The First Thing You Should Do with a New Bag of Sugar

updated Jun 22, 2020
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Bag of sugar on kitchen counter
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but it seems like the wasps get just as excited as I do when it comes to backyard grilling. Sure, these little guys help keep your garden fertilized and keep other potentially harmful parasites at bay, but that doesn’t make their sting any less painful (or the sight of a wasp’s nest hanging from your porch any less scary).

There are a lot of chemicals on the market, including wasp traps. But if you prefer a more natural (and likely free!) solution, look no further than one of the main staples in your pantry: white sugar.

The next time you buy a bag (which, if you’ve taken up pandemic baking, should probably be soon), put together this easy, surprisingly effective DIY trap. It’s pretty simple — you’ll need a bit of sugar plus a few additional supplies, most of which you probably already have in your home.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Make a DIY Wasp Trap with Sugar and an Empty Soda Bottle

First, use a knife or box cutter to cut the neck off the top of a plastic soda bottle (ideally, the entire neck and a few inches below). Most directions you’ll find will call for a two-liter bottle here, but you can use a smaller one if that’s all you have on hand. Then, dissolve at least two parts sugar into one part water and pour the mixture into the bottom of the bottle so that it’s a few inches full.

Complete the trap by taking the cap off the bottle, flipping the top part upside down, and setting it inside the bottom of the bottle. Now, it’s ready to go outside, anywhere you want to keep wasps away. You can either set it on your porch or table, or hang it with wire from a tree!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wasps really start to crave sugar in the late summer and early fall, so you might not get results right away. Eventually, though, they’ll be attracted to the sweet smell, squeezing their way through the narrow part of your DIY trap. Just make sure to remove dead wasps from the trap regularly so it doesn’t get crowded.