As October creeps closer in the Midwest USA, Jack Frost will do more efficiently what these traps do. But if you're still struggling with a late summer/early fall infestation of bugs in your yard: mosquitoes, flies, wasps or whatever, never fear, relief is as near as your kitchen cabinet!
Whenever I would visit the late Elizabeth Coblentz on her Indiana farmstead during the summer I would see several 2-liter soda bottles dangling from trees. This is a photo I snapped of one way back when. I asked Elizabeth about these during my first summer at her farm and she explained to me that they were “bug traps.” “Once inside, they’re done for,” she said matter-of-factly. It takes a few days for the bugs to begin to show up but, wow, once they do these things really do work. These things turn into the Hotel California for flies, they check in but they never leave. Now one thing I never really reached a conclusion about is whether they actually worked to ward off insects or whether they simply attracted more. I think the best strategy is to hang them away from your picnic table or porch swing by about 30 – 50 feet. That way the bug traps will lure the flies there and away from your potato salad. If anyone gives them a try, let us know how they work. This is the “recipe” for what Elizabeth put inside:
BUG TRAP JUICE
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 or 2 banana peels
Pour sugar and vinegar into the bottle and stuff in banana peels. Fill bottle half way with water. Discard bottle cap, Use string to hang from a low tree branch.
Elizabeth always used green bottles (like 7-Up or Mountain Dew)…I’m not sure what her reasoning was, it may just be that seeing a bunch of dead bugs through a clear bottle isn’t the most pleasant sight.