Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Build Paper Wasp Traps

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Hello, I'm Diane Alston Utah State University extension entomologist.

And in this video fact sheet we are going to talk about some of the homemade insect

traps that you could make that help reduce pest problems around your home.

Right now it is June 10, 2011 it's still fairly early in the summer, so the grapes

are just now leafing out but some of these traps we're going to be talking about are

for insects that will become problems later in the summer. So the first insect

trap we can make is for the European paper wasp. The European paper wasp is an

invasive insect that's been in Utah for about 10 years now. As the name suggests

it was introduced from Europe into the eastern part of the United States, and

slowly made its way across the country and arrived here in Utah, again about 10 years

ago. It is different than some of the other paper wasps. Another common paper

wasp pest that we have trouble with is the yellow jacket. The yellow jacket nests in

the ground and delivers a very intense sting. Some people are allergic to that

and it can be very problematic. The European paper wasp also stings and so

that's one of the problems with it is it's a nuisance. Its sting doesn't tend to be

as severe as the yellow jacket but non the less no one is excited about having a

stinging insect flying around. The other main problem with the European paper wasp

is that it likes to feed on ripe and over ripe fruit. and so when grapes are growing

on this vineyard here or peaches and apricots in the orchard next door the wasp

come and land on that fruit just as it is getting ripe and chew a hole in it and so

you loose some of your fruit harvest. Yet another problem that we have with them is

that they will build their nests in places where we live. So they will build their

nests under the eaves of a home, under a raised deck, in the ceiling of an

outbuilding such as a shed. Perhaps in the ventilation ducts of your motor home.

Places like that, and so their nests can be a nuisance in themselves and then just

abundance of the wasps flying around during the summer and their potential to

sting you is a concern.

This will be the funnel that will sit in in the top of the trap. So the European

paper wasp trap, what you want to use is a fruit juice solution. But you want it to

be a very low concentration of fruit juice so it is just one part fruit juice to 10

parts water. And the reason for that is that you want the fruit juice to start

fermenting. You can use orange, grape, cherry, apple, pretty much any kind of

fruit juice is just fine. So I'm going to use one quarter cup fruit juice to two or

two and a quarter cups water.

And then I am going to add in a quarter teaspoon of yeast.

So this is just active dry yeast that you use for making bread or pizza


And then a quarter teaspoon of liquid dish detergent. So the purpose

of the dish soap is to break the surface tension so that when the wasps land in the

fruit juice they fall into the liquid solution. So just mix this up.

And they you are going to take the top you cut off and invert it down like a funnel.

And then what you need to have two holes in the sides to hang this trap up. So you

can use something like a knife or something sharp to poke holes or I use a

soldering gun that just puts a hole right through the plastic. And so I just have a

piece of a wire kind of like a giant twist tie. Insert it through the holes on the

end make a little ball on the end so it doesn't pull through. Do the same on each

side. Okay, now you have a wasp trap. This one is actually a little bit full so I'm

going to pour a little bit out. You don't want the liquid. You want it to be just

a little below the funnel so that when the wasps fly in and land on the liquid, the

fruit juice solution they then fall into the bait and are't able to crawl back out

the funnel.

So when this is hanging up outside the wasp detect the odor of the fermenting

fruit juice. They are attracted to it they fly, they land in here and then they will

crawl down to get into where the fruit juice is and then once they land on the

surface of that liquid with the soap that has broken the surface tension they fall

through. And so your trap will fill up with European paper wasps.

Okay the European paper wasp is again attracted to fermenting fruit juice. So

the trap we made is an ideal kind of trap for it. The commercial traps that you buy

in the store are for the yellow jacket. The yellow jacket is primarily a

carnivorous insect that is attracted to meat and of course other insects is its

primary diet and so the bait that's inside those commercial traps simulates a food

source for the yellow jacket or a pheromone that it uses for communication.

And so yellow jackets are not attracted to this kind of trap and European wasps

likewise are attracted to fermenting fruit and not attracted to the yellow jacket

trap. And so this is the only kind of trap that has been successful for catching the

European paper wasp. So in an outdoor situation where you have a vineyard or an

orchard a blackberry crop where you are trying to protect them from the European

paper wasp you need to make quite a few traps and hang them around the perimeter

of the orchard and vineyard. You need to place one trap about every 50 feet of

vineyard or orchard or blackberry vine area and so you will need to make a number

of these and hang them out during the time when the fruit is getting close to being

ripe. And at this time the trap will act as an attractant and draw the European

paper wasp into the trap rather than feeding on your fruit.

The European paper wasp has a good side to it as well. It is a predator of

caterpillars and other small soft bodied insects around the home landscape and

garden. One of their favorite foods is the leaf miner larvae, that can be found in

common leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce, Swiss chard and beats.

The paper wasp will land on these leaves and chew out the area where the

caterpillar is right underneath this layer

So for an overall good European paper wasp management program it's good to combine

the trapping with some of the other techniques we've talked about such as

frequently changing your hummingbird water limiting their access to open water

sources. And another important tool is nest removal. So in the early summer when

the adults are building new nests to lay their eggs and rear their larvae this is

a time you can remove nests to help reduce the build up of the population. The best

time to remove nests is when it is cool. So at night or in the early morning and to

often use a contact insecticide such as a wasp killer product to spray the nest

first to reduce the likelihood that you will be stung in the process. And then to

remove the nests all the way up to the very surface of where they are attached.

So you try to not leave any of the residue of the nest behind, because areas where

there are lots of nests already built this is an attraction for other wasps to fly

in and build their nests there as well.

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