Dome TentCampfire AOJ Field Notebook

AOJ Outdoor Tips

Tip #50 Grandpa Kipp's Sure-Fire Yellow Jacket Trap!

My grandpa turned me onto this sure-fire yellow jacket eliminator about 50 years ago when I was just a youngster. I've observed its efficiency in removing all the yellow jackets from our campsite in a matter of a single day and before the week was over the entire campground was free of these hostile pests that make camping and other outdoor activities miserable. This method is NON-TOXIC and for the most part pet and wildlife friendly due to the harmless components that are used to build the "system." There are quite a few commercial products on the market to eliminate yellow jackets but this one doesn't cost anything and I can guarantee its an extremely effective way to rid your yard or campsite of the yellow hoards in just a day or two.

You will need the following components:

  • Plastic dish pan or wash basin.
  • A tablespoon of liquid dish soap, preferably non-scented.
  • 3 sticks about 13 inches long.
  • 2 or 3 tie wires.
  • A 3 or 4 inch piece of wire.
  • 12 inches of string.
  • A piece of raw fish.

Make a tripod out of the sticks and tie wires as shown in the photo.
Bend the short piece of wire into a hook shape and attach the string.
Add about 1 or 2 inches of water to the dish pan and mix the liquid soap in the water. Stir SLOWLY - you DON'T want any soap bubbles floating on the water.
Insert the fish meat on the wire hook.
Tie the string to the top of the tripod so that the meat is hanging ONE HALF INCH above the water level in the pan.
Do Not get soapy water on any portion of the fish!

How It Works: The yellow jackets love fish and will begin to cut off small pieces to take back to the nest. In their "excitement" of buzzing around the bait a few will occasionally hit the water. The soap in the water breaks the surface tension of the waterproof coating on the yellow jacket and it instantly sinks in the water and drowns in a few seconds. Some yellow jackets will successfully haul a piece of meat back to the nest and tell all the other gatherers in the nest where this great food source is. Soon all the wasps from the nest will be working on this fish and over a period of time, all will eventually make mistakes and either fall off the fish and into the water or bump other wasps flying around and knock themselves in the drink, then its curtains for them too. It only takes a day or two to wipe out nearly every yellow jacket in your area.

Put the trap on a table or other high area outside so that kids and pets will not be able to get close to it. IMPORTANT: A piece of fish with vertical sides AND SKIN ON TOP works best for having the insects fall off easier and not be able to cut meat off the top of the bait in a stable area.

NOTE: DO NOT USE A FISHING HOOK TO HANG THE MEAT THAT COULD BE EATEN BY A PET OR WILD CRITTER. Stick with a plain piece of wire that is harmless to other animals or kids.

Return to
Outdoor Tips

All Content Copyright ©1996-2014
Visual Media Design & Alaska Outdoor Journal
All Rights Reserved