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Dartington Wasp Trap

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JCBrum 

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Since the advent of the Beehaus, the Dartington website appears to be inoperative. Apparently it contained construction info on "Coke/Milk bottle Wasp Trap". I searched and found this copy of the instructions, which I append here in case it helps new users like myself who may not have seen the original.

..................................

original text:

The trap is based on the principle that wasps are attracted by smell of sugary fruit juice and alcohol (wine dregs and ribena work well). Once inside the trap wasps fly upwards towards the light - which is the weak point in their behaviour.
They rarely try to fly downwards to re-discover the entrance flap where they came in.

MATERIALS NEEDED

* One 2.72 litre plastic milk container
* OR large P.E.T coke/ fanta/ juice bottle
* 1 roll of BLACK (or light proof) duct tape
* 1 SHARP stanley knife

Note: P.E.T is the hard, shiny transparent plastic that large coke bottles are made from. P.E.T is the acronym for Poly Ethylene Tetrachloride (I think!)

An alternative to this design is to cut the top quarter off a P.E.T bottle and invert the cut-off section to make a slippery cone for wasps to slide down.

Staple in place with a household paper stapler. Only drawback is that this type of trap can fill with rainwater.

TAPE THE CONTAINER

COVER the bottom half of the milk container/ bottle in black tape - (any opaque duct tape will serve). This creates a light-proof area which will hold the liquid bait. When the wasps enter this dark box they instinctively try to leave by
flying upwards towards the light. They cannot get out at the top but they rarely try to find the entrance slot down in the darkness below.

CUT ENTRANCE FLAPS

CUT THROUGH the duct tape and the plastic bottle to make LETTER BOX type hinged flaps - on all sides of the bottle. DO NOT cut off the flap to make an open slot. Leave the flap attached at the bottom so you can push it in slightly. SIZE OF SLOT - experiment - I find about 8 cm long by 1 cm high works well. The flap should be slightly springy - so wasps have to push their way in.

SAFETY NOTE: Cutting through a shiny PET bottle can be dangerous if the knife slips - it takes a lot of pressure and good control. Be sure to TAPE the bottle first - tape gives the knife more grip and stability. Do not cut on your lap - use a table and cut away from your body.

MAKE SCENT/ VENTILATION HOLES

Pierce the top area of bottle and sides above the slots with a sharp point - (a dart or small nail is a perfect tool) - to allow the scent of fruit juice/ syrup to drift downwind. Make fifty or so small holes near top.

Wasps are attracted to the scent trail and try to get in via the ventilation holes but can't. They very quickly explore and discover the hinged entrance flaps.

MAKE YOUR WASP BAIT

Fill the lower THIRD of bottle (in the darkness) with sticky fruit juice, (cheap blackcurrant cordial is ideal) coca cola, old wine, sugar syrup, a drop of vinegar etc. Old jam mixed with water works very well,
A little rotten fruit-pulp helps: peaches, blackberries, apples etc. But don't use enough to create a floating raft for survivors.

HOW IT WORKS

Wasps smell the fruit-juice through small ventilation holes or via the hinged doorways.
They enter via the letter-box flaps and try to get to the juice below.
They are surrounded by darkness except above, so they fly upwards seeking the light.
Eventually they fly into the liquid and drown.

This is so effective that you must clear the bottles every few days or the mass of wasp bodies stops wasps drowning. Throw dead wasps on compost heap.

.........................

Regards to all, JC.
 

marklaverda 

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Are the slots hinged using the duct tape? I fancy a go at making one of these this weekend.
Have you any pix of the slots?
Thanks for an informatve article.
 

JCBrum 

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Are the slots hinged using the duct tape? I fancy a go at making one of these this weekend.
Have you any pix of the slots?
Thanks for an informatve article.
So far I don't have any other pics, and I haven't made my ones yet. I think the slot flaps are supposed to be bent in a bit with your fingers so that the wasps can push their way in fairly easily, but find ir harder to get out. They are supposed to fly up to the light, but not being able to exit upwards they become "trapped".

If I get a better pic I'll post it.

p.s. jam and lager mix is supposed to work as bees don't like alcohol, but wasps don't mind.
 
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