Get Rid Of Flies Naturally With Homemade Flypaper

homemade flypaper

Every summer the hubster and I get in an argument over those nasty flypaper strips that he wants to hang in the house!  You know the ones I’m talking about?  They are a gross waxy yellow color and just plain disgusting-looking….and that’s WITHOUT dead flies stuck to them! :-)

I will concede to letting him hang some in the garage by the door into the house, but I draw the line at hanging them INSIDE the house.  They just give me the heebie-jeebies!

So when I read about an idea at for making your own homemade flypaper…I couldn’t wait to try it. ANYTHING had to be better than those icky yellow ones!

Turns out these are actually quite attractive-looking…almost DECORATIVE (OK, that might be going a little too far.) Of course they don’t have any dead flies stuck to them yet, but still, if you hate the look of those gooey yellow strips as much as I might want to give this a try!


homemade fly paper


DIY Fly Paper

What you need:

  • A paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • A single hole punch
  • Twine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water


homemade fly paper

Cut your paper bag into strips that are 2 – 3 inches wide (no need to measure…just eyeball it).


homemade fly paper

Punch a hole in the end of each one and then thread a piece of twine through the hole and tie the ends into a knot to form a loop for hanging.


homemade fly paper

Now to apply the “sticky stuff”.  Mix the sugar, honey (or corn syrup), and water in a saucepan on the stove over low heat just until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl and then run each paper strip through the sticky mixture until it is well-coated on both sides.


homemade fly paper

Photos by Anna Gleave

Hang your homemade flypaper strips somewhere to dry. Make sure to put a towel or something else absorbent under them to catch any sticky drips. I put an old tablecloth under mine and then just threw it in the washing machine after the strips were done dripping…which wasn’t very long.


If you’re wondering if these things are really STICKY….wonder no more! A picture is worth a thousand words….

homemade fly paper


They are definitely STICKY! Surprisingly sticky!! Eventually they will dry out and lose some of their stickiness (especially in a dry climate like mine!), when that happens just spritz them with some sugar water. They will re-stickify and attract even MORE flies!  And isn’t that really the point??  :-)



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  1. Paula says

    Awesome!! I wonder if it will work with the fruit flies too (instead of the ugly two liter bottle that turns into goo?)

    • Rosemarie says

      Really I hate having jars around with dead flies too. I am sure this will not look that great either when the flies start attaching to it…

      • Suzanne says

        Has anyone ever tried this with fruit flies or drain flies? Those tiny pesky annoying ones??

  2. Meg says

    I was just thinking about this the other night! We’ve had a bad problem with fruit flies lately. I was about to resort to fly paper and though ‘I wonder if there’s a way to make your own?’ I’ll have to give this a try!

    • Diane says

      My go to fruit fly catcher: pour some apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar in a white bowl add a drizzle of dish soap. I have it out all summer and top up as it evaporates or refresh when it is full of flies.

      • Yanet says

        May just try this Diane! I don’t fancy getting my hands all sticky with honey or sugar and hanging these little bad boys up. Does it have to be a white bowl? I have some, just wondering.

      • Melissa says

        I use a little mason jelly jar and it works great. I change it out each morning. You only need about 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and a drop or two of dish soap. I noticed if you leave it sit a few days it is less effective.

      • Libby says

        This has worked the best for me so far, other than dish soap green apple scent and water in brightly colored cups.

  3. Jill says

    This is awesome! I am definitely going to make some of these next summer (it’s winter down-under atm). I don’t think you can get the commercially made version here anymore, and I WON’T use fly spray, so this is going on the list of things to try.

    • mia says

      Yes you can get it here in Au. At Bunnings there are at least two different kinds. But Im gonna try this instead :)

  4. says

    I agree that the brown paper sack and twine is almost decorative, but if someone didn’t like that they could probably use different colors of construction paper and yarn. It would be more expensive, but might ‘coordinate’ with the current colors of their decor. Another thought, wonder if one used dark paper if one might be able to ignore the nasty flies due to them blending in with the background color of the paper? Yuck.

    • Joyce says

      Sharon great idea! I think I might try it with dark patterned paper so they aren’t noticeable. Txs.

      • Briana says

        They’re actually attracted to yellow and white. The paper bag with honey on it is yellowish, I’m not sure a dark color would work as well. Then again, they’re attracted to the sweet stuff too. Let me know how it works!

  5. Lindsy says

    These dont seem any prettier than the other to me but it is nice to have a back up when we run out of the other. My garage is attached to my dinning room and hubby will run in quick tongrab something and not close the door behind him and wallah flyfest begins!!! We always have the nasty ones in the garage but our tennis racket electric killing bug killer cant always catch them all. Thanks!!!

    • Amy Wyn says

      I live in Florida. One day I was at an outdoor fish market. I’m purchasing fish & hanging above me are small zip-lock type plastic baggies with a penny inside each bag. I asked the proprietor why those were hanging there & he explained “to keep the flies away”. And, sure enough, I looked around the market & there were no flies. I then went home & tried it & it really works. Don’t know if it will work with fruit flies but it certainly couldn’t hurt to try it.

      • Kitty says

        Mia, make sure you use shiny pennies & place it in the sunlight. The reflections off the pennies make the flies think there are preditors near & they will stay away.

      • Judy Ann says

        Amy Wyn Do you leave the zip lock bags open? or do you close them? How on earth does this work?? This caught my attention – Flies are horrible in in Florida…and my Yorkie tries to bite my legs if I am swatting flies in the house..Is that not wierd??haha

      • Kitty says

        Judy Ann, you close the baggies, but make sure you use pennies that are shiny. The sun must be able to hit them & make reflections off of the shiny pennies. The flies see this & presume it is a preditor, therefore they stay away.

      • Judy Ann says

        2ne post – my first one didn’t post under yourname

        Amy Wyn, Do you leave the zip lock bags open? or do you close them? How on earth does this work?? This caught my attention – Flies are horrible in in Florida…and my Yorkie tries to bite my legs if I am swatting flies in the house..Is that not wierd??haha

      • Mikki says

        My dogs always tried to attack me if I try to swat at a fly, or any type of bug on the wall…Glad I’m not the only one! lol

      • Libby says

        I made some of these strips last night… I’d read this post a few weeks ago, and thought ‘Oh well in the future if ever there’s a time that I end up being plagued by flies, I shall try this’….. well just MY LUCK, suddenly out of nowhere I have been PLAGUED!!! I wake up, tons on the windows. I kill them or as many as I possibly can. They seem to come back to life or something, am I crazy? WELL I first filled a few brightly colored and glittery cups with about an inch of green apple scented dish soap, and about an inch of water, set them out where the flies are.. THEN I make these strips last night with corn syrup because I don’t use corn syrup very often and I loves my honey… anywho so I thought i’d put it to good use. WELL. I touh them and they feel really sticky, so i’m thinking ‘awesome this might just work’ well they dry, I hang them from the windows (with floss and bread twisty ties cause I didn’t have twine) so I sit back and watch after fighting what seemed like a hundred or more flies and one lands on the strip in the dining room. I get excited. and then it FLIES RIGHT OFF!!! this is my face——–> :O……. So anyhow, i’m hoping with time it’ll gum up more but I’ve about four methods going all at once… The fly paper, soap and water, crushed mint, and bay leaves (dried) which I found on this site. :) thank you by the way.So far they don’t land on the surfaces that have mint and bay leaves, but on the windows still. They seem a bit confused…. I had tried using lavender essential oil on a little piece of coffee filter and put it where they were hanging out because I read somewhere that flies hate the smell…. didn’t seem to work, and I was sad that i’d used my precious lavender oil… but at least it smelled good around there… SO I’m hoping something works, otherwise I don’t know what to do.. other than break out the pennies and ziplocs… the dish soap and water method has worked BEST so far… aside from my fly swatter…

    • Gwyn says

      Barbara, while I haven’t tried it myself there are a lot of people that say it works really well. You fill 1/3 or so with water and hang over doorways and or windows that flies come in through. Apparently because of all of their eyes (or the way their eyes work) the reflection from the water keeps them away (some say they think it’s a predator others rain…) adding the penny I guess creates more reflection. Not sure if sun or light is needed for this to work or not. I have also heard bubble wrap rolled up and hanging in the doorway does the same thing. Interesting but again not sure about the need for bright light to reflect.

    • Trixie says

      We used to use the ziploc bag filled with water to keep the flies out of our garage. We never bothered with any coins, penny or otherwise, and it worked great.

  6. says

    This is probably one of the best ideas I have seen. We always have flies during the summer especially after it rains and this I will try. Thanks,

  7. Shari says

    Good idea ! But, I wounder if they won’t also draw roaches and ants ? I’m not sure how long they’d last here, either, on the very, very humid Gulf Coast of Texas, before they mildew in our heat. I’ll give them a try, though, a great creation !

  8. Dawn Renee' says

    An alternate idea to pretty up the home made fly paper might be to use rubber stamps to decorate the paper before soaking (would need to use an ink such as stazON which is permanent and water proof). This way can customoze to your decor and perhaps even make a few gifts!! I am so grateful for this idea, fly paper seems to work great but with pets I abhor using chemicals. Thank you so much for this idea!!!