Picture of DIY Yellow Jacket Bottle Trap

This is my first instructable, so any feedback is greatly appreciated!  After discovering a yellow jacket ground nest near our front door a few days ago, I decided to look up ways to get rid of these mean insects without the pesticides. We have various wildlife and friendly insects in our yard, so I try to avoid pesticides.  A quick Google search resulted in a few solutions to my problem and this is the one I chose.  This method was super simple, pesticide free, eco safe and VERY effective.  Friends and family were pretty amazed at the results as was I!  So let's get started!

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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Here are the “tools” needed: wine (they prefer red to white), a clean water or soda bottle, a bread knife or scissors, and dishwashing liquid.  First, cut off the top quarter or third of the bottle. Add about ½ “ of wine and about two drops of dishwashing liquid.  Now flip that top over to make a funnel and place it snuggly back into bottle.  You are done!  See how easy that was?

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tkjtkj26 days ago

Don't tread on thESE!

(Actually, the advice is to prevent the gooey chocolate from messing-up your floor ...)

thebeatonpath (author)  tkjtkj15 days ago

RECIPE PLEASE! I love it!!!!

Oh gosh ! I got that pic via a google search for 'bees' .. but yeah i'd like to make some too! SOO,
i searched for some recipe links .. Hope these help you :

and maybe this:

Let us know how they turn out!
thebeatonpath (author)  tkjtkj9 days ago


MeNmyShadow13 days ago

Thank you so much for the great instructions. I have 2 nests somewhere in the front of my house and my poor boyfriend got stung 3 times on his ear yesterday. He is riding in in motorcycle race tomorrow and his helment is going to be terribly uncomfortable. I hope these traps work so I dont have to worry about my 3 dogs getting stung!

thebeatonpath (author)  MeNmyShadow12 days ago
I hope you have as much success as we did! They are ruthless and will sting ANYONE and ANYTHING unprovoked that gets near them. Let me know what your results are. : ) And good luck to your boyfriend in his race!
sggriff22 days ago

I tried this trap with mixed results. I made it as illustrated and the first day I did trap many yellowjackets (nested in a holly, therefore could not use spray because it kills holly and evergreen shrubs). After the first day, the insects stopped entering the trap. I left it out for a few days and even tried recreating with new wine. I never trapped another yellow jacket using this method. I did eventually solve by applying a pyrethrin product called Evergreen Dust.

thebeatonpath (author)  sggriff15 days ago

I had a few out at a time and would empty them out and add more when they started getting full. Not sure what happened.

I did try several traps, with a variety of red wines. After the first "harvest" they never regained interest in the traps. I tried freshening the "bait" for a few successive days. I tried conventional yellow jacket traps as well with zero results. I have access to a do it yourself pest control store. They recommended the pyrethrin dust (made from chrysanthemums...sp?). The only negative thing: the applicator, actually a puffer, has a short stem. I thought I had waited until it was late enough, but I was stung by 8 insects when I first tried to apply. The next morning, it was cool enough to get the dust into their hole. Thank you for all of the information you have posted, I found it very helpful.

if your looking for a quicker solution to kill yellow jackets find the hole pour gasoline down the hole and throw a match down there

thebeatonpath (author)  ben.groom.52015 days ago

My boys would have LOVED that solution! haha

Brownsong1 year ago
Just got stung 12 times mowing over a new found ground nest in my front yard. Once the stinger shock wears off I'm following your instructions and declaring war. Thanks!!!

Try dabbing some liquid household bleach on any bee-sting ...

assuming of course, you've no allergy to it ... Let us know how well it works for you ..(I'm NOT suggesting you go out and find the nearest nest !!! ;)

thebeatonpath (author)  Brownsong1 year ago
I am so sorry to hear that! Those buggers are aggressive and their stings really hurt, too! On the bright side, you now know where the nest is and have a resource to help get rid of them! Your nest was probably set up in the fall by a new queen leaving another nest to establish her own. Let me know how it goes and make multiple bottles if you can.
Deep Asleep1 month ago
thebeatonpath (author)  Deep Asleep1 month ago
That I am. ;)
lbrudd made it!2 months ago

Nothing yet

thebeatonpath (author)  lbrudd2 months ago
What did you use as your "bait"? Red wine worked for us better than anything else, but I've heard of people using sugar water or soda. Those and white wine did not work well on our hive. Also, it has to be near the hive.
mariatelk6 months ago

Great idea for the soda bottles. I've been using my canning jars, but now I'll just save my plastic 2 liter pop bottles. After I can my apples, peaches, etc. I save the leftover syrup and freeze it in ice cube trays. During the yellow jacket season I thaw out a few cubes and place them in the jars. Works great! You're right on the dish soap, haven't tried it yet, but will this spring. Clogs their little pores... Disposal problems? Grab those traps (covered with something) and place them in the freezer. After a couple of hours they can be safely be flushed down the toilet. Back to Mother Nature!

You can barely see them, but you can hear them, I can only imagine how many wasps!
It's great that it doesn't attract bees :)
Mudslide54410 months ago
Could any type of sugared beverage work for this?
thebeatonpath (author)  Mudslide54410 months ago
I thought sugar water/soda would work just as well, but it didn't which was weird. I have seen them make a beeline (pardon the pun) for soda cans outdoors and know someone who got stung on the lip because one ended up in his can. If you don't have wine, try soda. For some reason, they preferred red wine over white, so maybe try Coke/Pepsi over Sprite/7-Up.
egor1021 year ago
When I was a kid and feeling bullet proof I used a garden hose to knock down nests from the rafters and trees. The wasps eventually left because they couldn't find thier fallen next so I collected it and had my own discovery channel adventure exploring the nest. The biggest I did this too was 8 inches and got me stung once in the process but it was summer and we had to make our own fun.:)
thebeatonpath (author)  egor1021 year ago
I remember my dad coming home from a hunting trip with a huge one from a tree. I loved looking at that thing (no bugs present, of course).
fallen nest is what I meant to say lol
Nasty friends got there
thebeatonpath (author)  nickolaiisoe1 year ago
Nasty indeed. Hoping they found another yard to invade this year.
RangerJ1 year ago
Very good instructable. I plan to file it for next summer. Thanks
annschmech1 year ago
I also found a great source of information, when I'm completely stumped, is my local county extension office. They live for questions like bug id and plant id. I would also guess that if there's any university in the area, there's an entomologist who might be helpful. I've almost always found the academic sort to be helpful.
taria1 year ago
I know this is old. like a year old, but I have a few questions. I haven't seen the underground wasp (thank god) but I do have those one that like to build the hives near windows and inside my wooden wind chimes you go to move them and out pop a few bees chasing you (always the best part). I personally hate bee's and they might sense that I hate them that's why they come at me. But can I use this as well for catching those little buggers and keep them way from my front door. I'm scared that they are going to sting my pup since she loves to chase things that fly (watch out for the butterfly's). They are the big black ones and sometimes they have red one them. (one chased me and I bashed my head cause I tripped and hit the sidewalk trying to get away from it..I know I'm a pansy, I hate bee's) I'm just tiered of having to make a run for the door, quickly open it and rush inside before they get in. Also my mother has bees that look like honey bee's, but I don't think they are because they are attracted to her porch, and they are always attracted to the dogs urine that's there. (Yes my mothers dogs are to lazy to go a foot further to the grass. yelping little dogs) even if we clean it, which is every other day, they are still there, usually in a group of 10 or so. She says to not worry about them but when your walking up to the house and trying to get in, there they are in your face..seriously, it's annoying. (Like I said I think they sense my fear) if they are honey bee's I don't I will be buying local honey anymore :) but would this work for them as well? if they aren't honey bee's that is.

Would cooking wine work? I don't drink wine, but I cook with the cooking sherry wine, (Its red that all I know) so would that work? and the dish soap, does it have to be a certain one or would any type work?

anyway, thanks for reading my sappy but true story of me hating bee's...I guess the time I got stung on the butt still lives in my brain...yay for butt stings!
thebeatonpath (author)  taria1 year ago
I feel your pain! I would think cooking wine or sherry would work since it is smells similar to the wine. Any dish soap will do. Just a few drops. Without a photo, I'm not sure if your mom's problems are honey bees. Doesn't sound like typical honey bee behavior, but I'm no expert. You can do an internet search to try to identify the culprit. There are SO MANY different bees and wasps, plus I don't know where you live to help. Yours sound like red wasps (equally nasty buggers), but they sound pretty aggressive. Could you get a photo from the safety of the indoors? I would love to see what you are up against and help with a solution if this one does not work. Butt stings stink, but these stung me in the back of the head and stung my 9 year old, hence when the war began. The queen is still in a jar of alcohol on the window sill just to remind me that we won this round! haha
I would have to wait til summer time cause that's when they are out. right now it's t cold. I live in Illinois. The ones that go into my wind chimes are really small one that look like wasps but are tannish in color. does that make sense? and the ones that are at my mothers house are shaped like honey bee's the oval type shape and are about maybe a half an inch long?

to be honest with you I don't like standing that close to them to get a photo. I might have to set up my camera in video mode to get a shot of them.
taria taria1 year ago
not a year old..sorry, my brain is soooooooo gone right now, this is what happens when you have a cold. you loose all sense of knowledge.
emp_cyttie1 year ago
THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!! I'm searching for an opportunity to use this but know it's autumn, so I'm looking forward to using this next year!!! Thank you so much!
thebeatonpath (author)  emp_cyttie1 year ago
THANKS! Let's hope you never have to!
I had yellow jackets--lots of them-- build a nest in the wall of the entryway to my house. The nest was behind a framed out opening. Having been stung more than once, I was afraid to enter the house there and worried that the mailman would get stung. I tried spraying but they were pretty inaccessible in the wall. So I tried this method, and caught a few dozen the first day. I noticed that they were coming in at a particular spot, so I taped the trap just below that spot. Then I taped around the opening of the nest to the top of the cut bottle so that they were funneled into the bottle--they had no other place to go. I checked the first evening and the bottle was so filled with yellow jacket bodies that there was no room for more. The bottle was filled up to the opening. I got a bigger bottle and that filled with bodies also. I found another entrance to the nest and did the same to that. I kept the traps up for about 2 weeks in case the queen and pupa were still alive. Now I have no more problem. I caught 500-1000, I would guess. I've recommended this method to lots of friends.
thebeatonpath (author)  paulhschulman1 year ago
That is AMAZING! Great job!
Hi, I have seen a very elegent blown glass version in Sweden but very expensive. This very cool, my only Question is will it kill honey bees? That would be a huge negative for me
thebeatonpath (author)  karl w becker1 year ago
No honey bees were attracted to this. I've heard they don't like vinegar, so wine is similar. We love honey bees, so I would never try to catch them.
Dookster1 year ago
I used to do this as a child. You have to be carefull with this because wasps are really affected by alcohol in the wine and they get knocked out. but they can wake up again with a realy bad temper if they didn't drown. better make sure they're all really dead
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