Types of wasp traps
Professionally made wasp traps may use powerful lights to attract different types of insects, including wasps, instead of using food. One of these would work perfectly as a hornet and yellow jacket trap. Once they get close to such a trap, there is a fan to blow them through a narrow hole and keeps them from escaping. Both homemade and professional wasp traps are highly effective in killing off a modest infestation of wasps.
How does a wasp trap work?
Now, do not get it wrong. Wasps have their uses; they are not all bad. They help keep insects and bugs, which are harmful to your gardens, away from them, as well as bring about pollination. The only thing is that they usually invade spaces where they end up being harmful to you, instead of useful.
So, to keep them from overstepping this invisible boundary, it is necessary to start early. Wasp queens start nesting in spring and if they find a good place to nest in your yard or home, you may have a big problem. So in a situation where there are a disturbing number of them building houses and stinging you, you need to set a wasp trap early in spring before their nesting starts. Once a queen starts nesting, the population would increase and the trap may not be as effective as you may need it to be.
Here is how most homemade wasp traps work: choose a bottle with a narrow mouth. Use a knife to cut the bottle at a spot not too close to the top then, pour some form of liquid into the bottom part of the bottle. Tuck the top part which you cut out into it, with the narrow mouth pointing into the bottle of liquid. Your trap is complete. The next step is to place it in a strategic place, where wasps would easily get to them and be baited. You can use water as the liquid in the bottle; it must not be a sweet liquid. In the event you choose water, you can coat the mouth of the bottle with jam or any other sweet and sticky liquid in order to attract the wasps into the water. And if you choose soda or wine, its smell would attract them to your trap and draw them in.
Wasp traps may equally attract bees so to keep bees away, add a little vinegar to the liquid. Meat would work better as bait during spring months while a soda or any other sweet drink would work better in summer months.
Features to look for in a wasp trap
- Safety and eco-friendliness: Generally, wasp traps do NOT involve the use of harmful chemicals. However, some of them might also trap small birds. This is particularly true of wasp traps that work with a sticky surface. So do check to ensure that the trap you are going for has a bird-guard feature if you are concerned about NOT trapping small birds along with wasps.
- Entry design: Make sure that the entry design makes it easy for wasps to get in but impossible for them to come out. Some traps have more than one entry point to increase the ease with which traps can get in.
- Bait type: There are different types of baits that are used for wasp traps. Some products come with their own special formulations, some come with a recipe (but expect you to make them) and some yet come just with the trap, allowing you pick the bait you deem most appropriate. In fact, there are some traps that use non-food baits like beautiful color patterns and/or light to attract wasps. So while going through our review of individual products, pick the product that is most suitable for your peculiar needs.
- Durability and re-usability: This determines how long you can use a trap and still enjoy effective service. Obviously, the longer you can use one, the better. But that said; this has to be counterbalanced against the cost.
- Power source: Some wasp traps use UV lights. So if you prefer those options, you need to know what the power source is. Is it battery, will you have to plug into a power source or will it be solar powered?
- Effectiveness: What’s the point in buying any product that doesn’t deliver as advertised? The answer is none. So while there is a wide range of wasp traps out there, some are more effective than others.
- Ease of set up/Maintenance: Generally speaking, wasp traps are easy to set up and maintain. But even at that, some are easier than others and some require little or no maintenance. Choose according to the level of ease/maintenance you are comfortable with.
- Weather/waterproof nature: If you want a wasp trap that you will use outdoors for long then you need one that is both weatherproof and waterproof. So check as this will determine both how effective and for how many seasons you can use a particular wasp trap outdoors.
When to use a wasp trap or any other treatment?
- Level of infestation: If you have a garden, especially a garden of flowers, you should expect a number of wasps and bees to come to your house. They are natural pollinators of flowers and if they do not do that, the pollination process would not be achieved. However, when the usual number is exceeded, you should begin to find a way to keep them at bay. And if you do not have a garden at all, you should be worried. While wasp traps are effective and safe, you should know that they do not completely get rid of an infestation. A wasp trap works best when there are a few pesky ones that have stepped over the boundary and are buzzing around your home.
Even the best wasp trap would not fully remove an infestation. You may need to use sprays or get a professional if the infestation is severe, instead of using a trap.
- If you have not located a nest: If queens have started nesting in your yard before you discover their presence, then a wasp trap may be effective. You can place one or two traps around the nest and see wasps reduce in number as they drop into them. But using a trap would draw them from far and near, wherever they may be. Even if the nest is underground, the trap would work. Wherever you place a trap, as long as the bait is still effective and fresh, the wasps would come. As long as there is a wasp problem, placing a trap anywhere in your yard would draw them to their death. If you have located a nest, then the number of wasps may be too much for a trap to work for them. Usually, a nest has a concentration of wasps; both adults and baby ones. Getting rid of wasps from a nest is not an easy task, except you find a way of destroying the queens and every egg so there is no chance of reproduction. It is good if you locate their nests so that you can remove them, use a spray or call a professional.
- Species: You do not have to worry about this. The species of wasp does not determine whether a trap would catch them or not. Every wasp responds to bait and every wasp catcher has some sort of bait attached to it in order to be effective. So it does not matter the species of wasp you are troubled with; as long as your wasp trap is set appropriately, you have no problem.