Wasp Traps — Best DIY Wasp Traps — How to Trap Wasps

Wasp Traps

Wasp traps are an effective wasp control tool that can help to eliminate these annoying, potentially harmful pests from commonly used and frequented spaces, allowing you to enjoy the warm weather without fear. Wasps, most unwanted for their stinging, can also become a big nuisance, especially in the summer months. Shop our wasp traps for faster control.

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Wasp Trap Basics

Wasp traps can work incredibly well when used properly. They’re not meant to eliminate colonies – look for our other wasp products to help you with that – but can help in getting rid of large numbers of wasps that are near your property. Here is some key information you’ll need to know when choosing or using wasp traps:

  • Lure traps are a popular choice. They consist of a container where the lure is placed, and have a lid that allows wasps in but not out. The container will fill up with dead wasps and must be emptied.
  • The chemical lures used in wasp traps can be geared toward one kind of wasp, or can be formulated to capture several types, so make sure you are aware of what your trap and lure will attract before you set it up.
  • Foraging wasps, or wasps looking for food to take back to the colony, are the wasps you will find in your traps, as this is what the lure attracts. Queens or other members of social wasp colonies will not be lured to this trap.
  • Wasp traps are perfect to use near patios, picnic areas, concession stands, outdoor dining areas, dumpsters or garbage sites, and restaurants.

How To Use Wasp Traps

Trapping wasps is best for controlling nuisance wasps in specific areas they can cause problems. The great thing about using wasp traps to control a wasp problem is that they are readily available and easy to use. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Since most traps use a lure to attract wasps in the area, you do not want to place these traps too close to where people might be spending time. In large areas, place traps roughly 200 feet away from the area you want to protect. In small spaces, make sure traps are as far away from the area as possible, at the edge of the property line.
  • Make sure the lure does not dry out in the trap, which can happen in hot weather. Just add a small amount of water to the trap to reactivate the lure.
  • Make sure you read all instructions and recommendations listed on the package, ensuring you have the right number of traps for the size of your property. Too many can attract too many wasps (from all around the area, not just in the immediate area), and too few might not be able to fully control your wasp problem.
  • Most traps can be used with different types of lures (wasp trap bait), and some can be used with baits, so just choose the best product for your needs.

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How To: Make a DIY Wasp Trap

Save yourself and your family from stings this season by crafting this homemade wasp trap from your kitchen recyclables.

Nothing can ruin a summer barbecue or evening by the pool like the threat of a wasp’s sting. Mind you, wasps aren’t all bad—the adults are nectar-eating pollinators, and they kill other insects (often those harmful to crops) to feed their carnivorous larvae. Still, a nearby nest can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to their sting. Should you find an infestation around your own home, you have a few options: call a pest-control company, kill them yourself with sprays, or trap them. While wasp traps are available for purchase, save yourself some money and get rid of your buzzy problem by crafting this hands-off solution using items you most likely already have sitting in your house.

Photo: flickr.com via noricum

STEP 1: Cut up a 2-liter plastic bottle to create the trap.

Dig through your recycling to get the materials you need to make this trap, and get crafting. First, remove the bottle cap and cut the 2-liter soda bottle just under the neck, where the bottle becomes a straight cylinder. Invert the top portion of the bottle to serve as a funnel, and fit it inside the bottom half of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together around the cut edge so the funnel stays in place. Finally, poke two holes on opposite sides of the rim and attach some string to make a handle for hanging.

STEP 2: Prepare the bait for your trap.

You’ll never catch any wasps without the right kind of bait—and the perfect lure is wholly dependent on the season. In early spring, when wasps are reproducing, they are looking for protein; later in summer, they want sugar.

Start with a base of water and a few drops of dish soap. (The dish soap will break up the surface tension of the water and aid in drowning the wasps.) In spring, add grease from cooked meat to the soapy solution; in summer, try vinegar and something sugary like jam. Pour the bait solution into the bottle, leaving an inch or so underneath the funnel so wasps can enter.


Note: Do not add honey to your trap. That particular sweet will attract honeybees, and you don’t want to kill these very important, nonaggressive pollinators.

STEP 3: Position your trap off the ground.

You can set your traps out on the ground, but hanging them about four feet high will probably attract and catch more wasps. Find a good tree limb or fence post on your property—one that is at least 10 yards away from your family’s play, work, and gathering spaces—and hang up the homemade trap by its string handle.

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STEP 4: Clean and reload the trap as necessary.

Check back often to dispose of the drowned wasps and refill the bait. Be sure the wasps are dead before you open the trap to remove them—an escapee will go back to the nest and warn the colony.

Bury the wasps you’ve caught, or shut them tightly in a plastic bag to dispose of in the garbage. Be sure not to crush the wasps while disposing of them, as the bodies release a scent that alerts other wasps of danger, potentially attracting a swarm. Even easier, just dispose of the whole trap altogether and make a new one from the week’s recycling. There’s no need to wait for a colony to become well established before making your traps. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


5 Helpful Wasp Control Products

Wasps are some of the most annoying pests to invade our homes and gardens, this leaves many people looking for effective methods of wasp control. There are many different types of wasp control products, all of which can be used to control the population of wasps in your home.

Some people are allergic to wasp stings, which makes wasp control methods much more important. You will need to learn how to control wasps to prevent them from being a nuisance.

1 — Natural Methods

There are many different natural techniques which can be used to trap and control wasps. Natural treatments involve traps which can be brought from a shop or made if you prefer. If you are using these traps then you must empty them every day to prevent any wasps from escaping and getting back into the room. Research natural methods of wasp control as you don’t need to worry about using dangerous chemicals.

These traps include bait to attract the wasps and then stop them from getting out. The bait can be something as simple as a sweet drink because wasps are attracted to sugary items.

2 — Candles

There are a number of pest control candles which can be used if you are having a barbecue outside in the garden. These candles contain chemicals which are let off when the candle is burnt. This releases the chemical into the air which will in turn deter wasps. This isn’t suitable for use if you have a large nest of wasps, but is an effective way of deterring a few opportunist wasps. These candles are an effective way to control wasps when outdoors but cannot be used indoors.

3 — Pesticides

There are also lots of harsh chemicals which can be used to kill wasps. These poisons are very effective and can be used to kill whole nests of wasps. The poison is injected right into the heart of the nest which should kill all of the worker wasps preventing the colony from being able to grow.

Pesticides are only normally used by specialists because they require the use of protection equipment. Wasps will get very angry when the poison is first applied, this can cause them to swarm and start stinging. Make sure you wear protective equipment whenever you are dealing with any wasps.

4 — Insect Sprays

There are a number of insect poisons which can be sprayed directly onto wasps to kill them. These work with almost all flying insects and are fast acting. However these are only suitable for dealing with small numbers of wasps which find their way into your home. They are not up to coping with large swarms of wasps, or entire nests. If using a spray on a wasp then you must be careful because they can still get very annoyed.

5 — Smoke Bomb

There is also the option of using an insecticide smoke bomb, these can eradicate large nests, but protective clothing must be worn when using these methods of eradication.


2 Wasp Traps Explained

If wasps are appearing in your yard with greater regularity, you may be in need of a wasp trap. While wasps can be beneficial to gardens preying on other insects, they can be aggressive and their stings are painful and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. However, if you can’t find the nest or it’s actually in a neighbor’s garden, you can use a wasp trap to lure them away from busy areas, trap them and kill them. Rather than using pesticides it is possible to make an efficient wasp trap using natural materials.

Homemade Traps

Homemade traps have the advantage of being very cheap and they use items that you may already have in the house such as empty soda bottles. They can be adapted for use on the ground or hanging from a tree or fence depending on your requirements. For safety reasons it is advisable to use a trap hung at around 4 feet from the ground so that it will not be stepped on by accident.

To make a simple homemade trap take an empty 2 or 3 liter soda bottle and cut off the top section (an inch or so under the shoulder of the bottle). Remove and discard the bottle cap then smear the neck of the bottle with cooking oil so that the trapped wasps will not be able to get any traction on it. Make a couple of holes in the plastic and thread some string through to hang the trap up. Add your bait and some water with a little detergent in it to the bottom section of the bottle. The level of the water should be significantly lower than where the bottle neck reaches so that the wasps have to fully enter the trap to get the bait. A variety of items may be used as bait—meat, mashed grapes, jam, sugar to name only a few. One you have added the bait place the inverted top section inside the bottom and tape it together. You must empty the trap daily because as more and more wasps get caught they can form a raft on the water that saves other wasps from drowning and can provide a means of escape.

Poison-Free Traps

If you don’t want to make your own wasp trap there are numerous poison-free varieties available in shops and online. Generally, these consist of a reusable container that you place the bait or lure inside. Some use sticky cards rather than water to keep the wasps trapped, however, they must still be checked regularly to minimize the number of wasps that manage to escape.

Always place a wasp trap at least 20 feet from a picnic or play area. Setting a wasp trap in early spring or late winter can be an advantage as more queens are around at that time. If you trap and kill a queen the other wasps will go somewhere else to make their nest.

Be very careful when emptying any type of wasp trap. Any living wasps that escape may return with other members of the colony in an aggressive swarm. The same thing can happen if you crush the bodies. Make sure any wasps that you catch are dead by filling the trap with hot soapy water or placing it in a plastic bag and putting it in the freezer for a few days. Bury the dead wasps in the garden or flush them down the toilet.


The Garden Glove

Creative gardening tips, ideas, & DIY projects

DIY Wasp Traps & Solutions for the Backyard

Summer is here in the garden, and with it a lot of great things, and a few that really can ruin a summer day. Among them, wasps. Nothing will haul the best backyard bbq to a halt faster than a football hitting a wasp nest, sending every human on the block running for the indoors. The best way to prevent wasp stings and the nuisance that they cause is to take preventative action in controlling them. We did some research and found some great ideas and tutorials to help you create DIY wasp traps and other wasp solutions for your backyard and garden. As usual, we try to use the least amount of insecticides first, preferring to use natural methods of control. But when it comes to wasps, sometimes you just have to get serious. We won’t judge, promise. In any case, we have some tips, and a variety of solutions to choose from.

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Wasp Traps

Wasp Control Tips

  • First, wasps aren’t inherently bad. Like bees, they pollinate and contribute to our environment in a positive way. As long as they are FAR away from people, that is. Wasps are bad around people, simple as that. They are aggressive, and many people are allergic to their stings. And anyone stung multiple times can need medical attention. So wasps need to be controlled in the garden.
  • Bees are not wasps. Bees also sting, but rarely. They are not aggressive unless provoked, and our gardens would be nothing without them. I regularly garden in among bees, and have not been stung in 30 years. (Knock on wood!) Know the difference, and don’t kill bees. Period. The photo below is a bee, compare it to the one above and you will see distinct differences.

  • Eliminating wasp nests before they get large is the key to control. Start looking in the spring, and keep looking every few days. They love horizontal surfaces, usually under something. Roof eaves, bbq’s, and even the underside of benches are prime spots.
  • Late summer wasps and yellow jackets get more aggressive around food, and you may have to take further steps even if you have no active nests in your yard. Traps can be effective in keeping the numbers under control. Remember, place the trap AWAY from where you gather, you don’t want to lure them right into your midst! A good bait recipe is one cup of vinegar, and 4 tablespoons each salt and sugar…seems to attract more wasps and few beneficial bees.

Wasp Trap DIY Projects

Recycled Bottle Wasp Trap

Gina at Kleinworth & Co. has the prettiest DIY wasp trap I’ve ever seen! Made from a recycled plastic creamer bottle, the tutorial is easy to follow. And you don’t see the dead wasps either! Love it!

How to Trap Wasps With Vinegar

This soda bottle DIY wasp trap is the most pinned wasp trap DIY project on Pinterest, but I tracked down the original blogger… ‘Prairie Story‘ tells you step by step how to make this easy trap. One tip I’ve picked up in my research though…if you add vinegar to your wasp bait, it won’t attract as many bees…remember, the bees are not our target! We like bees!

Soda Bottle Wasp Trap

If you need a little clarification on that soda bottle wasp trap DIY, ‘Apartment Therapy‘ has a great tutorial with step by step photos. Image credit Ashley Poskin.

Paper Wasp Trap

From ‘Chox TheMuse‘, this idea is a little bit of pure genius. Make fake wasp nests from paper bags, and hang them in your eaves where wasps like to nest. Apparently, wasps don’t like to build nests near other wasp nests, so they leave the area alone. Check out her youtube channel. BRILLIANT! Anyone tried this type of “wasp trap”?

Homemade Wasp Trap

From ‘Garden Therapy‘ (if you haven’t been to her site, go!) this simple DIY wasp trap has a little different way of going about it, but what I like about it is that she made is attractive. Make it in 15 minutes!

Natural DIY Wasp Solutions

Natural Wasp Rellepellent

‘P. Allen Smith‘ ( the garden expert!) has a great video on YouTube on how to repel wasps with simple, harmless ingredients…one being simple peppermint oil. (Not mint oil, must be peppermint!)

Lemon & Cloves for Wasps

From ‘Warsztat Mamy‘, this easy and natural solution should repel wasps from the picnic table!

Where to Buy Wasp Traps

If you want to purchase your wasp traps, we think the “Lomomoco Wasp Trap” looks like a good choice! It’s attractive, but has an open hole on the bottom of the jar. You add bait, hang the jar, and once they get in from the bottom, they are trapped. Much nicer than those bright yellow plastic things from the home improvement store!

And always remember the old standby… aerosol hairspray will drop any bug in it’s tracks! And yes, we do use insecticide based wasp spray in our yard when we need to… But only when we absolutely need to! Enjoy that garden, wasp free!

Looking for mosquito control DIY solutions? Visit our post – “Zap Those Mosquitos“! Or check out our post on DIY tabletop fire bowls!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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  1. Bethzy Elonia June 18, 2019 at 8:15 am

Avoiding Criss cross grills and mesh like structures in home can also prevent wasp from making their hive nest. and yes the key is remove them as quicly as possible because they build their hive very fast.

Seems it would attract honeybees too, and we need them for pollination! I’m 61, and I’ve been stung by a wasp once in my life! Are wasps really the nuisance they’re made out to be? They also provide pollination!

Wasps are pollinators and are beneficial to gardens.

I am looking for an organic wasp killer that wont harm or kill bees….. Any ideas.

Dont kill them!! We really need them alive!! What is wrong with you people? Why dont you help, rehab, take care of nature instead triying and looking for a way to kill and destroy?

I agree with you 100%.
We need them

I do agree with you. All creatures have their own importance to maintain the biodiversity.

We are trying to help the Monarchs survive and the Wasps kill the butterflies and the caterpillars one wasp can do more damage than any other predator of the Monarch. and I will kill everyone of them I can.

Also, when they’re /in/ your house and dying on your floors, they’re a huge problem. I’ve stepped on more than I can count, and every.single.time. I cry like a baby because they hurt so dang bad. I have a toddler now, and I am terrified of her trying to grab one she sees or stepping on one. I don’t know where they get in – my windows are sealed, there aren’t any nests on the eves of my roof, and I have tried everything to keep them out. I’m over it and would rather kill them before they get in than risk my baby getting stung and having a potential allergic reaction.

Karen, thanks if these people knew the short time some of us have to get to emergency room even with Epi pens maybe they’d not judge but some will no matter if you offer a wasp motel.

We find that when we put our hummingbird feeders out that sometimes they have to fight off wasps to get to their food- so i do have the glass traps that I put a distance away from the feeders- I usually use the same solution as the one I feed hummingbirds with- but this vinegar one you showed seems better so I don’t get the bees by mistake- (cheaper too since I use the sugar/water in both. I also think the plastic bottles are a better design than the “pretty” glass ones I bought because then I can just toss them- it’s hard to fill the glass ones and then I have to deal with the “corpses” to re-fill the solution. Smaller plastic water bottles might be easier to hide among the flower beds too.

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Getting stung by wasps is the worst. I am allergic to their stings, so I avoid wasps and bees like the plaque. I will definitely have to try hanging paper bags up around my home and see if that keeps them away!

I was informed the bees are in my attic. I have been gone all winter. Question would a bee keeper come out and get them? If not how much cloves and where could I put them as to not hurt the bees? Would that even work?

Not all wasps that look like yellowjackets are aggressive. The European Paper Wasp, Polistes Dominicula, now has a wide-spread distribution in the US as well as much of the rest of the world. I discovered these in my backyard in CA based on the form of the nest and a dead one I found on the ground under the nest. We get 1-3 small nests, usually less than 8″ in diameter every year under our eaves around our patio, generally away from the heavily used areas. We’ve never been bothered by them when eating outside and as long as you steer clear of the nest, they leave you alone, doing their business of eating other insects, including aphids and mosquitos. I view them as a welcome guest. Info on identification can be found here: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS152E/FS152E.pdf

A couple of things about wasp stings if I may. 1) Wasps perform a beneficial service to humans by preying on potential pests, including the venomous black widow spider. 2) A drop of household bleach on any wasp sting will almost instantaneously end the pain of a sting. Also works for bee, hornets and scorpion stings. Anything with a fallopian tube as a stinger mechanism. The venom is a complicated chemical cocktail which contains enzymes and proteins as well as other things, and a couple drops of bleach will neutralize the effects of the sting if applied right away. During warm months I carry a small bottle of bleach in my tool kit just for this reason. Finally, bleach will do nothing for an allergic reaction; antihistamine solutions are usually required for those persons allergic to bee and wasp stings. If a wasp or bee nest if not in an area where human or pet contact is immanent I would suggest leaving it alone. They are here for a reason.

Too bad your advice doesn’t help some of us. I’m allergic to bees and wasps. I do have an epipen. But it sux to have to use it. Bleach is another allergy however, so that doesn’t help me. Any other ideas?

Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate something from nature when you re outdoors… I would suggest planting only foliage plants to keep down the bees, and I understand if you have the eaves of your house professionally sprayed, it can help deter the wasps…

I use soda and vinegar paste on a sting to help stop pain and swelling. Does not stop the allergic reaction. My husband is allergic, but he picks in the garden with the bees and wasps. I’m going to try a spray with cloves to work around the farm. A few years ago the fire ants killed most of the honey bees in this area and the wasps were pollinating our plants. Not as good a crop but the fruit still grew.

Bathe with soap that uses cloves and other repelling essential oils. You may need to find a natural/organic ingredient soap maker that can make them to your desired strength. It can be mixed up with lemon balm or teas to spice up the scent in the cologne direction unless smelling like a baked pastry is okay with you. Candles as well can be made with the ingredients that will deter wasps, hornets, flies, mosquitoes. The list is endless. Anyways, good luck and hopefully those that are allergic find this as a means to avoid launching the epi.

Use vinegar on a cotton ball, works great!

Dawn soap and water n a spray bottle

excellent ideas….never thought of using a paper bag….makes perfect sense….must try it….

I was looking for a SHARE button.

Sorry Jim, we had some server issues recently and our Share button was offline for a few days! Hopefully you can Share now!

I make a spray from tung oil, clove oil and peppermint oil and spray my teak furniture each spring. Preserves the wood and keeps the wasps from eating the wood to make their nests. they stay far away from the patio once they get a good whiff!

Brilliant ideas with the solution to control wasps in the garden. Thank you so much.

Delighted at your remark that wasps are beneficial insects (as well as being very annoying) – as well as pollinating they also are wonderful natural pest controllers, killing aphids, caterpillars and house flies.

Your paper bag repellent is brilliant and does work – we make fake wasps nests which last a couple of seasons and have a striation design which makes them work even better!

  1. Vee August 7, 2015 at 9:15 am

Ditto! I was a skeptic about the paper bag solution, but tried it and it does work. We have had far fewer wasps this year than ever, but you really need to get it out early in the spring before they establish their nests.

The bag idea must work. At least one company that I know I sells a product based on the territorial wasp idea.

I have a question i dont have any vinegar on hand at the moment and cant make it out the front door due to the army of wasps can i sub pickle juice?

I have a neighbor who loves to irrate me. They planted geraniums next to my mail box knowing that my son was allergic to bees. I searched and searched on the internet on how to get rid of bees. I went to the nurseries looking for ways to get rid of the bees. They told me that it was illegal to kill bees as they were on the endangered species list here in Calif. I finnally found a website that also told me about cloves. All I needed to do was throw a handful of cloves in the bushes and the bees will disappear. They did and no more bees around the mail box. I was amazed.

I like the idea of repelling bees, since there are situations like yours where its necessary, but I support not killing bees! They may seem like nuisance but the agriculture of the world, and therefore food supply would collapse without them, hence the laws protecting them! Has anyone else tried cloves to repel bees?

This is the most genius idea! “Throw cloves in the bushes” & the bees won’t come around! I HATE to see them in the makeshift killer bottles all bundled up dead…we NEED THE BEES! Not to be stung by them, no. But they have to be around to pollinate our flowers & vegetables. They really are our livelihood. Bravo on this idea! Just throw some cloves in the bushes!!

I am going to try this .

Does it work for hornets and wasps??

Has anyone tried it with hornets? We only have wasps where we r!

Thank you!! This is great – those wasps sure are pesky this time of year. Love all the info you included.

Thx Gina! Love your DIY wasp trap project, thanks for letting us include it!

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