Wasp Traps

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  • #13961


    I recently bought a bee hive shaped Wasp Trap from one of those ‘in your letterbox’ magazine things and its fabulous. I fill with sugar water and hang about my swan plants, they seemed to have attracted those nasty things by the dozen. Last week we caught 5 and the week before was 7. Just thought if anyone else is having wasp issues you could give them a go!!

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  • #52554


    Im in Adelaide South Australia and have had swan plants for many years, the paper wasps here create a problem with stealing the monarch caterpillars.
    One solution i have found to work well is using a strong mixture of dishwashing detergent and water in a hand spray bottle, and spray the wasps as the hunt around the swan plants, it knocks the wasps down almost instantly, although another good squirt once they sit normally kills them in a few second.
    The detergent dont seem to harm the caterpillars or the plants, it wont even effect a bee, but works very well on wasps.



    From what I’ve read online, you need to add vinegar to the sugar solution of a wasp trap so that you don’t attract bees – as we certainly don’t want to be killing our bees! -or use the meat or beer option . Any comments on this?



    Hi DRelly

    That’s interesting. I’d like to try it. I haven’t been able to find anything that works against wasps.

    I can’t say I’m confident in the website at present. A lot of the language is American (it’s like it’s a site designed for Americans e.g. “federal law” etc).

    Would be interested in other people’s comments.




    My kids love monarch butterflies and we used one of the 1.5L coke bottles last year and caught a lot of wasps but we had a nest in a nearby tree that was constantly launching new ones. A friend said that there’s a foam spray that you can get called Wasp-X that can shoot from a distance and kill a whole nest. Has anyone tried it? http://www.waspx.co.nz



    If you want Asian Paper wasps gone…use sticky traps to catch male wasps..see this.



    I tried a number of traps last year – sugar, fruit, and meat – nothing worked. Only caught a bumble bee and a few flies. I researched it online for baits for wasps. I am after the asian paper wasps as they seem to be the most prolific in the Mercer, AUckland area. There are commercial baits for the German and Common Wasps available which is brilliant. http://www.doc.govt.nz/waspcontrol but unfortunately it is much more difficult to bait paper wasps due to their preference for caterpillars as a food source. I hope the powers that be are trying to figure out a bait for paper wasps.



    How do you get rid of wasps? And how do you fight their older siblings, the hornets? How to get rid of wasp nest? Answer here



    I got one of those beehive shape traps from my local Palmers Garden Centre.
    Haven’t seen too many wasps in it, but does a great job on cockroaches! Anything that goes in drowns in the liquid as it is designed to be difficult to exit.



    Several people have pointed me to a recent article on Stuff


    which got me doing some homework… My wasp trap did not work and I was determined to find a better bait. Well, here’s what scientists found in 2012: best bait (when the wasps are looking out for protein) is:

    Canned sardine cat-food (Wondercat) attracted 100% of Vespula species wasps
    Canned mixed fish cat-food (Wondercat) 77.3%
    Dry fish meal granules (Salmon Services) 68.9%
    Salmon oil (Tasmanian) 67.8%
    Orange roughy oil (Sealord) 62.4%
    Canned tuna cat-food (Gourmet) 58.6%

    I hope that Wondercat is still on the market because I am going to get some!

    “A problem with sardine cat-food and raw fish or meat baits is that they remain fresh for only 1-3 days depending upon the weather before they either putrefy or desiccate and become less attractive.”

    So it would mean that you’d be clearing out the trap every couple of days, and restocking it with new bait.

    Good luck.

    Some other stories…





    It’s time for War!
    But I couldn’t make ENOUGH traps! – Im swarming with wasps. Today Im angry & sad. I took in, as it turns out, 45 eggs & cats to save from their systematic annihilation by the wasps. Today was butterfly 2’s day to fly 🙂 She’d enjoyed a few hours drying off in a tree readying for flight . when I returned from down the garden, wasps were attacking her..around her head. they’d eaten along the top edges of her wings. horrifying. then I spotted a wasp in the courtyard trying to attack the bottom tip of a ‘nearly ready’ chrysalis. Seems like nothing’s safe and all back inside. Also this week I saw 2 wasps attacking the back end of a huge praying mantis, eating away at it, ALIVE – I may have wished one ill-will 20 years ago when I discovered my first monarch predator was a mantis but it WAS helping me with all the other unwanted bugs on my vegetables & it was a grim way to go.
    Now where are those plastic bottles – Im off into battle…



    You can buy traps from hardware shops etc, or make your own:




    The trick is to bait them with protein… meat for instance – or you could use undesirable insects etc. Actually I squashed a snail last night, and today saw a wasp feasting on it – perhaps we should put squashed snails into the traps?

    This would be an ideal project for a school – we should have suggested that earlier in the season, but I guess it’s not too late.



    Thanks, Jacqui. The fact sheet talks about live traps and also about bait traps. Are these available now? I don’t see them in the Shop. Thank you.



    Hi Whstler

    Larger caterpillars appear to be safe from the attacks from German and Asian wasps. See the wasp leaflet under Species / Pests

    Direct link here:


    And don’t forget that very soon (who knows EXACTLY when) the juvenile wasps will be old enough to forage for themselves so all of the social wasps will be searching for nectar sources and it wont’ be the adults searching for protein to feed their young any more.




    Are the larger caterpillars safe from wasps? If so, at what stage/size are they safe? Or do we have to keep the caterpillars hidden away from wasps their entire lives? Is a chrysalis safe from wasps? Thank you in advance for answers.



    Hi all, thanks Jacqui for posting the pic of my wasp trap. Christine, this thing catches wasps of all kinds, flies, mozzies, sandflies…the works actually ( have never caught a bumble or honey bee though, so that is a bonus!! ). Im thinking the mag I may have brought it from was Homecare Direct Shopping? or Magnamail? It was one of those types of things anyway.
    The pic a few posts up, of the fizzy drink bottle with an inverted neck, looked just the same but upside down. I think that would work great with sugar water in it!!!


    christine francis

    Do these traps work for paper wasps… we seem to have a huge problem here in the Hawkes bay with this breed. They have bben decimated my cat population



    Hi Jane,

    Can you tell us where you got the bottle from please?




    Wasp Trap Pics

    Photographs of Jayne's wasp trap are now posted.



    That's fanatstic, Darren.

    I was thinking about the cheap chook food I discovered on my farm ages ago. I would buy bones for my dogs and they would get bored with them and when I mowed the lawn I would be tossing bones into the orchard for the chooks.

    Anyhow, I sometimes discovered one covered with maggots, and the chooks just loved the maggots – so in the end I just hung all the bones in a net bag above the chooks. I figured that that flies would lay their eggs in the bones, the maggots would emerge and the chooks would get them. Great free food for the chooks, loaded with protein.

    I figured it must also be cutting down on the numbers of flies which successfully became adults – what do you reckon?



    yep, I mix with water and add 1 drop of dishwash to reduce the surface tension.

    With jam, brown sugar, or honey I've seen recommendations to mix 1:1 to 1:2, ie 1 part jam to 1 or 2 parts water, so that is what I did with the cat food as well.
    If you use beer as a bait I don't suppose it matters. But some sources reckon it is the yeast in the beer that is the attractant and suggest adding a little yeast to the jam or sugar baits as well.

    A google search for "wasp bait" returns about 222,000 results, but many of those are commercial or toxic. There doesn't seem to have been much systematic testing of different baits and trap designs for the home gardener, especially in NZ. Usually one person will say beer works great for them while another swears by fruit of the forest jam. An exception is when schools in Hamilton did some research and found they got the best results from either Jam, brown sugar, or sardine cat food. http://www.exscite.org.nz/membership/wasps/make/

    If you want to make a contribution in this subject try being systematic. Make two or more very similar traps and try different baits. Make a note of the time of year as well. then you are in a position to say in 'this area' at 'this time' bait A caught more wasps than bait B. Or use the same bait in two different trap designs. Post your results here and gradually we will build up a comprehensive idea of what works best in our conditions. This is citizen science at work.



    Do you add water to the cat food?



    Sure does Renee, it fact one of my friends asked me about my “fly traps”. But they drown along with the wasps so maggots aren’t a problem. I try different baits depending on which cat food is on special.



    Darren if I use a protein bait wouldn't that attract flies also? I HATE maggots.

    I was thinking of having a few all around our section with some sweet and some protein. We have a few different types of wasp here….



    Jacqui are you able to view my links?



    Darren – with regard to the links, the "good fairy" came in and fixed them. You had put three back-slashes, http:///www…..

    That explains why they worked for you today. 🙂

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