Firstly, I am not a scientist or entomologist just a keen observer, and inventor of SHamp featured on ABC’s New Inventors www.shamp.com.au
I live in central Victoria on two acres of bushland and have been studying the habits of the European wasp for 10 years and believe all methods tried so far to get rid of them i.e. baiting with poison, to take back to nest, the parasitic wasp (1997 trial) to eat lava has failed.
I have also tried other methods when nests have formed but so far none have worked apart from finding and dusting them!
I believe the main component in the cycle is the Queen which is overlooked!
It seems that waiting for nests to be formed then take action is what’s in everyone’s mind.
I have developed a method to catch the queen before she makes a nest.
My idea is cheap, environmentally friendly, recyclable and safe, easy to make and most household will have ingredients for bait!
For this idea to work it needs people power, if every household put out five traps the number of nests formed would be reduced greatly.
As most nests die off during winter people become complacent because there are no wasps around until it’s too late!
My idea starts in spring.
The queen comes out of hibernation in spring with two priorities in mind.
Number one to build nest and number two to feed herself which is mostly carbohydrates, until she has workers to take over.
My method uses five, 1.25 litre soft drink bottles with three holes approximately 10mm in diameter, about 150mm from bottom of bottle and a bait made from six tablespoons honey, dissolved in two cups hot water, added two teaspoons pure vanilla essence, divide between five traps,
Top up with water to just below the holes, replace cap and hang about two metres off the ground.
The traps need a little attention until January.
When checking traps give a shake to let a little lure dribble and out once full removing catch, reusing bait and topping up with water. This can be done 3-4 times before lure may need replacing.
When traps stop catching replace with fresh lure.
In 2015 season catch was 1360!
I have left traps out over wasp season January - May and have caught 6000-plus workers!
My method may also keep wasps from attacking beehives, grapevines and other fruit that may be affected, but this only a thought and has not been field tested.
This is my idea for anyone who wants to try!
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