Yellow for bug traps?

My neighbor is collecting yellow plastic dishes and bottles to make insect pest traps for her garden in the spring. She saw on a gardening blog that insect pests, particularly squash bugs, are especially attracted to yellow.

Now I am skeptical, but on the other hand this same lady told me about making a fruit fly trap by putting a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish-washing soap in a mason jar with a paper cone as a funnel in the top to encourage them in. That worked wonderfully, so I am not ready to dismiss her yellow plastic trap idea out of hand, especially if there is any hope of winning the fight with squash bugs.

Has anybody tried this, to know if yellow is any more effective than any other color for garden pest traps?



  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe Its works more for certain varieties of Bugs, Japanese beetle is one.

    For the japanese beetle I use ther okra plant. The beetle is attracted to tehr yellow flower, eats ther leavesm which has something very toxic to japanese beetles and dies

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe Yellow definitely attracts many bugs. That's why the commercial sticky traps are yellow. I would assume yellow would work for squash bugs because the squash blossoms are yellow.

    As a related side note: my husband used to have a bright yellow t-shirt. He finally got rid of it because every time he was outside he had numerous bugs landing on him, even deer ticks when he was hunting. (Only hummingbirds buzzed him when he wore red for hunting.)

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Than you both, that is encouraging. I will have to give the yellow traps a try and see how it works. And I did not know that about Japanese beetles and okra--guess I just lucked into it last season--saw a few of the beetles, picked them off but really doubt I got them all. Still they disappeared on their own--must have been the okra!

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe Yellow definitely attracts a lot of insects. I remember hearing from an organic gardener years ago that it's too effective. Supposedly there were more Japanese beetles overall because they were lured to the area by the traps than there would have been with none. I can't verify that; I just remember hearing it.

    I do remember years ago that my kids and I did an experiment on what colors attracted insects. We put different colored paper plates on the ground near the edge of the woods. We came back periodically to check them. I remember that yellow "won". I think blue "lost".

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Bugs see in uv light so their world looks completely different to them than it looks to us. Flowers to us are colorful and pretty, but to bugs they are like bullseyes that tell them exactly where they need to go. This is why flowers have specific colorations and patterns for different pollinators. Yellow attracts soil nates as well.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭

    When I started growing microgreens indoors I all of a sudden had a problem with "tons" of fruit flys. I bought these yellow sticky traps and when I bait them they do work. I'm really grateful. I still have some in the house but not nearly the overwhelming problem it was.