I am very keen to preserve almost all forms of wildlife but with a severe allergy to wasps (that entails always carrying an adrenaline pen) they are one visitor to my garden that I would prefer to avoid. At this time of year here in the UK a simple homemade wasp trap can capture the scout wasps as they emerge in the warm sunshine and their demise leads to far fewer visitations later in the season. I was making my traps outside on Sunday and I thought I would share how I make them here. #For those of you that listen to Radio 4 - I think I got the idea originally from Bob Flowerdew on Gardeners QuestionTime#
Start with a glass jam jar, with about a tablespoon of old jam in the bottom. I save all the mouldy bits especially to do this job!
Once the mixture has cooled down, place a piece of silver foil tightly over the top and secure around the jar with an elastic band.
Using a very sharp pencil, push straight down into the middle of the foil to create a hole. Be very careful not to enlarge the hole and try to remove your pencil without damaging the opening you have made.
The theory is that the wasp is attracted by the sweet smell and crawls into the hole, which is just large enough. When it has had enough of the jam it tries to get out but the foil that is sticking down around the hole makes it impossible for it to get out.
I generally make 5-6 of these traps and position them around the garden at this time of year. This does seem to be effective at lessening the number of wasps we see later in the summer. If we do eat outside, I will often make a fresh trap and fill it with orange juice to catch any wasps that arrive while we are outside. I do recommend that you empty them wearing gloves as the smell can be somewhat disgusting at the end of the season. While mass murder of a flying creature is not ideal, in the circumstances I am understandably not too contrite and at least this way avoids the use of nasty chemicals. Let me know what you think if you give them a try.