DIY light traps for bug-free homes
08/06/2021 // Mary Villareal // Views

Light traps are effective for various insects such as moths, flies, beetles, and stink bugs -- insects attracted to light are likely going to find themselves caught in traps.

Incandescent bulbs are traditionally used for insect traps. But these days, there are different lighting styles to choose from. Inexpensive UV LED flashlights are usually available at affordable prices and are good alternatives to incandescent bulbs. (Related: DIY mosquito trap protects against dengue fever, West Nile and other insect-borne diseases.)

Building the insect trap

Tools and materials:

  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • UV LED flashlight or white LED flashlight
  • Empty soda bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Tape
  • Cord


  • Cut the bottle around where it tapers to the opening to create two pieces of plastic: the funnel (top) and the shaft (bottom). Invert the top piece, using is as a funnel for the trap, and secure it to the shaft with tape.
  • Poke four holes, spaced evenly around the circumference of the bottle around the point where the pieces are together.
  • Cut the cord into four equal lengths, tying one end each to the holes cut on the bottle.
  • Run one of the pieces of cord through the lanyard hole in the base of the flashlight. Figure how high the light trap should be and use an overhand knot to secure the flashlight to the cordage.
  • Tie all four cords together to hang the trap in the air.
  • Fill the bottle with a little bit of water and dish soap, and hang the trap where insects are seen often. However, make sure to keep it away from where areas where people go about their daily activities.
  • Brighteon.TV

The trap design can easily be adjusted to suit individual needs. For instance, if those who don't want to hang the trap can opt for a thick wire instead of cord, and simply bend two lengths of wire in a hoop to secure the flashlight.

To make a smaller version of the trap, use smaller soda bottles and a desk lamp positioned over the top of the trap while shining the light down.

Meanwhile, a larger version could make use of plastic buckets, metal light shade, fluorescent light with holder, metal rods, flexible wire, and tin sheets.

Sugar water may also be used instead of soap to make the mixture more environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Simply dissolve sugar in water to make a kind of syrup to attract the bugs and insects to the trap.

Placing the insect trap

Put the insect trap a few meters away from living spaces, kitchens, or dining areas to attract them away from you. This is to avoid getting them in areas where you don't want them, and into areas where they can be trapped instead.

It is best to place the traps adjacent to outdoor living areas and garden areas so that you can keep track of the insects that are invading your property. The DIY light trap is a simple way of capturing these unwanted insects, but should not be used as a standalone for the bug trapping method.

Alternative pest traps

Vinegar bowl fire traps - For those who are not big fans of light traps, red-wine vinegar mixtures are a great alternative. Simply use a clean bowl and fill it with soapy and sudsy water. Add red wine vinegar and place it in the water bowl to draw flies to the water. Refresh the mixture a few times throughout the day to get rid of fruitflies.

Beer pit slug traps - It turns out that pesky slugs love beer, too. Use a small, shallow container with a bit of beer to make them leave plants alone. If there's no beer on hand, a mix of sugar, water, and yeast works just as well.

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