DIY Fly Paper

By Liesl Clark

Somehow, we’ve lost our fly swatter and there’s an odd phenomenon of tiny flies swirling around the center of our living room. It’s nearing spring, and my sense is this is the time of year they seek refuge indoors. Well, not in this door. Even the Buddhist in me wants to send these flies to a new life.

DIY Fly Paper. Photo © Liesl Clark

DIY Sticky Fly Paper. Photo © Liesl Clark

Did you know that traditional fly papers have arsenic in them, not to mention the other toxic poisons they harbor? After searching past all the tragic posts about housepets getting caught up in fly paper (a love bird included), I stumbled upon a great DIY recipe at Going Home to Roost. We modified the recipe a bit to ensure added stickiness. And I noticed how my sweet-toothed 7-year-old jumped into the DIY game when she saw how much honey and sugar I was throwing into the pot. It might be a slow death for the winged buggers, but it’ll be a sweet one.

All you’ll need is:

Scrap paper

String or yarn

1/4 Cup honey

1/4 Cup sugar

1/8 Cup water

Cut paper strips. Photo © Liesl Clark

Cut paper strips. Photo © Liesl Clark

We used some pretty scrap paper from our scrap paper bin. No use having ugly strips hanging about the house. Our thinking was that flies like pretty colored things, too. Cut your paper into 2″ wide by 5-6″ long strips.

Punch a hole in your strips. We used a star punch. Photo © Liesl Clark

Punch a hole in your strips. We used a star punch. Photo © Liesl Clark

Punch a hole at the top of each strip and tie a string loop through the hole.

Sweetness in a pot. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sweetness in a pot. Photo © Liesl Clark

Throw the honey (I give credit to our honey bees for their fine work creating this gorgeous blackberry honey), sugar and water in a pot and bring to a simmer as you stir all the ingredients until they’ve dissolved completely. This is the point at which you can sing a witches’ song, as you stir your sweet potion in the cauldron. The kids’ll love it.

Saturated with honey bait. Photo © Liesl Clark

Saturated with honey bait. Photo © Liesl Clark

Place the strips individually in the pot, holding the string, ensuring they become saturated with your sticky rue.

Don't let the drips get all over the kitchen! Photo © Liesl Clark

Don’t let the drips get all over the kitchen! Photo © Liesl Clark

Hang the strips where you can place a cookie sheet or newspaper below them to catch drips as they cool and dry a little.

Hanging out to dry. Photo © Liesl Clark

Hanging out to dry. Photo © Liesl Clark

Then hang them up in convenient places around your home and wait for the flies to find your sweet bait.

Our first victim. Photo © Liesl Clark

Our first victim. Photo © Liesl Clark

I think our first victim got its tongue stuck.

Looking for more DIY inspiration for all animalia? Visit our Trash Backwards app and browse our “Animalia” category for great ideas:

Click Through for DIY Ideas for Animalia at Trash Backwards

Click Through for DIY Ideas for Animalia at Trash Backwards

Let us know how your fly catching adventures go in the comments below. As of this writing, we’ve caught 2 flies. Well, one is a mosquito but it still counts!

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Categories: DIY, Plastic-Free Living, Reduce Your Use, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff

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7 Comments on “DIY Fly Paper”

  1. February 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    While I hate fly strips they look gross with the flies stuck to them if I had to have one it would be this recipe.

  2. May 22, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    love this idea… I can even compost it after it’s been used! The only problem is that I’d have to keep the toddler from licking the paper when we hang it in the house – LOL

    • May 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Hi Red White and Green Mom. My children loved licking the pot afterwards, too! Do be sure to do a few dippings into the “mix” to make the paper especially sticky.
      — Liesl at Trash Backwards

  3. Jackie
    July 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    What this recipe didn’t do for catching flies in our place, it made up for in attracting ants. 😛 Thanks for sharing it, though! Cheaper than a trip to the dollar store for the poison paper.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 50 Things You Never Need to Buy | Trash Backwards - February 22, 2013

    […] Fly Paper: We’ve started making our own very effective sweet fly paper and won’t ever consider buying the arsenic-laden strips […]

  2. Zero waste – things I learnt today | livetolist - February 25, 2013

    […] I don’t buy this, but I’ve been starting to think I might/could/should.  There’s some pesky little flying things, I’m not sure where they come from, but they aren’t leaving.  So I shall entice them with honey and sugar laden paper (cause I’m certainly not making a dent in my supplies of either over lent).  Trash Backwards had a great how to here. […]

  3. 100 Things You Never Need To Buy | Trash Backwards - May 15, 2013

    […] Paper: We’ve started making our own very effective sweet fly paper and won’t ever consider buying the arsenic-laden strips […]

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