Trapping social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) with acetic acid and saturated short chain alcohols

J Econ Entomol. 2000 Dec;93(6):1613-8. doi: 10.1603/0022-0493-93.6.1613.


Nineteen compounds were evaluated in combination with a solution of acetic acid as baits for trapping the German yellowjacket, Vespula germanica (F.), the western yellowjacket Vespula pensylvanica (Sausssure), and the golden paper wasp Polistes aurifer Saussure. Compounds with three to six carbon chains or branched chains and with a hydroxy functional group were selected for testing based on their similarity to isobutanol. They were compared with isobutanol with acetic acid, which is a known wasp attractant. None of the compounds tested were superior to isobutanol when presented with acetic acid as a lure for these species of wasps. However, traps baited with either the S-(-)- or the racemic mixture of 2-methyl-1-butanol in combination with acetic acid captured similar numbers of both species of yellowjackets, compared with isobutanol with acetic acid. Polistes aurifer responded strongly to the S-(-)-enantiomer and to the racemic mixture of 2-methyl-1-butanol with acetic acid and not to the R-(+)-enantiomer with acetic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid*
  • Alcohols*
  • Animals
  • Butanols
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Pentanols
  • Solutions
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Wasps*


  • Alcohols
  • Butanols
  • Pentanols
  • Solutions
  • isobutyl alcohol
  • Acetic Acid