Wasps are a pest that can put a damper on your outdoor living experience. They tend to be scavengers, foraging for the foods that you prepare for picnics and BBQs. Apple juice is your unlikely ally in controlling these menacing pests. In a few steps you can learn to use apple juice to turn a wasp's love of human food against them, controlling their numbers.
Step 1: Buy the Apple Juice
Purchase an inexpensive brand of sweetened apple juice. You can further sweeten it by adding a teaspoon or more of white sugar. Do not store the juice in the fridge. Instead, leave it on the counter or some other place to warm up to room temperature. Cooling the juice makes it harder for wasps to smell the sweetness which makes your apple juice lure less effective.
Step 2: Prepare the Trap
Thoroughly rinse out an empty 2-liter pop can. Position a sharp knife (a steak knife works well) or a sharp pair of scissors just above the pop label and cut off the top of the bottle. Flip the top and place it upside down in the bottom part of the bottle. You have now created a funnel with a small entrance the wasps can fly into but not easily fly out of. Staple the two pieces together.
On the bottom piece, an inch or so below where you cut it, poke four holes evenly around the bottle's circumference. Cut four pieces of string, wire or twine and securely tie one piece to each hole. Tie the pieces together at the top.
Step 3: Mix the Bait
Pour apple juice down the funnel to fill the bottom part about 1/3. You want to make sure that there's enough apple juice for the wasps to drown in. Add a very small amount of water, if you wish. Then add a generous squirt or two of dish detergent. If the dish detergent is sweetly scented, that's even better, but you can use any detergent. The dish detergent will coat the wasp's wings once they land in the apple juice and make it harder for them to fly. They'll tire more quickly and the chance of them finding the energy to fly out of the funnel is greatly reduced. Be sure to splash some juice around the opening of the bottle as well.
Step 4: Hang the Trap
Hang your trap in a location that's not too close to where people will be sitting. Avoid entrance ways. The scent of the apple juice will attract wasps to the trap and you don't want them to be attracted to your doors or where you'll be sitting reading a book.
Choose a tree branch or a large hook at the back of a garage or shed to hang the trap. Do not place the trap on the ground because you may attract more ants than wasps.
Step 5: Maintain the Trap
Check the trap every couple of days and remove all wasp corpses. Rinse out the trap and put in fresh bait. Time emptying the trap carefully. There may be agitated trapped wasps flying around the inside of the trap that could sting you. Empty the traps in the evening when you can easily drown any wasps if need be.