Wine Bottle Fruit Fly Trap HOW-TO

3 Minutes

You may have seen the fruit fly trap where you cut a 2 liter soda bottle in half and then invert it on itself. Functional, cheap, but not necessarily an attractive decoration. Here is how to make a trap out of an empty wine bottle.

1. Place a sweet fluid in the bottom of the bottle like apple cider vinegar, the last few drops of wine, etc.
2. Make a funnel out of full sheet of paper.
3. Place the funnel in the bottle and trim off just above top of bottle lip.
4.Gently press down on the funnel until it is flush with to lip of the bottle and make sure that there are no gaps between the funnel and the bottle.

TIP: Rinse it out and make a new funnel periodically.

Not a fan of using empty alcoholic beverages as decorations or seeing the fruit flies crawl around? Spray paint the wine bottle first.
The finished Wine Bottle Fruit Fly Trap. You can just see the fruit flies already in there after just a couple minutes of use
The finished Wine Bottle Fruit Fly Trap. You can just see the fruit flies already in there after just a couple minutes of use
Place a sweet fluid in the bottom of the bottle like apple cider vinegar, the last few drops of wine, etc.
Make a funnel out of full sheet of paper.
Place the funnel in the bottle and trim off just above top of bottle lip.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

10 questions
  • Carolyn Noyer
    on Apr 26, 2016

    You say "fruit" flies, would this work for regular flies?

    • Jaq2174166
      on Apr 26, 2016

      I think any flying insect would fall for the "trap"

    • Jaq2174166
      on Apr 26, 2016

      I think any flying insect would fall for the "trap"

    • Katrina Thiessen-Beasse
      on Apr 26, 2016

      I do this with 2L pop bottles all the time as fly/wasp traps during the summer. Works like a charm on pretty much ALL flying pests.

    • Sandy Hartnett
      on Apr 28, 2016

      Very good to know...thanks...hugs

    • Felicity Woodruffe
      on May 3, 2016

      Yes it works for most flying insects including wasps

    • Suzanne
      on May 9, 2016

      If you have really low ceiling you can put a little dish soap in a plastic cup and hold it up close to the ceiling and a fly will drop into the cup. Can also be used as magic trick to entertain youngsters

    • Cheryl Johnson
      on Jun 30, 2016

      Really good for gnats, as well

    • Rachel
      on Jul 1, 2016

      Had mine out for about 10 days now and not caught a thing! :(

    • Avlemf
      on Jul 3, 2016

      Sorry this only works on American flying insects.

    • Vicki Tyson Dudai
      on Jul 5, 2016

      Works well with yellow jackets. They were messing with my hummingbirds and seemed to be getting the upper hand so I had to do the plastic bottle idea and immediately filled the bottom with them. Now, I upscale to wine bottle or maybe a pretty little wine or margarita glass. Just can't invite the heavy drinkers over in case they set down their glass and pick this one up. Yikes!!!!!

    • Pamrwilson
      on Jul 6, 2016

      Avlemf Love your answer LOL

    • Helen Warner
      on Jul 6, 2016

      I done the same thing with a pickle jar for the nats and it works great!!!

    • Susan
      on Sep 20, 2016

      Reading this whole thing was hilarious, but I vote for July's plan. And if she doesn't catch flies under her plan? I don't think she'll care. -:)

    • Susan
      on Sep 20, 2016

      Sorry...that was supposed to be Juli.

    • Danielle Odin
      on Oct 8, 2016

      You are all a riot. 8-)

  • Laurie
    on Apr 26, 2016

    I don't understand, if the fly fits and can fly in the paper funnel, why can't they fly back out the same funnel?

    • Xmo5213463
      on Apr 26, 2016

      THE main reason is that is much easier for a tiny brained fruit fly to enter the bottle as it is operating on a trigger that says follow the smell of food and land on the top of the funnel and walk down toward the source of the odour and once it reaches the small opening of the funnel ( I would make the opening even smaller) it flies down to the source of food eats or drinks its fill but their is no reason to try to find the opening to get back out.

    • Terry
      on Apr 27, 2016

      Because they are stupid?

    • Xmo5213463
      on Apr 28, 2016

      If you want to choose that term it is your choice, I believe that like most small brained forms of life they operate on things that are most important to them and first amoung them is food and reproducing, food number 1 for without that they would not last to reproduce and what better place to find a mate would be near a food supply. While they are busy doing that they do not try to fly back out through the tiny hole at the end of the funnel.

    • Sandy Hartnett
      on Apr 28, 2016

      They don't fly back out because they are too busy drowning in the liquid...I have done this numerous times with a glass covered in plastic wrap with a pencil sized hole in the wrap...amazing how quickly this works!

    • Patty
      on Apr 28, 2016

      They can't seem to find their way back out of things like this. Not sure why.

    • Felicity Woodruffe
      on May 3, 2016

      The answer is because they close their wings and crawl through the small hole but when trying to get out there is nothing to help them crawl out if they open their wings to try to fly they can't get through the small hole

    • Mssmatch
      on May 16, 2016

      They are too drunk and eventually drown....

    • Doris E Slager
      on Jun 2, 2016

      Talk about splitting hairs!

    • Too Shy
      on Jun 7, 2016

      😂😂😂 All together they make sense thanks. to all,

    • Jym Allen Hitt
      on Jun 12, 2016

      Terry took my answer....they ain't brain surgeons

    • Rte5003477
      on Jul 2, 2016

      Instead of the funnel, try a couple of drops of dish detergent. The surfactant traps them in the liquid. I have been using this method in a little bowl of vinegar for several years.

    • Stacey
      on Jul 3, 2016

      Same. I use a regular glass with apple cider vinegar and dish detergent. No need to cover the glass. They fly right in and are trapped immediately.

    • Juli
      on Jul 7, 2016

      You all just made my morning! I think Felicity has it right, but Jym Allen I'm with you on this one "... they ain't brain surgeons" I think I'm going right out and empty a couple of wine bottles right now so I can try this out on my deck!! Happy fly hunting y'all!! 😊

    • Anny Palanzi
      on Sep 20, 2016

      Juli, all by yourself? I'd want company for this event. Probably the most fun I've had in weeks. And a splendid time will be had by all...except the fruit flies.

    • Yofrendonna
      on Mar 5, 2017

      They get drunk on the wine. 😂

    • Yofrendonna
      on May 14, 2017

      Flies have tiny brains. Smaller than a ..well .. fly.....
    • Missroselady
      on May 27, 2017

      I still haven't heard from any one if this will work for regular flies. I don't have any fruit that attracts fruit flies.
    • Chris Eilerman
      on Jun 15, 2017

      I'm thinking...since attracts gnats also, what's it gonna hurt to go ahead and try! I am. I have trouble with flies getting in also. It's such a cheap project, even cheaper than fly strips...which btw I had an aweful experience with. Let's, just say that sticky stuff really adheres to ones hair and....I'll leave it at that. Lol.. Good luck to you! Wish me luck.

    • Laurie Price
      on Jun 16, 2017

      The dish soap decreases the surface tension and they drown. The funnel is needed.
    • Jeannie.mcquaid
      on Aug 8, 2017

      Missroselady, I don't think regular flies would be attracted enough by cider vinegar to bother going down the bottle in the first place. You might have to change the bait to something else they would like...and then you'd have to listen to them buzz around in there.  might be annoying.
    • Denise Divan-Warnke
      on Aug 9, 2017

      My friend'a mother told me an odd remedy to keep flies away from the doors so they don't get into the house. Take a little baggie and put a little bit of water with a penny or two in it. Hang it by the door. I tried it and have had hardly any flies in my house after going on a flyswatting spree just a few days prior.  Sounds strange but it works.
    • MK McDonald
      on Aug 29, 2017

      Common sense folks. As with any flying insect trap, once their wings become wet, its toast for them all. I used to use a 2 Litre plastic bottle and put maybe 1/4 of the bottle full of the sweetest tasting/smelling liquid I could think of. I'd cut 2-3 flaps (an upside 'U') around the upper sides of the bottle, push the flaps inside. It created a little door in but the wasps could not get out. That is, if the syrupy liquid didn't drown them first. No more 4 year old little daughter screaming as they'd bite her over and over!
    • Tina M. Shrewsbury-Harrell
      on Sep 10, 2017

      I've always used the baggy with water truck pinned above my doors to outside. It works and makes a great conversation piece. Used to live near a horse farm and flies being flies, they came to visit.
    • Tina M. Shrewsbury-Harrell
      on Sep 10, 2017

      that would be water *trick
    • Malika Ibrahim
      on Sep 10, 2018

      Ok, someone make a video of the baggy penny thing.

  • Lucy
    on Jul 1, 2016

    why the need for the funnel ? Won't the flys go into bottles without it ?

  • Beverly
    on Mar 5, 2017

    Ok so what I have to do to trap any flying insect is get a bottle, put some apple cider vinegar with a splash of liquid dish detergent in it..then make a funnel with paper and they come fall in and can't come much apple cider vinegar do I need for such big bottles? Thanks

    • Judy Tilton
      on Mar 5, 2017

      An ounce or two should work. You just need enough to produce a good, strong odor and deep enough that they can't "wade" in it.

    • Martha O'Brian
      on Aug 1, 2017

      I missed the dish soap part..where was that written?
    • Wanday
      on Aug 9, 2017

      Martha O'Brian I didn't see that part also.....
    • Em
      on Sep 9, 2017

      If it was true "that when their wings get wet they are toast" they would all die in the rain. That simply isn't true.
    • Janet
      on Sep 9, 2017

      I tried apple cider vinegar in a glass and I was overwhelmed with fruit flies this summer when I started buying baskets of peaches (never had this problem other summers).

    • M
      on Jan 7, 2018

      I have used this in a bowl with the vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Wrap Saran wrap tightly on the top and poke few small holes in the Saran. The purpose of the dishwashing liquid is to break the surface tension of the vinegar so they don't just sit on it. The wine bottle idea will look much better than a bowl with dead fruit flys!!

    • Sheila
      on Jun 3, 2019

      Martha O'Brian...One of the responses said to add a dash of dish soap. I do that too...the dish soap makes their wings heavy and they can't fly out.

    • Yvonne Thompson
      on Jun 22, 2019

      The Dishwashing liquid breaks the surface tension of the liquid in the bottle. Once they land on the liquid they can't away and sink.

  • Vortec
    on Jan 23, 2019

    There is something lacking in how this is supposed to function / work. Does the funnel go all the way to the bottom of the bottle or ????

    • MargaretHoulihan
      on Jan 24, 2019

      The funnel only needs to go into the wine bottle about 4-5 inches--just enough to get into the wider part of the bottle and not end inside the neck of the wine bottle. The fruit fly goes in through the funnel because of the attraction of the apple cider vinegar. Because you are using a funnel shape, the widest part of the funnel is at the top opening of the wine bottle. The narrow opening is at the other end inside the wine bottle. The fruit fly will try to get out, but it would need to find the narrow opening in the funnel, which is now located about 4-5 inches from the top of the bottle. It would be nearly impossible for the fruit fly to find that small opening so that it could escape.

    • Katherina
      on Feb 9, 2019

      I think you would need some glue stick also. To help it stay.

    • Carol
      on Jul 15, 2019

      No it stays in the top of the bottle.

  • Raeann Tobin
    on Jun 18, 2019

    Same concept as the fly bags at Home Depot. The flys get in, following the scent and can’t get out. The funnel is wide enough for all to get in but only the really smart flies can get out the small end of the funnel. There can’t be too many really smart flies, right?

    • Barb
      on Nov 3, 2019

      It only takes 1 smart fly for natural selection to prevail! LOL

  • Kathi Lael
    on Jul 16, 2019

    Does this work for gnats?

    • KDS
      on Jul 20, 2019


    • Cassie
      on Nov 2, 2019

      I make something like this from plastic water bottles. The nats and fruit flies love the smell of the apple cider vinegar. you will be surprised just how many nats and fruit flies will be trapped, dead floating around in the ACV in just a short amount of time. AVC and funnel traps are the best for getting ride of those flying bugs.....

    • Barb
      on Nov 3, 2019

      Aren't gnats and fruit flies the same thing?

    • Argena McAdoo
      on Dec 2, 2019

      Easy fix for nats...

      Get a small container .. Fill it halfway with water and put just a couple of drops of dawn dish liquid in the water they will flock to it and drown.

      I always sit it inside of one of my plants takes care of the problem without a thought

    • Wandamurline
      on Apr 29, 2020

      What I found that works really well on the little gnats that you bring in on fruit is to take a small jar with a lid....poke holes in the lid, fill about half the jar with apple cider vinegar and you will not have these pests flying everywhere.

  • Darlene
    on Oct 6, 2019

    How to keep bugs out of my hummingbird feeder?

    • Celeste
      on Nov 5, 2019

      Search for Ant Moats, you fill it with water/oil and they can’t get to your feeder

    • Bill Bates
      on May 7, 2020

      Also put vasoline or a little bit of grease around hanger to stop ants.

    • Barbara Buchan
      on May 17, 2020

      Bill--Vaseline is not recommende for h'bird feeders. It could harm the birds if they come in contact with it

  • Penny
    on Feb 26, 2020

    Do you put the apple cider into the bottle before or after the rolled up paper?

  • Lucy
    on May 17, 2020

    Does this work for outdoor flies?

Join the conversation

2 of 109 comments
  • Mary Hay
    on Aug 13, 2020

    Great idea. I bet this works with many different types of flies. I think they gravitate to any liquid with sweet or pungent smell. We'll see!

  • Mary Hay
    on Aug 13, 2020

    When I try to go to your blog a web solutions company pops up.

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