How to Make a Wasp Trap from an Old Plastic Jug.

Picture of How to Make a Wasp Trap from an Old Plastic Jug.
If you're a apiphobe like me or Adam Savage, you dread the coming of Summer. After months of peace, you wander outside only to hear that awful hum of a wasp flying by. I offer a quick, simple solution to this problem.
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Step 1: The Jugg/ Materials

Picture of The Jugg/ Materials
Look around the house for an empty plastic jug; about as large as a party-size soda bottle. I used a chocolate milk carton.

Besides the Jug you will need:

  • Clear packing tape.
  • A razor blade (or scissors).
  • Sugar.
  • Warm/Hot water.
  • Mixing devise (spoon)
  • Hole punch.

Because it was such a beautiful day, I decided to work outside.

Step 2: Prepare The Jug

Picture of Prepare The Jug
Cut off the top third or fourth of the jug. The "drinking hole" will become the entrance to the trap. If you're hole is too big (which it likely is), there is a simple fix. First cut off a short length of clear packing tape and fold it in half; there should be no sticky side. Punch a hole near the center of the tape with a hole puncher. This will make a perfectly wasp-sized hole in the tape. Now secure the piece of tape to the opening of the jug, using more packaging tape. If this is confusing, look at the pictures.

When this is done you should have a bottom two thirds and a top third of the jug. The top third will eventually be inverted and placed in the bottom two thirds, make sure it fits before you make to the next step.

  • Note: I ended up wrapping this in yellow duck tape; it will hopefully help attract the buggers.
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carolee.budd6 months ago

Wasps (the Yellow Jacket is the worst of this tribe) needs meat to feed its nest larva (insects,dead birds, road kill, ect.) from early April to mid-August . The larva in turn excretes a sweet honey which the adult eats.

By early to mid-August the last batch of larva has taken wing and the wasps hunt for a substitute for the sweet honey they crave. That's why the sweet toothed buggers appear at your picnics in the late summer.

So fill the traps with meat with some liquid to keep the meat moist in the Spring and early to mid-Summer (I use moist cat food) and sugary liquid (Soda, Fruit Juice ect.) I use Apple Juice, in the late Summer and early Fall.

Nick705871 year ago
I'm trying this right now. I have one of the only lawns in the neighborhood so the wasp hang out from dawn till dusk feeding. I do not have any nests on my property but a neighbor 3 houses down has a whole yard full of fruit trees and I'm convinced that is where they are coming from. I have tried all of the store bought remedies to treat my lawn and they only work for a few days to keep the wasps away. Hopefully this will clear the nest of enough of the strong healthy wasps to kill off the nest completely. Fingers crossed...I would like to be able to use my lawn.
xXLab_ManXx3 years ago
i'd feel rrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy bad for any bees that get stuck. But a wasp.... those things are plain ugly.
r5703 years ago
i know this is an odd question, but what is the approx capacity? would it be easy to use a 1 gallon jug?
jarjar7615 years ago
dude dont be a baby just get teh hose put it on the highest jet it can go and spray them it wont kill u if u get wet or get stung i mean i got stung 12 times before i got rid of mine it works instead of being a chicken
Some of us are deadly allergic to wasp stings, y'know. I'm not particularly interested in a hospital visit followed by a two week benedryl coma, assuming I survive. Traps seem like a much more comfortable--and frugal!--idea.

Jeff2818, have you tried the inverted glass bottle-style trap they sell on I'm still looking for instructions on how to make one myself.
batman12984 years ago
In my past experiences I have had excellent luck with wasp and hornet traps by using the cheapest fruit juice i can find along with 2 teaspoons of sugar and a small pinch of raw hamburger. I place it in a tree that gets sun but is partially shaded also. Also i would recommend leaving the tape off of the opening and increase the space between the neck of the bottle and the liquid as insects have trouble with flying straight up to escape. Change the mixture every 2 days and be sure to drowned any live bugs in a bucket of hot water before opening. The older the raw hamburger the better, I keep a small amount in the freezer just for this purpose. I would also recommend a 1, 2 or 3 liter soda bottle.
pvt55thoh4 years ago
I live in the California high desert, not too many wasps/hornets/bees around here, but there are a lot of people that have stables. Flies are here in hordes. A trap is a trap is a I built a few of these and baited them with rotting meat ( I use a hot dog slices into 5ths ) and 2 tablespoons sugar in the water, with a touch of soap to break surface tension and make the buggers drown.. Maintain a water level of about 1 inch to keep the meat moist and smelly, otherwise it dries into jerky and isn't fragrant enough to attract your quarry. ( A daily task out here in the desert ) Some will invariably still be alive when ya open it to dump it out, don't worry, they'll be back LOL leave in a sunny place to hasten the rotting and hold yer nose when ya open to dump out the carcasses...IT DOES STINK!!! But it works!
eyerobot4 years ago
My home has heavy wooden slats for siding, And almost everywhere I get wasp nests, And my boat has a huge yellow jacket nest. I tried this idea with one gallon milk jugs, But instead of using soda, Soap, And sugar, I put apple cores, Orange peels, And pretty much all fruit biowaste into it. Its been two weeks, And ive had to empty the dead bees, And wasps out of it every single day, To keep them from piling too high inside the bin. Im all for being green, But I draw the line at sharing my home with bugs. So just at a rough count, Id say ive killed a couple hundred wasps so far, Tons of yellow jackets, And not a single honey bee that ive noticed. You could ask how i managed that, But i really dont know why the honey bees arent getting trapped, Unless their just smarter. One thing I did was to add a small piece of screen inside the entry hole, So that its too narrow for small birds to get into, I would never hear the end of it from my wife if i killed a hummingbird. On a side note, I found out that the yellow jackets really hate it when you dust their nest with fireplace ashes, And they seem to be thinning out. So at least i didnt use some toxic petroleum based product, And my wife doesnt have to worry so much when she goes outdoors, She is highly allergic. Great idea, Thanks a lot.
jeff28185 years ago
Well, after making a total of five and leaving them out for weeks I have yet to catch a single wasp.  And, Oh-boy do I have wasps...  Lots of wasps on our deck near our above ground pool where in the summer they stop to get a drink while you are trying to swim, the fun (stings) never end.  Maybe I need some new ideas?  Any and all would be appreciated.  Thanks
Bitsi6 years ago
Isn't removing links in the food chain, like the anti-green?

It might be more useful (and green) to figure out what kind of hornets you have and what they're contributing to your neighborhood. For example, what are they eating? And what's eating them?

Wikipedia would be a good place to start your research. And stop being such a scaredy-cat.

some peoples reaction to a sting is what is scarrrrrry.
dude wasps and yellow jackets are mean and can sting more than once. if you have children, this invention might be good. I was stung by a wasp three days ago. not once but thrice. by the same bee.
mg0930mg Bitsi6 years ago
Also about wikipedia. Don't use it, they lie. A LOT!
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  Bitsi6 years ago
The hornets I'm trying to handle build their nests in the crooks of our house, i.e right next to the front door. This causes some major problems, one of which is the increased chance of a defensive attack. I've been swarmed by these hornets before, and don't wish to repeat it. I was stung on the eye lid (only because I blinked when it landed on my eye, and several times in the chest and arms. Still, I see your point. I was thinking green as in re-using plastic.
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  Spl1nt3rC3ll6 years ago
Ah, my mistake. Yellowjackets, or wasps, are the target.
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of insect bites either, but I try to use the 'inHospitality Inn' approach to the wasps around our house. That is, I knock down the nests before they can get too comfortable. I can usually get to them before there's more than one or two wasps involved. After a while they get discouraged and move on. (Oh, and I also apologize to them, and give them little maps showing them the other lovely homesites that they should consider ... off in the woods somewhere.) I'm not even sure that killing wasps is effective in the long run. Won't they just respond to the population loss with increased fecundity? And then, you've also got that lovely plastic bottle of decomposing and decaying insects on your deck. That can't be very appetizing. :-)
Wareagle5 years ago
they will never know what hit them... MUAH HAHAHAHA
robgoldburg5 years ago
I put up two of these made from 2 liter bottles filled halfway with apple juice with extra sugar about 3 weeks ago, haven't caught 1 wasp,bee or yellow jacket. Maybe its just me.
lordjohnnym6 years ago
is that your rubbish bin so they werent lying about america being one of the heaviest polutents in the world, and the heaviest polutant in the western advanced world no offense to you personally
what does that mean? what does it have to do with this guy's instructable or the thing that he built?
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  lordjohnnym6 years ago
It's the recycle bin.
Oh Mah Gawd that's one awful large wasp hive!
nibbler1256 years ago
i hate bees soo much
Sunny1246136 years ago
yeah I do not think you would want a lawsuit...
I'd suggest not using sugar water though cause it'll also attract honey bees and can upset the bee keeper and in some places may even lead to a lawsuit. I find it best to use a mixture of soda and water (about a 1/2 cup of soda to every 2 cups of water). You can also use rotting meat, but then you have to also deal with the smell, so I'd rather not go that route.
Your traps are much like those that my father makes, but I still favor my own :P

PS: Add a drop or two of liquid soap to the "bait" to break surface tension. This will prevent other wasps from using their dead comrades as life boats.

Other then that... nice job
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  FrenchCrawler6 years ago
Thanks, I added those other options to the Instructable. If you don't mind. I'll credit you if you want.
That's fine. (later I plan on posting my wasp trap version.... I've been meaning to since the beginning of spring :P ). Don't worry I'll link ;)
higgrobot6 years ago
Cool now let's make some earthworm and frog traps and while we are at it poison some rivers and burn big piles of plastic.
wouldn't you say this is more green than, say, spraying RAID all over the place trying to get them? while I am an eco advocate, i see no environmental threat to this Instructable at all.. and I'd be the first to call it out if it was. no matter how hard you try, you wont even be able to make a small dent in the insect population, they outnumber humans by at least 1000 to 1 (prolly much more). here's an idea, why don't you let mice run rampant in your house, cause it's inhumane to kill them, or never use a fly swatter again, you have to chase those buggers out without harming them. and let the brown recluses run free in your bedroom. some people are allergic to wasps and a sting CAN KILL THEM if not treated immediately. while i think that if you are not allergic, leave well enough alone, as long as they are not nesting where you get into constant conflict. frogs don't sting (well some are poisonous, but we'll not go there), neither do earthworms, this instructable keeps the POISION out of your garden and away from your house (ie RAID and other INSECTACIDES) wasps DO have their place in the eco-system, but they don't help much when they're constantly battling a homeowner for territory. good idea S.C. make sure its honeybee safe as you said. If possible, and safe, remove the nest (Wasps are sluggish in the morning, but they will all be around the nest, during the day, they WILL chase you, but you may be able to remove the nest while they are out gathering food and such, use your discression) and they will find a new place to go (most of the time) but if the nest is too big and populated, this is a better idea to thin out the population enough to remove the nest with this trap. and it is green. ;-)
Scurge Scurge6 years ago
oh yeah, and I'm not sure if this entirely accurate, but wasps and hornets emit pheramones and when you swat one with your hat or something, you make yourself a "glowing" target for his buddies, so watch out for that.
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  Scurge6 years ago
Thanks for backing me up! As for the pheamones, it's true. Every fighting member of the nest seeks and destroys the marked target. It's especially deadly in Africanized bees, you'll be covered head to to in angry bees within seconds of the scent's release.
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  higgrobot6 years ago
Pkranger886 years ago
Forget the naysayers. I'm for keeping them away. Put a dozen of those jugs out there. Get the ants to jump in. I just want the bugs that eat the bad bugs. I've seen this technique and used it before. It works. Good Job.
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  Pkranger886 years ago
Thanks! About the only thing I've caught right now are ants; it's not quite wasp season.
Decepticon6 years ago
I too have a wasp problem where they make nests on and around my home. It's getting to the point where just about every day I find at least one in my house buzzing around and have to use the vacuum's hose and extension poles to suck them up. I do have a fear of bees and wasps (more wasps and yellow jackets as honey bees are necessary for food production) and an even more fear of them being in my house. I will be building your trap once I finish off a quart of milk but I think I will be using the more honey bee friendly bait as I would rather keep them around. Nice instructable!
Obviously none of you have been camping and have had a serious insect issue.
Why is that obvious? You can't blame bugs for doing what they do. They're adapted to their circumstances. If you go camping, doesn't that make you a visitor to their home? It just doesn't seem like very good manners to try to kill them. Not to mention, probably ineffective. But anyway, I've had unpleasant encounters with bugs, but usually it was because I ignorantly stepped into their territory and wasn't protected sufficiently.


Nice job SC.

+5/5 stars.
Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
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