As with any segment of today’s consumer product marketplace, the realm of wasp traps is filled with an incredible range of diverse solutions. One product sold in New Zealand, The Waspinator, does not actually require any bait at all. Backed by a number of very positive consumer testimonials, it taps into the wasp’s territorial self-defense instincts. Scout wasps for other colonies of wasps, upon seeing the realistic looking Waspinator, go back and tell their colony mates to stay away from the area, for fear of being attacked.
There are basically two kinds of wasp traps that use bait: lure traps and water traps. In both cases, one smart strategy is to lay them out in the spring, so as to possibly capture some of the colony queens and really put a dent in the yellowjacket population. A density of one trap per acre of land is recommended, which really means that unless a person is living on palatial grounds, one trap will suffice.
Most lure traps come with a ready-made chemical bait already attached to the contraption. However, some wasps tend to resist the chemical inducements. In those cases, luncheon meat has been found to produce great results if sprinkled into a lure trap as an added component. The chemical bait needs to be changed ever six to eight weeks during spring, and every two to four weeks in summer.
Water traps are more of a homemade option. After a standard five-gallon plastic bucket is filled with soapy water, a protein-heavy bait of some kind (turkey, ham, fish, etc.) is then suspended by string one or two inches above the soapy, watery surface. Quite simply, after a wasp grabs a little bit of the protein bait, it will then fly straight down into the water and drown. As long as the bucket bait is shielded with thin-mesh screen, other animals will not remove it. These traps however really only work well during the spring, as a way to try and capture colony queens.
The Waspinator – Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://www.wetandforget.co.nz/waspinator.htm
University of California, Davis – Yellowjackets and Other Social Wasp Management Guidelines, Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7450.html