Tuesday, May 8, 2012

These bugs are bugging me

So it's that time of the year, you know?

You are trying to sleep and keep hearing these loud buzzings right up near your face, so you swat blindly at nothing, hoping you don't whack your nose, you just want that annoying mosquito to go away.

Then you wake up the next morning with bites and then your sweet children wake up covered in bites too and you decide that enough is enough.

Welcome to my life!

As if the usual mosquito influx isn't enough, we recently removed the fish we had in the turtle tank and this morning I found a ton of mosquitoes breeding in there.

YUCKKKKKKKKKKK!  Makes my skin crawl.

So I set to work, got the tank all cleaned out, all the water removed and refilled and spent hours with the net in my hand catching them individually.

I did a good job, but I still see one or two in there and it's bugging me.  I mean really bugging me.  I returned one of the fish to the tank and hopefully the little fellow will help get this under control.

BUT, I'm not just going to walk away, and in my quest to use as many homemade products as possible, I have decided that instead of spending money on nasty chemical full products, I would use homemade traps which have worked great for me in the past.   

And then I realized that there are those out there who are probably going through the same problem and figured that you would benefit from this post and this recipe, or how to.  I found these a few years ago on Wise Bread.

So here is an easy Bottle Trap for Mosquitoes:


Homemade Mosquito Bottle Trap

Start with an empty plastic bottle.  It can be as small as a 500ml bottle, or as large as a two-liter soda bottle. Discard the cap.

Cut the top third of the bottle off. It is important to make your cut in the area below the top of the main shaft of the bottle (where it is widest). You should now have a bottle top in the shape of a funnel, and the cylindrical body of the bottle.

Invert the bottle top (funnel) into the bottle. It should be a snug fit (given the equal diameter of the funnel top and bottle shaft), but if necessary, secure it with tape.

Wrap the bottle with black paper to create a warm dark place for your mosquitoes to go.

Inside the bottom of the bottle (either before you secure the inverted funnel, or poured into the bottle through the spout), place the following:

  • 1 tablespoon of yeast (for a 2-litre bottle, reduce proportionately for smaller bottles)
  • water to fill the 1/3 of the bottle
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Place the bottle a short distance away from where you are.

This mixture is good for up to a couple of weeks. Change as necessary.

How it works: The mosquitoes will be attracted to the CO2 generated by the yeast and will fly into the bottle. The sugar and water mixture will make them sticky, and they will be too disoriented to escape.

I usually just make one, but since these mosquitoes are getting on my nerves, I made 3, one plastic and then just used some empty coffee bottles I had laying around.



But let's not stop here, I may as well give you a few more ideas for other insects and creepy crawly annoying things.

For general insects:


Find some old paper bags, plastic bags, or even just pieces of cardboard. (Don't be afraid to find creative ways to reuse things you would otherwise throw away).

Make a paste of sugar, corn syrup, and water by heating it together. When the mixture cools, spread the paste on the paper bags (or equivalent) and place strategically around the house. They are ideal if hung.

How it works: The insects will be attracted to the sweet smell, but will get stuck in it as soon as they land on the bag.


Start with a large clear plastic bottle or milk jug.

Attach some string around the mouth of the bottle so it can be hung later.

Make a thick sticky liquid with sugar and vinegar.

Pour this sticky mixture into the bottom of the bottle.

Chop up some appropriate bait into small enough pieces to put it inside the bottle. Fruit is usually a good bet.

Poke some additional holes in the jug to give bugs greater access to the bait inside.

Hang the trap in a “high-traffic” area for bugs.

How it works: They will be attracted by the fruit and fly inside, only to get stuck in the vinegar and sugar mixture.



Follow the instructions above to make your own plastic bottle trap.

Add a ¼ cup of vinegar and a ¼ cup of sugar to the bottle.

Finish filling the bottle to just below the funnel bottom (which was formerly the bottle top) with water.

Homemade Fly Trap

Fruit Flies

Using the same bottle trap technique, apparently all fruit flies need is vinegar to get in and get stuck.

Alternate method to the Bottle Trap:

If you don't have a plastic bottle handy, you can use a glass jar and poke holes in the lid large enough for your pest of choice to get in.

Homemade Fly Trap


Now go pull out your bottles and get to work, it's time to push these buggers out of our homes.


  1. Oh I have to share. Along with this, you should try my friends handmade natural soap -- a bug off one. I always use it when I'm camping and I'm about to open bars to just use all the time because it looks like the bugs are going to be extremely bad here because of the mild winter. Her blog is http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/handmade-soap-blog/
    and there is a link to her soaps. Go read about them. I have one good friend that has a daughter with allergies to nickle and a million other things and she has to get her soap from Amy because they just dont make anything on the shelves at the stores that she can use. Its crazy. And everyone I have sent her way has been very happy with their purchases. When we camp at some places where I cant shower I will wet my skin or the bar and just rub it on exposed areas - its that safe and not nasty smelling. Let her know I sent you if you are interested enough to order.

  2. I need to do this and hope that the little "May flies" that are all over the place will cling to those jars and NOT to my screen doors and windows; which are covered in these nasty little bugs. Hope your day is mosquito free!

  3. Perfect timing for this post as I've got fruit flies in the kitchen! Was just thinking I would need to find a way to get rid of them! Thanks for posting.

  4. We had a whole troop here a few weeks ago! Horrible! I've tried the dish soap/vinegar in a shallow dish tip, but what I found more helpful was to take a banana peel and put it in a (glass) jar, place saran wrap over the top secure w/rubberband, then poke tiny holes in it (toothpick). They all found it, and I took it outside (far from the door) to release them.

  5. For Fruit Flies you can use your mosquito bottle method with cider vinegar and 1 drop of dish soap, they simply can not help themselves!

  6. Anonymous6:56 AM

    as others have said, a homemade trap will cost you much less. Put some apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar in a jar (I have even used baby food ones), add a few drops of dish soap to break up the surface tension of the water, shake gently and set out. So I decided to compare results and buy this http://bit.ly/1Gy10TX flytrap, I noticed that it works just the same! catches even other types of flies and I like that it lasts for weeks so I did continue using the product.


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