questionswhat bait do you use in your bee traps?

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Bees are not wasps or yellowjackets. You don't want to kill bees - they are good (unless they are aggressive Africanized bees).
For yellowjacket traps, I just use a little sugary soda. You will need to rinse out the trap (unless it is disposable) regularly & refresh w/new liquid.

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It bears repeating, bees are not wasps, bees are our friends.

As for wasp traps, I used to have success with a bait that smelled sort of like teriyaki sauce, but they got wise to that. The last invasion we had, they completely ignored the trap, and they were mean little bastards. So I went nuclear on them, I sprayed the nest with WD-40 (note, step two on this is RUN LIKE HELL). That nest died (within seconds, that crap works) and another has yet to be built.

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OK, sorry for calling wasps bees. To be specific, what I need to get rid of are paper wasps and eastern yellow jackets.

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Here's some good info: http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/infores/pubs/pest/hpm7002.pdf

Protein baits, such as meat scraps or dog food, work best in early summer. Sweet baits,like jelly, ripe fruit, or grenadine syrup, should be used
in late summer and early fall. Replace the bait with fresh bait every day, first submerging the trap in water to kill any yellowjackets inside.

I would not have thought about dog food.

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You really need to hit the nests with a wasp spray or the pheromones that they leave will continue to attract more. Even a hose will not get the pheromones off so use something designed to kill wasps. Usually you can purchase wasp spray in a spray can that has a stream nozzle to target the nests. If they are in places like fence polls or eves, you may want to get either spray foam to fill or some bug blocking mesh/sponge from the hard ware store. Landscape/hard-scape fabric will work too.

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Glad you cleared the bee thing up. I was worried. Just make sure you don't put out something that will get them too.
I have never had a big nest of any wasps or yellow jackets.
There's always a little next of wasps in the corner post on the porch. They don't bother me. I don't bother them.

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I had to upvote all the 'bees = good, wasps = bad' comments, but baits and sprays?
I can understand if the nest isn't accessible, or if your escape route is less than ideal, but we always used a hose-end(think stream-like) sprayer with nothing more than dishwashing liquid & water. Soapy wasps can't fly, then we'd knock the nest down. Usually, problem solved.

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@havocsback: same soapy solution approach except we used nerf super soakers :D

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The reason I want them gone is they nest in my porch, where my kids play and visitors/mailman walk through. Other than that immediate area I don't bother wasps at all. I'll also add that I'm allergic to bees, so I'd much rather not be chased by angry yellow jackets every time I use the trimmers around the porch.

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I use a picture of a sexy lady bee.

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@havocsback: I applaud you for looking for a natural solution, but have you noticed that whenever you bring out the hose, another nest is being built days later? @philosopherott is correct, just water (and no, a little dish soap isn't going to help) won't cut it. If just encouraging the wasps to leave worked, we'd all be much happier, but it is very rarely effective...they're coming back for a reason, and that reason is "this is a wonderful site for a nest" is written ALL over that spot.

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The bee/wasp clarification reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin does a report on bats titled "Bats: The Big Bug Scourge of the Skies"

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I've used plain ole Sprite with good results. The best remedy I had one year was a bald faced hornets nest that was built in one of my maple trees a few years ago. Best summer ever; hardly a yellow jacket to be found anywhere near my deck. How I prayed for them to rebuild close by the following year, but they didn't, and the yellow jackets returned :(

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@stile99: Brake Cleaner works really well.. and you don't have to run.

The acetone wrecks their wings so they can't chase you.

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@sporadic:

Thanks for the link. And I learned something!

"Never crush a yellowjacket. A dying yellowjacket worker releases an alarm pheromone that alerts its nest mates. In just a few seconds, you could find yourself surrounded by angry wasps."