While wasps can be a helpful insect to have in the yard, eliminating grubs and other pests that can feast on your landscaping, they can also be a nuisance or hazard if they build nests in and around dwellings. While taking out any wasp nests is one option, a better strategy might be to prevent those nests from forming in the first place by employing the services of a good wasp trap.
Wasp traps consist of bags or containers that contain bait that attracts wasps. A funnel-shaped opening on the container allows the wasps to crawl in but prevents them from leaving. Once trapped inside, the wasp either drowns or suffocates, depending on the type of trap. This guide will explore the world of wasp traps to identify what features are vital to consider when shopping for the best wasp trap.
- BEST OVERALL: RESCUE! Disposable Summer Yellowjacket Trap
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: ASPECTEK Wasp Trap
- BEST STICKY: RESCUE! Wasp TrapStik – 2 Pack
- BEST ATTRACTIVE: Protecker Wasp Trap
- BEST REUSABLE: RESCUE! Reusable Yellowjacket Trap – 2 Pack
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wasp Traps
Read on to learn about the different types of wasp traps and crucial factors to consider when shopping for a wasp trap, such as safety, weather resistance, and eco-friendliness.
Types of Wasp Traps
Wasp traps come in reusable, disposable, and sticky varieties. Reusable traps are tubular in shape with a funnel-shaped entrance that, like the Hotel California, allows wasps to enter, but they can never leave. A lure inside the tube attracts the wasps inside. Once trapped, they eventually die from dehydration. The bottom of these traps comes off so the trap can be cleaned out once it’s full.
Disposable traps function similarly to reusable traps. They use a lure to attract the wasps through a funnel-shaped opening that allows them to enter but prevents them from exiting. Instead of a rigid plastic cylinder, disposable traps use a plastic bag. Once they are full, simply throw the whole trap away. And while there is no risk of coming into contact with vengeful survivors with a disposable trap, they are not eco-friendly, nor are they economical, as the user must continually replace them.
Sticky traps consist of a cone-shaped cylinder covered in sticky glue. When the wasp lands on the sticky substance, it becomes hopelessly stuck and eventually dies of dehydration. While sticky traps are an effective way of catching wasps, they’ll also catch and kill other types of insects, including beneficial ones. And, unless the trap has a guard around it, it can even cause problems for birds attracted to the insects stuck to it.
Safety and Eco-Friendliness
Wasp traps do not use harmful chemicals. They use food-based baits to attract the wasps then allow nature to take its course once the wasps are trapped or stuck by drowning them or depriving them of water and food until they die. Reusable traps are the most eco-conscious, since they employ a reusable container as opposed to disposable plastic bags. Sticky traps are perhaps the least eco-friendly option. Not only do they use a disposable design, but they are also most prone to harming beneficial insects and even smaller birds and mammals.
Most wasp trap bait typically consists of a sugary powder inside the container that the user activates by adding water just before setting up the trap. Reusable traps use either wasp baits, which the user can purchase separately, or foods commonly found in the kitchen pantry, such as apple cider vinegar, soft drinks, or even jam and jelly. Sticky traps attract wasps by using colors that appeal to wasps, such as bright orange and yellow.
Weather Resistance and Reusability
Since wasp traps spend weeks outside collecting their victims, they’re designed to endure wet weather. They are made out of water-resistant plastic with entrance holes that are small enough and strategically placed so the trap is not affected by rainfall. Since wasp activity mainly occurs during warmer months, there’s no need for wasp traps to endure winter weather.
In addition to having a weather-resistant design, reusable traps typically have ends that the user can unscrew to easily dump the contents of the trap. Once empty, the trap is ready to go back into service.
Ease of Setup
Most wasp traps can be set up in minutes. Simply hang the trap close to wasp activity. Open the trap door and add bait or water as directed. Once the trap is full, remove it and throw it away if it’s a disposable trap, or clean out the contents and add fresh bait if it’s a reusable trap.
Tips for Using Wasp Traps
While many people set up traps in the summertime once wasps become a threat, by then it is often too late. Wasps have already established nests and have begun reproducing. A wasp trap is no match for a thriving wasp nest. At that point, it’s best to use a spray. By midsummer there’s also an abundance of food for these pests to feed on, making them less likely to enter a trap. Nip the problem in the bud and set up a wasp trap in spring when they haven’t had a chance to establish a nest and begin reproducing.
Trap placement is also key. Since traps work by luring wasps in, don’t put them too close to living areas. Place wasp traps at least 20 feet away from outdoor living spaces. Be strategic about where you hang a wasp trap. Hang the trap in a branch of a fruit tree, which is where wasps often gather to feast on fruit.
- Hang traps in the spring to control the wasp population.
- Don’t place wasp traps close to outdoor living spaces.
- Hang traps where wasps gather, such as near fruit trees.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field to some of the top wasp traps on the market. These traps are easy to set up and use baits and designs that make them effective, and some models even blend in well with landscaping.
With its simple yet effective design, this trap from Rescue is one of the most effective ways to trap wasps. To use, simply add water to activate the powdered bait, then hang from a pole or a tree near wasp activity. Wasps, attracted to the bait, fly into the trap, which measures 8 inches by 8 inches. Once inside they become trapped and drown in the liquid. A convenient meter on the side helps the user estimate how many victims the bag has caught.
Once the trap is full, simply drop it into an outdoor trash can. There’s no need to come into contact with any armed survivors. And, since this trap is also nontoxic, it’s safe for use in the yard around pets and children. Note that this particular trap uses a bait specially designed to catch wasps located in the Central and Eastern time zones of the U.S., so it isn’t a good choice for those living west of the Mississippi.
- Type: Disposable
- Size: 8 inches by 8 inches
- Material: Plastic bag
- Easy to set up
- Disposable design
- Nontoxic bait
- Not eco-friendly
- Effective for wasps in Central and Eastern time zones only
For those who don’t like the idea of marring the aesthetics of their backyard or outdoor living space, this wasp trap is a great alternative. With their orange color, green top, and bulbous shape, these traps mimic the look of fruit, making them an ideal choice for use in trees.
Similar to other lures, this trap uses a hole designed to allow wasps to enter but not exit. But unlike other traps, the Aspectek wasp trap uses multiple entrance holes, making it easier to lure multiple wasps inside simultaneously. Once trapped, the wasps eventually drown in the liquid. The trap uses natural substances such as apple cider vinegar and sugar water as bait, making it safe for use around pets. Each trap measures about 5 inches in diameter. Aspectek wasp traps come in sets of two.
- Type: Reusable
- Size: 5 inches in diameter
- Material: Plastic sphere-shaped containers
- All-natural bait
- Attractive look
- Multiple entry holes
Taking a page out of a spider’s playbook, this set of two traps catches wasps by luring them to a sticky surface that ensnares. Unlike other traps that use a sugary substance to lure in wasps, these traps attract them with its VisiLure technology, which uses colors that wasps like to rein them in. Once it lands on the trap, the wasp becomes hopelessly stuck where it eventually dies of dehydration.
The trap measures just over 11 inches long and about 5 inches in diameter, giving it enough surface area to catch hundreds of wasps, and it hangs from a tree, limb, or hook by a short chain. A plastic guard that surrounds the entire trap is large enough to allow wasps in but not larger animals such as birds. Once the trap is full, simply throw it away and replace it.
- Type: Sticky
- Size: 11.5 inches tall by 5 inches in diameter
- Material: Plastic cylinder
- No bait to add
- Set of two
- Easy to set up
- Mesh guard deters birds
- Expensive for a disposable trap
The natural look and reusable design of this set of two wasp catchers from Protecker makes them a worthy choice for outdoor living spaces. The traps have an attractive orange color and rounded shape. And, unlike similar traps that have a single hole location, this trap has three holes, making it easier for wasps to enter the trap.
Each pot includes an 18-inch nylon cord for hanging the trap from a tree branch or hook. When full, the lid unscrews, creating a wide opening for emptying the trap’s contents. And, at 9 inches long and 5 inches wide, it’s capable of holding a fair amount of wasps, extending the time between cleanings.
- Type: Reusable
- Size: 9 inches long and 5 inches in diameter
- Material: Plastic containers
- Attractive look
- Ample size
- Multiple entrances
Those who don’t mind the unpleasantness and potential danger that comes with a disposable wasp trap should consider this reusable option from RESCUE. The traps consist of a plastic cylinder that measures about 10 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter. Inside the cylinder is an inverted funnel that serves as an entrance, allowing wasps to enter but preventing them from exiting. The trap uses a special attractant made by RESCUE to lure in wasps. Users can purchase refills of the attractant or use household baits. With its large size, RESCUE’s reusable trap can hold a large number of wasps before needing to be emptied.
Once it’s full, the user simply unscrews the trap’s bottom and empties the container into the trash. Since it is reusable and uses no baits, this trap is one of the more eco-friendly options on the market, and this option comes as a two-pack.
- Type: Reusable
- Size: 10 inches tall by 5 inches in diameter
- Material: Plastic sphere-shaped containers
- Simple reusable design
- Set of two
- Large capacity
- Easy to view inside
- Larger size makes it more conspicuous
For its easy-to-use yet effective design and affordable price, the RESCUE! Disposable Summer Yellowjacket Trap is one of the best ways of trapping and killing wasps. Those looking for an affordable trap that won’t detract from the landscaping should consider the Aspectek Wasp Trap.
How We Chose the Best Wasp Traps
In reviewing dozens of wasp traps for our list, we considered several important criteria, including ease of use, effectiveness, and even aesthetics. A wasp trap should not be difficult to set up or dispose of once full. With that in mind, we only chose traps that one could set up in a matter of minutes.
For disposable traps, we chose models that the user could easily remove and place in the trash. All the reusable models we chose included traps that could be opened and emptied without having to directly come into contact with the victims. Wasp traps need to attract wasps, so we only selected traps that incorporated baits that were effective at luring wasps to the trap. Although aesthetics were not paramount, we know that many traps can detract from landscaping. With that in mind, we included some traps with an ornamental look that blends well with landscaping.
If you’re wondering where to hang your new wasp trap or how to clean it, then read on for answers to these and other important questions about these devices.
Q. How effective are wasp traps?
Wasp traps are effective at attracting and trapping wasps; however, it’s crucial that the user place them properly. Wasp traps that are placed too close to living areas will actually attract more wasps to the area, increasing the likelihood of stings.
Q. Where should I hang a wasp trap?
Hang wasp traps at least 20 feet away from living spaces to ensure wasp activity does not increase near people. If possible, hang them in the boughs of nearby fruit trees, which is where wasps like to search for food.
Q. What should I put in a wasp trap?
Wasps love sugar, so sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, and sugar water make the best baits for a wasp trap.
Q. How do I clean a reusable wasp trap?
First, make sure that there are no live wasps inside the trap to prevent potential stings. Next, remove the trap and carry it to an outdoor trash can. Remove the trap’s lid, then dump the dead wasps into the trash can. Use a hose to rinse out the trap, then reapply bait.
Q. Do bees get caught in wasp traps?
Depending on the type of bait you use, bees can end up caught in the trap. To prevent bees from entering the trap, use bait such as heptyl butyrate, which will attract wasps but won’t attract bees.