How to Make a Trap for Bees & Wasps

When spring brings warm weather that leads into summer, many people enjoy spending time outside. Unfortunately, since stinging insects tend to share our outdoor living area, one painful sting from a bee or wasp could ruin the day or endanger you or your family.

A wasp's powerful bite can be lethal to those with allergies.

A homemade trap, easy to make with recycled items from your home, lures the wasps and bees away from high-traffic areas, lessening the chance of a painful encounter.

  1. Wash a used soda bottle with soap and water. Discard the top.

  2. Cut the bottle an inch below the neck all the way around, using scissors, to make two pieces.

  3. Place fruit juice in the bottom of the bottle 1 to 2 inches deep. Pour 1 tsp. of dish soap into the fruit juice; the sweet scent of the juice attracts bees to the trap. To catch wasps, roll 1 tbsp. of canned dog food into a ball and place it in the juice; most of the dog food should rest above the juice so the wasps can catch the scent. Using both juice and dog food should attract both bees and wasps.

  4. Place the top of the bottle upside down into the bottom of the bottle (the spout of the bottle now faces down into the bottle) and staple the two pieces together around the edges.

  5. Place half a tsp. vegetable oil around the inside of the spout using your finger to coat the rim; this makes the wasps or bees lose their footing when they investigate the scent.

  6. Place the trap at least 20 feet away from picnic tables or play areas.

  7. Tip

    Bees prefer sweet bait exclusively, while the best wasp bait depends on the season. Early in the spring, wasps prefer protein foods such as dog food or meat. During the late summer, wasps prefer sweeter food, especially crushed grapes and fruit juice. Place the trap in a bucket of water for one hour to ensure wasps and bees have drowned before emptying the trap and reusing it. Empty the trap regularly to ensure bees and wasps have nothing to perch on in the water.


    While this trap works for bees of all types, you should avoid killing honeybees due to their low numbers. If you need relief from honeybees, contact a local bee keeper instead of trapping them yourself. If someone gets a sting and begins to have difficulty breathing, get medical help as soon as possible.