What is the most effective do it yourself mixture to trap wasps?
August 22, 2021 3:10 PM   Subscribe

We can’t eat outside anymore. We think someone nearby may have a nest. We don’t. What mix works the best to trap them as they fly around us. Thank you.
posted by Tziv to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A few years ago our yard had more wasps than I could believe. Yellow jackets. They mostly stayed low to the ground and seemed attracted to water. We made soda bottle traps and didn't hang them, but scattered them over the lawn, where they accumulated many dead wasps. It didn't eliminate them, but definitely reduced their numbers.

Cut a two-liter soda bottle circumferentially just below the point where the top begins to narrow. Invert the top and insert in the bottle. Fill with a couple inches of water, a couple drops of dish detergent and something sweet (that isn't honey). Tape the bottle pieces together. Leave in a strategic spot. Here is a better description with pictures.

Good luck!
posted by wjm at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2021

My in-laws have wasp traps all over their yard. Wine was not successful, beer was moderately successful, apple juice incredibly successful, so I’d recommend apple juice.
posted by castlebravo at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2021

I think I mis-read your question. You were asking specifically about what to bait it with? We used plain old sugar water with a tiny bit of vinegar.
posted by wjm at 4:23 PM on August 22, 2021

I was amazed to discover, when we visited a lakehouse in the arse end of Idaho for a family gathering some years back, that the traps suggested by the neighbours worked to the extent that they'd collect 30+ each per day.

They were made of a rectangular used plastic food container (margarine-tub-sized or thereabouts) half-filled with very soapy water (dish soap), across which was placed a stick (a wooden kebab skewer, for example), from which in turn was hung a smallish chicken bone (like from a drumstick or a wing, left over from the cooking of same) on a bit of thin string just slightly too short to reach the soapy water below.

The soapy water, I think, is the most important part. That it worked without the addition of anything sugary at all, and extremely well, was the part that amazed me.
posted by genghis at 4:35 PM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

The soapy water is important, yes; but so is the width of the gap between the bait and the water. I don't recall what the optimum is, but it must be small so the yellow-jackets actually touch the water as they drop off the meaty bone, to fly away. But then, they can't.

Another solution I just heard was, if you can locate the opening of their underground nest, put a gob of peanut butter there, in the evening. The insects will ignore it but it will attract a raccoon, which will tear the nest apart because they love yellow jackets. The damage should be apparent the next morning.
posted by Rash at 6:47 PM on August 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

Another tangential suggestion: An oscillating fan or two near the table will severely discourage wasps who have to fight the wind.
posted by nickggully at 7:32 PM on August 22, 2021 [6 favorites]

Wasps are important pollinators and most are non aggressive-harmless. Can you try deterring the wasps first, before you kill them? There are lots of cheap, fake hornet nests like this that people use to keep wasps out of areas they aren't welcome. Also if you read up on different kinds of wasps you may find that you enjoy seeing some of them. I love my mud daubers and my paper wasps. My paper wasps can distinguish between myself and my husband. They are very comfortable around me, less so around him. But I think it's neat, they know the difference between the two of us. I definitely see my wasps as my friends.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 11:08 AM on August 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also the non agressive paper wasps have been known to deter the more agressive yellow jackets from nesting on our property so it's nice to have the paperwasps around.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 11:10 AM on August 23, 2021

« Older Tell me about your perfect day bed or convertible...   |   Gross-o-meter sink question Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.