We Tried Using Soda To Banish Bugs, But It Fizzled Out

For being such tiny creatures, fruit flies can stir up a lot of annoyance and frustration. If they aren't quickly dealt with, fruit flies will rapidly start multiplying in your kitchen sink, partying in your produce, and nose-diving into your wine glass. A simple internet search offers dozens of ways to rid your home of fruit flies, but some use materials that you may not have on hand, especially if you're camping or traveling. Luckily, there's one trick that doesn't require any extra containers, plastic wraps, or special substances; all you'll need is a bottle of soda and a nail. Simply empty most of the soda, use a nail to poke a hole in the cap, and set the bottle wherever the fruit flies tend to swarm the most.

Any sugary substance is sure to appeal to fruit flies, but there's actually something special about using soda in your trap. A 2007 study that was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that fruit flies have a special affinity for carbonated beverages, whether they're sweetened with sugar or not. But is this soda bottle fly trap actually effective? We decided to put it to the test. Here's how we created our soda fruit fly trap and the not-so-buzzworthy results. 

Collecting our basic supplies

This fruit fly trap is super affordable and easy to make. To build it, you'll need a soda bottle. As previously mentioned, any type of soda should be appealing to the fruit flies, but we just happened to have a bottle of Coca-Cola on hand. If you don't already have a bottle of this sugary substance, you can pick up a six-pack of original Coke at Walmart for under $4. Next, you'll need a hole-making tool of some kind. We used a basic 4D or 1½ inch nail that we already had on hand as well, but you could use a screw, a metal pick, or drill with a small drill bit instead. The type of tool doesn't really matter, it just needs to be able to punch a small hole into the bottle cap that's slightly larger than a fruit fly's body. 

We decided to test the trap in the kitchen near the sink, where fruit flies tend to congregate and cause problems. For the sake of testing, we even cracked a window and set out a plate of cut fruit and old wine — a tempting but deadly fruit fly charcuterie plate, if you will. We removed this plate after setting out the trap so that lingering flies would have no other food choices. 

Building the trap

Putting together and testing the fruit fly trap was incredibly easy. First, we poured most of the Coke into a separate glass to enjoy later, leaving about an inch of liquid still in the bottle. Next, we set the Coke bottle aside and focused on the bottle cap. We couldn't find our hammer (hey, it happens to the best of us!), so we just used the handle end of a hefty screwdriver to gently tap the nail into the cap and create a small hole. This worked out just fine!

Finally, we screwed the punctured bottle cap back onto the Coke bottle and set it beside the kitchen sink, near the fruit bowl and an open window. In theory, the fruit flies should be drawn to the sticky beverage inside the bottle and squeeze through the little hole in the cap. Once inside, they won't be able to find their way back out, and they'll eventually drown in the soda. If you use a caffeinated soda like Coke, the caffeine could even work as a natural insecticide. After placing the bottle by the sink, all that was left to do was sit back, sip our Coke, and wait. 

All buzz and no bite

After letting the Coke bottle trap sit for 24 hours on the counter, we took a peek inside and found ... no flies. By briefly leaving fruit and wine out on the counter, we had lured at least one fruit fly into the kitchen. However, after removing the fruit bait, none of them seemed to dive into the Coke like we'd expected them to. Soda is supposed to be especially attractive to fruit flies, but any flies we had in the kitchen must have been totally uninterested — or else they were able to get in and out of the trap with ease. 

All in all, would we recommend this hack? Possibly, if you don't have anything else to trap fruit flies with. Other methods to get rid of fruit flies have proved much more effective in the past, such as using apple cider vinegar, wine, or dish soap in a bowl that's covered with perforated plastic wrap. However, this idea might be worth trying if you're camping or picnicking and don't have access to other materials. Fruit flies are also known to be attracted to beer yeast, so a beer or cider bottle with a twist-off cap may be more effective than one that's filled with soda.