A Wasp Trap

UPDATE (Sept. 23, 2015): Skip this post. It’s all wrong. All I had to do was fill the trap with sugar water and jam, not cat food or anything gross like that. Only a few honey bees got trapped inside. Read How To Kill Wasps for all the details.

I bought a wasp trap because wasps (or yellow jackets) have been showing up in larger numbers around our hives for the past week. The young hives could be at risk if we didn’t have entrance reducers on them. We partially reduced the entrances on the full hives. They should be okay. I bought the “Green Earth” Yellow Jacket Wasp Trap and Lure as extra production, though.

The plastic trap costs about $10, but it isn’t much good without the bait that cost another $6. (Not including the bait with the trap seems a bit deceiving to me.) I followed the directions and added apple juice and some meat (cat food) into the base of the trap. Then I added the $6 packet of wasp lure. Then I hung it up about twenty feet from the hives and hoped for the best. That was last weekend.

I checked the trap today and found 3 honey bees and 4 wasps in it.

The bottom of the wasp trap.

I’ve got wasps flying all around the backyard now, and this thing only caught four wasps after a week? I’m not impressed. It also trapped three of our honey bees. I’m taking the trap down and dumping it today. It was a waste of money.

Adding apple juice (or any kind of sweet fruit juice) will also attract honey bees. I’m not inclined to spend another $6 for a tiny packet of wasp lure to try it out again. But if I do use it again, probably next spring, I won’t add any fruit juice. I’ll just use the wasp lure. That’s it for now.

UPDATE (Sept. 19/11): I figured out how to make the wasp trap work.

You have to put it in an area where it will be in the sun for most of the day. The plastic acts like a green house and heats up the bait so the wasps can get smell it from a distance. We still have plenty of wasps around the hives, but the trap has been filling up fast since I moved it into a sunny spot (it’s hanging off the side of our fence about 20 feet from the back of the hives). I still wouldn’t add sweet smelling fruit juice that will attract bees (maybe just a bit of water to give the wasps something to drown in), but that’s it. Put the trap in a sunny spot and it works. They don’t tell you that in the directions.

4 thoughts on “A Wasp Trap

    • The Waspinator. Nice. I might give that a try next year.

      In the meantime, I’m taking other measures to give the Green Earth trap a better chance at succeeding. I’m not dumping it just yet. I’m moving it to a sunnier spot so the sun can heat up the lure inside and maybe catch the attention of the wasps better.

      The fruit juice is still a bad idea, but maybe I’m just not using it right.

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