Indoor unattended fly trap?

Connor Hawke
by Connor Hawke

I don't know where the flies in my apartment are coming from recently (no exposed food/garbage or opened windows, etc), but I know they're there. It's not a huge infestation, but it is an annoyance. Regular-sized flies, not fruit flies.

It seems there are two main alternatives for killing flies, outside of using a swatter (which I tried, with an electric swatter, but the ones in my apartment are too restless and quick) and poison spray (toxic, gets over stuff, needs cleanup, etc). Those two alternatives are scented traps and zapping lights.

The scented traps seem recommended for outdoors due to the strong smell, so I'm wondering about the issue of the smell being in my apartment, including with regards to how hospitable my place would be while the trap is there, whether the smell lingers after the trap is removed (and if so, whether something like an ozone generator would take care of that), and crucially, whether the smell would be strong enough to attract flies from outdoors through the tiny pathways connecting the outdoors to my apartment, which is obviously unwanted.

So, normally I'd select zapping lights. However, I read that unattended zapping lights are a potential fire hazard, and in my case, they would be almost entirely unattended at the moment. I've been staying at my girlfriend's, awaiting cleanup of the apartment opposite mine that suffered a fire a month ago (that's why I bought an ozone generator, but it's not enough to stop continued transfer of the smoke smell from the opposite apartment); I now only visit my apartment periodically, generally once every few days or less, for up to several hours at a time, not staying overnight.

Regarding another alternative, fly paper, I read that it's unreliable, especially for bigger flies. But I'd like to be proven wrong.

So I welcome advice, preferably based on experience. And if I didn't mention a trap style that you think would be more suitable for my situation, please note. Thanks in advance.

  10 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 01, 2021

    Hi Connor, the flies are horrible right now for us too. We've always had good luck with fly strips, they're cheap, they don't smell and they've always done a pretty darn good job. They look kind of gross but we hang them in the areas of the house where the flies seem to congregate and they generally get about 90%.

  • Janice Janice on Sep 01, 2021

    Hi Conner, here's an article that may provide some ideas for you.

  • It might depend on what kind of flies they are, as they're all attracted or repelled by different things. You can get some fly trap bags at the hardware store but check to see if they're ok for indoors and will trap the kind of flies you've got. You can take a 2 liter bottle, cut off the top, add some yeast, water, and sugar, then invert the top into the bottle and staple it on as a trap. It's super gross though!

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 01, 2021

    Go to amazon and type indoor fly traps into their search engine you should have several results pop up.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 01, 2021

    We just went through this problem with houseflies, don't know where they came from, they just appeared and decided they loved the windows. I used the vacuum cleaner to suck up as many as possible, but of course some always escape. And for those I used the flyswatter. The electronic stuff is a big "if" in my experience, like the gizmo that repels rodents and they go running away from a house.

    Beck's solution with the yeast, water and sugar is a winner and does work, they are drawn to decay and the byproducts.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 01, 2021

    If the screens on your windows do not fit tightly, some flies may be getting into your apartment in between the mesh or in between the screen frame and the window. To help prevent them from coming in this way, give the rims of your window screens a liberal spraying of Raid.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 01, 2021

    Fly paper that uses a thumb tack into the ceiling, remove when full with a plastic bag over it before you release the thumb tack. And if the flies congregate on the window glass, they make a clear sticky trap that fastens to the glass and peels right off when full.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 01, 2021

    Hi! Flies are bad this year. We use the fly strips. They stick to anything, so be careful where you hang them.

  • Connor Hawke Connor Hawke on Sep 22, 2021

    I'm guessing they were from open windows. I put up flypaper but they'd already gone.

    Another issue is what look like merchant or sawtooth grain beetles. They regularly appear in the sink, toilet and bathtub. Found many in certain containers in the kitchen. Some were in opened food including cereal. Even saw a few in the microwave and fridge.

    Threw out all unrefrigerated/unfrozen food and sprayed a few more heavily infested areas. Kept up the termination and it's seemingly more or less back to normal for the time being.