Or perhaps more accurately, Yellow Jackets. Yellow Jackets are one of my least favorite critters. In the summer, they plague you when you are trying to pick berries (they seem to think they should have the berry patch to themselves!). But even worse than being an annoyance in the summer, they are positively aggressive come fall. In the summer they seek sweet fruit, but the fall brings out their carnivorous nature. Just a few days ago, Maid Elizabeth (newly returned from the Philippines) noticed that Yellow Jackets had eaten their way through a package of hamburger on our counter and were systematically carrying their stolen bounty to wherever they carry it to. This afternoon, Princess Dragon Snack became the latest victim of their cranky attitude.
Following the instructions of my friend Lady Day, the kids set about making Yellow Jacket traps. Rather than the sweetened water in the bottle trick, we used raw meat to lure the little buggers out. Lady Day's method is super cheap (free, if you have a little raw meat), super easy and super effective.
First you find a container (we used 4 gallon round buckets) that you can attach a piece of string from side to side. Fill the bucket with water (however full you would like it) and pour a bit of vegetable oil (enough to make a nice oil slick) in the water. Then, most importantly, string a piece of raw meat so that it hangs just over the water. Yellow Jackets are greedy insects so they will grab as much meat as they can fly with. When they attempt to fly off, they dip down slightly, get covered in the oily water and drop into the bucket, unable to free themselves.
|Two minutes after putting the trap out|
|Five minutes after putting the trap out|
If you are looking for a simple, cost effective way to reduce your Yellow Jacket population, give this a try.