How to use traps to catch yellow jackets and wasps. You need different traps for each. Warnings for things to look out for when trying to trap wasps and yellow jackets.
Now that summer is almost here you’re thinking about finally being able to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather and yard. Sounds great until you start remembering some of last summer’s problems, like the times the yellow jackets wouldn’t leave you alone. I remember a time when they just flew by and didn’t want to bother me or be bothered, lately it seems they come right up to me looking for a fight.
These pests really can be pests and for some people they can be deadly pests for anyone who is allergic to their sting. Some years they are really bad and seem more aggressive. A yellow jacket is longer and bigger than a normal bee. A wasp is longer and slender and more brownish than a yellow jacket and has a dangling backside. Many times both are called wasps.
You can buy yellow jacket traps by Rescue and place one or more of these around your yard. You might have seen them already in your neighbors yard, those yellow things hanging from trees and corner eaves of houses. Those come with a little packet of liquid that attracts the yellow jacket into the cones and they can’t get out. You pour that on a cotton ball and put it in along with a piece of meat. For meat I have used a number of things. I think hamburger works good and I’ve also used something like a little Vienna sausage since they fit perfectly onto the little prongs inside.
Put these in a corner of your yard where you won’t be walking by all the time and an area that is free of large obstructions. You want this to be in a path the yellow jackets will fly. Some people put these on their back porch but that might be to close to where you walk all the time. And don’t put these near a known yellow jacket hive or they could really get riled up.
Best time to put these out in your yard are early in the season before the queen yellow jacket has found a home and makes a nest in your yard somewhere.
Yellow jackets usually make their nests in the ground but more than once I have seen yellow jacket nests inside storage sheds. You need to be aware of this when you mow. If you are mowing for the first time in the yard and the grass is long you could run over a nest. I have seen this before and hundreds of very angry yellow jackets is not a fun thing.
Yellow jackets can really become aggressive when you spray their nest. You have to do this at night when they are less apt to be flying all over. More than once though I have sprayed a yellow jacket nest at night and they came flying out. At night you couldn’t see them flying out at you either. I am thinking that the next time there is a large yellow jacket nest in my yard causing problems, I will call the exterminator, as I really hated dealing with them the last time at night.
The above traps don’t work for stopping wasps. There are many types of wasps and some are beneficial, but not if they build their nest right near your door or some other high traffic area. Wasps also like to build their nests in playground equipment, remember that when you go to the playground with your kids.
You can usually spot the nests area like you can with the yellow jacket, a high traffic area for the wasps coming and going especially near sunset. These types of wasps can be paper wasps and build their nests in the honeycomb paper type nests. If these wasps are getting to be a problem, you can spray the nest. Do this in the early morning and even better when it’s colder and maybe raining out. For nests up high, use a spray that will spray at a distance of 25’ or so. I like the foaming spray better. When you are done spraying don’t run away, walk slowly.
There are also traps you can make yourself to trap the wasps using the link at the bottom of the page. The bad thing about the wasp trap is that it will also kill bees and that isn’t a good thing.
With both of these traps, the main objective is to kill the queens before they build nests in and around your yard.
Warning: One thing that can really ruin your day is to get stung in the mouth. Many times this happens to people when they are drinking a pop or beer and leave it and go back and drink some. While they left it out in the open a bee, wasp or yellow jacket went into the can and got stuck, when someone drank from the can or bottle they get stung. Don’t leave your open pop and beer without either covering them or watching them.
Warning: Even if you’ve been stung before and had no allergic reaction, you can have one if stung again. If someone is stung and immediately starts to feel dizzy or lose consciousness, has labored breathing, swelling of the tongue or breathing tubes, blueness of the skin or low blood pressure get them to medical attention right away.
© 2009 Sam Montana