Fruit Fly Traps

27th March 2017.

Saw a gecko in one of my fruit fly traps not too long ago. Took some photos and decided to show some of my fruit fly traps and the dead fruit flies in them.

This trap hung on a curry leaf potted plant is simply a inverted 1.5l mineral bottle with its original top cut off with about 1/3 of the body. This top is then inserted hole side back into the inverted body. This hole acts as the access hole for the fruit flies into the trap where a cotton wad soaked with a attractant (methyl eugenol) and poison (malathion). The ratio which I used was 1 part malathion to 3 parts methyl eugenol. This works well for me and it seems to last a long while before needing to be reapplied. On average I reapply the attractant / toxicant every 3 months or so: when I see that not that many flies are going into the traps. The cotton wad is held by a thin piece of wire which is threaded into the top part of the trap. Another piece of wire with both ends threaded into the sides of the trap serves as a handle or hanging point. A little hot glue was used to seal the top where the wad wire is threaded through to the top of the trap. This trap would be more effective if I had made holes in the sides of the trap (as done in the other 2 traps below) instead of only having the access hole in the bottom of the trap. The dead flies are removed by removing the bottom part of the trap.


Here’s another fruit fly trap made from an old plastic CNY cookie container. The disadvantage of this compared to the first trap is that this second trap seems to get wet inside after heavy rains. Wet decomposing fruit flies are not that fun to look at… . The same cotton wad soaked with the methyl eugenol attractant and malathion toxicant is similarly held by a wire threaded into the center of the red cover and sealed with hot glue to prevent water from going into the trap from the top. In the case of this trap, the flies are removed by unscrewing the body from the cover, turning it over and knocking the body of the trap to try to get the dead flies out. Most times I have to use a stick or jet of water to remove the last of the dead flies from this trap. Must be the water getting in from the sides and pooling at the bottom that make the dead flies sticky over time…


This mini fruit fly trap was made from a 500ml mineral water bottle. It’s similar to the first trap except for the size and that holes were made on the body of the trap.

I plant tomatoes and other produce that are prone to fruit fly attacks in my garden. I find that even with these fruit fly traps that capture many fruit flies daily, I still have to cover my tomatoes if I don’t want my tomatoes to be infested with fruit fly larvae.

Since methyl eugenol only attracts the male flies and not the females and it is the females that lay their eggs in the fruits, I had been looking for protein based attractants (which attract both sexes of fruit flies) but was unable to get any. I tried experimenting with marmite, fish sauce, yeast and other protein sources as baits, but had not been successful in attracting any flies with my experimental baits. If anyone has a recipe for a protein based attractant, I would appreciate your dropping me a line…


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