How to Make Your Own Fly Paper

How to Make Fly Paper. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Flies can be a real nuisance, and with all the gross things that they come into contact with, and all of the diseases that they carry, you definitely don’t want them in your home and around your family. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend money on products to get rid of them. Just follow these simple steps to make your own fly paper. It works just as well as the store-bought kind, and since it’s so cheap to make, you’ll be able to switch it out more frequently.

Because while it’s satisfying to see all those flies stuck to the fly paper, it sure doesn’t do anything for your décor.

Time Required: 5-10 minutes of hands-on time

What You Need:

  • A brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • A sauce pan
  • Cookie sheets and drying racks
  • Tongs
  • A large spoon for stirring
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup or honey
  • Water

Here's How:

1.     Cut a brown paper bag into strips.

2.     Combine equal parts corn syrup, sugar and water in a sauce pan. Then, heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. (1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water will make a lot of fly paper).

3.     Remove from heat. Then, submerge the strips in the sugar-water mixture, and allow them to sit long enough to become saturated.

4.     Remove the strips with tongs (careful, they'll be hot!), and place them on drying racks sitting overtop of cookie sheets.

5.     Allow them to drip dry until they’re completely dry to the touch.

It shouldn’t take long. Then, hang your fly paper up wherever flies are a problem. It’s super sticky stuff, so be sure to hang it out of the way of people and pets.


1.     If your grocery store doesn't offer paper bags, save restaurant take-out bags or use paper lunch sacks. A roll of Kraft paper from the dollar store will also do the trick.

2.     For maximum stickiness, allow the paper strips to sit in the sugar-water mixture for several hours or overnight.

3.     Your homemade fly paper will dry out over time. When it loses its stickiness, just rewet it, or replace it with a fresh batch.

For more help with flies, check out: