If you’ve ever found yourself swatting endlessly during the Summer months at fruit flies that creep into your household lured by the scent of leftovers and sweet treats, then you should check out how to make a fly trap with a mason jar.

How to make a fly trap with a mason jar


Fruit flies are attracted to all kinds of things, typically moist, fermenting fruits and vegetables, so if you’re someone with a healthy diet that keeps a fully stocked fruit bowl – you might be a prime target for Summer fruit flies. However, they also love empty bottles, drains, trash bags, and washing rags. Anything that might hold even the slightest remnant of leftover food or liquid can be a big attraction for fruit flies but fear no more, we at the Pearl Jars team are going to share with you some homemade, do it your self tips to help you learn how to make a fly trap with a mason jar.

There are actually a few different techniques for creating homemade fly traps, of course, one option is to use store-bought fly traps, however over time this can add up and feel wasteful. In general, the ingredients required to make DIY fly taps with glass jars tend to be everyday household ingredients that many of us have in the pantry, so it might be worth your while to try your hand at making your own.


Glass mason jars being sterilised to bottle Kombucha.


The Supplies


The Paper Cone Method

To make a fly trap with a mason jar and paper cone, simply start by being taking the mason jar and filling it with the apple cider vinegar, about a ¼ cup (60ML) then adding a few drops of liquid dish soap. If you don’t have a glass mason jar you can also use an old spaghetti sauce or peanut butter jar that has been cleaned and rinsed out.

The sweetness of the apple cider vinegar will attract the flies. Usually, flies can land on water and fly away again, however, by adding a few drops of liquid dish soap, we break the surface tension of the water, so when the fly lands on the water it will this time slip down and stay inside.

Next, take a piece of parchment or normal paper and roll it into a cone shape, inserting it into the jar. The idea is that the funnel shape created by the cone should block the flies from leaving the jar, trapping them in the liquid.


The Cellophane Wrap Top Method

Another method for creating a homemade fly trap with a mason jar is by covering the top with plastic wrap. 

Following the same steps as above, you fill a glass mason jar with apple cider vinegar and liquid dish soap, You then take a piece of cellophane plastic and stretch it over the top of the jar, securing it firmly in place with a rubber band.

Finally, you very gently pierce some small holes in the wrap, so that the flies may enter but not escape.

The Lid With Punctured Holes Method

The last method follows the same approach as the others, however instead of a cone or plastic wrap top, you take the regular lid of the jar and puncture some holes in it. This can be done with a hammer and nail, don’t do too many, between 3-4 should do the trick.

Extra Notes

How to make a fly trap with a mason jar

Different fly traps have been said to have different results from home to home.

According to many online forums, one of the main differentiators is the bait that you use to attract the flies. In our example, we have used a popular method of apple cider vinegar and liquid dish soap, however, you can add in or replace other elements to yield different results. Below are some examples:

  • Adding granulated sugar into the apple cider vinegar and dish soap.
  • Small pieces of crushed watermelon or berries left to ripen may also work effectively in the Summer as fly bait
  • An old piece of shrimp can also work effectively, but may pack a punch with the smell!

Catch and release

red flower bud in close up photography

Many people also make fly traps to catch and release flies without killing them. To do this, simply use old fruit as your fly bait without the dish soap. When the flies are trapped in the jar you may bring them outside your home and release them.

More information

We based our research upon the following websites which we found helpful:

July 21, 2023

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