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How to Turn a Two-Liter Pop Bottle Into Your Own Killer Wasp and Hornet Trap

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Ardot lives and breathes on this planet. He shares what he likes and finds useful. He enjoys abstract art and ideas.

Learn how to use a bottle to trap wasps.

Learn how to use a bottle to trap wasps.

Reclaim Your Yard

As spring comes along and we start preparing our gardens for the coming summer, we begin to spend more and more time outside. One thing that can ruin a beautiful and relaxing warm spring day is a new hatch of female hornets looking for a place to nest.

The purpose of this article is to give all those nasty hornets a place to rest... Rest In Peace that is! Muah-ha-ha-ha!


This article is meant to instruct people who would like reclaim their outdoor spaces on how to trap and kill hornets and wasps. If you are an adamant nature lover or take any offence to killing hornets or wasps, I am sorry. I have a young child and a wife who was stung as a child. So I must remove these creatures from my families' outdoor living space. They may be beneficial to nature by controlling the population of other insects, but they can go be beneficial elsewhere.

The traps described in this article are not meant to trap honey bees. Honey bee populations are down and we need them to pollinate our crops. The use of vinegar is meant to repel the bees while still attracting the wasps and hornets.

Why This Article Exists

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning. The temperature was a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius and I was ready to start cleaning up the yard and planning my garden for the upcoming season when I spotted them, It looked like about five or six hornets buzzing around the electrical hookup attached to my house! As I went closer to the activity, the hornets would swoosh by really close, so I backed off.

Bummer. The rest of my day was spent planning what I should do to fix the problem. So off to the internet for answers. I came across many wasp traps made from pop bottles. I decided to try re-create one of the more elaborate ones I had seen.

Make Your Own Trap For Free (Almost)

The trap I went with proved to be very effective and easy to make. It consists of a two-liter pop bottle as the body with some left over PEX tubing I had lying around. The PEX is not very expensive and you could improvise and use something similar.

The bait is the key to this trap. I used half a cup of warm water, half a cup of apple juice, a quarter cup of white vinegar, lots of sugar (three or four teaspoons), a few cat food morsels, and some thin slices of hot dog. (They say to use raw meat, but this was all I had at the time.) The key ingredient of this whole trap is to use one drop... ONE DROP of dish soap. Insects can usually land on top of water and not sink in because their low mass does not pierce the skin of the waters's surface. The dish soap removes the surface tension of the water and causes the hornets to fall right through the surface and deep into the water, thus drowning them..

You should smear some vinegar around the entry points to discourage any passing honey bees from entering. I also poked some holes around the entry points to allow the smell to travel to the hornets.

Skeptical about the whole thing, I placed my trap outside, near where all the hornets were buzzing and went back in the house to get ready to go to the store to buy some kind of bug spray or something. When I came back a little while later, there were one or two hornets already in the trap, floating in the water! There were four to five more sniffing around the holes on the outside, so naturally I had to stay and watch. They seemed to be fighting each other to get into the holes, as if they were trying to secure the food for themselves. I could be mistaken, but these could possibly have been female hornets looking for a place to nest and become queens? In which case I have made a queen trap!

As soon as the hornets enter the trap, they seem to want to get out right away, but they cannot seem to find the hole. They seem to almost find it then abandon their path and fly around frantically. Once they hit the water, they seem to be irritated by it. They immediately start rubbing at their body with their legs and eventually drop into the pool and just stop moving altogether.

Awesome! This project has satisfied the 10-year-old boy within me, as well as secured the yard for my family to spend time in without fear of being stung.

My very first creation I tried was a huge success. I caught six hornets in a two-hour period without spending money on chemical bug sprays that could be harmful to humans.

You should try it.

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Making the Trap

The construction is really simple. The parts required are a two-liter pop bottle and some short pieces of pipe. The tools I used were a box cutter-type knife and a marker.

With the marker, trace holes on the bottle with the end of the pipe to know exactly what size holes to cut in the bottle. The pipes then need to be cut to the width of the bottle and have an opening grooved out of them. The pipes are then pushed into the bottle openings with the pipes' openings pointed towards the top. If you have a hot glue gun, you can hot glue the pipes to the bottle to ensure that the pipes don't come out of their openings potentially releasing angry wasps.

That's it. Fill the bottom two or three inches with the excellent bait recipe mentioned above, being sure to smear vinegar at the openings to repel beneficial honey bees, and watch the wasps and hornets plunge to their deaths!

I have also made small 1/8" holes around the openings to let the smell of the vinegar, sugar and raw meat to travel and attract the unwanted insects into the trap.

My next trap will have three pipes and the lowest pipe will be two inches away from the water of death below. I noticed the hornets snoop around the trap from the bottom up and usually enter the lower entrance first. So if your entry tubes are lower you will catch them quicker. My trap was placed on the railing of my deck and caught a total of eight hornets before being blown to the ground by strong winds on the following night, so it may be better if it were hung from somewhere.

Now that my yard is free from hornets, my family and I will be able to enjoy the deck again! Now if only it would stop raining...

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Ardot


cheryl baker on September 08, 2018:

I have used this method for years. I use a couple teaspoons of jelly in the trap to attract them. I smear a little around the opening too. They love the jelly ( for a while).

Tracy on August 04, 2018:

I am going to try your design. I was trimming brush and weeds around our lake when I stumbled into a yellow Jacket ground nest and was attacked by them and was stung 18 times. They stung right through my clothes as I was running and screaming like a school girl. They got me in the arms, back, legs, chest and hands, talk about pain.

Anna on June 26, 2018:

The vinegar is to deter the pollinating bee populations that we NEED and take out the invasive and predatory hornets that use painful/deadly venom on humans and that also feed on GOOD BEES.

Dee on February 06, 2018:

This is great, I've been looking for a solution for the last two years. I can't wait to try it out this sprint. I'm really grateful, thank you.


Joshua on September 01, 2016:

Tried this on the fly with water bottles and most of the ingredients (had no vinegar) and the hornets love it!! And they're dying for it!

I appriciate and recommend this post. Good day.

Ardot (author) from Canada on August 31, 2014:

Thank you for your comments cmeredith! I'm glad it worked for you! I will also try apple cider vinegar in my own trap!

cmeredith on August 21, 2014:

This is the best trap ever in a couple hours it was killed at lest 20 wasps. I didn't have white vinegar so I use apple cider vinegar instead. Thank you very much I'll be making one or two for work since there seems to be a nest somewhere on our building. Thank you again

idigwebsites from United States on August 28, 2012:

this reallyped a lot! pesky hornets usually poses a problem for me minimizing them in the yard. thanks for the informative hub.

Ardot (author) from Canada on August 23, 2012:

Hey Bob!

The trap is definitively reusable, however make double darn sure that the wasps are really dead.

Bob on August 23, 2012:

Once the bait is no longer effective, is the trap reusable? Can you empty out the dead hornets and bait and put fresh bait in, or do you have to chuck the whole thing?

Ardot (author) from Canada on August 19, 2012:

Hey Earlene, from what I've been hearing in the news about bees is that they are suffering from some mysterious illness and their numbers are way down (maybe not where you are). Yes you can alter the trap to catch bees, but a better and less evil way would be to call a professional exterminator, or even a beekeeper. They will safely remove the entire colony by using methods that will not kill or harm many of them.

Bees are important to the pollination of our crops.

Earlene on August 16, 2012:

Our private neighborhood pool has a huge BEE problem. If I don't use the vinegar, will this help to trap the bees? I mean we have SWARMS of them. Have taken all the usual precautions, but they are relentless.

Alina R from Toronto, Canada on August 13, 2012:

We tried to have a BBQ the other day, yet we were chased by hornets into the house! I will try your solution, sounds simple and effective.

Kalux from Canada on August 12, 2012:

This will come in very handy to me as I've found a great big hornets nest next to the deck! Voted up and useful :)

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on August 06, 2012:

Definitely! I am starting bee hives so I don't want to lose my bees.

Ardot (author) from Canada on August 06, 2012:

Thanks for the encouragement Sharkye11! Have fun with the build! Don't forget to smear vinegar around the openings to deter honey bees.

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on August 06, 2012:

Great idea! I am a nature lover, but I am very selective to what parts of nature I love! Hornets, wasps and yellow-jackets are not included, since we have some allergic people around here. This looks like a project my husband would enjoy assembling. Thanks for sharing!

Ardot (author) from Canada on August 02, 2012:

Thanks rfmoran! Glad I could help!

Russ Moran - The Write Stuff from Long Island, New York on August 02, 2012:

Tremendous advice for a serious problem. Thank you. Voted up and useful.

Ardot (author) from Canada on July 30, 2012:

Your welcome Diane! Put them near a window and watch those nasty suckers die! It makes for hours of entertainment!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on July 30, 2012:

After I finish organizing for the school year I will put a couple of those contraptions together. Thank you Ardot!

Ardot (author) from Canada on July 30, 2012:

Hi dianetrotter, I can't guarantee it would draw out all the wasps and solve your problem completely, but it sure is worth a shot! If you draw enough away from the nest it might just kill the colony. I'm pretty sure the trap pictured in my hubs prevented a hive from forming as I have no wasps since April (we had a warm spring). If you have a lot it may be a good idea to make maybe two or three traps. I hope it works!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on July 30, 2012:

We have a couple of nest under the eave of our 2nd floor. Would this draw all of the wasps out?

Ardot (author) from Canada on July 29, 2012:

I'm really happy my hub has helped you guys with your wasp and hornet issues! I like to share any useful tidbits I can here on hubpages... hub on!

Elizabeth on July 29, 2012:

That is so cool! I just got stung last week, so that is very helpful. We also have a lot of flowers, so now I wont get stung a lot. Thanks!!! ;)

Andie on May 17, 2012:

Thank you so much for this post! My husband is severely allergic and we live in an area with hornets all over. Today was the last straw - hey made a nest on our front door. I made a similar trap to yours and I'm seeing if it will work - if not I will use your design. Thank you so much!

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