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Getting Rid of Wasps the Green Way

Hey, You! Get Out of my Garden!

I don’t hate wasps. I just don’t want them stinging me and the people around me. Social wasps are the notorious stingers of the insect world. We know them as hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps. Their ability to sting, coupled with their great mobility, make wasps some of the most feared of all insects. People react differently to being stung by wasps: Some are hardly affected while others can suffer considerable pain and swelling. Some people are seriously allergic to wasp stings and, in some cases if they don't get treatment, the sting can result in shock or death.

I love the outdoors, but hate the flying, stinging insects. So, I set out to create a pest control product that would be effective, affordable, and environmentally-friendly. This I knew: Wasps are attracted to food and sweet drinks, which is why they often crawl inside your can of soda or beer. I’ve seen this happen more than once where friends are stung in the mouth by a wasp as they take a sip of their drink. In defense of the wasp, it stung because it didn’t want to be swallowed by a big human mouth.

In 2003 when I designed my wasp trap, I kept in mind the wasp’s tendency to crawl into small spaces in search of food. It took a lot of trial and error, but eventually, my Soda Bottle Wasp Trap was born. This is what it looks like.

This invention consists of a plastic daisy-shaped device with small crawling holes that twists onto an empty plastic soda bottle. The concept is simple: Fill the bottle with sugared water, sugared soda or beer, insert the vented entry tube, twist on the daisy head, and set the trap around the perimeter of your garden or yard.

Wasps are attracted to the sugar, so they sneak inside through the crawling holes in the daisy head, and take a sip of the liquid. Trouble is, once they get inside the bottle, they can’t get out. Voila! You have a GREEN wasp trap that re-uses otherwise discarded plastic bottles and eliminates the use of toxic bug sprays. It’s bad for wasps, but very good for people and for Mother Nature. And I made it affordable—less than $5.00.

The Soda Bottle Wasp Trap has been a real success in the marketplace for many years now, and has many, many fans, especially gardeners and backyard-loving people. It’s sold at Tractor Supply stores nationwide and in numerous online stores and catalogs.

Here are a few reasons why I think people need to be wary of stinging insects and why my wasp trap has been so well-received.

1) Wasps can be a health hazard. Controlling wasps and yellow jackets is a serious concern. The pain of a wasp sting is caused by their venom, which is injected into the victim through its stinger. It is the protein in the venom that causes allergic reactions in people. Hundreds of thousands of people are stung by wasps each year and over 100 of those people die from a wasp bite. My wasp trap helps control the wasp population or at least the ones bugging you in your yard or garden.

2) Wasps think they own your property. Wasps find gardens a natural spot to hang out and even nest in or nearby, which is why so many gardeners are bitten while gardening. Wasps are territorial creatures and take it as a threat when you enter “their garden.” That’s when they attack. When using my wasp trap, it is best to have a trap set out every 10-15 feet around the perimeter of your garden.

3) Wasp sprays are toxic. We live in a time when people understand the hazards of randomly spraying harsh chemicals and pesticides into the environment or onto the food you are growing in your garden. My wasp trap doesn’t use chemicals to kill the wasps. It lures them into the trap with sugar water.

4) Wasp spray cans and bottles use up resources. Bug cans and sprays are made of virgin materials like plastic, aluminum, and steel. My wasp trap twists onto an otherwise discarded plastic soda bottle and the product itself is made from recycled materials.

5) Vinegar and ice are nice after a bite. If you are stung, using apple cider vinegar on the bite within a minute or so will neutralize the acidity and will assist in the healing. Applying ice directly on the bite will also help reduce pain and swelling. My wasp trap won’t help you if after you’ve been bit! Sorry.

6) Save a plastic bottle. Can you believe that Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour? It’s easy to be GREEN when it comes to reducing the number of plastic bottles that are made and later dumped into landfills. Use less, re-use more often. My wasp trap turns those empty bottles into a very useful product.

Here’s the Buzz word for late summer and fall – Soda Bottle Wasp Trap!

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