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Natural Yellow Jacket Traps – An Insight

Natural Yellow Jacket Traps

You may have found it to be impossible to enjoy a summer party or a brunch barbeque without fearing the stinging yellow party crashers. They can be annoyingly disturbing since, early spring and late summer makes the yellow jackets flaunt their aggressive selves and can be often found flying about in large numbers. So, it is important to ensure that these insects do not come in your way lest you may find yourselves becoming victims of their sting. To ensure that these social wasps do not harm you, it is best to trap them and kill them.

Tactics for Trapping Queens
The Queen is the source of integration, and is inevitable for the colony’s survival. Trapping these queens in spring is found to be the best way to eradicate yellow jacket nest. Queens during the onset of the season, hide themselves in eaves, mailboxes, underside of fence cross pieces, basically anyplace which gives them enough warmth when the sun is up. They cannot function well if the temperature gets cooler. So when the temperature is below 60 degrees, they don’t fly and are quite slow in their responses. Hence, it is best to look for them during the early mornings in the spring season. The apt month to trap queens is March and also remember that even if you kill the queen yellow jackets during spring, thousands of worker yellow jackets might still remain active in the upcoming season.

Few tactics for trapping Queens are by creating:

Apple juice and honey trap: It is one of the easiest and inexpensive way to get rid of the Queen. All you need to do is fill a narrow mouth jar with honey and apple juice. The insects’ gets naturally attracted to this concoction making them die.
Soapy Water Trap: Soapy water is often effective when you try to control yellow jackets (even a at the picnic spot). Try to place 4 to 5 pans of soapy water in the spot, few distance away from the infestation.
Pheromone Trap: Natural chemical, pheromone serves as a good wasp attractant. Place the container with pheromone near to the nest. The yellow jacket gets into the container and gets trapped inside without being able to find their way out.

Note: Every yellow jacket, you see in the march is a queen. For every single queen there will be a minimum of 5000 workers in August. Place the trap 5 feet above the ground and 100 feet away from the nest.

Many stores sell yellow jacket trap for about $10 or so. However, it has been proved that natural traps are much effective than the ones available in the market. The natural yellow jacket traps are economical and could be easily made. The replacement of the trap is not tedious and the only challenge is in regard to the safety measures you adopt. Here are few ideas which has been proved to work the best among people.

Eradicating Yellow Jackets from Yards

Yellow Jackets can be quite bothersome, especially when you would want to be outdoors during the pleasant weather. So you might be a little confused as to find out an effective but natural method, so as to ensure the safety of your family and the environment. So here we have a few DIY natural yellow jacket traps that you can could be easily make.

1. All- Effective Banana Trap: Decayed fruits are bound to attract Yellow Jacket and that is the idea behind this simple trap.

Things Needed
1. 2-litre plastic bottle
1. 1 cup of vinegar
2. 1 banana
3. 4 cup of water
4. Knife

● Add sugar and let it dissolve
● Drop few pieces of banana
● Then fill the rest of the bottle with water
● Make a hole of about ¾ inch on the top of the bottle
● Place it near the infested area. ( Ideal to place it near to the nest or few distances away from the nest)

Tip: Trap would work best during the late summer months as during tha t time the yellow jacket population peaks to 4000-5000 workers and they might be in search of food. As the natural sources get dried up, the yellow jackets would easily fall for the bait.

2. Soda-Water or Red Wine Bottle Trap: The soda water bottle trap helps you to control the yellow jacket in the backyard, without the risk of being stung.

Things Needed
1. Some red wine (or) sodas
2. Dish soap
3. A 2 litre plastic bottle

● Cut-off the upper ends of the bottle and place it an inverted position
● Now the bottle would appear like a funnel. Pour some soda water (or) wine into the bottle
● Follow it up by adding some soapy solution and mix it
● Seal off the sides completely to prevent the wasps from getting up
● Now the trap is ready. Place it near the yellow jacket nest or at some distance away from the infested area.

Note: The use of this trap is similar to the fruit fly trap.

3. The Felton’s Trap: This trap is also called as milk jug-honey trap and could catch a minimum of 100 Yellow Jackets per day.

Things needed
1. 2cups of water
2. 1cup of milk
3. A jar
4. Knife
5. Few amount of honey or jelly.

● Take a knife and make a three sided cut in any one side of the jar. Bend the flap inward to create a landing zone for the yellow jacket.
● Fill half of the jug with water.
● Pour some honey or jelly on to the flap to attract yellow jacket.
● Yellow Jackets instantly takes in the honey and hits the trap. This makes them drown in water within a few seconds.

4. Fish/Meat Trap: This an easily made trap and is bound to catch Yellow jackets because of their irregular flying patterns.

Things needed
1. A piece of meat/fish
2. A pan
3. 4 Cups of water
4. Dish soap

● Fill the pan with soapy solution
● String a piece of fish/meat for about half to ¾ inches above the pan
● The soap reduces the surface tension of the water which makes the yellow jacket to fall as it tries to fly away with food.
● This crash into the water makes the insect drown within few seconds.

5. Mint Oil Trap
If you do not want to use any poisonous insecticide that would harm your pets, garden, soil and groundwater of your house, then mint oil traps are your answer. Mint oil is an extremely effective way to control pests.

Steps for making a Mint Oil Trap

1. Take a bottle and fill half of the bottle with organic peppermint liquid soap.
2. Dilute the content with 5% of water.
3. Make all the solution ready and wait for the night.(That’s the best time to deal with yellow jackets’ nest since they are inactive)
4. Use a watering can to pour the prepared natural solution (could help you to stay away from the nest)
5. Follow up by pouring boiled water which will push the mint oil deeper into the nest.

Note: The method is appropriate only for ground nest. This will not work if you do not know the exact location of the nest (or) if the nest is aerial (or) structural. In such cases you can try with soda-water-bottle trap.

Things to know about Yellow Jackets

• Yellow jacket changes its diet seasonally: During late summer, their diet is sugary substance. On the onset of spring, they prefer insects, fish and meat. Consider this fact and prepare the trap that suits the season.
• It would be ideal to use juice traps in the month of August through October as that is the peak of the Yellow Jacket season. Try to change the trap for every 4 days. Till November juice trap will work well.( This whole part could be put in a box)

Methods of Prevention

The best way to control any infestation is by identifying the cause. So if you are troubled by Yellow Jacket attacks, it is time to revisit some strategies you can adopt to keep it away.

● During the late summer season when the yellow jacket population increases, empty the garbage cans.
● Clean your house and backyard with chlorine.
● Be sure that the only food available for the yellow jacket is in the trap.

Note: Never use Kerosene as a means to do away with yellow jacket underground nests. There is a possibility of leakage which might get mixed with your groundwater thereby affecting the quality drinking water.

Common FAQs on Yellow Jacket Natural Traps

1. What is the best place to position the yellow jacket trap?

Answer: Most traps contain attractants and the standard instruction suggests to place the trap at least 15 feet away from the colony. It would be the best to place the trap out in the early morning and always remember to wear protective clothing.

2. Can the trap be placed in a barn (or) paddock?
Answer: Try to place several traps all around the area, depending on the size of your barn (or) paddock. It is also a good idea to place a few traps nearby the manure stock as it might be a breeding spot of Yellow Jackets.

3. Which method of trap is the most effective one?
Answer: The Jar type has proved to be the best, as it could be placed on any flat objects making it easier to dispose. The Bag type yellow jacket traps are effective in trapping aerial nests as it could be hanged above the ground.

4. How to dispose a natural yellow jacket trap?
Answer: You can dispose it by sealing off the container tightly and drop it in the garbage can.

5. Which is the safest way to dispose the natural trap when some of the yellow jacket is still alive?
Answer: In such a case, just seal the trap with a huge plastic bag and put it in the freezer for couple of hours. The cold temperature would definitely kill the yellow jackets.

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