New Lure Could Take the Sting Out of Some Wasps.
An ARS entomologist has devised the first effective lure for the
German yellowjacket, golden paper wasp, European hornet, and other
yellowjackets. Commercial traps could be available in about a year.
Yellowjackets and wasps are occasional nuisances for most people, but
they represent an occupational hazard for fruit orchard workers during
the picking season. Besides hurting, the stings can cause potentially
dangerous allergic reactions. The new attractant may provide a way to
monitor and control the insects. It uses compounds that bacteria and
fungi make as byproducts of sugar consumption. ARS has applied for
patent protection. Other baits -- made with sugar or meat -- have
drawbacks. Sugary baits attract beneficial species, such as honey bees.
As for meat, it rots too quickly to be practical in a lure. Of 17
yellowjacket species in the United States, 5 are significant, aggressive
pests. The new lure is the first to attract most of them, including the
German yellowjacket. It is also the first chemical lure to attract paper
wasps. The scientist and Sterling International, Inc., of Veradale,
Washington, are collaborating to develop a delivery system. The work is
being carried out through a cooperative research and development
Peter J. Landolt, USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory,
Wapato, Washington; phone (509) 454-6551, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.