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What is a Wasp Trap?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 16, 2024
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A wasp trap is a method used to eliminate wasps that are present in your yard. It is not a permanent solution for removing wasps, but will get them under control until you can locate and remove the wasps. Wasp traps are mostly used to eliminate yellow jackets and hornets, as they are very aggressive in defending their nests, which results in stings. There are two types of traps that are used for major wasp infestations; lure and water.

A lure wasp trap is available for purchase at retail stores that sell pest control supplies. They are user-friendly but not very effective in eliminating large populations of wasps. A lure trap uses chemicals to attract the wasps' attention and draw them in. Heptyl butyrate is the chemical used most often, as it is very attractive to yellow jackets.

Spring and winter are the best times to set a lure wasp trap, as you have a higher chance of capturing the queen. The bait should be changed every six to eight weeks, or more often if outside temperatures rise. Summer and fall usually results in capturing large amounts of worker wasps, helping to reduce the population of the colony. During these months, change the bait every two to four weeks, as the temperatures are higher and the wasps are more numerous.

A water wasp trap is a homemade trap that is made using a 5 gallon (18.92 liter) bucket, string and protein bait, such as ham, turkey, liver or fish. It is just as efficient as a lure trap and costs about the same in supplies. To make the wasp trap, fill the bucket with soapy water and suspend the bait from the string about 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the water. When the wasp retrieves the bait, it naturally flies downwards and falls in the water, where it drowns.

For a minor wasp or bee problem, a simple homemade wasp trap can be efficient. Cut a plastic soda bottle in half and place the top portion upside down in the bottom half. Tape it together all the way around so the wasps can't escape. Fill the wasp trap with about half an inch (1.27 cm) of honey or maple syrup, making sure to rub a little on the edge of the trap to attract the wasps. Punch holes in the sides and hang it up with string.

Spring is the best time to start trapping wasps, as there is a higher likelihood of capturing the queens as they build their nests. This time frame lasts approximately 45 days. During this time, it is best to place at least one wasp trap per acre. As the population of worker wasps increase during the summer and fall, more wasp traps should be added.

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