The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (2023)

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (1)

When pesky flies find their way into your home, it can be seriously frustrating. Thankfully, fly traps are easy to use and affordable, making them a great first line of defense against persistent flies.

“Fly traps are simple tools for the physical intervention of fly infestations,” says Ron Whitehurst, licensed pest control advisor and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries. “The main reason that they are valuable around the house is that they often use non-toxic materials and prevent homeowners from having to use pesticides,” he adds. “They also reduce the breeding that leads to the next generation of pesky flies.”

To find the best fly traps on the market, we researched options in a wide variety of types, price ranges, intended uses, and more. Whitehurst also provided us with guidance on choosing the right fly trap for each home.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Fly Trap:

Flies Be Gone Fly Trap at Amazon

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Best Budget Fly Trap:

Raid Fly Ribbon at Amazon

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Best Fly Trap for Fruit Flies:

Terro Fruit Fly Trap at Amazon

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(Video) 🏆 5 Best Fly Trap for Indoor & Outdoor You Can Buy In 2021

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Best Overall Fly Trap

Flies Be Gone Fly Trap

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (2)

What Stands Out: This simple fly trap can hold a seriously large quantity of flies.

What Could Be Improved: It's not reusable, which is a bummer considering the high price.

For a reliable fly trap that won’t let you down, look no further than the Original Fly Trap courtesy of Flies Be Gone. This is a disposable fly trap bag that’s filled with food designed to attract flies, and it’s able to trap thousands of flies before needing to be thrown out.

This is a medium-size bag, so it won’t take up too much space in or around your home. Yet, it’s still big enough to capture all the flies that come its way. It can be used either indoors or outdoors (including in larger spaces like patios or stables), and it even works against pesticide-resistant flies. Just hang it up, let it do its magic, and throw out the bag once it’s full.

Price-wise, this fly trap is a bit more expensive than many other disposable options out there, but considering its high level of effectiveness and its ease of use (no cleanup needed!), it’s worth the splurge. You’ll be thrilled to discover just how many flies it can capture, and how simple it is to put into action.

Price at time of publish: $39 for 2-pack

Product Details:

  • Type: Bag
  • Number of Traps: 2, 6, or 12
  • Targeted Pests: Flies
  • Area: Indoor/outdoor

Best Budget Fly Trap

Raid Fly Ribbon

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (3)

What Stands Out: This odorless fly trap is easy to install and has a seriously low cost.

What Could Be Improved: Dead flies are in full view.

If you’re looking to keep costs low, we suggest picking up this extremely inexpensive, yet still quite effective, fly ribbon from Raid. It may not be the prettiest fly trap out there, seeing as it’s a hangable ribbon that catches flies with its stickiness, but it’ll absolutely do the trick in keeping your home insect-free.

This ribbon can be set up indoors or outdoors—all you have to do is pull the cord and let it unfurl. Once expanded, attach the ribbon to a window or ceiling with the included thumbtack, and you’ll be good to go. Once set up, the ribbon can catch up to 100 flies, mosquitoes, and/or gnats before needing to be replaced.

The box comes with 10 ribbons, so you can get plenty of use out of your purchase before having to buy any more. Set the ribbon up in your kitchen, backyard, garage, or anywhere else that commonly gets insects, and you’ll see results in no time. And because it contains no insecticides and also has no smell, it won’t bother you as you go about your day.

Price at time of publish: $3 for 10-pack

Product Details:

  • Type: Ribbon
  • Number of Traps: 10
  • Targeted Pests: Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, moths, and other flying insects
  • Area: Indoor/outdoor
(Video) Making the best DIY fly trap, with the ultimate fly bait

Best Fly Trap for Fruit Flies

Terro Fruit Fly Trap

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (4)

What Stands Out: It's very discreet, so can be left out on your counters without guests noticing.

What Could Be Improved: It's designed solely for fruit flies, so it's not a very versatile pest control tool.

If fruit flies are your main concern and you’re looking for a subtle way to eliminate them, this cleverly designed trap from Terro is the way to go. The apple-shaped design is meant to blend in with your actual fruit, so that pests are lured to it (and it doesn’t attract attention in your home, whether you place it in a fruit bowl or over the sink or trash).

This is a powerful, fast-acting trap that lasts up to 45 days, and each package comes with two traps so you can get three months’ worth of protection before needing to re-up on the product. To use it, just fill half of the non-staining liquid from the lure bottle into the trap, then place the trap wherever it’s most needed. Each trap comes with a built-in window so you can see how many fruit flies it’s gotten and know when it’s time to change it out, as well as multiple holes on top that are designed to disperse its lure and cause more flies to come in.

Additionally, this is a very low-priced trap, and its ease of use and set-up make it a smart choice for any homeowner.

Price at time of publish: $16 for 4-pack

Product Details:

  • Type: Container trap
  • Number of Traps: 4, 6, or 12
  • Targeted Pests: Fruit flies
  • Area: Indoor

Best Indoor Fly Trap

Catchmaster Window Fly Traps

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (5)

(Video) 5 Best Fly Traps You Can Buy In 2023

What Stands Out: This easy-to-use fly trap catches flies as they enter the home.

What Could Be Improved: It's not reusable and doesn't hide the dead flies.

For a simple way to stop flies in their tracks, attach these disposable sticky paper fly traps from Catchmaster to your windows, which are often the entry point for flies into the home. The traps (which helpfully come in sets ranging from 12 to 96 traps) can be applied directly to a window with minimal effort or cleanup needed. All you have to do is peel off the liner and place the traps on the glass, and then they’ll start attracting bugs immediately. Plus, the traps are clear, so they’re less noticeable (although you'll be able to see the dead flies as they accumulate).

For maximum effectiveness, place the traps on the windows that get the most light, whether that’s in your kitchen, garage, or even a patio door. Replace them when they get full of bugs, but if they don’t fill up fast, they can last up to a year before losing their stickiness and needing to be disposed of.

Cost-wise, these traps are about as cheap as they come considering how many are included in the package, and while they’re not especially stylish or high-tech, they’ll do the trick just fine. If you’re looking for an easy method of keeping insects away from windows in or out of your home, you can’t go wrong with these paper traps.

Price at time of publish: $16 for 12-pack

Product Details:

  • Type: Paper
  • Number of Traps: 12, 12 XL, 48, or 96
  • Targeted Pests: Flies
  • Area: Indoor

Best Outdoor Fly Trap

Rescue! Disposable Fly Trap

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (6)

What Stands Out: This large trap can hold a lot of flies.

What Could Be Improved: This trap has a very strong odor and should only be used 20 feet away from your living space, so it's not for small yards.

Are you more focused on keeping flies away from your backyard or patio when you’re trying to have a relaxing time outside? Check out this outdoor fly trap from Rescue!—a hanging pouch that captures flies through its cap and drowns them in its water.

To use this simple, disposable fly trap, just add water to the plastic bag’s fill line, then use the included hanger (as well as any string or wire) to attach it to a tree branch, fence post, or other area at least 20 feet away from your living space (due to its strong odor). When it’s full (or after about 30 days have passed), wrap it up in a bag and toss it out in the trash, before replacing it with a new trap.

This isn’t the most versatile fly trap, since it can’t be used inside, and it’s a bit pricey for the pack of two. Still, it’s an effective and very simple method of keeping flies away from your outdoor space and ensuring you can hang out and enjoy the sunshine in peace.

Price at time of publish: $13 for 2-pack

Product Details:

  • Type: Bag
  • Number of Traps: 2
  • Targeted Pests: Flies
  • Area: Outdoor

Best Reusable Fly Trap

Safer Home Indoor Fly Trap

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (7)

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What Stands Out: This indoor fly trap doesn’t use any insecticides, odors, or liquid bait.

What Could Be Improved: You'll have to stock up on trap cards.

To avoid having to frequently dispose of and replace your fly traps, opt for a reusable model like this popular option from Safer. The small yet powerful device uses UV LED light to lure in flies, moths, and gnats, with no chemical insecticides included.

To use, place the trap in any indoor outlet (it rotates to fit all sizes), add in the sticky glue card, and it’ll start working right away. Insects drawn in by the light will then get stuck to the trap’s card, and when the trap is full of bugs, you can throw the card out and add in the included replacement card to start all over again.

This trap stands out for its sleek, discreet design, which allows it to be used in any room of your home without attracting unwanted attention. You will need to stock up on replacement cards if you want to use the trap for a long period of time, though, which can be a pain for some. Still, this is a highly effective and subtle device that’ll help keep your home insect-free.

Price at time of publish: $18

Product Details:

  • Type: Plug-in UV light trap
  • Number of Traps: 1 plug-in base and 2 glue cards
  • Targeted Pests: Flies, moths, and gnats
  • Area: Indoor

Best Fly Zapper

FVOAI Bug Zapper

The 7 Best Indoor and Outdoor Fly Traps for a Pest-Free Home (8)

What Stands Out: This reusable device will kill bugs instantly.

What Could Be Improved: You'll have to deal with some cleanup.

A zapper is a seriously effective tool for getting rid of flies, and this option from FVOAI is our recommended pick. It uses blue-violet light to attract pests (including gnats, mosquitoes, moths, and aedes), before immediately electrocuting them with its high-voltage internal grid.

This is a chemical-free and odorless fly trap, and it also has a safety grid to keep kids and pets out of harm’s way. It can be placed or hung up both indoors and outdoors (at least 20 feet away from humans, ideally), and can cover a wide area up to 1,500 square feet. It can be used 24/7, but keep in mind that it works best at night and/or in dark environments.

The plastic trap comes with a hanging ring if you choose to keep it elevated, as well as a mosquito tray and brush on the bottom to get rid of any debris from the grid. You will need to maintain the trap fairly often, but cleanup will be easy thanks to those helpful accessories. And while it’s higher-priced than most other fly traps, it is reusable, subtle, and majorly effective.

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details:

  • Type: Zapper
  • Number of Traps: 1
  • Targeted Pests: Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, aedes, and moths
  • Area: Indoor/outdoor

Final Verdict

For a top-notch fly trap you won’t regret, we recommend the Flies Be Gone Original Fly Trap, due to its effective formula, simple set-up, and lack of cleanup. For a low-budget alternative, check out the Raid Fly Ribbon, a no-frills fly trap that can be used indoors or outdoors.

How to Shop for Fly Traps Like a Pro


Fly traps come in a number of forms, from sticky ribbons to electric zappers to light-emitting devices, all of which can be quite effective, but differ greatly in cost, aesthetics, size, and more. Simple sticky traps, for instance, “are very useful for nuisance flies as well as biting flies,” Ron Whitehurst, licensed pest control advisor and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, as the ribbons provide an “attractive surface for flies to land.” And traps of the electric variety use light to lure flies in before instantly killing them.

Ease of Use

When considering which fly trap to buy, think about how much effort you want to put into maintaining the traps. Reusable traps, for instance, can be cost-saving and highly effective, but “some people don’t want to empty out a container full of dead flies, rinse it out, and start fresh, and would prefer to throw the trap away when it gets full of flies,” says Whitehurst. Although you can find reusable fly traps with disposable cartridges, such as the Safer Home Indoor Fly Trap, our favorite reusable option.

Targeted Area

Some fly traps are designed for use both inside and outside of the house, but many others are meant specifically for one area, so be sure to check carefully before purchasing a trap. If you mainly deal with flies outdoors, hanging up a light or window device might work well, but if your primary issue is flies around the garbage or kitchen sink, consider indoor-only options like those that mimic the look of fruit to lure flies in.

Questions You Might Ask

What is the most effective fly trap bait?

There are several bait options that work well with fly traps, says Whitehurst. First, there’s Z-9 Tricosene, which is “a sex pheromone that females produce to attract males to mate.” Another option is anaerobically digested (aka rotten) yeast, since it “smells like it is putrefying,” he adds. You can also mix molasses with water to cause fermentation, or ammonium carbonate mixed with water and active yeast.

Where should I place a fly trap?

It’s crucial to place traps “at least 20 feet away from entrances to homes or decks/patios,” says Whitehurst, “as the putrefying ingredients in many of the baits are not pleasant around eating areas, and you also don’t want to be drawing the flies close to the house, where they can easily enter through open doors and windows.”

Additionally, because flies gravitate to sunny locations in the mornings and evenings and shade at the hottest parts of the day, move your traps around accordingly. “In the cooler months, place traps in sunnier locations, and in the hottest parts of the year, place traps in partial sun/partial shade,” says Whitehurst.

What smell repels flies and gnats?

“Lavender, cedar, basil, and peppermint are some common repellents,” says Whitehurst. When shopping, look for fly traps with those scents to ensure maximum effectiveness against these pests.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, The New York Times, and many other publications. She frequently covers home products and did significant research on fly traps for this story, including speaking to Ron Whitehurst, licensed pest control advisor and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries.

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What is the most effective fly catcher? ›

Our top pick is the Starbar Fly Terminator Pro, a powerhouse trap that can catch 35,000 flies, horseflies, deer flies, and gnats before it needs emptying. If you're looking for a reusable option, check out the Victor Fly Magnet Reusable Trap With Bait. It can be refilled with the brand's bait.

What is the best bait for indoor fly traps? ›

Bait fly traps with apple cider vinegar or wine to catch fruit flies – also known as vinegar flies. A good bait for house flies is 1 part molasses, 3 parts water. This ferments and smells pleasant as long as it doesnt putrify. Many house fly baits use brewers yeast, fish meal, and sugar that ferments in water.

What do house flies hate the most? ›

Flies hate the smell of essential oils like lemon grass, peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus – put a few drops in a spray bottle and use around the house daily. They also hate the smell of camphor (a traditional moth deterrent) which you can buy online, cloves and cinnamon.

Does vinegar attract or repel house flies? ›

Does Vinegar, Dish Soap, Essential Oils Repel Flies? Vinegar attracts, not repels flies; however, a container with vinegar and dish soap will function as an attractant trap as the vinegar lures flies to enter the trap and the dish soap will cause the flies to sink and die.

What draws flies the most? ›

Common house flies are attracted to decaying organic filth such as feces and rotting meat, whereas fruit flies seek sugary substances and feed more commonly on overripe fruit, spilled soda, and alcohol.

How do I keep flies away forever? ›

Scents that they're particularly opposed to are the strong, pungent odors, like clove, lavender, mint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary and citronella. Apply a few drops of these oils to strips of cloth to make DIY fly paper, or spray your deck and patio to keep flies away from the periphery of your home.

What keeps flies away inside the house? ›

Cinnamon – use cinnamon as an air freshner, as flies hate the smell! Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils – Not only will spraying these oils around the house create a beautiful aroma, but they will also deter those pesky flies too.

Why do you put vinegar in a fly trap? ›

Vinegar (or acetic acid) is the ultimate product of the fermentation process in fruit, which is why fruit flies are attracted to vinegar odor. However, both low and high concentrations of vinegar odor leave flies indifferent (left).

Do apple cider vinegar fly traps work? ›

They'll be attracted to the apple cider vinegar smell and make their way inside where they won't be able to get out. There are a variety of commercially available fruit fly traps; however, trapping alone usually does not completely eliminate the problem.

What kills flies the fastest? ›

Choose from either chemical sprays, household cleaners, or hairspray. Chemical sprays kill flies instantly upon contact, though they contain harsh chemicals. You can also spray the flies with household cleaners, like Windex or Formula 409, or with an aerosol like hairspray. All of these sprays will help you kill a fly.

Where do flies lay their eggs in the house? ›

Homeowners typically find house fly eggs in moist, decaying organic material like trash, grass clippings, or feces. Elongated and pale in color, they appear in clusters and hatch quickly after being laid by the female fly.

What smell do flies love? ›

Here are some of the most well-known scents that can lure flies: House flies: Unpleasant, decaying smells (rotting meat, decomposing garbage, etc.) Fruit flies: Sweet, sugary smells (ripe or rotting fruit, spilled soda or juice, alcohol, etc.) Drain flies: Moist, mildewy smells.

What are flies most afraid of? ›

Afraid of shadows

The flies looked startled and, if flying, increased their speed. Occasionally the flies froze in place, a defensive behaviour also observed in the fear responses of rodents. The shadows even caused hungry flies to leave a food source, when that was presented during another phase of the experiment.

Does Pine Sol keep flies away? ›

Flies seem to HATE pine-sol. To make the fly repelling spray, mix the original Pine-Sol with water, at a ratio of 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle. Use to wipe counters or spray on the porch and patio table and furniture to drive the flies away.

Do flies hate bleach? ›

Many people associate the control of drain flies and bleach. The idea that pouring bleach down the drain gets rid of drain flies is actually a common misconception since doing so rarely helps get rid of these insects.

How do flies get in the house when windows are closed? ›

Through Cracks and Crevices

You may not think much about cracks or open spaces in the window sills or walls, but flies and other bugs will jump at the opportunity to make their way through these little spaces. They can also find their way in through the vents in your home!

What kills flies overnight? ›

Vinegar and dish soap fly trap

Use a shallow dish bowl and fill it with an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Next, add some fruit-scented dish soap. You can leave the dish uncovered or tightly covered with plastic wrap.

What smell do flies hate the most? ›

Eucalyptus oil is a good option, but you can also use lavender, citrus, pine, clove, peppermint, and thyme essential oils. Most flies hate these scents, so the oils will act as a fly repellent.

What does it mean when a fly is always around you? ›

Houseflies LOVE the scent of food, garbage, feces, and other smelly things like your pet's food bowl. They're also attracted to your body if you have a layer of natural oils and salt or dead skin cells built up.

What is the trick for flies? ›

Fill up a few large, clear glasses with water. Then, place some pennies at the bottom of the glasses. Then, place these glasses of water around your table and even among the plates of food. You'll notice fewer flies buzzing around your food and your head!

How do you find where flies are coming from? ›

Flies usually find moisture around garbage or another source of food. Keep garbage cans sealed whenever you aren't using them. Take out all your garbage every night before bed. Rinse out and dry containers before disposing of them.

Is there a candle to keep flies away? ›

The citronella plant is a great fly repellent! Burning citronella candles will also do the trick, because flies not only hate the plant's scent but also tend to stay away from flames and smoke.

How long does it take for a vinegar fly trap to work? ›

Within just a few days the fruit flies will begin to enter the trap and start to diminish around the home.

Why is my vinegar trap not working? ›

If the flies are attracted to your trap, but aren't going it, chances are your holes are too small (or too large), increase the size of the holes. Or if too large, replace the plastic wrap and try again. Happy catching!

What bugs does vinegar attract? ›

Certain insects are attracted to vinegar. Namely, those attracted to decaying plant matter, with aphids and fruit flies as the primary culprits.

Why is my apple cider vinegar fly trap not working? ›

Actually, the vinegar is not what kills the fruit flies. Vinegars like balsamic or apple cider work as bait to attract them, but you have to add something like alcohol or soap to the bait solution in order to kill them. This homemade fruit fly trap and bait mixture is the perfect solution to a common problem.

What flies are attracted to vinegar? ›

Vinegar flies, also known as fruit or pomace flies, are small, yellowish flies that are commonly attracted to fermenting fruit of all kinds.

What kind of flies are attracted to apple cider vinegar? ›

Fruit flies are drawn to the smell of fermentation, and apple cider vinegar is one of their favorite fermented smells. The apple cider vinegar works to draw the fruit flies into the trap, where they climb through the holes in both layers of foil, but cannot get out easily.

What DIY kills flies instantly? ›

DIY fly killer spray: Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol (found at your local drug store) and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle (add water first so soap doesn't bubble). Spray directly onto pesky flies to kill them.

What liquid kills flies instantly? ›

Homemade fly killer spray: A mixture of half a cup of water, half a cup of isopropyl alcohol, and a teaspoon of dish liquid can be filled in a spray bottle. This mixture can be sprayed on the flies directly to kill them.

Do fly traps work or just attract more flies? ›

While they will kill flies they will also be attracting more flies to the area! Fly Glue Traps are bright yellow to attract flies to them. Be extra careful when placing them.

Where do all the flies come from in my house? ›

How did I get house flies? House flies are one of the most common insects on the planet. They breed and feed in filth, including garbage, feces, and rotting or spoiled food. Poor sanitation and ripped screens and unsealed cracks in windows and doors can lead to house fly infestations.

Where is the best place to put a fly trap? ›

We recommend hanging the trap around 20 feet away from home entrances and 20 feet away from patios or decks. Good locations for this trap: Along a back fence or toward the back of your yard. Near a dog run or kennel.

Why do I have maggots in my fly trap? ›

While having maggots form in the Flies-Be-Gone trap is ugly to look at, it is a good thing. It means you have captured female flies that were ready to lay eggs, eggs that if laid outisde the bag would produce more flies that could potentially contaminate your food, infest your home or drive you craz…

Why are there maggots in my fly trap? ›

Fruit flies tend to be active during the daytime, so make sure your trap is on the counter during the day. Some captured female fruit flies will lay eggs, which hatch into maggots. These maggots will feed on the yeast liquid in the bottom of the jar.

Where do flies go at night? ›

“As the day turns to dusk, flies take refuge under leaves and branches, on twigs and tree trunks, on the stems of tall grass and other plants,” Dr. Grimaldi said. “They typically will not overnight on the ground. “Light/dark cycles are the primary determinant in flight times of flies,” Dr.


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