Does the TikTok-Famous Natural Fly Trap Really Work? I Put It to the Test.

published Sep 14, 2022
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TikTok is home to some of the most ingenious hacks ever. You can discover revolutionary ways to keep your trash cans clean and easier ways to free sheet pans of caked-on messes.

After seeing so many convincing videos, I’ve come to assume that most of them must work. That’s why I was thrilled to see @southernespace‘s foolproof way to create a natural fly trap on TikTok. I do my best to keep a chemical-free home, so I welcomed this opportunity to rid my patio of pesky flies in a natural way.

The thing is, despite how convincing the videos on TikTok are, this hack didn’t work exactly as I’d hoped. Here’s what I found.

This DIY video instructs users to combine a few simple household items like water, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and dish soap. All you do is simply mix the ingredients together and place them in a cup. You can either cover the cup with plastic wrap and poke holes in it, or leave the cup completely uncovered to catch flies (I tried both).

Leave the mixture out wherever you’re trying to catch flies — I put it on my outdoor dining table, which is usually covered with flies anytime we sit down to eat. The idea is that flies will be attracted to the sugar water, but will perish when they come in contact with the vinegar and dish soap. 

Credit: Laura Denby
It's easy to put together. All you need is apple cider vinegar, water, dish soap, and sugar.

After putting the mixture outside, I was convinced that — just like the TikTok video — I would see hoards of trapped flies in a matter of minutes. That wasn’t exactly the case. In fact, I didn’t catch any flies for two whole days.

My husband and I ate meal after meal near the fly trap, and although there were plenty of flies buzzing around, none of them took the bait.

But I did notice a ton of red ants marching around the mixture, making me think that the sugar water was actually doing more harm than good. As much as I’d hoped TikTok would pull through this time, it seemed like this was one case where promises made on the internet don’t translate to real results — at least in my experience.

I decided not to give up and moved the uncovered fly trap next to my garbage cans. In just a few hours, I was thrilled to see that I had caught a few of the nasty flies that usually hang around there. It seems that though this method didn’t work perfectly on my dining table, it definitely is an effective way to get rid of flies in their more highly trafficked areas. 

Credit: Laura Denby
This fly catcher actually works — in highly-trafficked areas.

My verdict? If you’re looking for a way to

banish pests

I found that it worked best around garbage cans (where flies usually congregate). Plus, keeping the trap off my table meant I didn’t have to worry if the sugar attracted other bugs, such as ants.

While it might not have worked exactly as I’d hoped, I always prefer having an all-natural method to remove bugs. I’ll definitely be using this easy trap near my garbage cans. The trick is to just be strategic about where you use it.

How do you enjoy a fly-free home? Tell us your foolproof tricks in the comments below.