Wasp control, any good methods

Due to the dryness this year wasps are out of control, with many/most of the fruit on un-netted trees having holes drilled in the bottom.

Does anyone have a good method to catch mega numbers of wasps? You can’t spray for them because they only attack fruit which is almost ripe or ripe.

Thanks, Eric

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Leave a bunch of overripe fruits on the ground to attract them - pears work well for this

Throw the pears in a neighbors yard!


I know exactly what you speak of. We had so many yellow jackets attack late peaches last year it was almost a cloud at times. I started using thick leather gloves to pick peaches.

This year I’ve maintained sprays longer for SWD, which has also slowed the wasps.

You don’t have to spray ripe fruit. They seem to practice avoidance spraying non ripe fruit. That said, I don’t know how well it will work once they’ve moved in.

There are some insecticides with short PHIs. For peaches Bathroid is a week and I believe malathion is 3 days.

I picked all of my FLavor King today…screw it. THe wasps attacked 3 new ones just this morning. Can’t have that. All safe inside…with the fruit flies :slight_smile:


I was reading an article that said because of the switch to newer/less lethal? insecticides, wasps are becoming a major issue for growers. With older broad spectrum sprays, they were getting the wasps much earlier before their sweet tooth turned to fruit later in the season.

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Specially if your moving!!

Wasps are really easy to trap out. I had a bad case early and my traps wiped them out. Now I need to recharge the traps (dump out rainwater and add more fruit / juice) as the wasps are growing in numbers again.

Can you describe your trap in detail? I just spent three unhappy days after multiple stings.

Sorry to hear that Anne. I just bought some traps, they are around $5 each.


They are also easy to make out of old plastic soda bottles or milk jugs. These traps work extremely well but they get water in them from rain which dilutes the bait. They need to be re-baited after a few weeks anyway, they are filled with stinky dead bodies.

I prefer the Victor reuseable wasp traps because they block out rain- you could fashion umbrellas from cheap small plastic picnic plates and use Scott’s cheaper selection, however. Or make them out of half liter soda bottles by cutting and inverting the tops 2/3rds up the bottle. It takes several traps a couple weeks to get wasps under control on bad years. Don’t expect immediate control. Mix a bit of citric acid and detergent in containers and refill with concentrated apple juice- the cheapest you can find- with 1 to 2 parts water. The citric acid not only delays the juice turning into less attractive vinegar but preserves the drowned insects quite a bit as well so they don’t get as funky as quick. When the juice starts to stink all you trap is flies and death beetles.

Where do those beetles come from?- you only see them when something dies.


Alan, how do you or @scottfsmith avoid catching honey bees in these traps? Is it the design of the trap or the nature of the bait?

I have seen honeybees lapping up juice from a damaged piece of fruit but they don’t seem to go into these traps. I dumped several traps this morning and there are lots of hbees foraging on my property now but I didn’t notice any in the traps and never have.

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Thank you both for the information. The hornets and yellow jackets get so aggressive in September and I can’t run as fast as I used to😉.

I had a service installer doing a hookup and he would not go up a ladder placed near a small yellow jacket nest. I didn’t want him to have to work around freshly sprayed poison spray, but I had a spray can of acrylic lacquer and that stopped them in mid flight.

Lots of peaches this year. For us and the wasps and hornets.
Have you or anyone else tried something called The Waspinator or similar?

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In my yard I have half a dozen different kinds of wasps/bees/hornets on my fruit so I doubt any decoy would make a big dent. It might deter paper wasps but I see few of them in my orchard.

BTW following up on this general topic, as @Alan mentions the yellow traps I linked above get rain in them and stop working before the bait would have faded. I ordered a different kind recently which have fewer holes in them. I should have put up more traps long ago, I have had major wasp issues on my asian pears.


Wasps destroyed about 20 lbs of figs this year so far.
They left holes in the figs that fruit flies went into and soured the fruits. The whole place was a stinking mess and I spent a big part of the weekend cleaning up my trees.
This has had the effect of literally souring my enthusiasm for figs.

I had 3 yellow jacket traps set up to catch the wasps. The traps were very effective. But there are just too many of these hornets…

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So what am I hearing? It’s hopeless?

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I have yellow wasps that destroy my grapes. I am worried about putting a trap out and end up trapping bumble bees or other beneficial insects.

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