How to Make an Insect Trap

Everything in nature is supposed to have its own use, but it's hard to figure out any good aspects when wasps or mosquitoes are buzzing around your head.

Those Painful Wasps

Some insects, such as wasps, carry venom that can cause an allergic reaction in some people, while other pests are simply annoying in your home and yard. Swatting insects often does no good at all, especially when you've got a swarm of them ruining your backyard relaxation. Building traps is a better way to deal with annoying bugs, as you can remove multiple insects at the same time, keeping your living areas much more pleasant to be in.

Almost everyone has a painful reaction to a wasp sting, but those who are allergic can go into anaphylactic shock and need medical attention. It's important to deal with wasps during the entire year, but especially in the late summer and fall when they become much more aggressive. A simple wasp trap can be made with an empty 2-liter bottle. Cutting the top off at the shoulders and inverting it creates a funnel that leads to the interior of the trap. The interior should be filled halfway with water, in which the wasps will drown, and some added dish soap inhibits the wasps' ability to swim. Jelly or honey smeared around the neck of the bottle will attract the wasps, which then enter the bottle to get at the sweetness and can't find their way out. Falling into the bottom of the trap, they quickly drown.

Getting Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which people exhale. If you've ever made bread or fermented a batch of homemade wine, you've got the answer to trapping mosquitoes right in your home. A simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water provides the base, while a spoonful of yeast turns the sugars into carbon dioxide. Pour this mix into an empty plastic cup or bottle and cover it with plastic, leaving a few small holes in the surface. Mosquitoes will smell the carbon dioxide from a surprising distance away and drown themselves in the mix that's filling the cup. For best results, homeowners should make and replace these traps for around the yard every week or so.

Trapping Fruit Flies

Fruit flies normally aren't a problem outdoors, but once you get them inside your house, they seem to multiply by the thousands. One stray banana peel left on the counter can set off a swarm that takes over your home for days. Luckily, the foods that attract mosquitoes can do double duty as bait for your trap. Those red plastic cups that seem to show up at every party make the perfect vessel for mosquito trapping. A bit of something sweet such as jam or honey floating in an inch or so of beer or wine are all the enticement you need for a swarm of bugs. Add a few drops of cooking oil to prevent bugs from leaving the liquid once they've fallen in. Plastic wrap stretched over the top keeps the flying ones inside, a rubber band keeps the plastic in place, and small entrance holes in the plastic complete the trap.

Getting Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are the bane of the insect world. Depending on the part of the country you live in, they may be a rare sight or a problem you have to deal with daily. They tend to be more active when the weather's warmer, so Southern states get the brunt of the roach problem. Cockroaches can live for a month without food, but they can't live without water for more than a week. This is why the most effective spot to place traps is somewhere they can find a water supply, such as underneath a kitchen or bathroom sink. One of the simplest cockroach traps to build consists of double-sided carpet tape. This extra-sticky tape has adhesive on both sides. Running strips of the tape along baseboards and other places where roaches congregate can create a trap that catches a surprising number of bugs. Flush the offending victims instead of throwing them away to ensure they don't spawn into another generation.

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.