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How To Make Fly Strips

Why Make a Homemade Fly Trap

While many of the fly trapping products you’ll see on this site will give you much more than you paid for, I understand there are some folks out there who cannot simply afford the items I’ve listed here. By all means, if you have the money, go spend it on a fly trap. There really is no point in going out buying all the materials when you can buy a pre-built one that works just as well. But if you do not have the money to go spending on a fly trap, try to use household items to fit the materials needed here. If you are missing material and want to go out and buy it, don’t bother, as the material will most likely cost you just as much if not more than a pre-built fly trap.

Fly traps are great to fly killers too but not all of them are effective in all types of environment. If you also decide to go for aerosol sprays in the market, they can pose a threat to your family and plants. Some sprays contain harmful chemicals that are not suitable for indoor use. Creating a homemade fly trap is probably the safest way to exterminate flies from your property. Although some of the ingredients are a bit expensive, the end product will still be worth all the money. You can definitely see immediate results after using the homemade fly traps that are listed in this article. Some fly traps are only meant to repel flies while others are for killing the pest. There are some suggestions below on which type of homemade fly trap you would want to use in your home.


Cleared to Land

After you’ve cleared the legal hurdles, cleared the land, constructed a safe runway and popped the celebratory bottle of Champagne that has since aged a few more years in the process of building your strip, you’ll want to submit FAA Form 5010-5, Airport Master Record. Since the airport is on private property, you can decide whether you’d like it to appear on the VFR sectional like so many mysterious restricted airfields that dot the maps.

While the use is private, there are various benefits to making the existence of the strip public even if use of the strip remains private. The most altruistic reason for putting yourself on the map is of course to aid fellow aviators by providing safe-harbor options in the event of an in-flight emergency. Perhaps the best part of revealing a private strip to your fellow pilots is conjuring a name and having it printed on sectionals for the aviation world to see. We’ll leave the creative naming convention up to you, but feel free to send Flying a note and tell us what you’d name your private strip and the genesis of the name.

1. Basil and Other Herbs and Plants

There are some strong-smelling plants the flies ju

There are some strong-smelling plants the flies just do not like. The most common one is basil which is good news for us as not only is it easy to get hold of in shops, it also has anti-bacterial and ant-viral properties creating a healthy environment for your home. Just place your basil plant anywhere in the house, preferably near any open window to deter the flies. Other plants that flies take a dislike to are lavender, mint, bay leaf, tansy and wormwood.


Variations Of The Drowning Method

There are several other ways to make a trap that will drown flies. Popular methods include:

  • Wine bottle traps: Just leave the dregs of a bottle of wine in the bottom or use the same vinegar solution described above. Then, roll up a piece of paper into a cone shape and stick it in the neck of the bottle. Leave just enough space for a fly to get through.
  • Plastic bottle traps: For this method, cut the top off of a plastic drink bottle. Pour an inch or two of the soapy vinegar solution into the bottom of the bottle. Take the bottle top and turn it so that the mouth faces downward, like a funnel. Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke holes in it.

3. Plastic Water Bags

This is a clever trick to repel those pesky flies.

This is a clever trick to repel those pesky flies. Hanging a bag full of water outside windows and open doors can deter flies away because of the way a fly sees it. Since a fly has a remarkable amount of lenses in each eye, this gives them the ability to detect light patterns and movement. A bag of water is reflecting light all over the place therefore confusing the flies and causing them to stay away. It’s pretty easy to make too.

  • All you need is a large plastic bag (preferably a zip lock)
  • Fill it up to 2/3 with water and tie string firmly around the top making sure it is tight and unable to slip off.
  • Hang the bag outside any openings such as doors or open windows.

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Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #2


  • 1/2 cup hair conditioner for humans (the kind you leave on for a minute or two then rinse out). We used an inexpensive generic brand without a strong scent (Suave).
  • 3 Tablespoons Eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 cup baby oil
  • Enough water to fill the remainder of a 32 ounce spray bottle
 Mix the ingredients in a 32 ounce

Instructions Mix the ingredients in a 32 ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.

The Results Like recipe #1, above, this homemade horse fly spray worked well around the barn and house, but was of no help in the pasture for deer flies.

How Long It Lasted Also like recipe #1, above, this fly spray lasted between 45 minutes and an hour.

Our Opinion While this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1 it has more ingredients to purchase and mix, so is therefore slightly more complicated to make. We also didn't like trying to get 1/2 cup of thick hair conditioner out of a measuring cup and into the top of the spray bottle. The conditioner kept plugging up the top of the bottle and using a kitchen funnel wasn't much help. Since this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1, we prefer recipe #1 because it has fewer ingredients and is easier to mix.

Does homemade fly paper work?

Homemade fly paper works just as well as store-bought traps, and they’re so cheap that you never have to worry about running out. Simply make a fresh batch when things get gross and it’s time to change ’em out. Or if you’re really frugal, keep any unused sugar mixture in the fridge and just re-heat when the time comes.

DIY Fly Prevention

Simple to make DIY Fly Prevention trap
Simple to make DIY Fly Prevention trap

If you’re looking to prevent anymore flies coming into your home, this is a simple way of doing just that. The materials for this are a clear plastic bag, some pennies (2-4) and some water. You will also need a string or something to hang it up.

  1. Fill the bag up with water enough so you can still close it.
  2. Place the pennies in the water in the bag.
  3. Hang the bag outside a door or window, somewhere the light will reflect off the pennies.

The way this works is that when the sun shines and reflects off the pennies it will look like the eyes of a predator, almost like that of a spider. This helps repel flies and various other insects but flies especially. Remember that this particular solution is only for repelling flies. If you want to kill flies, you will need stronger ingredients. Fly repellents are only considered to be very useful in homes where there is still no fly infestation. This is the best and easiest way to prevent flies from entering your property.

How to Make a Fly Trap

Making a fly trap is not as hard you may have imagined. It works effectively to catch and get rid of flies. Cherry on the top – it takes only a few minutes to make it! So, if you have had it with these annoying flies, it’s time you learn how to make a fly trap and get rid of flies for good. Scroll down to learn 2 different ways to make a DIY fly trap to make sure you never have to see a fly in your house again!

Things You Will Need

  • One empty soda bottle
  • A cutter or scissors
  • A marker
  • 5 – 6 tbsp of sugar
  • A few tbsp of vinegar
  • Sugary bait

Step 1 – Prepare the Bottle

Find an empty bottle of soda. Simply grab a bottle that has been used or if soda is not one of your favorite drinks, simply pour it out to empty the bottle. Once the bottle is empty, it is time to clean it. Remove the cap of the bottle and wash it thoroughly with water. It is advisable to use warm to wash away the soda. Once the bottle is clean, leave for a few minutes so that it dries off on its own or you can use a rag or tissues paper to dry it yourself.

Step 2 – Cut the Top

Once the bottle is clean and dry, use a pair of scissors to cut the top of the bottle. To make sure you cut evenly through the bottle, it is advisable to make markings before you actually start cutting. Use a marker to draw a line that goes perfectly around the bottle. Use the pointy blade of the scissors to poke 2 adjacent holes on the marking. Insert the scissors in the hole and cut around the bottle. Cut the top of the bottle so that you have two separate pieces of the bottle – the top funnel part and the wider shaft of the bottle.

Step 3 – Flip it!

Flip the top piece of the bottle and place it in the lower piece in a way that the funnel leads into the bottle. Keep in mind that it is important to make sure that you don’t cut too close to the funnel otherwise when you’ll invert the top piece, it won’t fit and will simply fall into the lower piece.

Step 4 – Join the Pieces

The structure of your homemade fly trap is complete. Now, all you need to do is fix it by taping the pieces together. You can also staple the pieces to make sure that the pieces stay in place or simply use some to join the cut edge of pieces in position.  Keep in mind that if you are using tape, it is important to make sure it is water resistant. It is advisable to apply three to four pieces to seal it properly.

Another way to join the two pieces of the bottle is to use glue. Whether you use super glue or an ordinary one, make sure it is water resistant. Apply a thin of glue on the top inside of the base pieces before inserting an inverted funnel in it. Press the pieces with your fingers to make sure that they are properly stuck together. Wait until the glue is dry.

Step 5 – Prepare the Bait!

Your homemade fly trap is ready but it won’t catch any flies unless you put out some bait to allure the flies. The idea is to make it as alluring for the flies as possible so that most, if not all, fall for the trap. Everyone knows how flies love to fest on sugary things; therefore, melted sugar syrup makes one of the best baits for flies. Here’s how you can easily create it in just a few minutes.

  • Measure around 5 – 6 tbsp of sugar and lay it evenly in a pan.
  • Pour just enough water that it covers the layer of sugar residing at the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the pan on the stove and let it rest over low heat.
  • As the solution begins to boil, use a spoon to stir it. This makes sure that all the sugar has properly dissolved in the water.
  • Continue to stir the mixture over low heat until the watery solution turns into viscous syrup. This is important because the syrup is more likely to attract flies as compared to a simple sugar solution.

Your bait is ready! Let it sit in the pan until it is cold enough to be handled.

Step 6 – Pour the Syrup into the DIY Fly Trap

The syrup is ready and the fly trap is done. It’s time to transfer the syrup to the bottle. Use a spoon to slowly drip down the inner side of the funnel. Try to drip it near the edges so that the flies get stuck as soon as they land on it.

Helpful Tips

  • Along with the sugary bait, you can also use other things to allure the flies. One way of taking your homemade fly trap to the next level is to slice up some chunks of fruits like apple and fill it in the lower part of the bottle. Allow the fruit to rot. It is a great way to attract flies.
  • If you are using fruit bait, keep the trap near a window. It will not only receive heat and light, causing the fruits to rot quickly, but the spreading smell of the fruits will also act as an attractant.
  • Before setting your homemade fly trap out for the flies, it is a good practice to repeatedly blow in the bottle. It will help you see better results because most insects, including flies, are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide.
  • It is advisable to refrain from reusing the bottle. After some time, you will notice that the attractant lose their potency. Also, the homemade fly trap might get full. When this happens, know that it’s time to throw the bottle away. Trying to empty the bottle is not only hard but also disgusting. You don’t want to handle dead flies. Therefore, don’t hesitate to throw the bottle away and make a new homemade fly trap.

The fly trap is fairly simple and does not cost you more than an empty soda bottle, a few tbsp of sugar, a couple of minutes. Nonetheless, it works effectively, catching the flies as soon as they land on it!

QA with a Grass-Strip Builder

QA with a Grass-Strip Builder

Swaid Rahn is the quintessential grass-strip owner, manager and caretaker. Having grown up with flying in his DNA, Rahn is a high-time pilot, air racer, ATP, A&P and runway builder. He has competed and won his class at the Reno Air Races, and even in far-off places like Thailand. He now runs a repair station from his grass strip (2GA2) in Georgia, where he repairs, restores and rebuilds general aviation aircraft.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Rahn spent seven years building an intersecting grass runway to complement the original strip on his ancestral property. Rahn even plans to illuminate the new strip using LED runway lighting.

How much time and money did you invest in your grass strip?

It took me seven years from start to finish, working on the strip when I had the time. It’s difficult to give you a total cost, but consider this: I put 2,000 hours on an excavator. I’ve dug thousands of stumps. We had 600 pines trees planted per acre, times 18, so you can do the math on that. We moved 57,000 cubic yards of dirt. A guy who did the final grading told me he normally gets $10 per cubic yard to move dirt, so I saved that money. It’s not for the fainthearted.

How much land did you use for your new strip?

The new runway is 3,800 feet by 200 feet. It sits on 18 acres.

I flew over a neighborhood adjacent to your property. How have neighbors responded to living next to a runway?

I’ve been fortunate. The runway was here before the houses, and I’ve never had a complaint about noise. I think the air conditioners [beside each house] make more noise than comes from the runway.

What insurance considerations or implications are there?

Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a release from liability and an insurance rider on my hangar policy.

What advice do you have for anyone considering building his or her own grass strip?

It’s like eating an elephant. Take one bite at a time. Don’t get too worked up on trying to meet a schedule.