The Best Homemade Fly Trap (DIY)

Looking for the best homemade fly trap so you don’t have to go through a bunch of them that don’t work?  You’ve come to the right place. The BEST homemade DIY fly trap and the best (albeit GROSS) bait to use.


If you’re here searching for information on getting rid of fruit flies, that post can be found here. And it’s a good one!

When I first discovered Flystrike on my chicken Cuddles my first concern was helping her get better.  But once we were over that hurdle, I devoted pretty much all my time and attention to the most effective way to get rid of the bottle flies that laid maggots in her and nearly killed her.  

Bottle flies are the ones that have a green, iridescent body.  THOSE are the trouble flies. The ones that are attracted to raw meat and garbage and force you to the Internet searching relentlessly for a home fly trap. Bottle flies are the ones that create the wiggling, writhing maggots that spill out of your garbage can when you innocently pull off the lid.

Regular old kitchen flies are annoying but they aren’t deadly.

So like any good researcher I scoured Google and Pinterest.  Both have a tendency to lie so I knew I’d have to test out a few methods myself.

The one method for catching flies that’s alllll over Pinterest is the 1 litre pop bottle that’s had the top cut off, and turned upside down into itself.  The bottle is then filled with some sort of fly bait.

The other method I found was using a paper cone in a mason jar.  Again, some sort of fly bait had to be used.

And of course, there are also plain old fly strips.  Not exactly DIY but they’ve been used forever so I figured they kind of had to be tried and true.

Let the home fly trap experimenting commence.

Fly Traps

Homemade fly trap hanging on red exterior brick wall showing no flies in it because the wrong bait is used.

This is the basic DIY fly trap you see all over Pinterest.  The general design seems pretty good. In this container I used store bought fly bait.  The container is a 1 litre pop bottle that’s had the top cut off and inserted upside down.  The flies can get into the bottle, but can’t figure out how to get out.  Then they drown.

Fly bait is the most important part of your fly traps. If you can’t find something more attractive than either your steak or chicken poop then you’ll have no luck catching flies.

The store bought fly bait cost $10 for enough to fill only this one bottle. But it was store bought fly bait.  Bait made specifically for flies which they were charging money for. So I was pretty sure it was money well spent.

As you can see the container contains no flies.  I could have filled it with hair and I would have had better luck. That would be a big old FAIL on the store bought fly bait for your home fly trap.

THIS is the DIY fly trap #2.

Homemade fly trap hanging on red brick wall filled with flies because the right bait was used.

  A mason jar, a paper cone and the secret fly bait ingredient … a raw shrimp allowed to rot in the sun for days until it has the putrid smell of liquid internal organs.  Or of course, the smell of raw shrimp allowed to rot in the sun.  Pest control isn’t pretty and doesn’t smell pretty.

For this trap just add water until the jar is around 1/3rd full making sure the shrimp is covered with water and place a cone made out of plastic or construction paper (plastic is obviously better for outdoor use) into the jar. The bottom of the cone needs to have a small opening where the flies can get into the jar, but won’t be able to make their way out.


Close up shot of hundreds of flies caught in a homemade fly trap made with a mason jar and paper cone.

The third DIY fly trap was the fly strip.

The fly strip cost a couple of dollars and dangled sadly from my window frame enticing no flies at all, just hanging there like a limp tongue.

I wanted to make sure I gave all the fly traps a good shot so I kept them all out for a week.  This is how things had progressed after 4 days.

Fly Trap Results

Supergross photos follow.

Homemade fly trap hanging on brick wall with no flies in it after using $10 store bought "fly bait".



Standard fly strip hanging on brick wall with a few flies stuck to it.



Homemade fly trap filled with hundreds of flies, showing how well a piece of shrimp works as fly bait.


After 4 days it was pretty clear that the rotting shrimp was the only way to go in terms of bait.  I experimented with different baits including fermented chicken feed, raw sweet corn and actual chicken poop.  The rotting shrimp was the winner by a shrimpboat load.

The only issue with the enticing smell of rotting shrimp was the vile smell of rotting shrimp.  If you place your container up high enough (above nose level) you miss most of the stench but given any kind of downward breeze you suddenly feel like you’re walking through a rotting whale carcass.  By day 7 I was pretty sure I would have to try something else because I couldn’t stand the stench of the shrimp no matter how well it worked.  Then a funny thing happened.  By days 8 and 9 the trap was so filled with flies they actually suffocated the smell of the shrimp.  Yet somehow the stink was enough to continue to attract the flies.


The huge success of a mason jar as a fly trap shown as it hangs on a red brick wall filled with flies.

Home Fly Trap on Day 14

After 14 days I couldn’t smell the shrimp at all and the jar was almost full.

After 20 days it stunk again. Stunk like the guts of a hot monkey. But the stink could have been the mass grave of flies as well.

Mason jar fly trap hanging on exterior red brick wall, filled with flies after 14 days.


To save myself some grief and whatever happens to be in my stomach, when it comes time to remove the jar I just  tie a plastic bag around my head, put a lid on the jar and throw the whole thing in the garbage.

Just kidding. I don’t tie a bag on my head. I’m an excellent breath holder on account of my cat’s horrific gut issues when she – coincidentally – eats seafood.

The best practice for placement of fly traps is to actually put them AWAY from the area the flies are in to lure them away from  the deliciousness of the chicken shit.  The point is to draw the flies way from the coop, not keep them in it.


What is the best home remedy to get rid of flies?

The best way to get rid of flies around your house is to use TWO methods.

  • Parasitic wasps (really just tiny little flying things that are in no way as menacing as their name alludes to) will kill most flies before they even become flies. The wasps kill them in the larvae stage.


How Do I Get Rid of Flies In My House?

Well, I’ll tell you … a bottled filled with stinking, rotting seafood probably isn’t the best way. But if you fill a bottle with some non stinking fly bait like the liquid recipe below, it won’t be quite as offensive. This recipe won’t work nearly as well as rotting flesh but it will work to catch some flies.

Fly Bait Recipe

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dish soap (the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water and vinegar, making the flies unable to use it as a launching pad when they fall in it)

Use the same method for the DIY fly trap made out of a plastic bottle above, but use a smaller water bottle.

If you have a great fly bait recipe, leave it in the comments below. If you have a great maggot story maybe just keep that to yourself.  Just kidding. Obviously, I’d love to hear the maggot stories.

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The Best Homemade Fly Trap (DIY)


  1. maria-to says:

    omg that was one nasty but fascinating post !

  2. Kelli says:

    Ooh goodie! I got to learn about $0.00 flytrap from you, and a $0.00 fruit fly trap from Houzz today! (small jar with apple cider vinegar + 2/3 drops of dish soap, if anyone wants to know).

  3. Linda says:

    Kinda gross..but cool at the same time…thanks for sharing how to get rid of these pesky beasts! :)

  4. Jody says:

    I’m gob smacked. I think that is the best and most informative post you have ever done. I almost want those little f*^%er flies around so I can try this out. I think I will, just to save my sanity eating outside. Thank you to Cuddles and her poopy bum. Without that there wouldn’t have been this post.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Not what I would have put on my “best of” posts lists, but if you say so … ~ karen!

      • Jody says:

        I showed my husband your post. He was very impressed with the scientific experiment and documentation you did. He thought it was worthy of the Bay Area Science Fair. Too bad you’re not in high school.

  5. Diane says:

    Whatever you do, when it’s time to toss that jar DO NOT BREAK IT!!!

  6. Linda O'Brien says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Karen!!! We moved into our new home last September and I was so grossed out when spring arrived…with flies…everywhere!!!!! I couldn’t even sit out on my deck they were so bad. At one point my husband caught me outside with the vacuum cleaner trying to suck them up. Embarrassing but true. I can’t wait to try your idea; I have shrimp in the freezer that’ll be ready to rot next spring. Woo hoo!!

  7. Deb says:

    So many comments. Maybe in the list of a hundred dozen comments up there, someone else said this about mosquitos – but maybe not? The most effective way to keep the mosquitos off is a stiff breeze, so get out the fan and the waterproof extension cord. Their tiny evil wings can’t get them to you through your force field of wind. And you avoid chemicals.

  8. Nicole says:

    HI Karyn
    Oh how I hate flies! Trust me I know all about flies. Living on a dairy farm we have our share. In our case having a mason jar with rotting meat, even if it’s effective, will not do it for us. Don’t get me wrong, I ALWAYS try a DYI first (specially if using a mason jar…LOVE mason jars!) But we really need something that works. Well a few years ago the guys found it! It is a thin, white tape. NO, not at all like the tape you used! This tape comes on a spool. You hang the spool up and pull the tape to an empty spool you hang on the opposite end of the area you want to cover. The flies… to it and get stuck. When the area of exposed tape is covered in flies you just wind the empty spool up until you see enough new tape exposed. I know it is not homemade but it WORKS. Unfortunately it is only sold in farm retail stores. But if interested just let me know, I have connections;)

    • Karen says:

      I feel like I may have seen that at my feed store in Copetown. If you have a brand name let me know! If it isn’t the same thing then I’ll be emailing you to pick me up some!! ~ karen

      • Nicole says:

        I cant believe I never saw this! You CAN buy it at any farm supply store. We buy from a company hat sells large rolls. But we started with Mr. Sticky . That would probably work best for your set up. It really is amazing!!

      • Millie says:

        Ok, picture of shrimp soup made me want to gag. I got the same result using a dead mouse from mousetrap. Waste not..when out in the garden I take a bug zapper, looks like a litte tennis racket. Wave it through a cloud of whiteflies, sounds like little firecrackers. Hear a mosquito buzzing around your ear, wave it around your head until you hear the zap. I have gotten rid of those pesky biting flies too. Very satisfying. Wasps are too strong of flies, I don’t mess with them.

    • Merrilyn says:

      I am interested in fly tape. Please tell me where it can be purchased

  9. Marta says:

    Much appreciated. And now your solution will be all over Pinterest.

  10. Karol says:

    I safely waited until after breakfast and lunch to actually read the post. I knew there would be gross pictures too. I’ve been reading your posts for a couple of years now, and it took me this long to figure that out. I’m a slow learner.
    Just wondering… are you SURE they’re not attracted to something that smells GOOD? I’d sure try that over hanging dead shrimp on my house. Ucky-pooey.

  11. Elaine says:

    After the last two days’ posts, I, too, am now cured of chicken envy. But I still enjoy reading about sweet Cuddles, etc. I live in Central Texas where we’ve endured torrential rains and floods this spring and have the mosquito hordes to prove it. The mornings are humid and if I go out to check on my spindly tomato plants without some awful spray on my body, I am immediately attacked. A fan works great (there are quiet ones). I bought Mosquito Beater by Bonide, probably at Home Depot, last year and sprinkle it on my front porch and all around it on the ground, where my plants are. I swear it helps. A sprinkle lasts about three weeks, but I am still using the container from last year. Ingredients are citronella oil, garlic, geranium oil, cedar oil, lemon grass oil, then 87% vermiculite and corn cob. The smell is pleasant – not too strong. There may be other brands, but this is the only one I am aware of. I hate mosquitoes!

  12. Nancee says:

    I loved this post!
    I should send you a research paper on the ever-interesting Fruit Fly…then you could test solutions for them!

    • Linda says:

      I am a wine drinker, (wino). for short. . .and I know for fact that if you walk away from your glass of wine, it will have caught several fruit flies in your absence! So my solution is to put my wine in a mason jar with a lid and drink that one!

      • Nancee says:

        It’s funny~the one trap I use for fruit flies is apple cider vinegar in a jar, covered with some sort of plastic wrap and held on with a rubber band. Then punch several holes into the top and leave near the area of attack. Fruit flies love it and will climb down into the jar for the vinegar, thinking it is rotting fruit. They are now stuck, and eventually drown.
        Maybe your wine reminds them of rotting fruit??

    • Jackie says:

      I just DIY’d the heck out of a brew and not 30 seconds after mixing it, they’re were fruit flies ALL OVER the cup!! I was so excited b/c I’ve tried several that didn’t work. All you use is equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar and alcohol! I’m sure any kind will do but Vodka was my choice and they swarmed like locust!! If I could I’d leave a pic b/c I was so excited I had to take one to send to my husband! :p Don’t judge….we do what we have to do…right?? ;) Hope this helps for all you out there struggling with fruit flies!

  13. Carole says:

    Karen, you kill me! Gawd what a sense of humour!
    You had me remembering my favourite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip!
    You might be related or better yet, the “girl” version! Yuck! Gross!

    This post is the very reason that I keep coming back to your blog!

    Love ‘ya – silly but brilliant woman!

  14. ellen says:

    I may try that and hang it from my fence. It’s not too far from my trash can and quite near where my neighbor’s relatives are living in a tent in his back yard for the summer. Maybe get rid of both annoyances? (he doesn’t want them there either)

  15. Kathy says:

    Helping cuddles heal lead to a battle with flies. I really hope it gives you peace of mind about Flystrike. It would make me very anxious about my chickens butts. Careful opening your door as we have laid our vermin problems on your doorstep. It’s just you know mosquitoes, fruit flies, and some wasps and I think there are some crawly things that you should look into when you can, hopefully soon. Should it all involve a foul solution, I too would like to place it in my neighbors yard. This is a great group of people. And IRS is funny.

  16. Mary W says:

    I guess around here we call the BAD flies – blow flies. They are the ones that have maggots. So my cottage had fly strips that worked great but they were inside and Not blowflies. We have a large screened porch and don’t have blow flies even living in the woods. Did you know that house (not blow/bottle) flies bite just before a rain? TRUE. We do have mosquitos but mostly don’t come inside the screen porch enclosure which we were required to put up since we have a pool. The best invention would be to find out what is in certain people that cause them to repel mosquitos when others draw them in like “flies”. It is true and even sand gnats (no-see-ums) have body preferences. Why don’t scientists figure that one out? Too busy looking for the next best mascara or light bulb filament. Enough rant – thanks for a very enlightening post.

    • Linda says:

      I just read on another website that mosquitoes are attracted to Type O blood. And dark clothing. I wonder how they figured that out?

      • Tina says:

        I have type O blood & mosquitos don’t like me unless they are desperate & I’m alone, usually early in the morning. My husband is also type O. They love him & it drives him crazy. They don’t even look at me when he is around. I guess he’s the sweet one.
        It would be very interesting to find out why.

        • Karen Edwards says:

          I have heard that mosquitos are attracted to type O blood, overweight people especially those with diabeties. I’m a O type overweight diabetic and I can promise that they try to suck all my blood out.

        • Mike says:

          Probably the difference is something like, medications or diets. If I eat a lot of food with garlic they will steer clear of me.

    • aunt bea says:

      Mosquitoes don’t bother me since I quit eating sugar. I also have a regular temperature that runs below most people. Neither of those solutions are probably very feasible.

  17. laura n says:

    So happy Cuddles is doing better.

  18. Ana R. says:

    I am horrified at that last pic of the jar. Holy crow. I’ve never seen anything more disgusting. But fascinating!
    You would think the flies would stay away from a mass grave of their fellows.

  19. Raquel says:

    I think I’ll skip breakfast now. You creack me up. Your blogs are so honest – I love it! I must admit – I’m impressed and going to give it a go. Do you have any ideas for mice? I have a compost bin in my yard and have found that the mice are getting in there and nothing but leaves, newspaper, fruit and veggies go in there. We also have bird feeders that are also feeding the mice! UGH!

    Thanks Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Raquel – The mice are going there for the food, but probably mostly to live. Not sure how to control mice outside. :/ I use old fashioned mouse traps inside. Kills them instantly so it’s the most humane. I’ve tried live traps years ago but if you have 20 or so mice in your house, that’s a lot of trapping, driving, releasing, trapping, driving, releasing … ~ karen!

    • Get a fox terrier or a rat terrier, or even a ratchi. They catch then, kill them and move on. It is a sport to them not a meal, like a cat would do.

    • Gloria Brown says:

      I saw a post where a home made mousetrap was made and as successful as your fly trap. Use a large bucket half filled with water. Drill a hole on either side at top . Thread a piece of wire long enough to go across from side to side. I missed a step. Put a piece of pipe the size of a cardboard toilet roll threaded onto the wire. The cylinder piece can b made from anything but needs 2 b sturdy and to have a hole thru it to thread the wire. Now coat the roll in Peanut Butter. Insert the roll onto wire and thread wire thru bucket and secure ends so wire doesn’t come out. Now and finally put a piece of timber up against bucket to act like a ramp.

      The theory is that the mice smell the goodies, run up the ramp , climb onto the roll, it rotates, they fall into the water and drown as they can’t climb up plastic walls.. I’ve seen pictures of like 40 mice in the bucket overnight. Hope it helps.

  20. Melanie says:

    Don’t know if I could handle a rotting prawn in our hot Aussie summers, but a tried and true alternative is using a teaspoon of Vegemite dissolved in 500ml of warm water in a soft drink bottle with inverted mouth then hung in a tree catches blowflies and fruit flies too and definitely not so stinky as the rotting prawn!!! Might also be a good use of Vegemite for anyone out there who bought it thinking it was some kind of chocolate spread :)

  21. Melissa in NC says:

    Thanks for the lesson on catching flies…I have a very weak stomach and must excuse myself. Good Day.

  22. Sue says:

    Mosquitos are weak flyers. Use an outdoor fan, and no problems.

    • IRS says:

      Sue, you are quite right. I forgot to mention that Consumer Reports said that the only thing that they tested against mosquitoes that was at all effective was a fan. Even then, it only reduced the number of mosquitoes by half, which for me anyway, is not effective enough. Plus I’m not too keen on having a buzzing fan out on the deck on a peaceful night. So hop to it Karen – we need you to figure out a solution for us. Your chickens’ butts are safe; now help prevent my butt from getting chewed on.

    • Debbie says:

      We have two ceiling fans on the outdoor porch and event at high speed I still get bitten to the point of no sleep for the itching. That was pre-Mosquito Magnet.

      • Peggy says:

        I just recently saw something that said for mosquito bites, take a spoon and run it under hot water until it’s hot, then press the bottom of the spoon into the bite. That is supposed to “cook’ the mosquito venom and neutralize it. Good luck!

        • Karen C says:

          If you have basil growing, simply take a leaf, crinkle it to release the oil, and rub that on the bites. This is the only thing that works for me to stop the itch! You could also use basil essential oil. :)

  23. Victoria says:

    You made a version of what we used to get at the tack/feed stores in the ’80s. It was called a Big Stinky – and was well named. Big Stinky is a large jar with a lid that works like your funnel. You got to put a liquid (fly death?) and a piece of chicken in it. It got very gross and held about a gazillion flies. The smell could almost knock you down. The fly trap bags are a more modern version and do work very well.

  24. Cathy says:

    Wasp catchers filled with beer will work just the same. They won’t catch the volume of your mason jar – so just put a few of them out.

    • Karen says:

      HI Cathy! This is just a guess, but I think that type of catcher with that bait would probably catch house flies not bottle flies. Again, I’m just guessing tho! ~karen

      • Kim says:

        I do know that beer bottles with a little left in them are a great attraction for hornets…had that problem in the back yard, couldn’t find the nest but a few beer bottles placed strategically around the patio worked great! Dozens per bottle…neighbors will think you are a bunch of drunks but way better than being stung!

      • Cathy says:

        Nope – we’re definitely catching the green iridescent bottle flies. Our dog ended up with a weavel – the size of an eraser. Vet pulled it out and said it was from the larva of these flies.

        • zoologynerd says:

          This is an old old post, I realise, but your dog must have had a warble, because a weevil is a beetle with a long nose. They (warbles) come from bot flies, not bottle flies.

  25. Maggie L says:

    I had a couple of friends put syrup in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap then cut slit in it. You should’ve seen the flies they caught! The bowl was full, THOUSANDS! Gross. But try it, it must smell better than rotting sea creatures…

  26. Ev Wilcox says:

    We don’t have much of a problem with flies, but the #$%^&*mosquitos are awful! I too cannot enjoy the deck at night(and lately even the day) and close the doggie door to it as well at dusk. When Dorie Mae comes in the easy riders come in with her, so the deck is off limits to her as well! Hopefully bats are the answer to this onslaught, but that is for next year. Already told my carpenterish husband that I want bat houses for Christmas. Just have to find the plans.
    As far as the smell of your very efficient fly catcher-I would move it as far away from the girls, and you, as possible. Who knew rotting shrimp would be the best thing since sliced bread? Well done Karen!

  27. Janet says:

    I’m also waiting with ‘bated breath for your KILL ALL THE MOSQUITOES post. Or at least, the one about homemade solutions to keep them off of the people and the poor horse, who has worn a circle in the grass from pacing to get away from the skeeters.

  28. christine hilton says:

    Your next mission is to build a dollarama craft to hide that ugliness.While i have your attention,I made the rhubarb cake last night.I hate Mindy.

  29. Tigermom says:

    You are right. Pinterest lies.

  30. Katie says:

    Hmmm…you could put the lid on and save it for a Halloween decoration!

  31. jainegayer says:

    Stupid flies!

  32. Ackkkk Karen!

    Oh.Boy. You once again proved that you are the bravest woman on earth with a stomach of steel. hahaha! Can you come and live with me? :)

    I may have an easier solution for you.

    This is what happens when you live in the country (PS everyone, I live about 2 hours North of Karen in the Canadian countryside …. where flies rule the world…eeeek)

    I couldn’t take another fly. Not another. I bought a fly trap at the local co-op store that my local farmer friends swear by. The farmers coop sells a trap that is basically a BAG that you hang from a tree. Apparently the bag/trap works for about 200 ft. I technically dunno how far, as I haven’t tested distances. Ewe.

    The bag has a disgusting mixture of something that definitely smells like a rotting shrimp. You add water to the mix and hang it. The bag has only a wee small opening and the rest of it is all sealed up. Basically, it is the paid for version of what you made, now that I am typing this out loud. haha.

    It may be a nice alternative to hang easily for you and tuck it away out of sight from the coop. I think it catches 2000 flies. OMG. It works. WORD. One bag. Legit. Works for months.

    Not gunna lie.. I have walked by them and occasionally wondered if there was a dead body in my backyard but there’s not a fly in sight :) I have only noticed a smell every now and again. Not so bad when it catches a gazillion flies. Hmmmm, right?

    Love from the fellow Canuck,
    Lynne xx
    Design The Life You Want To Live

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yes, they stink. The ones that work just plain old stink. Especially for bottle flies which are the dangerous ones.They like a good stink. House flies are easier to catch without a stink. If the bag works at 200 feet I could always hang it from a neighbours tree when they aren’t looking. ~ karen!

      • Carswell says:

        I’m just chuckling to myself picturing your neighbours scouring their yards for evidence of a dead critter – while the problem is really dangling over their head unbeknownst to them. LOL

        • Carole Crate says:

          What about the poor Turkey Vultures who hunt by sight and scent. Poor things__they might mistakenly take the scent for a dead critter and waste a lot of their valuable hunting time!

    • Raquel says:

      Is it easy to dispose?


  33. Kunyi mangalam says:

    How about fruit flies? We have ainfestation starting about now every year. We have several gross looking jars filled with old decomposing bits of fruit and old wine…. There are several recipes we try. Any ideas?

    • Kim says:

      Hi Kunyi,
      My daughter had a terrible problem last year with fruit flys so I tried a trap I found on the net…same as Karen’s bottle with rolled up paper cone but with red wine vinegar in it…the bottle was full in no time! These type of traps do work but you have to have the right bait…thank God for our scientist Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kunyi ~ I just put vinegar in a shallow bowl, put plastic wrap tightly across the top and punch holes into the wrap with a tooth pick. Fruit flies LOVE vinegar. They get in, but can’t get out. ~ karen!

    • IRS says:

      Fruit flies? Oh that’s easy. Just pour yourself a nice glass of wine. It can be white or red, but the more expensive the better. Then leave it out on the counter for a few minutes while you go answer the phone, or use the bathroom. When you come back, there are sure to be fruit flies floating in your wine. Works for me every time.

      • Rosa says:

        U are so right. No need for anything else. I counted them and there were 17 in about 30 minutes. Just started falling in my red wine glass. WORKS EVERY time!!!!!

    • Jen in Maine says:

      Don’t waste your wine. 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. cider vinegar in a small jar with a t. sugar and a drop of dish soap. Also poor a small amount of bleach down your drains. Keep bathroom trash cans emptied.

  34. Rondina says:

    Well, I’m glad the language got cleaned up a bit, but really—that 14-day old jar of dead flies kind of equaled out the maggot photos which we were very happy that you were too busy to take.

    Now, I have another problem for you. What say you about mosquitoes? After over a month of flooding rains, with parks still under water, and marinas closed because they have become one with the lakes—we have the biggest mosquito problem I have ever seen here. That’s roughly 60 years of seeing. They don’t bother me, because I rarely get a mosquito bite even though they are all around me and sitting on me. However, others cannot go outside. Any suggestions from anyone are welcome. Hopefully, they will not involve maggots.

    • IRS says:

      Hear, hear! I second Rondina’s request. We built a beautiful deck, and put great lighting in the yard, but we can’t sit out on it in the evening, because the little bastards descend at dusk like clockwork.These things are so big they have beaks, and they think I’m extra tasty. (I hope I don’t smell like rotting shrimp.) I hate having to douse myself in chemicals, and all the New Age-y repellants don’t work. Consumer Reports tested a bunch of different methods, such as citronella candles, wristbands, etc, and they were all found to be useless. So now that you have dealt with flies, Karen, please get to work on protecting us from mosquitoes. This is particularly important because, while most of us don’t have chickens to protect, I think we all enjoy summer evenings spent outdoors. If your putrid shrimp cocktail attracted mosquitoes, I would even be willing to share my deck with a mason jar full of the stuff.

    • Debbie says:

      I am in league with IRS – mosquitoes think I am the cat’s pajamas and it is painful. We have found a solution that helps with the back porch area. It is called Mosquito Magnet. The more open the property, the better it works. Online reviews are very, very mixed. We did have to exchange it once in the beginning, and contact the company a couple of times, but with persistence it definitely helps with mosquitoes. It runs on propane that has to be replaced periodically and it is important to follow directions as to when to begin using it for the season. It is also pricey. That said, the fact that I can step outside on humid days and in the evening is worth the extra effort.

      • Debbie says:

        I also use essential oil if I am not going to be in Mosquito Magnet range. I use plain citronella oil and/or a mixture called Nature (Spark Naturals), though I’m sure other Essential Oil companies have their own versions. I use this when I am pulling wild grapevines, Virginia Creeper and poison ivy (fun, fun). I have to reapply if I get too sweaty.

    • Susan says:

      Electric fans are great in sitting areas, like decks. Mosquitos are poor flyers.

    • Heidi says:

      Listerine use the plain blue kind not only will you smell minty but mosquitoes hate it you can spray your yard with it or put it on yourself

  35. Kathleen says:

    I am sooooooo glad I hadn’t eaten breakfast before reading this.
    (I made the mistake of scrolling up again and I think I threw up a little in my mouth)
    I think I would rather employ a Eunuch to wave the flies away all day, if there are still any about! Or George Clooney. Anything else rather than having to smell rotting shrimp or dispose of that mason jar! :)

    • Fannie Mae says:

      Ohmygosh, Kathleen!
      I now have coffee spewed,Ike EVERYWHERE!
      *runs for a ton ofpaper towels*

      I just HAD to read it again!
      Too funny!

  36. rotting shrimp? 3 weeks (almost) with the smell of rotting shrimp? I can’t even…

  37. CSB says:

    I Just got a new trap because the other two were filled, but you might try spoiled egg or meat scraps in your trap, smells awful tho, but flies love it.
    Also you could put out fly predators. They work behind the scene to kill the larva in the pupa stage. They are tiny wasps that don’t harm anything but the flies. Just don’t put them where the chickens will eat them before they hatch! Near your coop where you put the poop to compost is good. They are not a quick kill, but after a few weeks you will not have any flies but the odd ball ones that don’t raise in waste. And they are Safe and reproduce themselves, even tho the company would like to sell you a shipment every 3 weeks all summer. You just need to be patient, they will work. I Always used them around the horse lot or cattle pens. If you get them early they keep the flies controled!

  38. Cynthia Jones says:

    There’s 40,000 flies in that jar. Is too. Don’t argue.

  39. Catherine says:

    I follow lots of blogs but I laugh at your one the most. I don’t have chickens but have enjoyed all the chicken bum pictures and will remember the fly trap that works. So pleased cuddles is doing well. Well done your a great Chicken Mum !

  40. Agnes says:

    Holy shit Karen. That is hands down the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in a mason jar. And this also why you are my favourite blogger.

  41. ronda says:

    what about using the pop bottle whole, with the shrimp (or what ever heinous item you choose) inside … once the flies drown, and the bottle fills up, can you just put the top on the bottle again? … and so, saving a precious Mason jar. or would the flies find their way out of the bottle before drowning.

    • Karen says:

      Hi ronda! The reason you cut the top off the pop bottle is because the cone shape is more inviting for the flies to walk down into the bottle. It also puts the mouth closer to the stink and makes it more confusing for them to get out. :/ ~ karen!

  42. Lynne Streick says:

    It’s such a catch 22. In the process of keeping the flies away, more flies are attracted!

    • nansi says:

      for every one you kill, 1000 will not ‘arrive’

      • Penny says:

        And…about 10000 eggs not laid, that will turn into maggots in everything. I’m so grossed out to see a fly anywhere near a children’s food or toys! Knowing it probably just came from a monster pile of Doo-Doo and now is vomiting on baby’s teething ring?? Gaaaahhhhh…..

  43. Suel says:

    I really love your posts and I’m looking forward to using/following your directions and information. Especially now that I’m moving into the country. I’m considering converting an upscale gardening shed into a henhouse, we’ll see.
    But most of the time, I just enjoy your gift of humor and imagination. “…Stunk like the guts of a hot monkey”, makes me laugh and laugh.

  44. Lynn says:

    I learned long ago to put traps away from areas you do not want such unwanted guests. The problem I am having is wasps under deck an no way to get to nest as deck is to low any ideas how to keep them from building there would be a great help .

    • ronda says:

      you can buy those fake wasps nests, but they’re better put up before wasp season. Wasps think another colony is already in residence, so don’t start building. But, I don’t have a solution that would help you now except for wasp spray. sorry.

    • Heather says:

      We have had success with those fake wasp nests. The wasps like to build a nest on the underside of our deck rail.

    • Karen says:

      Sadly I have no idea Lynn. Wasps are bad because they’re more aggressive than bees but on the positive side wasps are great predatory insects. So if you have garden plants,they’ll get rid of a lot of pests. ~ karen!

    • sweetpea says:

      dr. bronner’s peppermint soap. you could use a garden sprayer on a water hose if need be. wash the deck and also spray underneath.
      I have found wasp and mud dobber nests on the house, went out very early morning and waited until the buggers left the nest, sprayed the nest, then watched as they came back, smelled the nest and never returned. I wouldn’t believe it had I not seen it with my own eyes.
      you may need to repeat to keep the peppermint soap applied.
      on the other side of this, it also deters other pests.
      I didn’t use a garden sprayer, I simply used a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture.
      dr. bronner’s peppermint soap can be bought at Targert, on Amazon, etc.
      good luck!

      • Jody says:

        We have many wasp habitats around our house (decking, eaves, furniture…). Thank you for the peppermint soap idea. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Linda says:

      I have the exact same problem with my deck…I sprinkle diatomaceous earth on my deck, over where the wasps/hornets seem to be coming from and then use a broom and sweep it down in there…kills them and ticks and fleas and ants…anything with an exoskeleton living in the leaves under the deck. I have done this for years and it works like a charm!

    • Mark says:

      Spray some WD 40 where you do not want the wasps to build.

    • Holly says:

      Mix Dawn dish soap and water, 50/50 in an empty Dawn dish soap container. Find the wasp nest and pour the solution over the nest. The wasps will suffocate and fall through the nest. They can not breathe the Dawn dish soap. Sounds crazy but it works like a charm!

    • debbie says:

      i have heard from several people paint it as close to the sky color you can get …they think it is sky and will move on

    • Peggy says:

      If you take a brown lunch bag and fill it up with plastic bags, then close the bag with a string and tie it on a corner of the porch…high up..wasps will think there is already a nest there and not proceed to build a nest there! Did it last year and no problem!!

  45. Linda says:

    ….”the guts of a hot monkey”. Hahahahahaha!!! :)

    • Penny says:

      Wonder…what are the guts of a cold monkey like? I can see a surrealist conversation coming out of this…

  46. Carla says:

    I think that you might actually be attracting flies with that smelly shrimp situation. Would you normally have that many flies?

  47. Laurinda says:

    I really appreciate your sacrifice- I have parrots & a new puppy who still has accidents, so flies get in. Not that I want my house to stink like rotting shrimp, but I’d be happy to lure those few back outside!

  48. Nancy C says:

    Well done!! I quickly pinned it to my Pinterest board, “Chicken Coops and Bees”

  49. Andrea says:

    I’m kinda surprised you didn’t wrap the mason jar in brown paper to avoid the sight that accompanied the stink! ( of course, you might have and have the “How to make your fly trap blend with your decor” post is coming soon….)

  50. Becky says:

    I think that second round of stench is the smell of rotting flies…. but please, for the love of everything Holy, next time use an old pickle jar–it hurts me to know you are going to throw out that Mason Jar.

    I made my funnel out of window screen.. that way it can be out in the rain without the danger of the funnel getting soggy.

    • Brenda says:

      I, too, had a moment of silence for the Mason jar. :)

      And…..window screen funnel = brilliance!!

    • jen white says:

      I’m totally saving this post to show my girlfriend who thinks I have a mason jar hoarding problem. She doesn’t complain when she’s eating the pickles, that’s all i’m saying.

    • Debbie says:

      Don’t the fruit flies sneak through the holes in the screen?

    • Adele Jones says:

      I did see what could be a useful idea on Pinterest, the section on glass cutting. I think I’m going to try cutting and using a small bottle neck upside down.

    • Gillian Cook says:

      I also save plastic mayo jars for stuff like this, no bad juju throwing them away, but I do agree that the plastic soda bottle has to be the best one…I am going to make some, I have some small plastic bottles, from Gatorade, that way I can hang several…anyway you do it, it will work…its a very good idea

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