Homemade Wasp Traps

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I thought someone might want this tip since it's getting that time of year again. Wasps can be a pain, literally, to have around! It's not difficult to create a trap to help control them, however. Here are plans for a wasp trap that has worked for many people to reduce the number of wasps in and around the yard.


WARNING: Be sure to place your wasp trap away from any areas where you will be using the yard. Don't have one within 20 feet of your picnic table or children's play areas.

The simplest wasp trap can be made from a two or three liter pop bottle. Cut the bottle right under the funnel so that you have two pieces. After baiting the trap, you will fit the funnel shaped top piece into the bottom piece. The bait can be tied onto the pop bottle opening. Make three or four holes around the top edges where the fitted pieces meet, from which to attach string for a hanger. Don't tie these on too tightly because you will need to take the trap apart frequently to add new bait and remove dead wasps. Add water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the container part of the trap. A little vinegar added to the water is reported to repel honey bees from visiting the wasp trap. The water should not come to the level of the opening of the funnel shaped insert. Put a bit of Vaseline or cooking oil around the top of the funnel so that the insects will lose their footing when they are investigating the wasp trap.


What sort of bait works well in a wasp trap? It actually makes a difference what time of year it is. In the early spring, wasps will be seeking protein foods because they will be making nests and laying eggs. Some good choices for protein baits are hamburger and lunch meat. Partially cook the hamburger so that it is easier to tie onto the trap. An advantage to setting a wasp trap in the early spring or even late winter is that you may catch a queen. If you can catch and kill a queen, the rest of the wasps will go elsewhere to make a nest. Later on in the summer, sweet foods work well as bait. You might try floating a bit of root beer or other sweet liquid on the water in the trap in a small lid. Fruit pieces work well, too, but it helps if they are cut so that the juicy smell is evident. Mashed grapes are very desirable to wasps.

Place the wasp trap away from human activity and about four feet above the ground. The trap works best at about 85 degrees F. so you may have to move it into the shade on a hot afternoon or into the sun on a cool morning. The theory behind these traps is interesting. The wasp will fly down into the wasp trap to get the bait, but will not be able to find its way out. It will fly around inside until it wears itself out, at which time it will fall into the water. The detergent in the water breaks down the surface tension of the water, making it stick to the wasp's body instead of beading up around it. Since the wasp breathes through it's body, it will drown. Many wasps are likely to visit these wasp traps, which means you will need to empty them regularly. If you don't, the bodies of wasps will create islands on which the new wasps can rest without drowning. You will need to replenish the bait every few days, too, for best results.


When you empty the trap, you need to be careful. If any living wasps escape, they may return to the nest and let the others know they are in danger. If this happens, wasps can become aggressive. They may even swarm. The same thing can happen if the dead wasps' bodies are crushed. The bodies release a chemical which can be smelled by the rest of the colony. It is probably a good idea to bury the dead wasp bodies. (Be particularly careful if it is a colony of hornets you are trying to control! It is probably wisest to have a professional exterminator take care of them.)

Wasps are beneficial insects. They are useful around gardens because they prey on garden pest insects. However, when they make their nests too close to the house, they become pests themselves. Many people are allergic to wasp stings and can die if stung. In fact, death from insect stings is not uncommon. Making a wasp trap is one way to keep them under control without having to use toxic chemicals.

By Kathy from Huntsville, AL

April 3, 20070 found this helpful

I've heard that if you are stung by a wasp or bee, tape a penny to the sting for at least 15 minutes. I hope I don't have to use this info but will if stung!


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April 15, 20070 found this helpful

I was thinking that I could mix borax with any old oil then pour in a old pan then sprinkle hamburger meat in pan and then wasp ingest when try clean feet and bring back to nest and get rid of nest buddies. I have terrible problem with them nesting in old bus/work shop and don't want to use chems. They litterly run me to death all summer to the point I can't even run my tools. I will try both methods.

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July 19, 20070 found this helpful

I have a terrible time entering my garage. When I have a garage sale ,I always have to use a fly swatter and miss.I got stung on the arm. Is there another way I can get rid of them , an easier way? I'm terriffied of wasps, Mud Daubbers and Bubble bees. and Yellow Jackets. I have got stung several times of these creatures, everyone of them.I'm glad that I'm not allergic to the sting. Please find me another way to get rid of them. Thanks.

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August 15, 20070 found this helpful

They work like a dang! I actually had my mail service stopped by Canada Post until I dealt with them. I setup three traps and nailed over a hundred of the buggers. Still, I have a professional coming to remove the nest from under my front step tomorrow.

Click below for links and photos. Oh yeah I found that red Fruit Juice laced with extra sugar was the bait of choice.



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Anonymous Flag
March 18, 20110 found this helpful

The wasps at my house have been around my back door since spring began and I couldn't figure out why until I started reading this article. My grill is sitting by the door and it probably smells like meat. If anyone else is having a hard time keeping the wasps away and can't figure it out this might be the problem. Hope this helps!

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

Can someone please post a picture of the "wasp-catchers"?

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In This Article
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Homemade Wasp Traps
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