Homemade Wasp Traps

Buying wasp traps and the attractant at the store can be quite expensive. Making your own traps is easily done with items you may have around the house. This is a guide about homemade wasp traps.

March 26, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

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 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

May 29, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

Does anyone know why a wasp cannot get out of a wasp trap by flying down and out ? They can fly downwards.

By Walter

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May 30, 20120 found this helpful

I looked up wasp traps on google and found many sites that shows how to make a trap. One site had pictures. They used a clear plastic bottle and cut the top off. Then inverted the cut off top and stapled to the bottle. Pour some product into the bottle to attracts wasps and hang from a tree.

The wasp enter the trap from the top, not the bottom. They can't figure out how to escape. Also suggested to add oil to the insides of the bottle. If the wasp try to alight on the inside of the bottle they will fall to the bottom.

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June 1, 20120 found this helpful

I think they are just too stupid to think to do ths.

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Anonymous Flag
April 23, 20160 found this helpful

The fly into the funnel of the trap with their wings open, and land on it, then, with their wings now closed, they walk into the trap through the opening. in order for them to escape, the hole would have to be big enough for them to fly out of with their wings open, but their wing span is too wide. There is no place for them to land and walk out of the opening with their wings closed.

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May 15, 20160 found this helpful

2 reasons, 1st once in they are likely to drown in the water. 2nd the relatively small exit hole makes it harder (not impossible) to escape.

minnow traps use the same principal.

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August 16, 20160 found this helpful

April 21, 2006 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am looking for a concoction for my Wasp trap. You soak cotton balls and put them in, then it attracts and traps them. I know apple cider vinegar is the base for it, but can't remember or find the recipe with proportions. Thank you!

Hardiness Zone: 7a

April 29, 20060 found this helpful

Hi I found wasp traps on e-bay,Keyzplastic was the store Name they make wasp traps in 7 different colors.They sell for 3.00..

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

I purchased a wasp trap at Lowe's (bait provided), but so far, havn't caught the first wasp. What can I replace the existing bait with that will be more effective?

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

I have read you need to alter per season. Late winter and early spring they need protein. I have done this, used a little lunch meat. Summer more sugary sweet. Now I know why the meat didn't always work. I used it all summer. Maybe try this in your purchased traps.

Homemade traps dangle on string in bottom they suggested using a water and dish soap solution. To avoid bees, add a little vinegar.

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March 30, 20150 found this helpful

While wasps may be beneficial, they LOVE Monarch caterpillar babies, and do not eat the assassin bugs that also love the babies. I vote for the Monarchs.

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June 14, 20150 found this helpful

July 8, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have tried to make a homemade wasp trap using a soda bottle and sweetened liquid bait. I cut the bottle carefully and put them together just like the instructions said. It doesn't work. I have made it over and over again and it still doesn't work. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong, please?

By Lace

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April 1, 20150 found this helpful

From what I've read, wasps are attracted to protein-rich foods in the spring and sugary foods in late summer. Some have suggested using canned cat food or raw hamburger meat in the traps along with fruit juices during the spring and early summer then switching over to all fruit juices or jams during the late summer / early fall.

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