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





Introduction: How to Make a Wasp Trap From an Old Plastic Jug.

About: Avid Geocacher and fan of all things iBles.

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.

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Sweet, Sweet Bait

Now you will need to add a substance that will attract the local bee population. I used water with five to seven spoonfuls of sugar. Warmer water will dissolve the sugar faster. Fill your trap with about an inch of your sugar-water solution. Invert the top third of the jug and place it in the solution filled jug. Your trap is now completed.

If you do not want to accidentally trap honeybees, try these other bait options:

  • Vinegar.
  • A mixture of soda and water (about 1/2 cup to every 2 cups of water).
  • Rotting meat
  • Other "people foods"

Try adding soap to break the surface tension, it will make escape even harder.

Step 4: Location

The efficiency of your trap is all about location. Observe your surrounding, note where the yellowjackets are coming and going. This trap will attract bees, so don't place it near a frequently used public location. Hopefully this will help with wasp activity and the growing threat of Africanized bees.

As I have just made this today, I do not know how effective this will be. I will post any future results, feel free to improve upon this design.

  • The second and third image are a possible second design. It involves less cutting and could be more effective. Build both and see which is better.



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    48 Discussions

    I am not sorry to say this as I am very fatally highly allergic to bees yellow jackets and wasps all of them almost killed me six times in the past two and a half years. one sting each occasion only has put me in the ambulance out of Consciousness waking up in the hospital and having the doctors congratulate the people in the ambulance that saved my life once again.I have never on any of these occasions provoked nor messed with or even know that there was one flying around but for some reason there is something in my body that they I guess smell or something I do not know but whatever it is they are attracted to me and they they love to sting me and ending in result I almost died because of it I have been imprisoned in my own home because of this matter I cannot go out during the day at all it is ruin my life I am only 30 years old and for the last Almost 3 years I've had to deal with this situation and in fact I can't go outside and it is hard to do anything in life

    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.


    9 replies

    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.

    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. :-)

    That is crazy. You said "won't they just respond to the population loss with increased fecundity?" I am wondering: asking questions like you've read a chapter in elementary school level evolution, why are you debating ecology online? The hornets don't have a way, like humans, of perceiving population loss in their species; for that they would need scientists: statisticians measuring population groups carefully. Nor do wasps possess anywhere close to the cognitive function, i.e. intelligence or background to read a man-made map.

    I am aghast at the lack of awareness you posit, honestly. As for nipping nests in the bud, I am reading this article because I moved into a condo with a huge nest above my window. So, knocking it down early was no option for me. Thanks, anyway...

    Two hornets infiltrated my living room yesterday, because they are carnivorous and territorial by nature. They didn't sting me because I was fortunate enough to take note of them- and proceeded to later kill them. However, I am not always so cautious to the dozens that live outside my front door and swarm me. I am very grateful for this option of whittling their numbers, before removing the nest. Not to mention I have never been stung, I do not know if I will have a life threatening reaction or not!

    I'm a beekeeper and the wasps are eating my bees. I may not be "green" to kill wasps, but isn't it "green" to protect my honeybees from this threat?

    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.

    i just want to jump in here a minute. Hornets are not bees. Hornets/wasps/yello jackets are carnivores and can sting you multiple times. Honeybees, Bumblebees, are herbivores and they die once they sting. And the only way they will sting you is if you mess with them; they aren't hunters for anything but pollen and nectar and then they go back to their hives. Just needed to differentiate. Bees good. Hornets bad.

    Nice :) Watch my trap

    Hey I'm going to try this! I don't see anything wrong with trying to keep wasps away from your home... For the know it all people that think it's horrible to kill anything that could kill you, I live in a small trailer with my 4 month old daughter.. the wasps and hornets are so bad, I'm always afraid to even run out to the car during the day with her. They swarm us and what's crazy about it is it's every kind you can think of! Yellow jackets, red wasps, hornets, all of them! I am highly allergic , I mean severe anaphylaxis in 3 minutes I'm dead and I do not want to find out if my daughter is that bad... Ever...

    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.

    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.

    i know this is an odd question, but what is the approx capacity? would it be easy to use a 1 gallon jug?

    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

    1 reply

    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.

    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.

    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!