It’s true that wasps are crucial in keeping a balance in the environment, but if they start building nests next to your home and start interfering with the food when you want to enjoy a meal or a barbecue outside, it’s understandable if you start looking for wasp traps. You can also look for a trap for Yellow Jackets if you are not sure what type you are dealing with exactly.
If you want to keep these insects at a safe distance but don’t know how to go about this, or if we are not talking about an infestation, then you can safely create your own wasp trap. This is a very good approach since you don’t need to use any kind of chemicals or potentially dangerous substances.
In the following lines you’ll see how you can construct your own effective wasp trap, to keep them in check around your home without damaging the environment while doing so. The traps should be set in early spring, as that’s the moment when queens are looking for nesting spots.
The necessary items
The good part is that such a trap can be created using things that you already have around the house. You will need a two-liter soda bottle, a knife, a permanent marker, a sweet bait (sugar, juice, or jam can do the trick), as well as a piece of wire that you can use to hang it outside.
Once you have everything, the first step is to remove any label that the plastic bottle might have. You need to be able to see through it in order to know if any wasps have been caught or not. Of course, you can leave the label on if it cannot be removed, but it will be harder to check the trap.
Preparing the bottle
What you need to do next is to draw a line using the permanent marker around the neck of the plastic bottle. This should be just under the neck, around the area where the mid-section becomes a cylinder. Don’t worry if the line you drew is not perfectly straight, since all you need it for is to guide you as you are going to cut the bottle.
Once you have the line, proceed to cutting the plastic. You can use either a razor knife or a pair of scissors, or pretty much any other tool that you are comfortable with. Be careful as you do this and take your time to avoid any potential slips that might lead to cuts. The bottle might be slippery, so what you can do is place it on a damp cloth for additional traction.
For the trap you’ll be using both the neck and the base portions, so be careful to cut them right without damaging them as you do this.
Setting the trap
This is an optional step, but if you don’t intend to use the trap for a very long time or if you plan on cleaning it often, you might want to grease its inside with olive oil. What this does is that it creates an extra slippery layer which will keep the wasps from climbing back and finding their way out of it.
However, if you don’t maintain the oil fresh and the bottle clean over time, it will become tacky and unusable. Then remove the cap and flip the neck of the bottle upside-down, placing it into the bottle itself. This step ensures that the neck works as a funnel through which wasps can enter the trap, but without exiting afterwards.
The two pieces need to be taped together using the cut edges, as this will keep everything in place, once the neck works as a funnel. You should use transparent tape so that you can see whether there are wasps anywhere around the trap. However, this is not mandatory, so you can use whichever type of tape you have around the house.
If you are planning to hang the wasp trap somewhere outside, you’ll need to pierce two holes on opposite sides of the bottle. You can use any type of pointy item to make them, and then you need to tie the ends of a rather long string through each one. You can use a string that is 12 inches long.
The string’s material should be rather sturdy so that it can withstand the entire weight of the trap, as well as gusts of wind that might blow around it.
When it comes to bait, there are several things you might want to keep in mind. If you are setting the trap during spring or early summer, then you can use grease or even meat scraps. Don’t forget to add water to ensure that the wasps will drown. The explanation for this is that during this season wasps focus on making nests so they are looking for proteins.
During this time there’s a chance to even catch the queen, and if this happens the entire nest will need to relocate. However, if you are planning to set the trap in late summer or fall, then you need to create a sweet bait for the wasps. Mix honey or sugar with water that also contains liquid soap.
Since wasps are looking for more energy during this time, they will be naturally attracted to sweet things. You might need to experiment a bit with the amount of ingredients you are adding to properly attract them, but this won’t be too difficult to do.
In case you are not happy about the idea of drowning the wasps, you can not add dish soap to the mix, and instead release them to another location. Also, you should not place it near the areas where you normally gather outside.
This way you avoid any risk of getting stung as you enjoy your time outdoors, and you can protect your close ones and your pets as well. As a rule of thumb, a good distance would be around 30 feet away.