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Best Wasp Attractant - A Questions

 
Posts: 6
Location: Denver, CO
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Aggressive wasps are a huge problem in my backyard. A few years ago, I discovered what I thought at the time was the best Wasp Attractant in the world. I simply used a hummingbird feeder syrup - (Simple Sugar and Water), and put this into one of those yellow wasp traps instead of the formula that you purchase for them. As you can see from the link, the hummingbird nectar did far better. However, I have not been able to duplicate this success since. I am now kicking myself for not knowing more about the wasps that were captured. I believe these may simply be just paper wasps and not the more aggressive yellow jacket wasps which are intended by the more popular formula used for the common, yellow wasp traps.

Does anyone know are paper wasps attracted to sugar, but not yellow jackets?
 
pollinator
Posts: 950
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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I would caution against eradicating the paper wasps. I did that the first year in this house and then the yellow jackets were out of control. The next two years I left the paper wasps pretty much alone (not allowed in the garage or on doorways) and have had no stings and haven't seen a yellow jacket in 18 months!

There are paper wasp nests all over the place and I thought people on here were a little daft about them, but they really do seem to have no interest at all in us. I have even disturbed a nest and as long as I don't go back to it right away, they haven't chased me. I have had to eradicate a couple nests for the above reasons but maybe 2-3 in that period. It's pretty cool. And they have completely eradicated the cabbage worms. They love them!
 
steward
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My son told me that he had seen something on line about hanging paper bags around the yard to get rid of wasps. Based on what TJ just said, I wonder if that is because they mimic paper wasp nests and keep the other wasps away?
 
Rob Delisa
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Location: Denver, CO
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You really got me thinking about this. Maybe it is not good to get rid of all wasps, however, it is very hard to tell the difference between a paper and a yellow jacket wasp from a distance. The nests are easy to spot and I am sure most of the wasps I see are paper. Yet, there are still those darned yellow jackets mixed in and I've had quite a sting from them. They are very unpredictable. I feel much safer seeing no wasps at all, but I realize that's not the way an ecosystem works. There is good behind all living creatures.

Tj Jefferson wrote:I would caution against eradicating the paper wasps. I did that the first year in this house and then the yellow jackets were out of control. The next two years I left the paper wasps pretty much alone (not allowed in the garage or on doorways) and have had no stings and haven't seen a yellow jacket in 18 months!

There are paper wasp nests all over the place and I thought people on here were a little daft about them, but they really do seem to have no interest at all in us. I have even disturbed a nest and as long as I don't go back to it right away, they haven't chased me. I have had to eradicate a couple nests for the above reasons but maybe 2-3 in that period. It's pretty cool. And they have completely eradicated the cabbage worms. They love them!

 
Tj Jefferson
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Easy! Yellow jackets nest in the ground. You will find them in an elevated spot with soft ground or mixed in with brush. Paper wasps have conspicuous nest, generally around 10-20 cells. I have heard they can get bigger but generally I brush them down after a while. I haven't seen any big ones in this climate.

I was out pinching buds below the graft line on a tree today and I looked up and there was a nest with a couple adults just looking at me. About 6 inches away! They never made a move.
 
garden master
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One of the things that attracted us to our home was the big back porch. However, we discovered that the wasps liked it so much that they didn’t want to share. Seriously. Walking on the back porch was a high anxiety endeavor. Laundry from the clothesline required close inspection, to avoid grasping a wasp.

We initiated chemical warfare on them. New wasps moved in…

The neighbor gave is an odd suggestion. Tack up toilet bowl fresheners. They work as a repellant. These things: https://www.amazon.com/Willert-Home-Products-Bathroom-Freshener/dp/B002YC4EEA/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1532432036&sr=8-10&keywords=toilet+bowl+deodorizer

Once the wasp nests were gone, by knocking them down, and running for your life, or whatever method you see fit, try the following…
I snip the corner off the packaging, then hang it from a nail, under the eaves of our porch. I space them roughly 6 feet apart. After a week or so, the smell is not so strong, yet the wasps stay away. I replace them every 2 to 3 months.

We now see an occasional scout on the back porch, but they soon fly away.

We have our porch, and they get to live.
 
pollinator
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Rob Delisa wrote:Aggressive wasps are a huge problem in my backyard. A few years ago, I discovered what I thought at the time was the best Wasp Attractant in the world. I simply used a hummingbird feeder syrup - (Simple Sugar and Water), and put this into one of those yellow wasp traps instead of the formula that you purchase for them. As you can see from the link, the hummingbird nectar did far better. However, I have not been able to duplicate this success since. I am now kicking myself for not knowing more about the wasps that were captured. I believe these may simply be just paper wasps and not the more aggressive yellow jacket wasps which are intended by the more popular formula used for the common, yellow wasp traps.

Does anyone know are paper wasps attracted to sugar, but not yellow jackets?



Paper wasps and aerial nesting yellowjackets (including bald-faced hornets) are primarily predators, not scavengers, so your traps won't work much on them.

Paper wasps have the hanging open-comb nests, aerial nesting yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets have the enclosed, paper balloon ones.

Ground nesting yellow jackets are a different genus than the aerial-nesting ones.  They're more aggressive and they're scavengers.  They're the ones your traps will catch.

If you have aggressive wasps, but aren't getting any in your traps, you probably have an aerial yellow jacket nest somewhere nearby and they're getting territorial.
 
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