It's that time of year again folks! If you act now then you won't be paying the price later in the year with these pesky guys ruining your outdoor dining! Read on and don't delay!
Here are directions for two easy homemade wasp traps, they require the same materials and and have the same concept, but two different designs (one’s ideal for hanging, the other for setting on the ground). I used graphics that show soda inside the bottles, but you need to use empty pop bottles (ignore the soda levels shown in the images).
- Take an empty two liter pop bottle or any plastic bottle that has a consistently even width along the sides.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the soda bottle just below where the start of the bottle sides are at even width.
- Fill the bottom of the bottle with bait about 2″ deep (ideas below).
- Insert the top of the bottle upside down into the bottom of the bottle (remove the bottle cap first). The pieces should fit together nice and snug, but use duct tape along the top edge to secure the pieces together if you need to.
- Set the trap out wherever you’ve seen them (in flower beds, close to a hedge, near the bird bath, etc.).
- The wasps will fly into the trap to get at the bait, but have trouble finding their way out. They’ll eventually drown in the liquid bait.
- This setup will also work for killing fruit flies.
This is well suited for hanging in tree branches or along the eaves of a house (away from entrances since this will attract live wasps). They will fly up into the trap from underneath, but have trouble finding their escape by flying down and out.
- Take an empty two liter pop bottle, tighten on the cap then cut off the bottom few inches of the bottle.
- Taking a second two liter pop bottle, remove the bottle cap and cut off the top part of the bottle right underneath where the width is the same as the rest of the bottle.
- For the bigger bottle piece, puncture two small holes, one on either side of the bottle (at the top) and push through each end of a piece of heavy string or yarn, knotting at each end inside the bottle (this will need to be long enough to hang the bottle and strong enough to hold the weight).
- Seal the holes where the string runs through with duct tape to prevent them crawling out and escaping.
- Place the small piece up inside the bigger piece, securing together with duct tape around the edges.
- Fill with bait about 2″ deep and hang.
- Do not fill it so full of bait that there isn’t plenty of air space between the bottom (or top) of the pop bottle opening, you want them to be able to fly in with no trouble.
- Empty and refill the traps regularly, wasps won’t be too tempted if they’re filled with drowned critters. You can submerge the trap in a bucket of water for about 1/2 hour to make sure they’re all dead before cleaning and refilling.
Just like ants, wasps can be looking for two different types of food sources depending on the colony’s needs at the time: protein or sugar. Set out two different traps to see which bait tempts them best, then continue to fill with that type of bait. Or you could do a sugar & protein bait together (for example: mixing juice with a piece of meat).
- Jam dissolved in water (sweet enough to attract the wasps but diluted enough to drown them)
- Fruit juice
- Sweet Soda Pop
- Maple syrup diluted with water
- Molasses diluted with water
- If you need protein baits: Try adding a piece of raw hamburger or a chunk of canned tuna, canned dog or cat food to a trap with fruit juices or even plain water (deep enough to drown the wasps but the piece of meat bait needs to be sticking out above the liquid surface to effectively attract them).