How to Make Homemade Wasp Traps That Work

Updated May 4, 2022
Wasps attracted to a pot of jam

You can make a DIY wasp trap to keep a garden patio or deck area free of wasps. You may need to use a wasp trap to clear an infested area or get rid of wasps in an area where you need to work.

How to make a homemade wasp trap

Simple Soda Bottle Wasp Trap

The most popular DIY wasp trap is the 2-liter soda bottle wasp trap, which is simply an empty soda bottle modified to entrap unsuspecting wasps. You can use any bottle size, but a 2-liter size will give you more space for trapping more wasps. Once you're finished with your trap, you will simply place it in your trash bin.

Supplies

  • 1 (2-liter) plastic soda or water bottle, empty
  • 1 paring knife
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 marker
  • 1 spoon

Instructions

  1. About 1/3 from the top of the bottle, use the marker to draw a horizontal line. This will be the place where you'll cut.
  2. Use the knife to pierce the plastic along the line you made with the marker.
  3. Use the scissors to finish cutting the bottle until the top part falls free.
  4. Place the honey, water, and sugar inside the lower part of the bottle.
  5. Use the spoon to slightly mix. You can leave the honey in a concentrated dollop.
  6. Unscrew the bottle cap and discard.
  7. Turn the bottle top upside down so the pour spout is pointed down.
  8. Set the top part of the bottle, still pointing down, into the bottom of the bottle.
  9. The pour spout will be positioned above the honey, sugar, and water mixture.
  10. There should be a few inches of clearance between the bottle spout and the mixture.
  11. Set your trap near the infested area and leave.
  12. The wasps should find your baited trap within a few minutes.
  13. If your trap fills up, you can throw it away and create another one or empty the dead wasps in the trash and refill the bottle.

Other Bait Ideas for Your Wasp Trap

You can use almost any type of sticky sweet food or drink for bait in your wasp trap. The sweet scent is what attracts wasps, drawn to the aroma the same way wasps are attracted to blossoms. Soda drinks, jellies, cookies dissolved in water, a banana in water or other fruit or fruit juice have enough sugar to attract wasps.

Tips for Baiting Your Wasp Trap

A few tips can help you evaluate how to approach trapping wasps. You can also learn avoid trapping other pollinators.

  1. You want to ensure no honeybees are attracted to your wasp trap, so add a few drops of vinegar into the mixture.
  2. Prevent wasps from escaping by rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly around the outer and inner rim of the bottle spout.
  3. Empty the dead wasps regularly. If you allow the dead wasps to stack up, newcomers will be prevented from drowning.
  4. If you dislike the idea of emptying the trap, you can always make a new one.
  5. It isn't necessary to hang up your trap to attract wasps.
  6. Always wear protective gloves and attire when working around stinging insects, especially when emptying traps.

Using Different Types of Bottles

You can use other types of bottles or containers for a wasp trap. If you use a product that comes with a self-pour spout that is large enough for a wasp to crawl through, you can use the same instructions for that bottle/container.

Jam jar wasp trap

Bucket of Water Wasp Trap

One of the easiest wasp traps you can create only requires a few simple items. You can use this wasp trap about 15 to 20 feet from the area you wish to work, play, or sit.

Supplies

  • 1 bucket
  • Water, to fill bucket
  • Protein bait, purchased
  • 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap
  • String for suspending bait
  • Scissors to cut string

Instructions

  1. Fill the bucket with water.
  2. Add liquid dish soap and slightly mix with the water.
  3. Set bucket where you can suspend the bait above it.
  4. Cut a string long enough so the bait is about 1" from the water surface.
  5. The wasps will attempt to remove the bait, fall into the water and drown, kept from flight by the soap.

Plastic Bottle Wasp Trap

This version is a take on the plastic soda bottle version, but is even easier to put together. The hard part is finding the right type of bottle. But once that's done, most of the work is done for you.

Man with a wasp trap made from a bottle
  1. Find the right type of plastic bottle. You'll want one that has a concave bottom, where the center of the bottle rises up inside the bottle, and there's almost a "moat" around the center. Many sports drinks bottles are made like this. Make sure you keep the cap.
  2. Flip the bottle over and carefully drill out the center of the bottom, making an opening large enough for the wasps to go into the bottle.
  3. Drill two small holes near the top of the bottle and thread a length of twine or wire through it, for hanging.
  4. Fill the "moat" around the hole you made with your preferred wasp bait (see the options above for ideas), and then put the cap back on.
  5. Hang the trap well away from where you want to be able to sit. The wasps will fly in the bottom of the bottle in an attempt to get to the bait, but they won't be able to fly back out.

Easy Ways Make a Wasp Trap

Making a wasp trap is easy and doesn't require a lot of expensive supplies or materials. If you're allergic to wasps, it's best to let someone else set and remove the traps.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
How to Make Homemade Wasp Traps That Work