Trapping Hornets

So I started having some Peaches ripening last week and have some hornet damage on about half of them. I bought 4 yellow jacket traps early this spring figuring I would get ahead of them and control them early.

So far I have only used the bait that has come with the traps and apple juice with some vinegar added. I have had no luck with both of these baits. I did some research on here and its seems other members are having luck with concentrated apple juice and plain sugar water. I put a trap out with grape soda this morning, so we will see how that works.

Is regular apple juice not sweet enough? I am mostly catching flies and some tiny shiny bee looking insects. Should I be adding more vinegar to avoid catching pollinators. I need to take some of these suckers out before my other peach trees start ripening in two weeks.

I understand that people who cater outdoor meals use smoked turkey for the bait but I haven’t been able to verify that.

I think the smoked turkey idea is related to the idea of putting some meat scrap in. Any cheap ol meat scrap dog food or whatever.

I used to add meat but recently I have done fine with about anything, whatever we had in the kitchen that was old. For example dilute some old jam going bad, old beer, etc. So I don’t know why your traps are not working, I get a stampede every time. Which reminds me, I need to get the traps out soon as the hornet population is starting to build up.

I guess I would just try varying the bait until you find something that works. Add some meat for starters. I would also not overdo the vinegar; I usually don’t bother adding any. If it rains remember to refill as the bait can get really diluted depending on the type of trap.

This looks effective , and selective to yellow jackets.

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Yeah, more effective than trapping. The workers crawling over and ingesting the Fipronil-infused meat will return to the nest and get some on others and hopefully the queen. Fipronil doesn’t kill immediately, it takes a bit for the “micro encapsulation” to break and they to come in contact with the actual poison.

It’s my go-to for yellowjacket or hornet nest eradication. Water and a tiny amount of Fipronil in a hand sprayer, hit the nest or the entrance hole if they’re in-ground. About 2 days later, no sign of 'em…

Jordan, you are likely taking out the native bees/flies that are beneficial to your tree/vegetable /flower pollination requirements. I can understand the frustration with other guys eating your hard work, but even those insects are beneficial in other ways in many cases.

I am not speaking from personal experience, but it seems like others have discovered fruit bagging and other methods to be effective.

Additionally, if you are able to locate the nest, a shop vac set up with some bleach water inside is a relatively humane method of removal for ground nests. Otherwise I’d say to try and track down any above ground hornet nests during the day and suck them up at night while they are asleep.

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I agreed I’m not excited about trapping the native pollinators. That seemed to mostly be a problem with the bait that came with the Victor traps. Grape soda doesn’t seem to be producing today with hornets or the native pollinators.

I unfortunately have too many peaches to make bagging practical. I have had success bagging figs though.

There are a lot of common names, but it seems on the peaches and apples my main problem are bald faced hornets and European hornets. Yellow jackets on figs. No clue where the hornets are living though.

Here’s an easy home-made trap:

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In addition to juice or other sweet liquid add some vinegar to discourage honey bees from entering.

Need pictures to determine if “tiny shiny bee looking insects” are indeed pollinators.
I never find beneficials in my open-top apple cider vinegar traps.

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If you can locate their nest, go at night, encircle with a trash bag and toss in bonfire!

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They are destroying my figs, plums and mulberries here. The traps are working but the numbers are too great.

I too have issues with wasps. First they decimate my ripening concord grapes. Then they hit some of my apples. They are so bad I gave up growing early ripening grapes as I seem to do better with concord which ripens later. I have to put out wasp traps on my grape trellis and I fill them with Mountain Dew soda. Works great! Every few days I empty the traps and refill with Mountain Dew. It seems once I trap for 3-5 days the population drops enough so not too many grapes get damaged.

I never tried meat. I did read that one of the wineries in Wisconsin where I live baits with raw meat in wasp traps early in the season. They then switch to using anything sweet as bait later in the season. They claim raw meat works best early in trapping season. Others said to try canned tuna or sardines early in the season for bait.

Since I don’t have any fruit damage early in the season I will stick to baiting with Mountain Dew.

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Earlier in the season I think they’re more looking for protein(meat) to feed larvae. Later in the season there’s less of that and they go more for sugars/carbs. Plus there’s simply more of them as the season progresses.

I’m mostly looking to not get “lit up” mowing the yard. So I work to eradicate the queens before they’ve laid 5000+ eggs. Side benefit of them not destroying fruit is good as well…