Updated: October 5, 2015
Yellow Jacket Trap Reviews:We all know that bees flying around our gardens and yards are a good thing. They carry pollen to and from the various plants and flowers making our gardens bloom into colorful landscapes. Most bees are not aggressive and keep to themselves unlike yellow jackets and wasps that can be aggressive and get into your food and drinks. Each spring and summer when the weather turns for the better my family likes to get outdoors and barbeque in our backyard. Inevitably, the yellow jackets are attracted to the meats that we cook or the sodas in my kids hands. The problem with yellow jackets is that they don't get the hint when you "swish" them away. They become agitated and will potentially sting you. With bees, if they sting you they die, but yellow jackets can sting you many times and never die. I used to sit there and put out a piece of salami for them to fly onto and then I would smash them with a fly swatter. Unfortunately, they release some kind of scent when they are in distress and more yellow jackets fly to the scene to investigate, meaning you will only attract more if you kill one and leave it out. That's where traps are so effective, the yellow jackets become stuck in the trap and "call" for help which brings more yellow jackets and your catch increases by the minute.
I had put out a yellow jacket trap out for about 20 minutes with a fresh insert (attractant) and I must have had about 1 a minute flying into the trap and becoming stuck. I have found that after about 30 minutes, the traps suck up all the yellow jackets and we don't get bothered again. It has given us the freedom of using our backyard to eat dinner and our kids love that. When we have company over on nice summer evenings, we relax and let the kids play outside while we have a drink and no longer get bothered by wasps or yellow jackets. There are quite a few different types of traps, most of which rely on some kind of attractant to get the yellow jackets inside the trap and then they can't get back out. Most traps hang from trees or bushes in your yard and that way you can keep them away from your house. I prefer to use the RESCUE Reusable Yellow Jacket Trap that I buy at Lowes for around $10. The double-chamber design doesn't allow the yellow jackets to escape once they are inside the unit. Raid is a well recognized name in insect control and I have also heard good things from my neighbors on their disposable traps which sell for $9/each. The little liquid pouch that you open and squirt onto the sponge or styrofoam thing inside the trap lasts for a few uses. I have also found that other scents like lemonade or even Pepsi/soda will keep the yellow jackets coming back for more. When we first moved into our house about 8 years ago there was an excessive amount of yellow jackets and we found that there was a nest with a queen living in the rocks of our backyard. We tried a spray can that supposedly kills the nest inhabitants but it didn't work. We had to resort to getting a pest control company to come out and they used a "magic wand" to insert into the nest and spray the queen to kill off the hive. It cost about $100 and they guaranteed the result. Since then, we have only used traps periodically to control the amount of yellow jackets in the yard. In terms of reviews, you can read owner opinions online at Amazon.com or Epinions. I found that asking our neighbors was a good place to start to see what they were using to control the yellow jackets in our area. What I did learn is that most of the traps were effective when new bait was used every few weeks to keep any remnant yellow jackets going into the traps. If you do have a nest/hive in your yard or surrounding area, you will notice that the # of yellow jackets trapped in the traps doesn't seem to lower even as the weeks go by. This means you will have to get a company out to spray the nest to kill the queen and make the remaining yellow jacks depart for a new hive. You can browse their top selling yellow jacket traps online here.