Learn How to Make a Wasp Trap

In Just a Few Easy Steps, You'll Be Trapping the Flying Insects

Wasps help to pollinate gardens and keep harmful insect and parasite populations in check, but when they build a nest in your mailbox, interfere with your backyard barbecue, or sting you repeatedly, you probably just want to get rid of them.

To keep wasp nests a healthy distance from your house, set traps in the early spring when the queens are looking for nesting sites. You can buy ready-made traps at the store, but save your cash and make your own. Read on to learn how to make homemade wasp traps with just a few supplies you likely have at your house.

Start With a Soda Bottle

Soda Bottle
Start with a clean soda bottle. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

To make a wasp trap, you will need a:

  • Two-liter soda bottle
  • Permanent marker
  • Knife
  • Piece of wire for hanging your trap (optional)

Mark Where You Need to Cut

cutting line on soda bottle
Mark Your Cutting Line. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use a permanent marker to draw a line around the neck of the bottle, just below the taper.

Cut the Top off the Bottle

soda bottle missing top
Cut Off the Top of the Bottle. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use a knife or a sharp pair of scissors to cut the top off of the bottle at the line.

Bait the Trap

soda bottle with top flipped in
Assemble Your Trap and Bait It. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Unscrew the cap. Then, flip the top of the bottle upside down, and tuck it into the bottom portion of the bottle to complete your wasp trap.

Different baits work at different times of the year. In the spring and early summer, wasps are looking for sources of protein. In the late summer and early fall, they are seeking sweets.

To bait the trap, stick a piece of lunch meat or a small hunk of hamburger inside your trap in the spring. Use a few inches of soda, juice or another sweet liquid in the summer and fall months. Add a bit of vinegar to the mix to keep bees out of your trap.

Set the Trap

Close-Up Of Insect On Wood
Place the trap outside the window or near a table. Gary Woods / EyeEm/Getty Images

Place your trap (or traps) outdoors in areas where you see wasp activity or are trying to prevent wasp activity. If you're trying to keep wasps away from your picnic, set up a bottle a short distance from the table, so they'll hopefully be attracted to the trap, instead of your food.

Hang the Trap

homemade wasp trap from a soda bottle
Homemade Wasp Trap. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

If you'd like to be able to hang your wasp trap, use a hole punch to make two holes for a handle, ensuring that you punch through both the top and bottom portion of the bottle. Then, thread a piece of wire through the holes to serve as the handle.

How the Trap Works

A wasp in a drink
Sweet liquids attract the wasps. Russell Underwood/Getty Images

Wasps are attracted to the scent of the bait and fly into the bottle opening to get to it. Once inside the bottle, they can't figure out how to get back through the narrow opening and eventually die, drowning in liquid if it is present.

Tips and Cautions

Remove dead wasps from the trap regularly, and rebait the bottle at least once a week so that you continue to attract wasps. Always exercise care when dealing with wasps, and avoid contact if you're allergic.