Are you struggling with wasps on your property? Wasps love to build nests in whatever corners they can find - the eaves of a house, the shutters of a window, the corner of a pool deck. It's difficult to dissuade them once they've started, and they can be nasty when provoked.
A wasp trap might be what you need to take care of the problem. But choosing the right wasp trap can be difficult. You need one that works for your situation.
We've broken down some of our favorite wasp traps. Then we've answered some crucial questions about how wasp traps work and what you need to know before buying one.
Top 4: Best Wasp Trappers
This pack of three hanging outdoor traps is built to ensnare multiple kinds of wasps. If you're not certain whether you're struggling with yellowjackets, hornets, or wasps, this option takes the guessing out of the equation. It will target all three types of bee.
All you have to do is hang the traps in various places outside. It's best to put them in areas that are highly trafficked by wasps but not often walked by people. You can use it right out of the box - just hang them up and watch.
There are three separate attractants used. These can pull in insects from 19 different species, whether they're looking to feed themselves or their young. The top and bottom both provide funnel openings for the hornet or wasp to crawl inside. When the insect is in the second chamber, it can't get back to the funnel to escape.
The insects then expire on a natural basis inside. There's no need to use insecticides or potentially harmful chemicals.
Each trap comes with enough attractant to last for two weeks. If you want to reuse the trap after it fills up, you might need to purchase more attractant refills.
If you're worried about attracting honeybees, you don't need to be. Honeybees and bumblebees are not attracted to these traps. They are designed to target the aggressive insects while leaving other pollinators alone.
You can use the traps throughout the summer and fall to catch insects in existing nests. If you put them up in the spring, you can catch queens before they're able to build their nests.
As with the previous trap, all Rescue! products are manufactured in the United States.
When you pick a wasp trap, you want to make sure that it can handle the type of wasp you're dealing with. This trap takes care of species including red wasps, carpenter bees, and mud daubers into the confines. It uses visual cues like patterns and color. Once the bee flies to the trap, they stick to the sticky surface.
This is an ideal choice if you want a trap that doesn't have any poison or killing agent. It doesn't use any wasp sprays, chemicals, or strange odors. It simply uses natural patterns to draw the wasps in visually.
Both queens and workers may become trapped. This option tends to work best between the spring and fall months, when wasps are actively looking for flowers to pollinate. It may not be as effective if you have a problem in the off-season.
The trap has guards to prevent birds, bats, and other wildlife from flying into it. All the same, the manufacturer recommends not hanging the traps in areas where birds often fly.
Carpenter bees and mud daubers can both cause problems with the structural foundation of a home. This trap can prevent that without using chemicals.
Keep in mind, however, that the sticky traps will trap whatever insects fly into them. If you have certain pollinators that you want to leave alone, this is a relatively indiscriminate option.
Every product is manufactured and distributed in the US.
Best Grass Shears
This outdoor wasp trap uses solar-powered technology to attract insects. It can kill gnats, yellowjackets, hornets, and wasps. Each package comes with two traps, so you can place them in the most heavily infested areas.
The trap is reusable. Once it fills with insects, you simply empty it and set it again. The insects inside the trap suffocate or dry out naturally.
The blue solar light is built to trap gnats. Throughout the day, the trap will charge by using the sun's rays. Then during the night, the trap will glow with blue light to pull in nocturnal insects.
Setup is super simple. All you need to do is hang the trap anywhere you want by using the included velcro straps. You can add a bait like honey or sugar water to draw in the wasps. This bait might not attract meat-seeking insects, though.
The trap itself is built from strong plastic materials and stainless steel. It is rust-resistant and disperses heat evenly throughout the container. Even though the trap is solar powered, it is also suitable to use in different weather conditions. You can use it in the fog, wind, and rain.
By contrast, sticky traps can't be used in damp conditions. That makes this a better choice if you're in a rainy climate.
This two-pack of insect traps is one of the most effective products on the market. And in even better news, it has a beautiful exterior that looks like an outdoor party decoration. You don't need to look at any unsightly traps or insect bodies while you're trying to relax.
You will need to create your own lure. There are instructions included for creating an apple cider vinegar lure within just a few minutes, so that makes things easier. Since you're making your own bait, you don't have to pay for trap refills.
The trap encloses hornets and other insects. It works in the active seasons from spring to fall. People often use these traps to protect their campsites or garden paths from infestation.
This is also a reusable option that can be easily cleaned. It is a spill-proof design. The materials use ABS and PP waterproof materials to keep moisture out of the inside. That means that the trap continues working even in rain, fog, snow, and ice.
All materials are non-toxic. You can safely use these traps around your pets and children. You can even prepare food in the same area. The traps can be used either inside or outside, though most wasp nests will be built outside the home. If the wasps are already outside, you don't want to bring them in.
Best Mosquito Killers
If you're not sure what type of pest you're dealing with, we recommend the Rescue! Why traps. These traps are set up to ensnare yellowjackets, hornets, and wasps alike. You don't have to spend a lot of time trying to identify the type of insect and the source of the nest.
If you want a trap that can take care of more than just wasps, the Bee Coline trap is a good choice. This option includes a solar powered light that draws in evening insects like gnats. However, you will need to use your own bait when trying to attract the wasps, so it might not be the most convenient option.
For those seeking an outdoor trap that doesn't look like a trap, we recommend the Aspectek option. These traps look like festive lanterns. They brighten your outdoor space, and you don't need to watch the wasps or think about the interior contents.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you've only seen a couple of wasps here and there, you likely don't need to get a trap. Wasps frequently fly from place to place because they pollinate flowers. They may be far from their nest when they enter your backyard.
However, if you see several wasps that seem like they're scoping out a specific area for a nest, then you might need one. The bigger the nest gets, the more wasps you'll be dealing with. And as the nest gets bigger, the wasps will become more territorial to defend it.
Wasps don't like to bother humans, for the most part. If you leave them alone then they'll leave you alone. But if you tread too close to their nest, they may become defensive. A defensive wasp will be willing to hurt you to protect its home.
Most wasps are actually fairly harmless. There are many types of wasp and bee all over the globe. Wasps are pollinators and care about protecting their nests. They don't want to harm humans or interact with them as long as the humans don't come near their nest.
Unfortunately, it's not always possible for you to cohabitate with a wasp colony living on your property. Identifying the type of wasp can sometimes help you gauge the danger level.
The majority of paper wasps don't make any effort to bother humans. They actually have some benefits, as they kill pests that ruin your garden. These are the wasps that built nests high in the eaves of your house. It's likely that they will ignore you throughout the season, so you don't necessarily have to hurt them.
Ground wasps are more of an issue. These are species that built their nests on the ground. They're like paper wasps in that they aren't very interested in humans. However, they might be wary and defensive if you move toward the nest on the ground.
In addition, digger wasps have huge colonies. Thousands upon thousands of them can live in a single nest. Paper wasps don't usually feel threatened because humans can't reach their nests, but digger wasps feel very threatened by humans.
Hornets and yellowjackets are the two species of wasp that tend to act hostilely toward humans. Yellowjackets get angry and vicious if you come too close to their nest. In addition, they may swarm you for your meat, drinks, or sugary foods if you eat outside.
Hornets are the most dangerous. Their stings tend to be venomous, and they can cause life-threatening allergic reactions in some people. A hornet colony will built its nest in the trees. The hornets will deliberately scare away and sting any animals and people who come near.
It is impossible to coexist peacefully with a hornet colony, so setting up traps is an unfortunate necessity in this case.
So to conclude, paper wasps are usually not a problem. They'll mind their business as long as you mind yours. Digger wasps can be a problem if they live on a highly-trafficked area of your property, or the nest is beginning to get too big. Yellowjackets and hornets are both big problems that should be dealt with as soon as possible.
You'll find a lot of DIY guides that say they can teach you how to get rid of your wasp problem. But a lot of the common advice is based in urban legends.
For example, you might have heard that if you hang up a paper bag, they'll mistake it for another nest and leave. But wasps won't refrain from building a nest just because they see that another one exists.
You might also have heard that dryer sheets can be used to ward off wasps. This is completely untrue.
The only wasp trap that works is one that follows these simple steps:
- The wasp smells an enticing scent.
- The wasp follows the scent into the trap.
- The wasp cannot get out of the trap.
- The wasp eventually dies in the trap.
If you can set up this type of system, you'll be ready to go. But you need to make sure that your bait is enticing enough. You'll also need to make sure that the wasps actually notice the bait, so it's important to place the trap in a highly-trafficked area.
It is possible to catch wasps by making a homemade trap. However, commercial traps tend to be more effective. A commercial trap uses specialized baits and lures to draw different species of wasp in. If you don't have the same kind of irresistible bait, you won't see results, no matter how well-crafted your trap is.
Unfortunately, one lure does not fit all. Wasps will be drawn to different things depending on their needs. When wasps are feeding the colony young, they want to find fats and meats and other proteins. For its own food supply, the wasp might look for nectar and sugar.
Since commercial traps are marketed to solve all wasp problems, they're outfitted with a variety of different bait types. That way, no matter what the wasps want, they'll find what they're looking for in the trap.
If you know that the wasps are looking for nectar alone, you can use sugar or apple juice mixed with water. If your wasps are looking for fats and proteins, you'll want to invest in the commercial bait instead.
Commercial wasp traps are traps that come ready-to-use after purchase. There are a variety of different designs and mechanisms on the market. Each type of trap will work best in specific circumstances, so the right one depends on your current situation.
Reusable lured traps are one of the most common. These are a popular choice because they can be emptied and then reused again and again. The classic design uses a clear tube with a funnel for an entrance. Once the wasps crawl through the funnel, they get trapped inside the tube and die.
Once a reusable trap fills up, you can empty it, clean it out, and replace the bait to entice more wasps. You will need to buy extra restocks of your lures, especially if you have a lot of wasps around. It's common for certain traps to catch multiple kinds of wasp, but you might need to use different types of lures too.
Disposable lured traps are based around the same principle as the reusable ones. Wasps are drawn into the compartment through a funnel. They become trapped and die inside. The difference is that disposable traps are meant to be thrown away when they fill up, instead of being emptied and reused.
Most disposable traps are made from recycled plastic bags. They can be thrown away without ever being opened, which gives you peace of mind about dealing with potential live insects. They're also less messy. However, you will need to buy replacements, and the disposable setup isn't the most environmentally friendly.
Sticky traps are another option. These use sticky paper to ensnare anything that comes in contact with them. However, they do have some significant drawbacks.
A sticky trap won't discriminate between helpful pollinators and malicious wasps. It will trap every insect and other bug that flies into it. There have even been cases in which birds have been caught in these traps.
Some manufacturers have designed bird-proof models. These feature plastic strips that prevent the birds from touching the sticky surface, so they won't be caught. The majority of these sticky traps are made for insects that like meat scents, like mud daubers and flies. They won't work as well for nectar-seeking wasps.
You can also make a DIY wasp trap instead of going the commercial route. It's possible to make a homemade trap by inserting a funnel into a soda bottle. This is cheap and effective and proven to work. However, you'll need to have a good enough lure.
There are reusable traps that employ solar UV lights as an additional attractant. However, this doesn't appear to be very effective on wasps. It will only let you see the trap during the night. Wasps aren't as attracted to artificial light as moths and some other insects. They tend to be active in daylight hours and sleep during the night.
Most people are dealing with wasp nests that exist outdoors. If your nest is inside your home, shed, garage, or other interior space, you might want to get in contact with an exterminator or local beekeeper.
There are ways to set up indoor traps, though. You can combine lured traps and sticky traps to get rid of most of the insects indoors. Removing the nests is vitally important. If you find the point of entry or exit for the wasps, put a sticky trap over it.
If you're using your traps outdoors like the majority of people, there are some other things to keep in mind.
First, it's important to know that outdoor sticky traps will only work when the weather is dry. They'll stop working if exposed to rain. If it rains a lot during the summer, you'll need to put the traps under cover to protect them. Most of the time, it's easier to use a lure instead.
If you do invest in a lure, it's important to find a wide-lidded model that will keep out the rain and other external elements.
It's possible to set up effective traps at any moment when you have a wasp problem. But most people only need them when the weather is warm. The spring and summer are when wasps are at their most active.
To prevent wasps from moving in, you can put up traps during the spring. This will kill any queens looking to build a nest in the area.
When you're choosing the location, look for areas of high wasp activity. If you can place the trap by the actual nest, that's even better. But make sure that the trap is situated away from the paths that people use. Since wasps will be flying toward it en masse, you don't want anyone to be caught in the crossfire.
Sticky traps aren't as difficult to place as lure traps. Since these don't have the same kind of enticement, they can be put by your outdoor furniture or in your walking path without an issue.
Eliminating the nests is a good idea if you can without causing yourself to be in danger. The more nests you get rid of, the less you'll need to worry about a resurgence. There won't be a new generation to take the place of the last one.
If you're working with a nest on the ground, the situation is a little trickier. It's very important that you don't upset the nest as you hang the trap. The most ideal place is right above or beside the nest, but you might not be able to get that close.
As the traps begin to work, you might be shocked by how often you need to remove and replace them. That goes especially for situations in which the nest is on the ground.