There are lots of different wasp traps on the market and many people resort to making their own. To make an informed choice on what trap to buy (or to make) we believe you need to be able to compare the merits and features of these different wasp traps (and repellants). We make no excuse for highlighting where we believe other wasp traps or devices fall short of the mark. We are a company born out of the NHS and our raison d’etre is the well being and safety of the customers (and patients) that we serve. Given that wasps are highly dangerous insects, we believe that you need to be fully aware of the potential risks that certain wasp traps may pose to your health.
What’s the purpose of a wasp trap? In our opinion a wasp trap has to reduce the background population of wasps in the area that you want protecting. If there are no wasps, you can’t get stung. It’s as simple as that or at least it should be! The problem is that there are a number of traps on the market which whilst they kill thousands of wasps they nevertheless attract more wasps than they kill and as a result more people are placed at risk of being stung. We have found this out the hard way by monitoring the number of people stung in visitor attractions such as theme parks and zoos etc where low efficiency wasp traps have been used. It may surprise you to learn but in some places people were up to 200 times more at risk of being stung!
One of the ways to tell a low efficiency trap is that the trap remains persistantly busy with wasps because it is constantly attracting them whilst only killing a small proportion of them.
Maintenance and Cleaning Risk
There are a further two levels of risk with wasp traps. The first is how frequently wasp traps have to be cleaned or rebaited. The more often a wasp trap has to be cleaned and rebaited the higher the risk of being stung. The second is the construction of the trap. Any wasp trap which needs to be opened to be cleaned or rebaited means that the user will be exposed to wasps and this increases the risk of being stung and not just from live wasps. Dead wasps are also capable of stinging people because they don’t always withdraw their stingers. It’s a bit like picking up a handful of needles. Despite the wasps being dead, their stingers can still cause severe reactions including anaphylaxis.
Different features of a wasp trap will determine how often it needs maintenance. Lots of single compartment wasp traps dry out very quickly. Other wasp traps have very small chambers which fill up with wasps very quickly. The problem with such traps is that the users are frequently faced with trying to handle the traps when they are full of live wasps.
Many wasp traps are cheap to buy. However, this frequently masks the true cost of maintaining the trap which we think is a little sneaky. Simple, reusable traps may need cleaning and rebaiting up to 18 times in a season for them to work throughout the season. With some of these traps if you were to use the manufacturers recommended liquid bait that would cost you upto £80 per year! Even if you don’t use the manufacturers’ recommended bait liquid but make up your own it will still cost you for the ingredients that you use and that can be as much as £12-£18 on top of what you paid for the trap in the first place. In reality, cheap wasp traps are rarely maintained throughout the whole season because to do so is a real pain and so the traps stop working completely. That being the case, why buy them in the first place?