building a better wasp trap

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building a better wasp trap

Postby TheVat on August 16th, 2015, 4:22 pm 

Some thoughts, partly from a digression elsewhere....

Beer is an excellent attractant for those homemade wasp traps (that use a 2 liter bottle). Also fruit juices - I believe fruits native to your bioregion are best. I want to reduce wasp numbers nontoxically, as having some around keeps other pest species down.
Swarming is pretty bad this year, and too much around house entrances.

I like canned peach juice....dip the bottleneck in it, then put canola oil on the inner surface (which becomes the outer surface, when you invert the bottle top and place in bottom part of bottle). As they crawl toward the trap opening, the oil on smooth plastic makes them slip right down into the drowning solution (soapy water and attractant, or just the water if you have enough attractant on the neck). The lowered surface tension prevents a wasp from treading on the liquid surface.

I still don't think I'm quite where I could be, in terms of numbers, so looking to innovate more. I think my placement is good, based on entomological info, and I often put yellow tape on the bottle as it's a color wasps supposedly like. But I think there are features to experiment with, e.g. strawberry jam on the neck instead of peach juice, making the bottleneck inlet even smaller while not discouraging entry because it's too small. I am not convinced by websites that insist the wasps can't find their way out through the standard 2 liter bottleneck. I also want to try a floral shampoo - based on the way wasps respond to the tiny residue in the hair of guests and family, I am thinking a thimble full of it would be pretty good bait.
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Re: building a better wasp trap

Postby Darby on August 16th, 2015, 4:38 pm 

My winemaking friends and I used something similar back in the 1990's, when I was still homebrewing regularly. In my region (Long Island, NY, USA) the main annoyance for outdoor winemaking (and picnics) was/is yellowjackets, who are attracted by sugary juice, and who could administer painful stings repeatedly, if allowed. They also line to nest in household soffets and underneath wooden shingles, which makes them doubly annoying.

The other annoyance was/is mosquitos, who are drawn not by sugar but rather by CO2 (the chief component of animal exhalations). To decoy mosquitos, you can buy a CO2 generator, which is really just a propane tank connected to a slow burner in a housing that concentrates the CO2 to mimic that of a large animal.

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