Things to Make and Do, part 18: jar of wasps

November 3, 2015

Here’s the jar of wasps sitting out on the table in our back garden:


OK, this is not so much an interesting specimen as a handy hint.

We hosted a picnic during the summer and it was absolutely infested with wasps. (One person was stung — everyone else had to look super-carefully at their sandwiches before each bite.) That made me realise we needed to get rid of all the wasps that haunt the garden, and this trap is the solution.

It could hardly be simpler: it’s an old jar with a tablespoon of jam in the bottom, topped up to half way with water. Then a tinfoil lid with a small hole poked through it with a teaspoon handle.

For some reason, wasps just can’t resist it: they crawl in, then drown themselves in the water trying to get to the jam. Then more wasps come. And they just keep coming, as you can see in the photo. We’re going to have to dig the wasps out and throw them away so that the trap has enough space for more.

The great thing about this is that it only seems to catch wasps: not bees, which simply don’t seem to see the appeal in jam-water.

3 Responses to “Things to Make and Do, part 18: jar of wasps”

  1. Steve Graby Says:

    Slightly off topic:
    Is this a good way to skeletonise a small mammal carcass, or does it dissolve the bones as well?
    (I’m not any kind of zoologist – I normally read this blog for the open access stuff rather than the dinosaur/anatomy stuff. But I do think your “things to make and do” are pretty cool…)

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    I don’t know, Steve, but it would be a good experiment. If you try it, let us know how it goes.

  3. Kevin Says:

    The mouse “dissolved” in the Mountain Dew because of bacterial action, not the Mountain Dew itself. You can macerate a mouse in plain water just as quickly (or more quickly), and not risk any compounds in the soda damaging the bones.

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