Have wasps decided that the eaves of your house look like a fantastic place to move in? I know I’ve had troubles with them here in California well into the fall, although they’re at their most active in the summer. Eventually, you sigh and start shopping for the best wasp trap.
But do you really need a trap, and if so, what kind do you want? Are lures necessary, and if so which ones? Should you buy a commercial-made trap or make one?
I’m going to walk you step by step through deciding if this is something you should be investing in, teach you all about how they function and answer questions about home methods. When you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to deal with them no matter what!
|Reliable & ReusableRESCUE! Reusable TrapReliable & Reusable||Check Amazon Price|
|Trap & TossRESCUE! Disposable TrapTrap & Toss||Check Amazon Price|
|Sticky SituationRESCUE! TrapstikSticky Situation||Check Amazon Price|
|Great For DIYersFatal Funnel Wasp TrapsGreat For DIYers||Check Amazon Price|
|Protein LuresSafer Deluxe Yellow Jacket BaitProtein Lures||Check Amazon Price|
5 Best Wasp Trap Product Reviews
My reviews are based mostly on how effective the trap style itself is, rather than the lure type. If you have protein-seeking wasps and are baiting with apple juice or sugar water, not even the best one is going to work for you! But I’ll include some information about lures, too.
Notice a lot of one brand here? There’s a reason. Most of the other major brands aren’t anywhere near as effective as this company’s products. They’re top of the line for a reason!
1. RESCUE! Reusable Trap For Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets
- Traps Multiple Species – Unsure if your problem...
- How it Works – A dual-chambered design uses...
- What it Catches – The WHY Trap includes a...
The year that I had both mud-daubers and hornets lurking around my old apartment, this trap was a literal lifesaver. I had a second-story balcony and pests were trying to build their homes there.
While that was a few years ago, in terms of design this Rescue model is still one of the best on the market. It comes with two separate lures. One of the lures is sweet, the other is protein-rich. These lures are at opposite ends of the tube, with separate sections for each.
Insects that crawl into the lower part of the tube will be caught within and will suffocate inside. Those which enter the top part of the tube will end up drowning in the water you put in that end.
Because of the dual lures, one side or the other may fill up more quickly, and it will help you to identify the type of insects you’re dealing with.
Rescue recommends placing these at least 20 feet away from human-inhabited areas. While that’s effective if you have multiple traps ringing your yard, it’s not as useful for smaller space control.
In a balcony situation, placing it as far away from your entrance/exit as possible works quite well, even if that’s only about 10 feet away. I try to situate it about 15 feet away from my most-trafficked spaces, as it’s effective at that range.
2. RESCUE! Non-Toxic Disposable Yellowjacket Trap
- Lure & Eliminate Yellowjackets – This disposable...
- Most Effective During Summer – This trap is most...
- Easy to Use – Just add water to activate the...
This Rescue version is a disposable water trap. Available in two formulations (described as “east of the Rockies” or “west of the Rockies”), it is designed to lure the yellowjackets that are indigenous to those portions of the United States. Pay close attention when you order!
Using this is easy: place water inside the bag with the lure solution in it and hang it up from its top. The yellowjackets will enter and drown. When it’s full or is no longer drawing insects, simply pop the top cap on and put it in the trashcan, and get a new one if necessary.
I really love the ease of use, but at the same time, I dislike that you can’t see how full the bag is. I prefer to have a little more idea of which lures are the most effective. Having said that, if you’re squeamish about bugs, this is great for you!
For people in the western U.S., there is also a variation of this model that works on not only yellowjackets but on meat bees and ground hornets as well. If you have more than one type of insect (and many of us do), you may want to opt for that instead.
3. RESCUE! Trapstik For Wasps, Mud Daubers, & Carpenter Bees
- ELIMINATE WASPS – Our exclusive VisiLure...
- NO KILLING AGENT – The targeted insects are...
- PROTECT WILDLIFE – This TrapStik has been...
What I like about this particular unit is that it’s mostly bird-safe. With yellow sticky traps, the slightest brush of a bird’s wing can cause it to get stuck, risking injury to the bird and reducing your ability to catch insects. The Trapstik has a plastic “cage” around the sticky surfaces to prevent that.
I also really like that the sticky surface has a slight lure in its coloration that will draw wasps, mud daubers and carpenter bees to it.
It can be used directly under eaves, beneath an awning, or in the garage, and doesn’t need to be at a distance. Simply attach the top to where you’d like it to be placed. Without an aromatic lure, the only insects that get caught in this are those who come across it in their path.
But what I don’t like about this is that it’s still a sticky trap. If any insect of any type gets too close and bumps one of those sticky panels, it will be stuck. This includes beneficial insects, and we want those to stay!
Once the sticky surface is coated with dead bugs, you’ll have to throw this out and replace it. This works best in conjunction with a lured trap.
4. Fatal Funnel Wasp and Hornet Traps
- Kills Wasps & Hornets safely
- Cost Effective
- No chemicals or poisons & Reuseable
Are you a DIYer? Do you want to upcycle old soda bottles into something useful? If so, consider adding a Fatal Funnel to your construction.
Designed to snap into the side of a standard 2-liter bottle, this funnel-shaped entrance allows insects to go in but won’t let them exit again. This means that all you need to catch a sweet-lured insect is a little flat Mountain Dew in a 2-liter bottle, one of these, and some string.
Baiting a 2-liter bottle with apple juice is also extremely effective if you’re aiming for the nectar-loving bugs. All things considered, it’s a great upgrade that allows you to recycle your waste!
5. Safer Deluxe Yellow Jacket Bait
- Compatible with Safer Brand Deluxe Yellow Jacket /...
- Comes with 1 pack of 3 bait refills
- Uses food as bait
Are you trying to avoid luring in honeybees or other beneficial, nectar-drinking pollinators while drawing in protein-lovers? You will want this Safer wasp bait.
This attracts all manner of protein-loving wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets. It also may lure in meat bees and a few stray flies, but it’s most effective for the wasp family of insects. As it doesn’t have anything sweet in it, it doesn’t draw in the bees that pollinate your garden.
The only downside that I can see to this is that if the wasps are not on the prowl for protein, these may not be effective. If that occurs, add a little apple juice to try to provide an incentive for the wasps to stop by.
This lure won’t do anything on its own. It must be paired with an existing trap. But if you have a reusable one or have made a homemade wasp trap, this should perform well for you.
Do You Need A Wasp Trap?
If you’re only seeing a few wasps, and they don’t seem to be preparing to move in and build themselves nests, you probably don’t need one. Remember, just like bees, wasps are pollinators. They’re happy to flit from flower to flower and assist your local bee population.
But much like bees, while a few are great, too many can become a bit burdensome. While most species of wasps don’t typically bother humans, they can easily become defensive, especially if they start to build homes. And once they start to move in, you might have a problem.
A Little Information On Wasp Types
Most paper wasps are generally harmless. In fact, they often kill off other garden pests. While these build nests in our eaves, they often don’t pay any attention to us other than to dodge us as they visit flowers and go after caterpillars. I consider these good wasps!
On a slightly more concerning note are ground wasps like the digger wasp. Again, these don’t care much about humans, but they can become defensive if you approach their ground-level nest. They also live in much larger colonies.
There are two varieties that actively do become hostile towards humans, and one of those is the yellowjacket. Yellowjackets are irritable if you go near their nest, and if you have meat or sweet food or drink outside they’re likely to swarm you.
The other one is the hornet, and these are downright dangerous. Often venomous and with a particularly painful sting, hornets build large nests in trees and will deliberately go out of their way to run off people or animals in the vicinity of their home. Hornet traps are obviously a necessity.
I personally have paper wasps who regularly visit my garden. They don’t bother me, I don’t bother them, and it’s great. If your insects are of that variety, you don’t really need a trap!
But if yellowjackets or hornets are around, or if you’ve got a particularly large colony of digger wasps who’re starting to become protective, make sure you invest in something to protect yourself from them.
How Wasp Traps Work
There are many methods online that claim to be inexpensive ways to eliminate your yellow jackets and wasps. In most cases, they’re completely ineffective. Hanging up a paper bag as a decoy nest doesn’t prevent them from building their own, and dryer sheets don’t repel them at all.
There’s really only one effective method. A scent lures the wasp into confinement, and it cannot extricate itself. In nearly all cases, it will die in the trap, and then it’s a simple matter of emptying or replacing the trap when it’s necessary to do so.
How Well Do Wasp Traps Work?
A homemade trap can catch bugs, but often they are less effective than commercial ones. This is largely due to the lure or bait inside, not the trap’s design. In fact, a very effective one can be made out of old soda bottles! But the lure inside is really what draws them in.
Unfortunately, depending on what your pest is looking for, different types of lures are required. If the wasp is trying to feed its young, it’s likely looking for protein-rich meats or fats. If it’s feeding itself, it may be looking for nectar. Different wasps have different preferences at different times.
Commercial lures contain multiple different types of enticement for a variety of species, and are much more effective than homemade solutions.
If they’re looking for just nectar, apple juice or sugar dissolved in water is extremely effective. Provided that you’re not trying to lure mud-daubers or other meat-seeking pests, this can reduce your costs. But if you have protein and fat-seekers, invest in commercial lures.
Types Of Commercial Wasp Traps
There are a few varieties of ready to use traps out there, so let me go over exactly how they function and where they’re most efficient.
Reusable Lured Traps
There’s a variety of reusable lured traps. Most consist of a tubular, clear exterior with some sort of funnel-like entrance point. Inside, a lure will entice the wasps to enter, and they will become trapped inside and die off.
A reusable trap can be emptied, cleaned out, and the bait or lure replaced so that they can be reused again. However, you need to restock the lures. Hornet traps that also catch yellow jackets or other pests are commonplace and easy to use, but may require more than one lure type.
Disposable Lured Traps
Generally made out of a thick plastic bag, these function identically to a reusable version. Inside the bag will be a lure or attractant, and a funnel-style entrance allows bugs to enter but not to leave.
The biggest perk of these is that they are disposable, which means that you don’t have to worry about any remaining live insects that may be trapped within. Simply take the trap down and throw it away. As it’s disposable, it’s not as eco-friendly as the reusable models are.
There’s a number of sticky trap options available on the market as well. While standard yellow sticky traps used for catching whiteflies or other insects will do the job, they aren’t without drawbacks. They catch all insects, whether beneficial or not. Because they’re sticky, they’ll also entangle birds, butterflies, or virtually anything else that comes into contact with them.
A few bird-proof models have been made which have plastic strips preventing birds from brushing against the sticky surface and getting caught, but these are generally only meant for pests like mud daubers or meat bees and flies, things which are attracted primarily to meat scents.
There are a few other options available, mostly in terms of modifications to existing traps or DIY solutions.
For example, you can buy insertable funnel-style entrance points which will prevent the wasps from escaping from your homemade soda bottle trap. These seem rather effective, but you will still need to find a suitable lure to draw the pests in initially.
Some reusable traps include a solar UV light, but it seems to do little other than to identify the trap’s location at night. As wasps are seldom active after dark, this may be useful to find it in the dark and empty it, but it otherwise serves no active purpose in catching them.
Finally, there are things that are reputed to be wasp repellants. Most of these are made to mimic the appearance of a large wasp’s nest or hornet’s nest hanging from a tree. These usually don’t work and are a waste of money to get.
Where & When To Set Up Your Wasp Trap
Most of the time, your problem pests will be outdoors, and that’s where traps will be the most beneficial. However, there are times when they may be required indoors as well.
If wasps have managed to infiltrate your garage or work their way into your attic, you may find that hanging sticky traps paired with lured ones are an effective combination to eliminate them quickly. Remove any nests if possible. Make note of entry/exit points and place sticky traps there.
Outdoors, sticky traps are only effective during the dry months of the year. If you live in an area where summer rains are common, these really will only work when they’re under cover, so you may need to opt for a lure type instead. Be sure to select one with a wide lid that will keep the rain out.
You can put up traps at any time if there is an existing problem. But for most of the year, you’ll only need them up during warm-weather months. If you want to take preventative measures, put traps up in the very early spring, as they can easily catch and eliminate queens who might be looking for a new place to build a nest. Take them all down in the late fall or winter.
Select locations that are near current problem spots, but out of active human-frequented zones for your lured traps. For sticky traps, you can place these directly over your patio table or around your lawn furniture without any worries.
If you can do so without danger to yourself, eliminate any nests from the property. This will reduce the number of wasps you’ll need to catch and prevent a future generation from appearing.
Ground-based nests are a little bit more difficult to deal with. If you can manage to do it without upsetting the nest, hang it directly over or next to the nest. However, you will need to empty or remove and replace the traps with surprising regularity at first.
So no matter whether you’ve got slightly-annoying paper wasps or demonic hornets, there’s something out there that will be effective for you. The only question is which you’ll choose.