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Doris Lin

A Humane, Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

By August 8, 2009

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Homemade Fruit Fly Trap
It starts with a piece of paper.
Doris Lin 2009, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In my home, it happens at least once every summer. I throw something into the trash or the compost bucket, and a cloud of fruit flies rises up. Years ago, the sight would fill me with despair. Since I wasn't going to kill them, I usually found myself miserably tolerating fruit flies in my kitchen for the rest of the summer, until the weather turned cold and they disappeared.

Now, I just make this humane, homemade fruit fly trap, and I'm usually fruit fly-free within 2 days.

And yes, flies are animals.

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August 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm
(1) meridith says:

Thank you! I’ve recently had fruit fly issues and was wondering how to handle it without resorting to killing the flies.

August 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm
(2) Irish says:

Thank gawd a simple humane solution,I have pet rats and I feed them fruit and veggies everyday plus they’er rat nuggets and by the end of the day when I go to freshen their food I put my hand in their cages to retrieve their bowls and fruit flies swarm me,thankye so much for this,ye are a hero to my rats :O)

July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am
(3) Stitch says:

Are you kidding me? “Humane” flytraps? Flies spread disease! They breed in GARBAGE! They are filthy! Who cares if the little bastards DIE because they invaded MY HOME?!!??!?!?!?

July 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(4) Mike says:

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Get a life, humans rule the earth. Kill the germ infested, child biting, and disease contracting mites. (Edited to conform with About.com User Agreement)

August 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm
(5) Heidi says:

Fruit flies are harmless to humans and do NOT spread disease. Compassion for others, no matter who they are or how small, is the highest form of intelligence. Albert Schweitzer said, “I am life which wills to live amidst live which wills to live.” It is always deeply disturbing to see compassion denigrated for no other reason than sheer meanness. Those who promote compassion lessen the suffering in the world; those who scorn compassion add to the misery in the world.

August 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm
(6) M says:

Heidi, you realize that the diseases are caused by tiny, microscopic animals called “Bacteria” right? So how human is it to use Antibiotics when you’re sick? Depending on who you ask, viruses (like smallpox) are “alive,” so should we not be working toward eradicating them?

September 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(7) CharlieHorse says:

I agree – you are absolutely crazy. You probably don’t want to kill any rats on the street either. Lets put you on a deserted island and see if you kill any to survive or you starve yourself instead.

October 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm
(8) Cathie says:

you’ve gotta be kidding me…HUMANE FRUITFLY TRAPS …??… wow…don’t have more important things to concern yourself with? if you’re such an advocate for fruitflies, i sure hope you put your 2 cents in for starving & mistreated ACTUAL pets, unwanted babies, abused children and women, & starving, oppressed people all over the world…but i sure hope your wonderful humane fruitfly trap ensures that those poor little things don’t “suffer”, that would just be a shame.

October 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(9) cam says:

absolutely ridiculous!

Just kill the fruit flies any way possible.

That goes for flies and mosquitos too. Is there any knucklehead out there that wants to protect mosquitos?

I spare spiders at my house at times as they eat other insects.

October 15, 2011 at 10:33 am
(10) Tesp says:

Great! I am not a fan of flies, mice or spiders, but I do like the idea of getting rid of them without having to kill, or making a mess with vinegar. For everybody that says “kill- kill”.

haha I would not want to be stuck in an elevator with them for more than a few hours. They will probably do me in and then use my body for food, before they even realize there is a red emergency button that works just fine.

November 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm
(11) Dione says:

Wow! If you don’t want a humane fly trap dont click on her link! Why would you say these kinds of things to someone who is obviously a sensitive person! The world needs more people like her, and less people who are ready to kill things and belittle people to make themselves feel above others.

November 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm
(12) kantbelievit says:

you gotchyer friutflies…thens you gotchyer fruitcakes…

October 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm
(13) Catcher says:

I dont give a crap about whether a fruit fly dies yes they can spread disease and yes every tim they land they barf so the food a fly lands on has fly barf in it i only use the hippy fly trap for catching flys for bait to fish with

December 27, 2012 at 2:16 am
(14) Logic says:

Kill rats in streets? They’re there because of us, you moron. Rats came ro the cities because of OUR pollution.

The Nazis ruled most of Europe, but it didn’t give them the right to kill whatever they wanted. You need your heads checked.

Great job on the trap….. Now, what to do with the flies in the winter.

May 29, 2013 at 12:43 am
(15) Stephanie Cooper says:

I think it’s a great idea to get rid of fruit flies however I find it very hard to believe you would bother to release them. They are flies!

July 10, 2013 at 9:57 am
(16) Melissa Viau says:

Humans spread disease to other humans far more than any other animal does. Gee, I guess we should kill humans when we see them!

It’s really sad that many people are so violent towards others that they actually get angry and outraged when they see someone wanting to avoid violence towards others. You know society is messed up when respect for animals causes outrage while the everyday exploitation and killing of animals for human use (food, clothing, entertainment, research, etc) is considered completely normal. You know something is wrong with human society when non-violence is somehow threatening.

To Doris Lin, thank you very much for the guide for non-violent trapping of fruit flies. It is much appreciated. :)

September 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm
(17) Christine says:

Great idea, thank you! I mentioned it to someone else who gave me an idea for another humane and also easy trap, putting a piece of fruit into an empty cereal bag, taping it shut and poking several holes in it. It’s the same concept though, the scent leads them in through the one tiny hole and they cannot find their way out.

Then if one is capable of expending a little extra energy to open the bag outside every few days, set them free to die a natural death another day and retape it to catch more, that is good but otherwise they can just accumulate them all and then throw it out. I, personally, tend to wage on the side of caution when considering the level of sentience an animal may have. They may have too few neurons to process that they are drowning in 18 year old scotch and appreciate that at least it isn’t a blend, but I’m willing to bet that even fruit flies have the capacity to feel the emotion that humans would express as “can’t breathe, can’t fly, liquid stinging eyes, gasp, gasp, please help, please help”.

I guess animals suffer enough in this world already and it takes very little time to help the ones in my immediate vicinity not suffer.

November 13, 2013 at 9:51 am
(18) Betsy says:

This worked very effectively–thanks so much!!

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