Does Soapy Water Kill Wasps?

Bowls of soapy water kill wasps, bees and other stinging insects. Earth Easy states that soap decreases water’s surface tension and makes it impossible for the insects to remain on the surface long enough to climb out. The insects eventually drown. This technique is most effective when the water is warm and the bowl is large.

Soapy water is an inexpensive, natural insecticide that does not release noxious fumes. To use this technique in areas frequented by small children and pets, use nontoxic dish soap and change it often. Soapy water kills insects indoors and outside.

To attract wasps to an outdoor soap trap, place a piece of raw meat directly above the bowl. Wasps are carnivores and are strongly attracted to raw beef, according to the website Do It Yourself. After gorging themselves on the meat, the wasps grow lethargic and fall into the soapy water, where they drown.

Diesel fuel attracts and drowns wasps and bees. However, it is only suitable for outdoor use because it is toxic and releases a pungent odor. To make a diesel fuel bottle trap, fill an empty one- or two-liter plastic soda bottle with one cup of diesel fuel. The smell attracts wasps. Like soapy water, diesel fuel has weak surface tension. When wasps enter the trap to investigate, they fall into the fuel and drown.