works so well that I wanted to share this with you in case you are in a similar position. Plus, I’ve been working out the kinks to get it to work optimally!

So here you go:

How to make a drosophila trap

What you’ll need:

Glass jars (clean and odor free)

Apple cider vinegar (unfiltered is key!! Braggs brand or knock off equivalent work best)

Dish Soap (citrus scent or possibly other fruity scent, but lavender scent did not work as well, environmentally friendly solutions work well and are better for our oceans)

Paper (any kind will do from printer paper to card stock, not sure if color reduces effectiveness, so to be safe stick with white)

Tape (clear scotch tape works fine)


Add a drop of soap and some apple cider vinegar to your glass jar. You should have about 3/4-1″ of liquid on the bottom. Adding a little water is fine but it should smell strongly of vinegar.

Make a cone out of paper and add a piece of tape to retain shape. Trim down excess paper. Place in jar and tape into place.

Set your traps near fruit or other fly hotspots and trap some flies!

Don’t forget to empty your traps and start fresh every few days while flies persist. They become ineffective at attracting more once a few dead ones have been sitting there for a while. My guess is that once dead, the flies release a repellent. If you dump them out and start fresh,  the traps start working again. Happy drosophila trapping!


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