It’s easy to take part in the Big Wasp Survey – just following these simple steps:
- Register a trap
- Make your trap
- Put your trap out between 25th August and 8th September
- Collect your insects (wasps and all other insects)
- Complete the online form to tell us about your trap
- Send your collection to us via FREEPOST – ideally in an A5 padded jiffy bag
Sign up for the Big Wasp Survey 2018 and we will send you details of how you can get involved between the 25th August and 8th September. After you have had your trap out for 7 days, we will give you instructions on how to collect your insects and send them to us for identification.
We will add you to our mailing list and keep you updated on the outcomes of the survey and how we used your samples.
Please email us with the subject line REMOVE ME if you want us to delete your email address from our mailing database.
2. Making the trap
- Cut the top third off a plastic drinks bottle (ideally a 1 litre bottle, but any size will work). Turn the cut part upside down and put it, hole downwards, into the bottom part of the bottle, to create a funnel.
- Attach a piece of string to your bottle by punching some holes through the side so that you can hang it up.
- Pour half a can(about 200ml) or beer (lager perferably) into the bottom of your bottle – the top of the inverted bottle shouldn’t touch the liquid. You can use 200ml orange juice if you prefer.
Here’s a quick YouTube Video takes you through the steps needed.
3. Put Your Trap Out
- Hang up your wasp trap about 1.5m from the ground in a tree or bush,
or fence post in your garden; be sure to position it as far away from playing or sitting areas as possible.
- Leave your trap for 7 days.
4 Collect your insects
- After 7 days take your trap down. Best to do this in the early morning or dusk, to be sure there will be no wasps around. Although the wasps in your trap should all be dead, there may be a couple that are still alive in the liquid. Be sure not to handle these directly: we advise you to wear rubber gloves (e.g. washing up gloves).
- Drain off the fluid using a kitchen sieve. Rinse your insects under a tap and leave to dry thoroughly on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Tip onto a dry piece of kitchen towel and tin foil
Tip your dry catch (wasps and all other insects) onto a sheet of aluminium or tin foil, lined with kitchen paper.
- Carefully wrap the tin foil around the insects, to form a little parcel: don’t squash it down too much – squashed wasps are harder to identify!
- Pop your tin foil package in the freezer until you are ready to post them to us.
5. Complete the online form
Filling in the online form before you return your insects is vitally important in providing us with the details of your traps. We want to know about everything that you catch, even if your trap includes insects other than wasps. Not catching any wasps or catching other insects at your location is very valuable data for this project.
- Log back in and complete your trap form letting us know how many wasps and other insects you caught
- Make a note of the FREEPOST address for sending the insects back
6. Send your collection to us via FREEPOST
Send back your collection by FREEPOST including your wasps and other insects you trap.
- After you have submitted your data to us, you can login to the website at any time to get the the FREEPOST address.
- Write the FREEPOST address on the front of your envelope (nothing else!) and add your trap number and post code on the reverse. It’s really important that you put your trap number on the back of your envelope AND include it inside the envelope so we can match your collection to your data and location.
- Write the FREEPOST address on the front of your envelope (nothing else!) and add your trap number and address on the reverse. It’s teally important that you put your trap number on the back of your envelope so we can match your collection to your data and location.
- Post your samples to us as soon as possible. Don’t let them hang around too long, or they might go mouldy!
Identifying your wasps (Optional)
If you want to have a go at identifying some of your insects, then here’s some information.
If you do identify any, then please wrap up each species found in a separate aluminium or tin foil package, with a label (written in pencil) indicating which species you think it is. You can still post all your samples in the same envelope.