Weekly Hack: Make a yellow jacket trap

Updated: September 10, 2019

By tasnenad/Shutterstock

Are nuisance bugs crashing your party? In late summer and early fall, one of the most common cottage barbecue intruders is the German yellow jacket wasp. Yellow jackets love garbage, rotting fruit, dead fish, grilled meat (who doesn’t?), and, especially, sugary drinks. Happily, you can use their sweet tooth to your advantage, and lure them away from your outdoor dining area with a simple bottle trap. 

A) Cut off the top third or so of an empty 2L pop bottle. 

B) Fill the bottom 2 inches of the rest of the bottle with some kind of sweet liquid bait: juice, pop, or jam mixed with water. The more fragrant the better, so diluted raspberry or maple syrup, or wine, are also good choices…assuming you’re willing to waste this stuff on wasps.

C) Flip the top third of the bottle upside down and insert it, funnel-style, over the bait. The wasps will fly in through the funnel, but will have trouble flying out, and eventually they’ll drown.

Set several traps. If you don’t have plastic pop bottles, use empty (intact) long-necked bottles instead. At the very least, the sweet death treats might distract the wasps long enough to allow you to wolf down your burger in peace.

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