Trap Your Wasps

Making the trap

  1. Cut the top third off a plastic drinks bottle (ideally a 1.5 or 2 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.
  2. Attach a piece of string to your bottle by punching some holes through the side so that you can hang it up.
  3. Pour half a can of  beer (lager or ale) 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 preferHere’s a quick YouTube Video to show you how…


Collecting the insects

If you look at your trap and see no wasps, or drain off the contents and find no wasps IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT that you still complete the online form (the survey is now complete for 2017). The fact that you haven’t caught any wasps at your location is very valuable data for this project – so please don’t forget to fill in the form. Thank you!
  1. 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.
  2. Leave your trap for 7 days.
  3. 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).
  4. Drain off the beer using a kitchen sieve. Rinse under a tap and leave to dry.
  5. Tip the contents of the sieve into a sheet of aluminium or tin foil, lined with tissue if possible.
  6. 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.

Please read this wasp handling advice

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.

If you include your email address in your submission, we can let you know how your identification went!


Sending Us Your Wasps

By sending us the contents of your trap, we can be sure to identify the wasps you have caught.
It’s free to post them to us, but be sure to fill in our online form: this will generate a unique collector identification number for you, so we can match your samples with your location!

  1. When you’re ready to post your samples, take your tin foil package of insects out of the freezer and pop it into a A4 or A5 envelope. No need to be padded – just a normal envelope will do: the tin foil will protect your insects in transit.
  2. Fill out our online submission form to get your Freepost address label and unique identification number.
  3. Print out (or copy) your unique Freepost label and stick on to your envelope.
  4. Post your samples to us as soon as possible. Don’t let them hang around too long, or they might go mouldy!

If you give us your email address we can add you to our mailing list and keep you updated on the outcomes of the survey and how we used your samples.