Building a Wasp Trap with Household Items

What You'll Need
2-liter soda bottle; empty
5-gallon bucket
Wire mesh; wide
Utility knife
Dish soap
White vinegar
Petroleum jelly
Liverwurst, partially cooked hamburger or fish (in winter)
Apple pieces or crushed grape (in summer)
Metal hook

Even though wasps are less aggressive than hornets or yellow jackets, they can still be unnerving. Control the wasps around your home by making a wasp trap. Wasps feed on other insects, so they are actually helpful to your gardening efforts. They do sting, though rarely, and are territorial, creating nests that are shaped like umbrellas.

The best time to place a trap is right before the weather turns warm, just as the queen awakens from hibernation. If you can capture the queen early, you will save yourself having to deal with hundreds of worker wasps. Waiting too long to will mean having to set multiple traps. The following steps will show you how to build your own wasp trap with items you probably already have around the house.

Step 1 - Creating the Trap

Depending on your wasp problem and your home setup there are two kinds of traps you can make. The first is a hanging trap and the other is a standing trap. To make a hanging trap, use the utility knife and remove the funnel top off the bottle (but save it). Use the screwdriver to puncture 4 holes ¼-inch from the top of the bottle on each side. Thread a piece of string through each of the holes and make them all even in length. Loop the string around the bottom of the metal hook and tie them to it.

For the standing trap, fit the metal mesh on top of the bucket. Tie a long string to the center most wired cross-section.

Step 2 - Filling the Wasp Trap

If using the 2-liter bottle, fill it 4 inches with water. If using the bucket, fill it up halfway. Add a little bit of the dish soap and vinegar to the water.

Step 3 - Baiting the Trap

The kind of food that wasps eat will depend on when you are setting the traps. If you are working in late winter or early spring, use protein bait. In the summer, use the sweet bait.

Once you have selected your bait, collect enough so that the scent will carry. For the hanging trap, affix the bait to the threaded top and then set it inside the bottle. If you are using the bucket, attach the bait to the string and let the bait dangle about an inch above the water surface.

Step 4 - Placing the Trap and Managing It

Find and area near a wasp nest to place the trap. Regularly inspect the traps, clean them out and bait them again. Take care to never crush the bodies of dead wasps as they emit a chemical alarm to the rest of the colony.