DIY Yellow Jacket Bottle Trap

Not a big fan of these stinging critters! If you want an easy way to trap wasps and yellow jackets this late summer – give this a try from Instructables:

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This is my first instructable, so any feedback is greatly appreciated!  After discovering a yellow jacket ground nest near our front door a few days ago, I decided to look up ways to get rid of these mean insects without the pesticides. We have various wildlife and friendly insects in our yard, so I try to avoid pesticides.  A quick Google search resulted in a few solutions to my problem and this is the one I chose.  This method was super simple, pesticide free, eco safe and VERY effective.  Friends and family were pretty amazed at the results as was I!  So let’s get started!

Step 1 What You Need 

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Here are the “tools” needed: wine (they prefer red to white), a clean water or soda bottle, a bread knife or scissors, and dishwashing liquid.  First, cut off the top quarter or third of the bottle. Add about ½ “ of wine and about two drops of dishwashing liquid.  Now flip that top over to make a funnel and place it snuggly back into bottle.  You are done!  See how easy that was?

Step 2 First Results – Hive #1 

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Here is the tricky (or fun depending on how you view it) part.  Place traps as close to the yellow jackets’ nest as possible. Since they had built their nests (yes, I said nests, plural, but I will explain that later) in the ground, I simply placed the traps close to where I saw them flying.  My first case scenario was near our front door close to a stick pile.  I made a red wine trap.  As you can see, they preferred the red wine.  Next day, yellow jackets were gone and floating inside the traps……or so we thought.  About four days after first testing these with good results, a new family must have moved in and stung my little boy who was simply coming inside after school.  Mama Bear mode kicked in!   I found some old bug spray in the garage and planned an assault despite my NO pesticide clause, but they must have known what I had in mind because they scattered.  Since we didn’t have red wine opened at the time, I used some old white wine that was about to be tossed and I quickly made two more traps.   Again, next day, yellow jackets drowned!

Step 3 Hive #2 

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The following day, I was walking from the mailbox and as luck would have it, found ANOTHER ground nest next to our driveway, right in the path of my kids coming home from school!  I quickly grabbed the previous three traps, made a new one with red wine, and off I went carefully placing the traps.  As soon as I walked inside, we looked out to see a SWARM of these evil buggers all around the traps!  I grabbed a camera, zoomed in and took a video from a safe distance (or so I thought). One zoomed past and stung me in the back of the head!  He even rode on top of my hair and made his second appearance in my kitchen where he was quickly eliminated.

Step 4 Final Results 

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Five hours later with a quick rain storm thrown in there, we noticed there were no flying yellow jackets.  Upon closer inspection, we discovered filled traps!  I noticed a few strays flying out of the nest, so I made a fifth trap.  If my first four traps are any indication, I believe our yellow jacket problem has been solved, at least for today.

A few things to consider: try to use bottles with small openings to prevent escape; when you safely can, clean out the traps and refill when needed.  If you leave too many dead ones in there, they might crawl over their dead and find a way out.  I had much better luck with red wine as opposed to white (see photo of traps that were side-by-side and see which one was fuller!).

I hope you have success with this eco safe, pesticide free yellow jacket trap!

Step 5 Follow Up – Night Recon 

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Two days into this, we discovered that most of the traps had been knocked over or dragged away, probably by raccoons in the night.  Since there were a few stray yellow jackets flying around today (yes, one even went for my hair again!), I decided to do a night recon.  A few of the traps were opened and cleaned out, but the ones they weren’t able to open were full.  I left one bottle’s contents on the driveway because ants and spiders were having a feast, but in another bottle I commented to my husband that I had caught a huge wasp.  On closer inspection, we discovered it was the queen!  We both now believe that there is no way that all of these yellow jackets were drowning since the dead were 2+ inches deep in the bottles and there is only ½” of wine/detergent solution, so we are guessing that the solution somehow kills them.  No honey bees were killed in the making or implementation of this Instructable.

Keep Insects out of Sugary Drinks with Cupcake Liners

Clever idea as the summer gets hot and the bugs get thirsty! From Lifehacker: 

original Keep Insects out of Sugary Drinks with Cupcake Liners

Having a few cocktails in your backyard is great, but if you’re not vigilant you may find a fly or wasp in your drink. It may look a little dorky, but placing a cupcake liner over your drink with a hole for a straw will help keep your beverage insect-free.

This tip comes from The Cupcake Blog who also has recipes for adult beverage cupcakes. Cupcake liners also come in handy to catch popsicle drips.

Cupcake Liner Summer Drink Covers | The Cupcake Blog

What’s Different About The 2012 Olympics? Social Media, Basically

Love the Olympics and this years’ is more social – details from FastCo:

HOW MUCH BIGGER IS SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2012 THAN IT WAS IN 2008? THREE TIMES? TEN TIMES? TRY 100 TIMES.

The Olympics are one of our oldest traditions–a time capsule we revisit every four years. And while its athletes gradually become stronger and faster, other technologies have been advancing exponentially.

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This infographic by Pappas Group really puts that idea into perspective. It compares the size of social media in 2008 with 2012, using Olympic events like weight lifting and pole vault to scale just how much this sector has grown.

“When we began to visualize the impact of the Summer Games on branded social media, each category we were looking at took on its own event-like stature. So the idea of using a traditional isometric style to create an Olympic arena of sorts seemed like a natural fit,” explains Art Director Spender Slemenda. “We started thinking of different events and how they would affect the chart data. The integration of the cut-out athletes came quite easily from that.”

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The visuals are remarkably effective at fleshing out these stats–let’s just admit it, swimmers competing for first place, even if they just create a bar graph anyway, are far more interesting to look at than a traditional graph. But there’s a larger point that we see in Pappas’s infographic that’s more important than the sheer number of Facebook subscribers or the amount companies like P&G spend on advertisements: The web, Internet, or cloud, whatever you call it, powers entities that expand on the exponential scale, a scale far beyond the frameworks of even the most impressive physical specimens of the human species. And so while it’s not so hard to imagine the Olympics in another hundred years, imagining the digital infrastructure behind them becomes entirely unfathomable.

Make watermelon juice with a drill and a coat hanger

This sounds yummy! Especially this summer. Fresh watermelon juice from a drill and a hanger! Cool from Instructables:

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It is a HOT Friday at TechShop Menlo Park and everyone is sweating and working hard on their projects. Some watermelon juice sounds great but how do we make it with what we have around? icon smile Make watermelon juice with a drill and a coat hanger

Step 1 Supplies

We found a large watermelon, a coat hanger a drill, a strainer, some ice, a bowl and some cups. That’s all we need.

Step 2 Cut a small hole

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Cut and remove a small hole at the top of the watermelon.

Step 3 Shape hanger and insert into a drill

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We shaped the hanger to resemble a whisk and popped it into a drill.

Step 4 Drill the watermelon

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Insert the coat-hanger into the watermelon hole and drill all around hitting the sides and getting to the bottom.

Step 5 Strain

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Into a bowl over a strainer empty contents of drilled watermelon.

Step 6 Enjoy your juice

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Pour over ice and serve fresh and chilled. icon smile Make watermelon juice with a drill and a coat hanger

2012 Olympics: The Must-Follow Athletes on Twitter

Get ready for the most social media Olympics ever! Here are 25 of the best athletes to follow on Twitter – from Mashable:

After months of hype, the 2012 Olympics in London will finally get underway this Friday. With two weeks of excitement, drama and athletic brilliance, much of the Olympic action and reaction will take place online.
Social media will play a bigger role this summer than in any games before — especially compared to the last summer Olympics, in 2008. Why? Social media’s growth, influence and ubiquity has been exponential since ’08. Facebook has gone from 100 million users to over 900 million. More than 400 million tweets are sent each day now, compared to just 300,000 four years ago. And YouTube has grown steadily too; its users now upload more than 72 hours of video content each minute.

As has become standard for major athletic events, Twitter will act as the digital sports bar for many fans. News will break there first. People will share and re-share compelling human interest features; fans will celebrate and debate each race and performance.

And athletes, the stars of the summer games, will connect with fans and provide previously unimaginable inside access. While International Olympic Committee restrictions on social media posts have some athletes frustrated, there will still be plenty to enjoy. But it all begs one question: Out of more than 10,000 Olympians, who should you follow?

Luckily, Mashable has you covered. From sprinters to swimmers, dunkers to divers, we’ve found 25 of the very best Olympic athletes to follow on Twitter this summer. Scroll through the gallery above to seeMashable‘s Twitter Olympic team.

10 Unforgettable Olympic Moments to Get You Pumped for London 2012

Get pumped up! The Olympics are about to start! Here are 10 unforgettable video Olympic moments from Mashable:

 Jaw-dropping victories, heartbreaking defeats, and world-class athletes pushing their bodies to unfathomable limits seize the attention of the world for two weeks every two years.
The Olympic Games play host to many of the sporting world’s most memorable moments. In anticipation of the kick off to London 2012, we looked back at 10 extraordinary moments in Summer Games history.Prepare to stand up and cheer or dab a tear from your eye because this is what the Games are all about.
pixel 10 Unforgettable Olympic Moments to Get You Pumped for London 2012