Wasp trap showdown

If you Google “how to get rid of wasps” almost half a million results are returned. So why aren’t my wasps cooperating with all the advice that guarantees their gleefully awaited demise?

The wasps that are slowly invading our house are not making it easy for us, either. They don’t build nice big nests that can be easily plugged and poisoned or knocked into a bag. No siree, these little buggers are making their nests underground, under our front step. And underground under a big bush. And under the siding on our house. They’re also getting annoyingly territorial so it’s a mad dash from the truck to the door these days.Several years ago, I was collecting dead wood from the brush for firewood. I reached into a bush to pull out a very nice looking dead branch and ended up with 12 stings on my arm in just a few seconds. So, I don’t like wasps.

Now, recognizing that wasps are pretty darn smart (after all, they can control whether each of their offspring are going to be male or female…)

I thought I’d try a few different wasp killing techniques. Because there’s no paper nest hanging anywhere, I can’t use a foaming spray. The only other options (after visiting Rona, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Zellers….) were the liquid bait / traps. I have four different versions, and after two weeks here are the results.

Lee Valley Hanging Glass Trap


Attractiveness: 4/5 — It all but disappears in the yard because it’s clear glass, but on the downside the gunk build up in the bottom is quite visible.

Maintenance: 1/5 — I have to replace the liquid every couple of days. As the glass heats up, the liquid evaporates quickly. It’s very hard to clean as access is through the small hole in the bottom or the small hole on top.

Reusable: 5/5 — Good solid product; just clean and refill with the liquid bait of your choice.

Wasp death toll: 1/5 — We’ve had this one for a few years, and it’s killed one or two wasps, a couple of fuzzy little bees and millions of ants.

RAID Hanging Trap


Attractiveness: 3/5 — It’s plasticy looking, but the dark colours will blend into vegetation pretty well.

Maintenance: 5/5 — Very easy to set up; comes with its own liquid bait. Then, just wait until it fills up with dead bugs or the liquid evaporates and then chuck it.

Reusable: 0/5 — This is sold as a disposable product.

Wasp death toll: 0/5 — Not one single wasp was captured by this trap…

PIC Hanging Trap


Attractiveness: 3/5 — Made of bright yellow plastic, but it has a “cute” shape to it.

Maintenance: 3/5 — Very easy to set up, but having so many little holes makes it a pain to clean.

Reusable: 5/5 — Good solid product; just clean and refill with the liquid bait of your choice. (Comes with a simple recommended ‘recipe’.)

Wasp death toll: 5/5 — This trap didn’t even have wasps flying around it for several days.  Eventually, however, it killed a decent bunch of wasps over a two week period.

Scotts EcoSense Hanging Trap


Attractiveness: 1/5 — This trap looks like a a hospital pee-bag used for catheters. Eww…

Maintenance: 5/5 — Initial setup is a bit fiddly, but very easy after the first time. The clear bag underneath is for one-time use so it makes cleanup easy. Bait is included, but you also have the option of adding a liquid bait of your choice. (Comes with a simple recommended ‘recipe’.)

Reusable: 4/5 — The kit comes with three bags and three bait discs. If you need additional bags or bait discs you can order more.

Wasp death toll: 5/5 — Wow, this trap might be ugly but it works!  There’s a constant buzzing of activity around the trap, although wasps seem to be able to go in and out quite easily. However, after two weeks, there was good layer of little wasp floaters, and the urge to let loose with a triumphant “YES!” when I walk past is almost irresistible.

It’s amazing how varied the results were between these similar products, but in the end the clear winner was the Scotts EcoSense trap.

Whether we’ll manage to eliminate all the wasps is somewhat of an unknown, but I probably wouldn’t bet money on it.

Eventually, however, winter will arrive and we’ll be wasp-free for about 8 months…

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