How to trap wasps?

Contents

How To: Make a DIY Wasp Trap

Photo: fotosearch.com

Nothing can ruin a summer barbecue or evening by the pool like the threat of a wasp’s sting. Mind you, wasps aren’t all bad—the adults are nectar-eating pollinators, and they kill other insects (often those harmful to crops) to feed their carnivorous larvae. Still, a nearby nest can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to their sting. Should you find an infestation around your own home, you have a few options: call a pest-control company, kill them yourself with sprays, or trap them. While wasp traps are available for purchase, save yourself some money and get rid of your buzzy problem by crafting this hands-off solution using items you most likely already have sitting in your house.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS Available on Amazon
– 2liter soda bottle
– Scissors
– Packing or duct tape
– String
– Water
– Dish soap
– Bait (either meat grease, or a mixture of vinegar with jam or sugary, fermenting fruit)

Photo: flickr.com via noricum

STEP 1
Dig through your recycling to get the materials you need to make this trap, and get crafting. First, remove the bottle cap and cut the 2-liter soda bottle just under the neck, where the bottle becomes a straight cylinder. Invert the top portion of the bottle to serve as a funnel, and fit it inside the bottom half of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together around the cut edge so the funnel stays in place. Finally, poke two holes on opposite sides of the rim and attach some string to make a handle for hanging.

STEP 2
You’ll never catch any wasps without the right kind of bait—and the perfect lure is wholly dependent on the season. In early spring, when wasps are reproducing, they are looking for protein; later in summer, they want sugar.

Start with a base of water and a few drops of dish soap. (The dish soap will break up the surface tension of the water and aid in drowning the wasps.) In spring, add grease from cooked meat to the soapy solution; in summer, try vinegar and something sugary like jam. Pour the bait solution into the bottle, leaving an inch or so underneath the funnel so wasps can enter.

Note: Do not add honey to your trap. That particular sweet will attract honeybees, and you don’t want to kill these very important, nonaggressive pollinators.

STEP 3
You can set your traps out on the ground, but hanging them about four feet high will probably attract and catch more wasps. Find a good tree limb or fence post on your property—one that is at least 10 yards away from your family’s play, work, and gathering spaces—and hang up the homemade trap by its string handle.

STEP 4
Check back often to dispose of the drowned wasps and refill the bait. Be sure the wasps are dead before you open the trap to remove them—an escapee will go back to the nest and warn the colony, which may then swarm.

Bury the wasps you’ve caught, or shut them tightly in a plastic bag to dispose of in the garbage. Be sure not to crush the wasps while disposing of them, as the bodies would release a scent that alerts other wasps of danger and could potentially attract a swarm. Even easier, just dispose of the whole trap altogether and make a new one from that week’s recycling. There’s no need to wait for a colony to become well established before making your traps. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

WASP TRAPS: WE MUST PLACE THEM IN SPRING

We must not wait for the fruits on the trees to ripen before using bio traps if we are to prevent infestations from wasps and hornets in orchards. Rather, they must be placed in early spring so that they can effectively contribute to a reduction in the rate of reproduction of these flying pests.

With the use of bio traps Tap Trap and Vaso Trap it is possible to effectively control flying pests without resorting to – or at least reducing – the use of pesticides that are harmful to the environment as well us to our health.

THE SECRET OF WASP TRAPS: PREVENTION

Wasp trap bottle with Tap Trap®: the bait used is a sweet and sour substance made of water, vinegar and sugar

Wasps and hornets are attracted to ripe fruits: figs, apples, pears and other sugary fruits in our orchards. However, we may not be aware that placing wasp traps only when the fruits on the trees are ripe is already too late.

Of course it is important to try and stop the wasps and hornets that are eating the fruits of our labor, but these pests love the ripe fruits no less than the baits in our traps. By placing the traps too late we may end up with a diminished and blemished fruit harvest, despite our bio traps being full to the brim with wasps and hornets.

The secret for the effective use of wasp and hornet bio traps then, is that they can prevent infestation if placed already in early spring.

The capture of queen wasps and hornets

The queen wasp and the queen hornet come out of hibernation on the first sunny days of spring; they are already pregnant and ready to build nests where they will lay their eggs.

In fact, they mated just before winter, before finding shelters in damp areas, such as in old abandoned nests, or underground, or in rotten tree trunks (but never in structures manufactured by human beings).

The food baits recall the taste of ripe fruit, of which wasps and hornets are greedy

After the winter the queen wasps need to recover their strength to build their new nests, that is why in their first flights they are greedy for food and sugary substances. It is precisely at this time that the wasp and hornet bio traps need to be placed. We must bear in mind that each queen hornet can build a nest with the capacity to house between 300 and 500 – and in the worst cases even 1000 – larvae, while each queen wasp can lay up to 20,000 eggs.

By capturing a few queen hornets and wasps at the end of the winter we avoid dealing with far more of them in spring.

Orchards are not the only places inhabited by wasp and hornet populations. These flying pests make nests in unexpected places: on attic beams as well as on trees, preferring hidden cavities and quiet places, where their colonies can grow undisturbed.

HOW DO WE USE THE BIO TRAPS TO CAPTURE WASPS AND HORNETS

Renewing the bait for wasps and hornets every 15-20 days, it will always be active and will not stop capturing pests

In the first days of spring when the trees have not grown their leaves back, the first visual attractant for flying insects are the bio traps. Thanks to their yellow color the insects see them from afar and approach them believing them to be fruits.

The yellow color of both Tap Trap and Vaso Trap is a necessary visual attractant for flying pests. They are used on recyclable common containers, such as plastic bottles and glass honey jars that, together with suitable home made baits, become essential parts of the traps. For further information .

The home-made bait for wasps and hornets

You can prepare the bait for wasp and hornets using sweet and sour substances, as for instance mixing water, vinegar and sugar: wasps and hornets associate the scent of this simple blend to the taste of ripe fruits. Another very simple yet effective bait for wasps and hornets is beer.

Once ready the bait must be poured inside the trap-containers (i.e., inside plastic bottles for Tap Trap and inside glass jars for Vaso Trap).

The effectiveness of the bait

For the bait to be effective it needs to be replaced regularly, either when the flying pests captured are many, or every 3 to 4 weeks. In each case the content of the trap must be discarded and replaced with fresh bait.

The replacement of the bait is essential for its constant effectiveness:

  • With Vaso Trap it is possible to empty the jar and replace the bait.
  • With Tap Trap both the plastic bottle and its content can be discarded and Tap Trap can be hooked on a new plastic bottle containing fresh bait.

The capture of flying pests begins at the beginning of the spring and only ends when the last harmful insects have stopped flying around. This means the traps must remain in place until the end of the season (October or November.)

The latest model of Vaso Trap®: lighter, more intense yellow, more attractive (in the photo: bait made only with beer)

What happens if the bait is not replaced?

If the attractant substance is not replaced with a fresh one when necessary, the container of the trap becomes too full of wasps and hornets. When this happens the insects begin to disintegrate in the bait changing its initial sugary scent with an odor that is unpleasant for wasps and hornets, and attracts flies instead.

Contraindications: none

Our eco friendly insect traps respect the environment and biodiversity. When Tap Trap and Vaso Trap are used with the correct baits they present no danger for bees, bumblebees and other pollinating insects, because pollinating insects are not attracted to these type of substances.

DO NOT FORGET!

What may seem to be a poor catch in the months of March and April actually has the same value of a trap full to the brim of flying pests in July, when the fruits are ripe. In the first days of spring there are only few harmful insects in circulation, but those few can potentially give rise to a population of thousands so their capture will forestall their proliferation.

🔅 🔅 🔅 Tap Trap is used by most renown Italian beekeepers: the European project LIFE Stop-Vespa has donated funds for the fight against the Vespa velutina – a fight that has achieved excellent results through the use of Tap Trap.

🔆 Where to find Tap Trap and Vaso Trap for wasps and hornets

To find out which dealer is closest to you, send an email to [email protected], or fill out this form 🔅 🔅 🔅 Photo cover: @maria-anne – Pixaby

🔆 You might be interested in:

Tap Trap: how to use it and which baits is most effective Vaso Trap: how to use it and which baits is most effective 🔆 Do you have a vegetable garden, or simply a garden? Use slug pellets or similar baits safely and without poisoning the soil 🔆 Are you a beekeeper?

Learn To Make Mosquito, Wasp, and Hornet Traps

As the days get warmer and longer, the bugs come out more. I’m usually content to leave them alone, but when mosquitoes, hornets, and wasps start biting, they have to go! The process of making a homemade mosquito trap is much the same as a homemade wasp trap – the only difference is the bait.

Let’s begin with the wasp/hornet trap…

Homemade Wasp Trap

This is a good use for those plastic soda bottles, plastic milk jugs, or any other plastic container that has a cone-shaped top.

Supplies

  • plastic soda bottle
  • scissors
  • string for hanging
  • tape
  • bait (balsamic vinegar, flat soda, fruit, beer, wine, or fruit juice)
  • a few drops of dish soap, optional

Directions

  1. Cut the top off the bottle just below the shoulder, where the cone part begins. Take the entire top off. Remove the cap and recycle.
  2. Add your bait and a bit of water. A few drops of dish soap will help to kill the wasps quickly.
  3. Turn the top part over and fit it inside the bottom part so it looks like a funnel. Make sure there is enough room so that the funnel bottom does not rest on the bait. There should be enough room for the wasp to fly around.
  4. Carefully cut two holes in the top part of the bottle just below the top edge. Tape the two pieces together. String your string through both holes and tie the ends together.

Using your wasp/hornet trap

Hang near your home or outdoor area, but not right next to where you are. When it’s full or no longer attracts the wasps, take apart, empty and fit back together with new bait.

Homemade Mosquito Trap

(pictured above)

Supplies & Ingredients*

*You’ll be making the same type of set up as for the wasps, but you’ll use different bait.

  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  1. Place the brown sugar in the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Add the yeast. (The brown sugar feeds the yeast, which in turn gives off carbon dioxide, which mosquitoes are attracted to.)
  2. Begin assembling your trap as instructed above.
  3. Pour your bait into the bottom of the trap and complete assembly as instructed above.

Using your mosquito trap

Place the mosquito trap near where you work and play, not away from the areas like the wasp trap. This will probably fill up faster than the wasp trap, so you may need to clean it out more often.

Additional Notes

  • White sugar will work, but brown sugar and even demerara and turbinado sugars work better than white sugar.
  • Meat will attract wasps in the spring when they are looking for protein.
  • I bury the insides of the trap in my garden at the back edge. I used to compost the whole mess, but then I had raccoons and opossums digging in the compost.
  • After a year or so the plastic will start to break down. I recycle the plastic and make new ones each year.

Need more ideas for keeping pesky bugs and insects away? Check out these other articles:

  • Learn How to Keep Bugs Away Naturally
  • Homemade Insect Repellent Spray
  • How to Make Homemade Bug Repellent Cream

*******

Have wasps decided that the eaves of your house look like a fantastic place to move in? I know I’ve had troubles with them here in California well into the fall, although they’re at their most active in the summer. Eventually, you sigh and start shopping for the best wasp trap.

But do you really need a trap, and if so, what kind do you want? Are lures necessary, and if so which ones? Are those internet stories about dryer sheets and paper bags real, and if so, does it actually work? Should you buy a commercial-made trap or make one?

I’m going to walk you step by step through deciding if this is something you should be investing in, teach you all about how they function, and answer questions about home methods. When you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to deal with them no matter what!

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Best Wasp Traps For The Money:

  • Reusable Lured Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Reusable Trap For Wasps, Hornets, & Yellowjackets
  • Disposable Lured Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Disposable Yellowjacket Trap
  • Sticky Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Trapstik For Wasps, Mud Daubers, & Carpenter Bees
  • DIY Add-On: Fatal Funnel FFW-6P Wasp and Hornet Traps
  • Protein-Specific Lure Gel: Safer 02006 Deluxe Yellow Jacket Wasp Trap Bait

Do You Need A Wasp Trap?

A wasp caught inside a trap. Source: diathesis

If you’re only seeing a few wasps, and they don’t seem to be preparing to move in and build themselves nests, you probably don’t need a wasp trap. Remember, just like bees, wasps are pollinators. They’re happy to flit from flower to flower and assist your local bee population.

But much like bees, while a few are great, too many can become a bit burdensome. While most species of wasps don’t typically bother humans, they can easily become defensive, especially if they start to build homes. And once they start to move in, you might have a problem.

It really all depends on the type of wasp that’s appearing.

A Little Information On Wasp Types

Most paper wasps are generally harmless, and in fact will help kill off other garden insects. While these build nests in our eaves, they often don’t pay a bit of attention to us other than to veer around humans as they visit flowers and go after caterpillars. I consider these good wasps!

On a slightly more concerning note are ground wasps like the digger wasp. Again, these don’t care much about humans, but they can become protective if you approach their ground-level nest. They also live in much larger colonies. Not a great thing in your flowerbed, alas!

There are two varieties which actively do become hostile towards humans, and one of those is the yellowjacket. Yellowjackets are irritable if you go near their nest, they’re irritable if you get in the way, and if you have meat or sweet food or drink outside they’re likely to swarm you.

The other problem is the hornet, and these are downright dangerous. Often venomous and with a particularly painful sting, hornets build large nests in trees and will deliberately go out of their way to run off people or animals in the vicinity of their home.

I personally have paper wasps who regularly visit my garden. They don’t bother me, I don’t bother them, and in fact I’ve picked tomatoes with paper wasps cruising around me to move on to the next bit of nectar. If your wasps are of that variety, you don’t really need a trap!

But if yellowjackets or hornets are around, or if you’ve got a particularly large colony of digger wasps who’re starting to become protective, it’s time to invest in a good quality wasp trap.

How Wasp Traps Work

An inside look at the funnel-shaped entrance for one type of wasp trap. Source: t_buchtele

There are a lot of methods online that claim to be inexpensive wasp trap methods, and in many cases they’re completely ineffective. Hanging up a paper bag as a decoy wasp nest doesn’t stop wasps from building their own nest, and dryer sheets don’t repel wasps at all.

In essence, there’s only one effective way that wasp traps function. Some sort of scent lures the wasp close or inside, and it cannot extricate itself. In nearly all cases, it will die in the trap, and then it’s a simple matter of emptying or replacing the trap when it’s necessary to do so.

How Well Do Wasp Traps Work?

A homemade wasp trap works, but often they are less effective than the commercial traps. This is largely due to the lure or bait inside the trap itself, not the trap’s design. In fact, a very effective trap can be made out of an old soda bottle! But the lure inside is really what draws them in.

Unfortunately, depending on what the wasp is looking for, different types of lures are required. If the wasp is trying to feed its young, it’s likely looking for protein-rich meats or fats. If it’s feeding itself, it wants nectar. And different wasps have different preferences at different times.

Commercial lures contain multiple different types of enticement for different species of wasp, and typically are much more effective than homemade solutions. They don’t smell as bad as some homemade solutions do, which also prevents your trap from filling with flies.

If the wasps are looking for just nectar, apple juice is extremely effective. Provided that you’re not trying to lure mud-daubers or other meat-seeking wasps, this can reduce the cost of lures. But if you have protein and fat-seekers, invest in commercial lures.

Types Of Commercial Wasp Traps

There are a few varieties of commercial wasp trap out there, so let me go over exactly how these types work and where they’re most efficient.

Reusable Lured Traps

A reusable wasp trap. Source: MaryEllen and Paul

There are a number of reusable lured traps. Most of these consist of a tubular, clear exterior with some sort of funnel-like entrance point. Inside, a lure will entice the wasps to enter, and they will become trapped inside and die off.

This style of trap can be emptied, cleaned out, and the bait or lure replaced so that they can be reused over and over again. However, you will need to purchase additional bait to use in these traps.

Disposable Lured Traps

A disposable wasp trap. Source: schwa242

Generally made out of a thick plastic bag, these work identically to the reusable traps. Inside the bag will be a lure or attractant, and a funnel-style entrance allows wasps to enter but not to leave.

The biggest perk of these is that they are disposable, which means that you don’t have to worry about any remaining live wasps that may be trapped within. Simply take the trap down and throw it away. However, it’s not as eco-friendly as the reusable traps are.

Sticky Traps

There’s a number of sticky trap options available on the market as well. While standard yellow sticky traps used for catching whiteflies or other insects will work, they aren’t without drawbacks. They catch all insects, whether beneficial or not, and occasionally can stick on birds.

A few bird-proofed models have been made which have plastic strips preventing birds from brushing against the trap and getting caught, but these are generally only meant for wasps like mud daubers or meat bees and flies, things which are attracted primarily to meat scents.

Other Options

There are a few other options available, mostly in terms of modifications to existing traps or DIY solutions.

For example, you can buy insertable funnel-style entrance points which will prevent the wasps from escaping from your homemade soda bottle trap. These seem rather effective, but you will still need to find a suitable lure to draw the wasps in initially.

Some reusable traps include a solar UV light, but it seems to do little other than to identify the trap’s location at night. As wasps are seldom active after dark, this may be useful to find the trap in the dark and empty it, but it otherwise serves no active purpose in catching them.

Finally, there are things which are reputed to be wasp repellants. Most of these are made to mimic the appearance of a large wasp trap or hornet’s nest hanging from a tree. They don’t work at all in my experience. Don’t waste your money on these unless you like how they look!

Where & When To Set Up Your Wasp Trap

Trapped inside! Source: benjgibbs

Most of the time, your problem wasps will be outdoors, and that’s where a wasp trap will be the most beneficial. However, there are times when they may be required indoors as well.

If wasps have managed to infiltrate your garage or work their way into your attic, you may find that sticky traps paired with lured traps are an effective combination to eliminate them quickly. Remove any nests if possible. Make note of entry/exit points and place sticky traps there.

Outdoors, sticky traps are only effective during the dry months of the year. If you live in an area where summer rains are common, these really will only work under cover, so you may need to opt for a lure trap instead. Be sure to select one with a wide lid that will keep rain out.

You can put up wasp traps at any time if there is an existing problem. If you want to take preventative measures, put up your wasp trap in the early spring, as it can easily catch and eliminate queens who might be looking for a new place to build a nest. Remove all traps in the winter.

Select locations which are near current wasp hotspots, but out of active human-frequented zones for your lured traps. For sticky traps, you can place these directly over your patio table or around your lawn furniture without any worries.

If you can do so without danger to yourself, eliminate any nests from the property. This will reduce the number of wasps you’ll need to catch and prevent a future generation from appearing.

Ground-based nests are a little bit more difficult to deal with. If you can manage to do it without upsetting the nest, hang the trap directly over or next to the nest. However, you will need to empty or remove and replace the traps with surprising regularity at first.

Best Wasp Trap Reviews

My reviews are based mostly on how effective the trap style itself is, rather than the lure type. If you have protein-seeking wasps and are baiting with apple juice, not even the best trap is going to work for you! But I’ll include some information about lures that are available as well.

You may also note that in this particular case, one company seems to dominate the wasp trap industry. While there are other traps available from other companies, my experience has been incredibly favorable for this company’s products.

This doesn’t mean another company’s products won’t work for you, because they might. However, I like to highlight the top performers in each category, and in today’s list of products, one company stands head and shoulders above the rest!

Reusable Lured Trap

Best Wasp Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Reusable Trap For Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets

Sale RESCUE Non-Toxic Reusable Trap for Wasps, Hornets and Yellowjackets

  • Effective, environmentally responsible answer for…
  • Catches queens in spring before they build nests;…
  • Once inside the trap, the insects cannot fly out…

The year that I had both mud-daubers and hornets lurking around my old apartment, this trap was a literal lifesaver. I had a second-story balcony and both the daubers and hornets were trying to build homes there. It was not at all pleasant trying to water my plants.

While that was a few years ago, in terms of design this Rescue wasp trap is still one of the best on the market. It comes with two separate lures. One of the lures is sweet, the other is protein-rich. These lures are at opposite ends of the trap tube, with separate sections.

Insects that crawl into the lower part of the trap tube will be caught within and will suffocate inside. Those which enter the top part of the tube will end up drowning in the water you put inside. Add a couple drops of dish soap to the water to prevent the wasps from trying to escape!

Because of the dual lures, one side or the other may fill up more quickly, and it will help you to identify the type of insects you’re dealing with.

My biggest complaint with this trap is that Rescue recommends placing it at least 20 feet away from human-inhabited areas. While that may be effective if you have multiple traps ringing your yard, it’s not as useful for smaller space control.

In a balcony situation, placing it as far away from your entrance/exit as possible works quite well, even if that’s only about 10 feet away. Even in an open space, I try to situate it about 15 feet away from my most-trafficked spaces, as it seems very effective at that range.

See Prices >

Disposable Lured Trap

Best Wasp Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Disposable Yellowjacket Trap

Sale RESCUE Non-Toxic Disposable Yellowjacket Trap, West of the Rockies

  • Lure yellow jackets away
  • Easy to use, just add water
  • Quick and clean disposal

This Rescue wasp trap is a disposable water trap. Available in two formulations (described as “east of the Rockies” or “west of the Rockies”), it is designed to lure the particular yellowjackets that are typical to those portions of the United States. Pay close attention when you order!

To use this is simple: place water inside the bag with the lure solution in it and hang it up. The yellowjackets will enter and drown inside. When it’s full or is no longer drawing insects, simply pop the top cap on and put it in the trashcan, and put up a new one if necessary.

I really love the ease of use, but at the same time, I dislike that you can’t see how many bugs you’ve caught in this yellow jacket trap. I prefer to have a little more idea of which lures are the most effective. Having said that, if you’re squeamish about bugs, this is great for you!

For people in the western U.S., there is also a variation of this trap which works on not only yellowjackets but on meat bees and ground hornets as well. If you have more than one type of insect (and many of us do), you may want to opt for that instead.

See Prices >

Sticky Trap

Best Wasp Trap: RESCUE! Non-Toxic Trapstik For Wasps, Mud Daubers, & Carpenter Bees

RESCUE Trapstik for Wasps, Mud Daubers, Carpenter Bees

  • Lures multiple pest species; paper wasps, mud…
  • Chemical-Free
  • Weather-Resistant

What I like about this wasp trap is that it’s mostly bird-safe. With yellow sticky traps, the slightest brush of a bird’s wing can cause it to get stuck, risking injury to the bird and seriously damaging your trap. The Trapstik has a plastic “cage” around the sticky surfaces to prevent that.

I also really like that the sticky surface has a slight lure in its coloration that will draw wasps, mud daubers and carpenter bees to it.

One of the biggest benefits of this type of trap is that it can be used directly under the eaves, beneath an awning, or in the garage, and doesn’t need to be at a distance. Without an aromatic lure, the only insects that get caught in this are those who come across it in their path.

But what I don’t like about this trap is that it is, in the end, still a sticky trap. If any insect of any type gets too close and bumps one of those sticky panels, it will be stuck. This includes not only the ones you want to catch, but honeybees and butterflies as well.

Provided that you put it in the right place, this can be incredibly effective when new. However, when the sticky surface is coated with dead bugs, you’ll have to throw this out and replace it. It’s best to use a trap like this in conjunction with a slightly more distant lured trap.

See Prices >

DIY Add-On

Best Wasp Trap: Fatal Funnel FFW-6P Wasp and Hornet Traps

Sale Fatal Funnel FFW-6P Wasp and Hornet Traps, 6-Pack

  • Kills Wasps & Hornets safely
  • Cost Effective
  • No chemicals or poisons & Reuseable

Are you a DIYer? Do you already have variations on wasp traps that you already make at home out of old soda bottles? If so, you can take your game to the next level by adding a Fatal Funnel in your construction.

Designed to snap into the side of a standard 2-liter bottle, these funnel-shaped entrances allow insects to go in, but don’t let them exit again. This means that all you need to catch a sweet-lured insect is a little flat Mountain Dew in a 2-liter bottle, one of these, and some string.

Baiting a 2-liter bottle trap with apple juice is also extremely effective if you’re aiming for the nectar-loving bugs, and this style of entrance is much harder to exit from than the mouth of a normal 2-liter bottle. All things considered, it’s a great upgrade that allows you to upcycle waste!

See Prices >

Protein-Specific Lure Gel

Best Wasp Lure: Safer 02006 Deluxe Yellow Jacket Wasp Trap Bait

Safer 02006 Deluxe Yellow Jacket Wasp Trap Bait – 3 Refills

  • Compatible with Safer Brand Deluxe Yellow Jacket /…
  • Comes with 1 pack of 3 bait refills
  • Uses food as bait

Are you trying to avoid luring in honeybees or other beneficial, nectar-drinking pollinators? Are your wasp woes of a variety where protein lures will work? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes”, then you will want this Safer wasp bait.

This bait attracts all manner of protein-loving wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets. It also may lure in meat bees and a few stray flies, but it’s mostly effective for the wasp family of insects. As it doesn’t have anything sweet in it, it doesn’t draw in the bees that pollinate your garden.

The only downside that I can see to this is that if the wasps are not on the prowl for protein, these may not do any good for you. In situations like that, you may want to pair this bait with a little apple juice to try to provide incentive for the wasps to stop by.

This lure will not be good on its own. While it is an incredibly effective bait, it does not include a trap. But if you have an existing trap or have made a homemade wasp trap, this should work well for you and is worth the money spent on it!

See Prices >

So no matter whether you’ve got slightly-annoying paper wasps or demonic hornets, there’s something out there which will be effective for you. The only question is which you’ll choose. Do you have a wasp issue in your yard? Tell me about it down below!

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:
Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime Gardener
Kevin Espiritu
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DIY Paper Wasp Traps

The trap should be kept away from human activity and about four feet above the ground. The ideal temperature for the trap is about 85 degrees, so keep it in the shade on a hot afternoon, or in the sun during a cold snap. The wasps will fly into the trap to investigate the bait, but will not be able to fly out. They will fly around inside the trap until they are exhausted and fall into the water. The soap in the water breaks up the surface tension, causing the water to stick to the wasps. They will drown because they breathe through their bodies. The trap should be regularly emptied because the accumulation of bodies can create an island on which the wasps can land. Take care when emptying the trap because if a live wasp escapes, it can return to the nest and alert its comrades that they are in danger. This message will make wasps aggressive and even swarm. The same can happen if dead wasps’ bodies are crushed, which can release a “danger” chemical that the rest of the colony smells. Bury the bodies instead.

Aside from different nesting preferences, the main difference between bees and wasps is that bees feed their larvae pollen, while wasps — a category that includes yellow jackets and hornets — nourish theirs with insects. That means that wasps are actually great to have around the garden because they control nearly all types of pests.

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According to National Geographic, some farmers even use them to protect crops. And contrary to popular belief, wasps do pollinate plants, just not to the same extent that bees do.

Despite all the ways wasps can benefit your yard, wasps can still sting and cause an allergic reaction. Before they build a nest that’s a little too close for comfort — under your porch roof or even inside your home — it’s time to do something. Give one of these six methods a go:

Clove-Geranium-Lemongrass Oil Blend

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Research published in the Journal of Pest Management Science found that a combination of clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils successfully repelled wasps. You can try applying these oils by mixing several drops of each with water and dish soap in a spray bottle and coating areas on the outside of your home where wasps like to build nests: under eaves, porch roofs, and other ledges and crevices.

Since fully covering all of those areas with essential oils would be impractical, target spots where you’ve found old nests in the past, as paper wasps will build new nests in the same locations, according to Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.

Plain Soap and Water

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According to Chris Walker, an eco-friendly wasp removal expert in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can tackle small hanging nests with a mixture of about two tablespoons of dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water.

“The soap clogs their breathing pores (called spiracles) and they die almost instantly,” Walker says.

Peppermint Oil

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Peppermint oil may also be effective at repelling wasps, according to the same study from the Journal of Pest Management Science. You can try applying it as described above, or you can purchase EcoSmart Organic Wasp and Hornet Killer, which is mint oil-based, to target established nests.

Wasp Traps

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Wasp traps work by luring the insects inside a container with some tempting treat, like sugar water, and then preventing them from escaping. You can make one yourself in about five minutes by sawing the top off a two-liter bottle and inverting it inside the bottom, or cutting a small hole in the top like this.

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If the DIY route isn’t for you, you can also purchase a more heavy-duty trap online such as this highly rated one sold on Amazon. There are even pretty glass wasp traps that look more like patio décor. However, Walker notes that traps probably won’t fully solve your problem because you might end up capturing wasps passing through your yard, rather than just ones building a problem nest. If using a trap, your best bet is to try to locate the nest and place the trap close to its entrance.

Patch Up Cracks

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If you want to keep wasps from invading your house, preventative measures are key, notes Walker. He recommends sealing up tiny cracks — like those around the edges of siding and where power lines enter the house —and patching up holes in window screens. The best time to do this is in late fall after most worker wasps have died off, or in early spring before nests become active.

However, if you do discover wasps inside your house, don’t try to seal the nest inside the wall, thinking they’ll just die off. “They’ll find their way out through vents or even chew through drywall,” says Walker.

Seal Waste Bins

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According to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, wasp problems are usually worse in yards that have lots of food sources in the form of exposed garbage, recycling bins, and composting food matter. Make sure to tightly seal the lids to your garbage bins, and maybe even consider composting indoors if you find your compost pile is causing problems.

Wasps’ behaviour changes in late summer as their preferred food shifts from sugars to proteins. Because of this, you will more likely encounter them wherever food is consumed outdoors and around garbage collection areas.

If you notice large numbers of wasps in your home or garden, there is likely to be a wasp nest nearby. It may be in your house, in your garden or very close by. A mature nest in summer/autumn can contain thousands of wasps. When they do attack, most wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are aggressive and will sting REPEATEDLY.

How can I identify the nest type?

  • Paper wasps: This is an open nest with hexagonal cells. It usually has an umbrella shape and may contain fewer than 100 paper wasps.
  • Hornets: A hornet nest has a football shape surrounded by smooth walls.
  • Bees: Bee hives are recognisable by their distinctive waxy appearance.
  • Yellow jacket wasps: You can spot a yellow jacket wasp nest by the activity around the nest. You’ll see wasps going back and forth to a concealed location. These nests can contain thousands of wasps!

Learn more: How to identify signs of wasps and wasp activity

What should I do if I’m attacked?

DO’s

  • Always remain still if a wasp approaches you.
  • If you have to run away, do so in a straight line, without flailing your arms.
  • Protect your head and face, as these areas are mostly likely to be targeted by the wasps.

DON’Ts

  • If you swat at the wasp or swing your arms, you’ll only make it more aggressive and more likely to sting you.
  • Do not try to fool wasps by “playing dead”. They will simply continue stinging you!
  • Do not seek shelter in a body of water, as the wasps will simply wait for you to re-emerge.

Learn more: Wasp sting what you should know

How to avoid wasp stings?

The following tips can help you avoid painful wasp stings:

  • Carefully dispose of all food and drinks, especially soft drink cans.
  • Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before consuming.
  • Keep all areas of your property clean and tidy.
  • Check for wasp activity before carrying out any gardening activity.
  • Avoid strong scents and bright clothing.
  • Protect your feet by wearing closed shoes.

Should I remove wasp nest myself?

It is important to treat a wasp nest as soon as possible. Removing a wasp nest is a complex process and requires professional help. To avoid the risk of painful wasp stings (and possible allergic reactions), we strongly advise you not to try to remove a wasp nest yourself. Remember, you could cause serious injury to yourself or others if you provoke the wasps in the nest.

If you notice a wasp nest in your property, contact us for expert advice and immediate assistance to avoid a larger infestation. We’re happy to help you!

DIY Wasp Trap Info: Do Homemade Wasp Traps Work

Homemade wasp trap instructions abound on the internet or you can also purchase ready-made versions. These easy-to-assemble traps simply catch the wasps and drown them. Almost any household container can be converted quickly and easily into an effective wasp trap. The best wasp traps on the market can’t hold a candle to your homemade version. Learn how to make a homemade wasp trap in this article.

DIY Wasp Trap Info

Wasps are terrifying to many people who have been stung. They are, however, beneficial insects whose main job is to eat other insects. Wasps are attracted to proteins and sugars which can make those summertime picnics less than comfortable.

Sprays and baits can be helpful but generally contain toxins that may not be appropriate around your family. A safer and non-toxic way to minimize the insects is to use a little DIY wasp trap info to construct your own. Do homemade wasp traps work? The effectiveness of any trap, whether homemade or purchased, depends upon the timing used and how vigilant you are about keeping it clean.

The most efficient use of a trap is to set it out early in spring before the insects become numerous. This is because the females, or queens, are moving about in the early season. Each queen caught is estimated to represent 1,000 workers later in the season.

It is also important to keep the trap clean. The buildup of dead wasp bodies will create a raft for living wasps that get trapped. These live surfing wasps can then find their way out of the container.

Attracting the wasps to your trap doesn’t rely upon bright colors or fancy styling. Instead, wasps are attracted to sweet smells and imprint or bookmark the location of any sugary food. Even the best wasp traps are reduced to useless junk if you aren’t baiting correctly or cleaning out the dead.

How to Make a Homemade Wasp Trap

First, you will need an empty jug. Plastic is easiest to work with and it should be large enough to accommodate both several inches of liquid and some flying space. A large liter soda bottle works very well.

Cut off the top of the bottle just below where the container broadens. Take the top and invert it so the spout is inside the bottle. Some homemade wasp trap instructions suggest dipping the spout into honey or jam but this may not be necessary.

Pour a few inches of sugar water into the bottle. The idea is to have the insect fly in to get the sugar and not be able to fly out. If the opening is too large, use a piece of packing tape to cover it with a small punched hole just large enough for the insects to fly into.

Additional Tips on the Best Wasp Traps

If you are worried about attracting honeybees, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water. You can also enhance the chances of the trap working by putting a few drops of dish soap into the water. This prevents the insects from gaining any traction on the surface of the water and will speed their demise.

Wasps are more interested in protein in spring and early summer. It is only near the end of the season that their cravings for sugar spike. For early season use, you might consider the same trap build but with rotten meat in plain water inside the bottle. This will encourage early season insects to investigate your clever trap.

Summer is here in the garden, and with it a lot of great things, and a few that really can ruin a summer day. Among them, wasps. Nothing will haul the best backyard bbq to a halt faster than a football hitting a wasp nest, sending every human on the block running for the indoors. The best way to prevent wasp stings and the nuisance that they cause is to take preventative action in controlling them. We did some research and found some great ideas and tutorials to help you create DIY wasp traps and other wasp solutions for your backyard and garden. As usual, we try to use the least amount of insecticides first, preferring to use natural methods of control. But when it comes to wasps, sometimes you just have to get serious. We won’t judge, promise. In any case, we have some tips, and a variety of solutions to choose from.

Wasp Control Tips

  • First, wasps aren’t inherently bad. Like bees, they pollinate and contribute to our environment in a positive way. As long as they are FAR away from people, that is. Wasps are bad around people, simple as that. They are aggressive, and many people are allergic to their stings. And anyone stung multiple times can need medical attention. So wasps need to be controlled in the garden.
  • Bees are not wasps. Bees also sting, but rarely. They are not aggressive unless provoked, and our gardens would be nothing without them. I regularly garden in among bees, and have not been stung in 30 years. (Knock on wood!) Know the difference, and don’t kill bees. Period. The photo below is a bee, compare it to the one above and you will see distinct differences.

  • Eliminating wasp nests before they get large is the key to control. Start looking in the spring, and keep looking every few days. They love horizontal surfaces, usually under something. Roof eaves, bbq’s, and even the underside of benches are prime spots.
  • Late summer wasps and yellow jackets get more aggressive around food, and you may have to take further steps even if you have no active nests in your yard. Traps can be effective in keeping the numbers under control. Remember, place the trap AWAY from where you gather, you don’t want to lure them right into your midst! A good bait recipe is one cup of vinegar, and 4 tablespoons each salt and sugar…seems to attract more wasps and few beneficial bees.

Wasp Trap DIY Projects

Recycled Bottle Wasp Trap

Gina at Kleinworth & Co. has the prettiest DIY wasp trap I’ve ever seen! Made from a recycled plastic creamer bottle, the tutorial is easy to follow. And you don’t see the dead wasps either! Love it!

How to Trap Wasps With Vinegar

This soda bottle DIY wasp trap is the most pinned wasp trap DIY project on Pinterest, but I tracked down the original blogger… ‘Prairie Story‘ tells you step by step how to make this easy trap. One tip I’ve picked up in my research though…if you add vinegar to your wasp bait, it won’t attract as many bees…remember, the bees are not our target! We like bees!

Soda Bottle Wasp Trap

If you need a little clarification on that soda bottle wasp trap DIY, ‘Apartment Therapy‘ has a great tutorial with step by step photos. Image credit Ashley Poskin.

Paper Wasp Trap

From ‘Chox TheMuse‘, this idea is a little bit of pure genius. Make fake wasp nests from paper bags, and hang them in your eaves where wasps like to nest. Apparently, wasps don’t like to build nests near other wasp nests, so they leave the area alone. Check out her youtube channel. BRILLIANT! Anyone tried this type of “wasp trap”?

From ‘Garden Therapy‘ (if you haven’t been to her site, go!) this simple DIY wasp trap has a little different way of going about it, but what I like about it is that she made is attractive. Make it in 15 minutes!

Natural DIY Wasp Solutions

Natural Wasp Rellepellent

‘P. Allen Smith‘ (the garden expert!) has a great video on YouTube on how to repel wasps with simple, harmless ingredients…one being simple peppermint oil. (Not mint oil, must be peppermint!)

Lemon & Cloves for Wasps

From ‘Warsztat Mamy‘, this easy and natural solution should repel wasps from the picnic table!

Where to Buy Wasp Traps

If you want to purchase your wasp traps, we think the “Lomomoco Wasp Trap” looks like a good choice! It’s attractive, but has an open hole on the bottom of the jar. You add bait, hang the jar, and once they get in from the bottom, they are trapped. Much nicer than those bright yellow plastic things from the home improvement store!

And always remember the old standby… aerosol hairspray will drop any bug in it’s tracks! And yes, we do use insecticide based wasp spray in our yard when we need to… But only when we absolutely need to! Enjoy that garden, wasp free!

Looking for mosquito control DIY solutions? Visit our post – “Zap Those Mosquitos“! Or check out our post on DIY tabletop fire bowls!

Image Credits: Kleinworth and Co, Prairie Story, Apartment Therapy, Chox TheMuse, Garden Therapy, YouTube


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Laurie Nicoll does not claim to be a scientist or entomologist but he does have a proven technique to help with European wasp control using everyday goods from the pantry. He is now sharing his technique to help others but says the trick is take action early in spring. Here’s his story…

I live in central Victoria on two acres of bushland and have been studying the habits of the European wasp for more than 15 years. I believe all methods tried so far to get rid of European wasps, i.e. baiting with poison, to take back to nest, the parasitic wasp (1997 trial) to eat lava, have failed. I have also tried other methods when nests have formed but so far none have worked apart from finding and dusting them!
I believe the main component in the cycle is the queen, which is overlooked. It seems that waiting for nests to be formed then taking action is what’s in everyone’s mind.
I have developed a method to catch the queen before she makes a nest. My idea is cheap, environmentally friendly, recyclable and safe, easy to make and most households will have ingredients for bait.
For this idea to work it needs people power: if every household put out five traps the number of nests formed would be reduced greatly.
As most nests die off during winter, people become complacent because there are no wasps around until it’s too late! My idea starts in spring.
The queen comes out of hibernation in spring with two priorities in mind: the first is to build a nest and the second is to feed herself, which is mostly carbohydrates, until she has workers take over.
My method uses five 1.25lt soft drink bottle with three holes about 10mm in diameter, about 150mm from bottom of bottle and a bait made from eight tablespoons honey, dissolved in two cups hot water, plus two teaspoons pure vanilla essence, 35 per cent alcohol (Queen red label). Divide between five traps, top-up with water to just below holes, replace cap and hang about 2m off the ground. The traps need a little tending until January, meaning when checking traps, give a shake to let a little lure dribble out. When full, strain catch (I use a kitchen colander), reuse bait and topping up with water. This can be done three to four times before the lure may need replacing.
When traps stop catching replace with fresh lure.
In 2015 season catch was 1360! And in 2016 it was 258!
I left traps out over 2016 wasp season January to May and caught about 6000+ workers! I had no wasp problems eating outside, barbecues, etc., my method may also keep wasps from attacking bee hives, grape vines and other fruit that may be affected, but this is only a thought and has not been field-tested.
And finally I am not intending to gain financially from this idea, it’s free to anyone who wants to try!

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