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How to Make Very Easy Homemade Flypaper

Unless a person lives in Antarctica, they most likely have to deal with flies every spring and summer. They are usually present in and around even the cleanest homes. Flies can multiply tremendously quickly. Thankfully, it is quite simple to make homemade fly paper and it isn’t expensive.

The problem with flies is that they are vectors for disease. House flies taste with their feet and although they are attracted to sweets, they will land on many surfaces to ‘taste’ it. Some of the things they land on can be covered with bacteria, which they then carry on their feet to the next thing they land on. 

What’s more, many kinds of flies automatically regurgitate when they land. The gastric juices dissolve food, sugary food in particular, which the fly can then suck up. If they do this automatically, it means that they will leave behind fly vomit everywhere they land, even if there is no food there. 

Obviously, it is in our best interest to get rid of the flies. A fly swatter might work, but most people don’t have time to chase around the house with a fly swatter and squishing a fly leaves behind a distasteful mess that must be cleaned up, taking more effort and time.

Flypaper can be a solution. The flies land on it and get stuck. When the flypaper gets full, it can be thrown in the trash and a new strip of flypaper can be put up. As already mentioned, it is easy and inexpensive to make.

To begin, you’ll need a paper grocery bag. Use a pair of scissors to cut the bag into strips that are one or two inches wide by 12-20 inches long. A hole should be punched near one end and you can use a hole punch or an ice pick to do this. Tie a piece of string about six inches long to the paper, using the hole, and tie a small loop in the free end of the string. Now you’re ready to make the flypaper.

In a small pot, combine 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup corn syrup. Heat this mixture over low heat while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. This usually only takes a couple of minutes.

Next, immerse the strips of brown paper in the sugar solution. Leave it in the solution long enough to become saturated. Again, this only takes a couple of minutes.

Hang these strips up to dry, using the string for hanging. It is a good idea to put a cookie sheet or something similar under the strips since they will drip for a little while. When they are dry to the touch but still very tacky, they can be hung up using tacks or push pins, wherever you have a problem with flies.

The flies are attracted to the sugary paper, but when they land on it, they get stuck. When a strip of flypaper becomes full, it can be taken down and thrown away and replaced. 

Some stores do sell flypaper in tubes, with the flypaper being unrolled for use. However, the homemade version is less expensive, just as effective, and it is simple to make. The amounts given here makes a lot of flypapers, too. The paper bags are usually free if you ask for paper at the store when you buy your groceries.

Flypaper might not be attractive, but it does help with getting rid of the pests. You won’t even need to chase the flies around the house with the swatter. It is likely that you can find more productive uses for the time you’d spend on a fly search-and-destroy mission.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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15 Comments

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    • You could even use paper lunch bags, but if none are available, any thick, fibrous, coarse paper should work. Some kinds of construction paper would probably work, though some tend to be a little bet on the fine side. They also still make the coarse, untreated paper for writing paper for young kids when they first go to school, and that should work great. Cardboard would be less usable because it is usually too thick and hard to handle. It is also often treated to resist the absorption of things like fluids.

    • Yes. In every town I’ve ever lived in, flies have been a common summer pest. Considering the amount of money that is spent on fly spray, flypaper, fly traps, and so forth, my experiences aren’t at all unique. A person *can* spend money on the spray, paper, and traps, but it is way easy to make the flypaper at home and it is cheaper.

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