There is a whirring in the air: Wasps are launching a major attack on the barbecue this year as well. VapoWest from DHDL wants to thwart this. The test reveals how it works.

Wasps are annoying. Hardly any insect spoils the joy of outdoor breakfast or the barbecue in the evening so skilfully and obtrusively. Yes, wasps are the rocker gang of the skies: It feels like they’re always on the move in teams, loud, annoying, no manners at the dining table, but you still don’t want to mess with them. Contrary to (most) rocker gangs, wasps are not just annoying nuisances.

They are also at the service of nature and society. As hymenoptera, they jet from flower to flower and contribute to their pollination. This is particularly important for farmers and hobby gardeners so that the harvest does not turn out to be too poor. Nice side effect: Wasps feed on other pests such as mosquitoes, flies or aphids.

VapoWesp from DHDL lets wasps live

You should therefore never intentionally kill the would-be bee. This is also forbidden, by the way, because the species most widespread in Germany (“German wasp” and “common wasp”) are protected. Depending on the federal state, a slipped hand can cost you dearly: in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, murdering a wasp is punishable by a fine of up to 50,000 euros – although this has never happened before.

So what to do? A proven home remedy is to burn ground coffee. Claudia and Leslie Eckert, who invented VapoWesp and stumbled across a few problems while burning coffee, also know this: First of all, it is not easy to find a suitable container for burning, because an ashtray, for example, is usually open. Stupid when it’s a bit windy and the burning coffee powder suddenly sweeps over the table. The smoke can also be annoying once the wasps have left. Secondly, the burnt coffee powder stinks. It’s also not good when cakes, steaks or muesli are eaten in the sun.

VapoWest: Lockable fragrance

This is exactly where VapoWesp comes in: This is a smoking box with a lid that has a closable opening in connection with herbal mixtures that are supposed to provide a pleasant aroma when they burn together with the coffee. The herbal powders are available in the flavors “orange-rosemary”, “lime-basil” and “hayflower-thyme”. The mother-daughter team pitched their invention on May 16, 2022 in “Die Höhle der Löwen”.

VapoWesp from DHDL: That’s in it

The first smell test is promising. In its raw form, the herbal mixtures have a pleasant scent and are reminiscent of a trip to the herbal bath at your favorite spa. According to the founders, all ingredients are of natural origin. Therefore, hobby gardeners can also use the ash as fertilizer for the garden. Nice.

Incidentally, the construction of VapoWesp is very easy. The smoker box consists of four parts in total: The wooden box, on which the frame is placed, in which the embers bowl can be placed, which is then covered by the lid. Before we put it on, we put two teaspoons of coffee and one teaspoon of herbal powder (orange thyme) in the ember bowl. Incidentally, only one sample pack of the herbal powder is included in the scope of delivery. Buyers have to have the coffee themselves at home or get it from the supermarket. Now wasps have to be attracted before the powder mixture catches fire.

VapoWesp from DHDL: The cake test

Admittedly, the high season for wasps is traditionally in late summer. Then the insects are also particularly aggressive, because their previous source of food – a sugary juice that the larvae produce – is no longer available. In May, on the other hand, it is difficult to catch one of the tormentors at all, because currently only a few worker wasps are out building nests for the offspring.

If something draws you in spring, it has to be a delicious cream and passion fruit cake and a piece of apple pie. thought. It is Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. The cake has been sitting in the sun for an hour now and not a wasp was there to feast on it. The hope is dwindling that this will change, which is why VapoWesp now has to do its job without insects.

VapoWesp from DHDL: Fire at will

The coffee-herb mixture is lit in three places. The use of a long lighter is recommended here. Immediately after lighting it smokes properly. The smoke is by no means unpleasant and its consistency is significantly thinner than cigarette smoke, for example, which should appeal to smoke-sensitive people in particular. The smell is dominated by the herbs of the orange-thyme mixture, although the coffee comes through noticeably. An interesting mix, unusual but not unpleasant.

After about 15 minutes, the smoke decreases a bit. Now it’s time to remove the lid and carefully stir the powder mixture. This reignites the embers and the smoke starts up again. However, caution is advised: VapoWesp has now been in the sun for more than an hour and glows for about 15 minutes. The lid gets really hot and if you’re not careful, you’ll burn your fingers quickly.

VapoWesp from DHDL: A hot potato

The smoking box should therefore be kept as far away from children as possible. You also want to stir the embers protected from the wind, because if the wind blows unfavorably, the embers may spread over the table or hands. And this is exactly where the great strength of VapoWesp lies. The lid prevents exactly this problem when eating outside.

Once rekindled, VapoWesp smokes and smokes and smokes. There was almost no problem opening and closing the lid. The mechanism works perfectly, no hooks and no jerking. However, VapoWesp is not completely sealed. When the lid is closed, some smoke pulls through every slit, no matter how small.

But after about 40 minutes it is enough and the embers slowly evaporate. Again, caution is advised, because the lid is now so hot that you can barely touch the plastic of the slide control for the opening function. That’s why VapoWesp cools down in the shade for a good 20 minutes.

The inner part of the lid is well smoked after a single use, coffee and herb powder is charred. Surprisingly, the burned mixture does not smell as unpleasant as, for example, an ashtray. It’s not a scent experience, but it doesn’t stink either.

Conclusion: A sensible invention

Whether VapoWesp drives away stinging insects could not be verified due to the lack of wasps. But if you bet that the beasts can’t stand coffee smoke, you get a decent embers bowl to burn the coffee powder. The special thing about it: The lid prevents the ashes from blowing across the table. The herbal mixtures provide a pleasant scent and in combination with the coffee powder, a thin smoke is produced when burning, which spoils breakfast or a barbecue far less than cigarette smoke.

Because the lid and bowl get particularly hot in the sun, VapoWesp should be placed out of the reach of children’s hands. When using, especially when the embers are rekindled, users should exercise caution. An unfavorable gust of wind and the hot ash swirls around.

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