What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Curiousity Hopefully Wont Get Me Stung
Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 12:18 PM
Hello and thanks for taking time to help me out. Just this morning I realized Ive got quite a build-up of new ‘friends’ on the roof of my house. I found out about them from my crazy husband and his friend who were out having a cigarette. They came running in quickly, afraid of the evil bugs lol. Between my husband and son im the big bad bug killer because they are both highly creeped out by the creepy crawlies. Never bothered me. But back to the main event….
I went to check these, what I believe to be wasps, out and ive been searching all morning on what kind they could be. They are quite large for any wasp ive ever seen. Their bodies appear to be hard and are a darker red tent. The wings appear to be either a crimson purple or a black tent. Antennae are straight and black.
Me being the curious person I am I stood out there for awhile to watch them for a bit. I might be wrong but I think they are doing some sort of strange mating thing. One or more will wait for another to come and ‘clean’ their head by, what appears to be, bitting on it. Then once they’ve done this for a moment , both parties back off and clean and rub on themselves almost as if applying a lubricant of some sort.
Again, im no expert and these are just theories of my observations. I snapped a few pics as best I could with the lack of good zoom on my camera.
I would love to know what this species is and definately if they are something that needs to be taken care of immediately due to my small child. Thanks for everything!
Curious Mind
Little Rock, Arkansas

Red Wasps

Red Wasps

Dear Curious Mind,
These look to us like Red Wasps, Polistes carolina. Wasps in the genus Polistes are known as Paper Wasps and though they are not aggressive, they can sting if their nest is disturbed. Paper Wasps chew wood pulp into a material used to build the nest. We suspect they are attracted to the exposed wood beneath the peeling paint on your roof. It is possible that the nest is in the eaves of the house since BugGuide indicates: “This species may prefer to nest in very sheltered locations, such as hollow trees–this should be investigated.” A similar species with the same range is Polistes perplexus, also pictured on BugGuide. In our opinion, these Red Wasps pose no threat to your small child, but the wasps will protect their nest.

Update: Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 6:08 PM
Thanks very much for responding and especially finding out what they are. Im very relieved to know that these arent agressive by nature. I think it will put us all at ease. Now Im not so eager to call someone to get rid of them. They have to have a home someplace also. And there’s enough room for everyone to keep peace. I hate to kill things if there’s no need. Thanks once again and keep up the awesome work!!

Ed. Note:  April 11, 2011.  We have gotten so many comments of first hand accounts of aggressive Red Wasps that we feel compelled to withdraw our statement that the Red Wasps pose no threat.  Something is making Red Wasps angry with the human presence.  Perhaps this is a newly introduced species or subspecies that is more aggressive than the native species.  For whatever reason, it seems Red Wasps may be initiating attacks that do not directly result from a threatened nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Arkansas
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92 Responses to Red Wasps

  1. The red wasp I like is Polistes annularis which you can see on Bugguide.

  2. nicolec says:

    These are very common in North Alabama. They truly aren’t aggressive at all but their sting is quite painful. Other than removing nests near doorways and in high traffic areas, there’s no need to kill them. They’ll leave you alone if you show the same courtesy.

  3. SixGun says:

    Curious Mind I used to live in the Little Rock area and we had Red Wasps in the eves of our house as well and our batch or batches was VERY agressive. I watched them daily and they would actually post guards at the entrance to the nest. They would however give a warning flight at you first, then be ready. I have found the Reds to much more agressive than a regular Paper Wasp. I have lived in Arkansas all my life and the Red Wasp is in my opinion and experience more agressive than a standard Paper Wasp.

    • Cheri says:

      I live in Tenn. These that we have will sit on edge of house. You can see them turn their head and look at you. Then they will chase you a long way!!! They are not red they are ORANGE!! They are very aggressive!!! They are bigger than a red wasp. My husband has sprayed and they eventually come back, We ask other people and they have never seen them. They are the most aggressive thing I have ever seen!!! What are they??????

      • Paula says:

        Cheri, I would be interested in where you live in TN. We live in northwest TN, Dresden and we have these orange wasps. You are right, they are very “orange” and not red at all. They are much larger and are very aggressive. My husband was stung by one on the hand and had a horrible time with the sting. He has been bitten by snakes, more than once, and didn’t have this much reaction! They must have alot of poison in their bite!! We have talked to others and no one seems to know about orange wasps, only red ones! They have chased him several times when he is mowing the yard. I’m scared to even be outside!

        • Jerry says:

          Paula, you and Cheri may have encounter hornets which are larger the the smaller wasp. The average wasp is about .5 inches long and the hornet .7 inches long. Unlike bees, wasps (hornets) can sting repeatedly. Here in NC we have red & black, black, and yellow & black wasps. Sometimes they come inside the house but these are not aggressive and I just prop the door open so the can fly out.

          • bob says:

            I live in Missouri and have been invaded by these orange wasps as well. They definitely are not hornets. As a matter of fact, they will destroy hornet nests.
            They are very large, some over 2.5 inches in length and are very aggressive, will strike for no reason and leave large welts even if not allergic. They nest in places that cannot be seen or gotten to easily. I use moth ball bags to slow their nest-building, otherwise a tennis racket.

  4. srod says:

    At least in the Texas Hill Country, Red Wasps are very agressive! And they will follow you for several hundred feet chasing you away from their nest.

  5. shortstack says:

    Just found one of these indoors this late on a very cold December night. I’m concerned there could be more in my attic. I don’t know where this one came from. I just love this website. Yall have helped me identify several critters that have showed up in my yard, the oddest of which would be the arrowhead flatworm. Thanks!

  6. tacoburrito says:

    I agree with SixGun I have red wasps around my house here in Oklahoma, and I have been stung by them at least five times in three years. They will fly at you, and even chase you. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I got up one morning, donned my robe and flip flops, and walked to the kitchen for breakfast before work. I opened the door to the refrigerator and felt incredible burning pain in my foot. A red wasp had stung me on the foot!! It had gotten into the house somehow and as it lay on the floor, its final dying act was to crawl onto my flip flop, and sting me on the foot! I was just getting breakfast in my own home!! Needless to say I shared my pain with the little ____. Now I put out traps for them every year and I would advise anyone to do the same, they ARE agressive.

  7. […] opinion, these Red Wasps pose no threat to your small child, but the wasps will protect their nest. Red Wasps | What's That Bug? I've no idea what kind of spider it is, other than dead. Do not argue with an idiot. He will […]

  8. NoBoDEE says:

    I will back up sixgun with a SHOTGUN!
    Make NO mistake about it, we have property in East Texas, between Canton, & Tyler.
    I live in Dallas, I have been all over Texas in my 52 plus years and never met a meaner strain of yellow jacket, or hornet, than the RED WASP, EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE. As with most , never cast a shadow across their guarded space, and for sure always, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings around any place they might build. I opened the bar b Que one late summer evening out on Larry’s Lake ( a friend of mine whom was killed in a head on collision several years back when I was away living in Las Vegas, I returned to confirm his untimely death, while out at his property, which NoBoDEE has moved a ting in the two plus years since he died except myself and my son, I do miss him dearly.
    While we foraged about the property now going back to nature (26 acre lake, includes the island we built a log cabin on back in 1983) I was chased away from almost every structure by the RED DEVILS, whom have just about all but taken over everything.
    I walked out onto the pier which has about fallen in. I was so sad to see his property he loved and cared for so much. I can say it was so quite, & peaceful there. I could almost feel his presence. My son now 19, his birthday was the day before, followed me as we walked the shoreline, I spoke of earlier & much happier times before he was born. I walked up to the old rusted bar b que that was used till his death I ak sure, bottles were still sitting on the side of it, I opened the bar b que like an idiot (not thinking, LOL) I was met with three huge nest, I think the surprise was on us as well, because they all turned to look at me, Chills run along my skin as I speak of this, I let that lid slam shut as fast as gravity would allow, I remember the nest going stark with as they left the nest, without missing a beat I turned ran almost into my sons face, he needed no proding whatsoever, he had seen the horror on my face as well as the sight under that lid. I heard the slap of the lid slamming down know full well those nest came loode and hit the grills, lol, retribution would be swift!
    Time seemed to slow down as we turned and ran as fast as humanly possible, our legs felt like they weighed a hundred pounds each and with each step the weight just increased. I was expecting multiple stings at any moment, after what seemed an eternity, my son and I had ran approximately twenty yards, turned and took the liberty of looking over our shoulders just a tad, still keeping pace as we did so, alarmed to see many red figures approaching fast and furiously, almost within striking distance, our skin crawled ( we later recounted this to each other) we continued our rampage the hell out of the area, dafe and sound, I think we had ran a total of a hundred yards by the time we took another look. I am not sure when they stopped chasing us but there were some flying around the area. I believe they can smell fear, I know we smelled horribly of it.
    We watchedthe area of the Bar b que from a safe distance, it was teaming with them, as we had to walk about 30 yards from them to get back to the main road out. I can say for sure we were lucky, had I not dropped that lid I think this story would not have been spoken of so lightly. I was so shocked to see so many of them on almost every structure, and even the old outhouse was occupied by them, these pest were dominating the area where not even yellow jackets were seen, there are several other cabins there, an old barn/storeage shed. Each had red wasps nest under or inside. It was almost 2 pm, and getting late, I felt like an alien intruder, as these wasp kept us from approaching any structure whatsoever. They would take flight @ us if we got closer than twenty feet. I am not exaggerating one bit. I remember way back when we used to swim there, fish there, and have tons of fun. These were times when his pappy was there each weekend, and Larry all but lived there, there were always wasps yellow jackets and the such which had to be taken care of , the upkeep on the property was meticulous, & it showed, and were enjoyed immensely by everyone that came out. Time passed as well as his pappy, then him mother god rest her soul too. His father told me when I spoke to him that he just could not bare to go out there anymore since Larry’s passing, never touched it since the day larry left for town and never made it back, his boots were still sitting where he had taken them off, expecting to gather them upon his return. I suppose that we never think we might not be coming back. However as I walked out of the property, I turned and looked back at how beautifull it all was, and from that distance, the sun shining off the surface of the lake, all the trees, the winding road, I felt like I was ran off, a trespasser on my friends property. I returned to my fathers place a few miles down the road. We all laughed about the experience and felt maybe we seemed to make too much of it all.
    I can tell you that as we all sat around talking, I said that as long as there is life, & people here, then it is inviting, and my father and my stepmother take great care of their property, and there are all kinds of wasps yellow jackets, that defend their areas, yet are kept in check by vigilantly evicting them when they make nest too close to the home of structures frequented by people, we have all been stung by many of these good pest, I agree they are not to be arbitrarily exterminated, but left alone if possible.
    Most are just doing GODS work. This long story was to give you the same feeling as we encountered, and to also show that most black wasp, and yellow jackets will protect thier nest when it is endangered, but in the case of the RED WASP they are extremely aggressive when you apprach their nest. We laugh that is the cause of their almost floresent red color, a warning DON’T tread here!

  9. kimintn says:

    These red wasps are MUCH more aggressive than the black ones!!! My husband was bitten yesterday, as was our neighbor and myself…and the bites DO hurt! Our hands swelled up, turned red and warm, and were very painful…fortunately, those were the only affects we noticed from the bites. I was standing on the deck working with some flower boxes and this one came over to me and attacked…I didn’t even know it was there, nor was I bothering it at all!! It was stuck in my hand – stinging me – for about 5-8 seconds, and I had a very hard time shaking it off. And, as I said before, the bite does hurt!! We then noticed about 4 or 5 of them – all hovering around the deck posts and eaves on the front porch where there was a small hole that they were coming in and out of. Needless to say, when the weather gets cooler we will be filling in that hole!

  10. zeldafan says:

    I just want to come out and say that, having been stung FOUR TIMES within a two week time span by the same nest of red wasps (apparently they are also immune to RAID, as the nest has survived two entire cans worth), I disagree with a number of points from the original response. First off I want to start with a bit of background. I am terrified of spiders, if I even think there is one on me I will completely freak out. However if I witness another person killing a spider, when they could have completely ignored it and never seen it again, I will berate them for their actions. So I’m not an adamant “kill all creepy bugs” guy. But the wasp situation I’m in now is getting out of hand. I can’t even leave my house without being flown at. I have to wrap myself from head to toe in a blanket, or risk a FIFTH sting THIS SUMMER. As I have said I have tried ignoring them, poisoning them, trapping them, even throwing shoes at them from afar (took out three that way). The most recent scare I had was when I came home from work today (8/12/10) and there were a grand total of 11 wasps buzzing around the windows, and air conditioner, of my modest one room apartment. Needless to say, a third can of raid has been emptied in the ongoing war against this SAME NEST. That being said, I have noticed that, for whatever waspy reason, I am the only one targeted by their hostility. Friends and family have come over, during the day and night, at times quietly, others banging loudly on the door (above which, somewhere in the eaves, lies the nest) and have not been stung. I however can’t even approach my front porch without being swarmed at. I have to carry a blanket with me every day to work, so that I can hide under it while I try to sprint through my door. But I’m a long winded fool so I’ll wrap up on this point: I don’t know what wasp you’re referring to when you say it’s a peaceful species, but it’s not the one displayed in the picture above, which is identical to whatever is living above my door.

  11. lacyb504 says:

    I “found” a red wasp in my bed one night a few weeks ago. The sting was the worst. It felt like my leg had been set on fire. It turned red, swelled up and burned for days. I have found one other in my house, but I check for them very diligently, inside and outside. I really don’t want to encounter another. I have small grandchildren and worry that they may get stung by one of these vicious bugs.

  12. tofergy says:

    I have been attacked and bitten serveral times by these large red wasps. Their color is more orange than red. We reside in SW Tennessee in a rural area. The local Home Depot was total sold out of wasp spray. The gentleman in the department said he had never known a time when they were sold out of wasp spray. He said he had a problem at his home as well. Later I met another gentlemen who was also shopping for spray. He had a 3 year old at home and the nest was just outside the window of his daughter. We have always had a policy of leave them alone and they will leave us alone. NOT, in the case of these insects. I have been attacked 2 times from behind when just in the drive way. Apparently they don’t like a car running near their abode. They congregate around corners of the house where they apparantely get into the attics under the roof overhang. Their sting is extremely painful and lasts several days. The stings is very painful as well create itching over a large area surrounding the sting. One sting was on the top of my ear and the whole side of my face was in agony for several days. I finally declared war on these bothersome creatures and have gone through over $50 dollars of spray. Some work better than others. Several insects fly away even after being sprayed. I have never known an insect as aggressive as these other than hornets.

  13. TXhills says:

    These red wasps have been really bad this year here in Texas hill country near Austin. They seem to like the eaves and bushes by our front door and picture window the best. I’ve gone through two cans of spray so far. Never had them before this year, at least not in these numbers. Like others have said, our local Home Depot is often sold out of wasp spray because there have been so many people experiencing infestations. I’ve not been stung yet, but it’s not for their lack of trying. They are aggressive, yes sir, they sure are.

  14. sgurl says:

    I am sorry to disagree with you ,buit these wasp are very aggresive if you get close totheir nest.Aand i mean with in 10 to 20 feet especialy when their young are present .and the kind withthe yellow face are even worse,yes do somthing about them.

  15. FoolKiller says:

    This is my second time to attempt a post here. When my first never appeared, I assumed it was because I violated the party line of “leave them alone and they will leave you alone”. Some wasps may, but NOT the ones I, and apparently others, are discussing here. I inherited a farmhouse in western Kentucky that is not currently occupied. There are several fruit trees (apple, pear, etc.) on the property which I believe are contributing to our wasp infestation. A very large, very red/orange, VERY aggressive type of wasp has basically overrun the place. While NO nests are visible anywhere, the wasps enter and exit multiple places in the house and detached garage via barely visible cracks and holes. In some places they use smooth holes that appear to have been “drilled” in the mortar between bricks, although I can’t imagine how. When I say large, I mean between 1 and ¼ and 1 and ½ inches long. These are at least a quarter larger than “regular” wasps. By aggressive, I mean that if they see you, they come at you until you kill them. We have gone through dozens of cans of the spray that fires a solid stream. Normal wasps hit with this drop immediately and soon die. These just get up and fly back at you, until you knock them down with a steady stream for a third and occasionally fourth time. On one visit late last summer, we were unable to even get out of the car. There were several HUNDRED of them in the air, not swarming, just doing whatever wasps do (a LOT of it). One would hit a car window with an audible noise every 2-3 seconds. We had to turn around and leave. Over the winter I sprayed poison and foam sealant into every crack and hole I could find. I set off multiple bug bombs inside each structure, although they seem to be in the walls and rarely if ever inside. I visited last week, and there were 30-40 of them around. I couldn’t even mow because noise seems to make them even madder and draw them from a distance. I killed what I could, but it was obviously a losing battle as they have apparently found (or made) new cracks and holes. My last recourse is to hire a professional exterminator, but I am very dubious as to how successful this will be. I contacted the largest exterminator in the area and got the “oh it’s just wasps… we’ll spray them and knock the nests down if you can’t”. When I said there were no visible nests and suggested this was something new to my area and more aggressive, I was basically laughed at.

    • bugman says:

      Dear FoolKiller,
      We generally approve all comments we receive, except for items that are SPAM or otherwise inappropriate. Though we believe in tolerance with insects, many folks who write to us do not share that world view, but we do not censor content that differs from our own stance. We have gotten numerous reports of aggressive Red Wasps and we no longer write that they are harmless. Most Paper Wasps can sting, and they will defend the nest from danger. Approaching the nest, or trying to remove the nest will most assuredly result in the potential for being stung. It seems this is most evident with the Red Wasps. Thanks for supplying your comment.

  16. […] and their wings are as black as their hearts (picture below). According to a website called “What’s That Bug?” red wasps are known for their non-aggressiveness. Oh wait, except they are aggressive, […]

  17. kblank says:

    Hello, I just moved into a home in Plano, TX with some kind of red wasps flying all around the patio. I would like to get rid of the nest but I can’t find it. Can you give some tips on locating the nest? – I have looked all around under the eaves and have tried watching where they go but no luck so far. At what time of day would I be most likely to see them going in and out? Thank you.

  18. zumzum says:

    well i have been ignoring these pests until yesterday when i “bumped” into one and only knew it stung me by the swelling, not so bad. then one stung my elderly mother, and this morning, just passing by the area on her stairs where they seem to congregate, i was stung 5 times without even paying them any attention. in my experieince they get more and more aggressive as thweir numbers increase. i have a high tolerance for bugs, hate to kill them most of the time but these guys are right little buggers and if i’m going to get stung just coming and going to my moms they are gonna get sprayed. i agree with earlier comments that something must be up. we’ve seen one or two around for years but they never bothered us, heck i helped a couple get freedom outside when they wandered into my moms apt but these guys are aggressively hostile and i’m not taking chances with an 81 year old woman.

  19. Anrkist says:

    @kblank – They tend to move around in the heat of the day. The places I’ve typically seen them in are eaves and inside attics. However, if you have a patio that is above the ground, they may be under that.

    I had the unfortunate pleasure of sitting on the edge of an above ground pool which was also home to a hive. Yes, they got me where you would expect.

    In my experience with them, they are only aggressive when you are near a spot which MAY hold a nest. They might be thinking of building there or there might be one you don’t see.

    But when they are just fluttering about on the grass, they never seem to mind me.

  20. Jamesw2 says:

    Yes I have been around wasps all my life and not been not only stung but chased and attacked by red wasps. They don’t like being disturbed. when i mow grass they will chase me out of the area.
    They burn worse than a tetanus shot and much worse than a black wasp. I learned to put ice pack on a sting as fast as possible. That seemed to stop the burning in a mater of a few minutes.

    One more note I had been stung twice mowing my yard but on the third ( and after) time they just batted me on the head. But they did investigate my lawn mower for several minutes.

    I have also mud wasps that are tolerant of my moving about the garage

    OH! Anrkist

  21. ckyler says:

    I honestly have to agree with the original sentiment. In doing lots of landscape work in Texas (Austin and Dallas) for the past several years, red wasps have been an almost a daily encounter. I’ve never thought of them as aggressive. I encounter these guys 10x as frequently as any other wasp except cicada killers, and have never been stung, whereas yellowjackets have gotten me half a dozen times. Especially right now, with the drought, they seem drawn towards areas with moisture, and I’ve almost grabbed one of them or stepped on one more times than I can count when changing hoses, turning on faucets, etc. They seem to be quite curious when I enter an area they’re in, and will circle around and sometimes buzz me, but I keep my cool (e.g. I don’t start flapping my arms, swatting at them) and they totally leave me alone. I can’t say a thing about how they behave when their nest is approached, because in all this time, working on acres and acres of different properties, I’ve never encountered a nest: not in abandoned sheds, eaves of the home–nowhere. I’ve always been mystified as to where their nests might be, so I’m believing the original post which said they live in *very* sheltered locations. Completely, totally surprised to come here and find everyone posting about how horrible these things are. They seem as benign as cicada killers. I’d trade all the damn yellow jackets in the world for more of these guys.

    • bugman says:

      Dear cyker,
      Thank you so much for your valuable perspective. As a landscaper, it stands to reason that you would have had ample opportunity to be stung by Red Wasps if they were an aggressive species. Perhaps like beauty, aggression is in the eye of the beholder.

      • Charles says:

        I may have posted something on reds before. I agree with all the reports of extreme aggression, and medieval, excruciating pain from a single sting. I was chased out of my yard by 1 red after running at it with a mower, neither the noise, vibration nor the machine intimidated it. It showed distinct reasoning intelligence in flying up over the mower straight towards my face. I was across the street in seconds, and the red claimed the yard! When I was 6 or 7, I took one sting from a red and could not stop screaming till 7 hours passed, baking soda etc. was applied. One strange experience stands out. In 1987 I hit a clothes line pole (hollow T-shape, round parts) with a mower. Immediately I saw five reds, very angry, hovering quite close to my face. In the span of 1 second I had 2 thoughts, first, “I’ve had it” and second, is there a way out? I don’t think I could have outrun them short distance and they were less than a foot from my face in tight formation. Make of this what you will, but without moving, I yelled “NO!” and somehow, against all reason, was able to back away without a sting. The mower was off as it was a safety bar type machine, I had released it as soon as I hit the pole, or as soon as I saw the flying terrors. Can they understand “NO!” ? I believe what they heard was “attitude,” if you think they won’t sting, they may not. However I doubt this will work if you intentionally put it to a test, it may work only in an emergency, and that may have been the only “reprieve” I was to ever get!

  22. Mandina says:

    I grew up in Houston, and one of my earliest memories was being stung numerous times around my lip by red wasps when I was two. I was just out in the back yard, near a bush, when they attacked. I still remember the pain, and I was sick for a week. I remember this so vividly. I couldn’t go to a neighbor kid’s birthday party because I was still sick, but I remember someone walking over with a piece of birthday cake for me. We knew to be wary of any wasp, but especially the red one, after that. I’ve been somewhat allergic to wasps and bees ever since. If I get stung once in a great while, it’s not so bad. But if I get stung a couple times a year, for instance, I swell up for over a week. I respect life, and never kill anything without a reason, and I find insects fascinating. But I live in N. California now, and sure don’t miss the red wasps.

  23. Wasp Hater says:

    Dont know where my lengthy message went but just want to say they are very aggressive and sting’S hurt much more than honey bee stings.

    OH, KILL ALL RED WASPS!

  24. NightMareZer0 says:

    Hey i’m not sure if people are still reading this but i live in north alabama and i got alot of this lil pests and i mean alot oncecounted a good 17 from a nest i killed and a good 20+ just on the wall of my place and seems like there are alot more i’ve seen them post at the doors and just watch them looked outside once and saw one watching me and the door a hour later it was in the same spot i have not yet been stung but i don’t feel to safe with 10+ watching me when i take my dogs out but as a plus if you got a way to get some bumble bees to live near your place they will help you fight off the wasps and unless you mess with them they will leave you alone the reason i say this is because when i was fighting off wasps with spary a bumble bee showed up and started helping me get rid of them yet it never once tried to sting or even rush at me like it did the wasps well i’ve posted alot and should stop but if you know a way i can get some bumble bees to live near my place i’ed like to know and sorry for the long post.

  25. ihateredwasps says:

    Im having the same problem in my home! I was cooking dinner last night and i look up to see a BIG red wasp crawling on one of my pots so i immediately ran away. My husband then killed it and several minutes later a couple more seemed to have come from under where the lightbulb is over my kitchen sink, as though they were protecting their home or warning us to stay away. If we even approached them they would immediately raise their wings and start “buzzing”. So i went to cvs and bought raid wasp and hornet killer and it immediatly killed them on contact. But now i have about 5 or 6 flying about my house as i type…..-____- what can i do to get rid of them?!? i have a one year old son and i am very worried about him getting stung! please help!

  26. NightMareZer0 says:

    ihateredwasps first thing you should do is get some fly swatters and smack them in the air if you gotta then call the a bug man sure helped me out i can now go outside freely with no worry of wasps and bugman that thing looks nothing like a bumble bee besides the fact it is black and yellow.

  27. earl says:

    Are these red wasps common all over? I am on Long Island, and the other night while giving my kids a bath I saw what I am guessing was one of these in my bathroom. My daughter saw it and freaked out. It wasnt very aggressive. I do have a carpenter bee problem, and have had an exterminator spray for those all last summer, and I think so far once this spring as well. I did not initially think it was a wasp because of the color, I always thought wasps were only black and yellow. This was also much large than the common wasps I see in my area. Would spray from an exterminator that is meant for carpenter bees also kill these?

  28. Scott says:

    Oh yeah, aggressive! Don’t be mistaken! I had a colony around my house just recently. Clusters of them clinging to my front porch lamp, some coming down my chimney (four got in, four died in the stove when I discovered where they were getting in at). They dive bombed me every time I went out the door. I finally found their main “hang out” on the base of a nearby oak. At least 20 of them. Wasp spray took them out and I think round one is won for this year. But I expect more. If they’re supposed to be “non-aggressive” I guess the ones around here have been “Africanized” (that’s a joke, btw).

  29. Heather Buckholtz says:

    I don’t feel I have much to add to these comments, but to say that for their aggressive behavior, the red wasp is not ‘evil’ and is very much an important part of the ecosystem. I too have been attacked multiple times for no apparent reason here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The first time I had a negative encounter with these wasps it was entirely because of a human error. My father swatted one away with his hand as I was walking out the door and it took it’s agression out on me with a sting to the upper arm, 5 on my ankle, and a nasty welt from the dragging of the stinger across the top of my foot. Before that incident I had no abnormal fear of wasps, and though it really got my adrenaline going to see them after that, I tried to maintain that it was our own error that resulted in the attack. However, in the years since that incident, red wasp behavior has become significantly more hostile. Something has made them more agressive, and I do think it is the result of the human footprint all the way (though this may not necessarily be alterable). Bottom line, though I would not consider them to be safer hanging around outside my doors and windows, I don’t mind them on the property, they have every right.
    On an interesting note, and I may just be seeing a behavior that isn’t really there, they do give you a warning if they decide to attack while seated at the nest or on any surface they may be clinging to. The wings point forward slightly toward and rather than look relaxed they seem to poise their entire body to lauch in your general direction. Hahaha.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks Heather. We really appreciate your firsthand experience with Red Wasps.

    • Eric says:

      Same behavior here as well, about an hour away from Little Rock, AR.

      We moved here and I’ve been trying to figure out what type they were for a while, since at some point the home had mud daubers as well (found old mud dauber nests, and the red wasps that took their place when we renovated one of our bathrooms).

      Half the time they’ll go about their business, it seems like they fly directly by me intentionally on their way, go around me once or twice and leave. They do leave guards out, and the other posted who said about their poised getting ready to attack position, I definitely agree with that. If I walk by their area, I wouldn’t even say nest, at least 10 foot away, 10 feet up, they’ll chase you away, haven’t been stung yet though. I do want them gone, unfortuntly their nest is hidden behind my siding, with their entrance at the top, they access through the flashing there. Can’t get to them w/o removing my siding.. can’t remove my siding cause they mean business :) So I have two sides of my home they’ve taken over, and now I built a covered porch in the middle, far away from both sides, and they like to hang out there too.

  30. Karen Eve says:

    We have a red wasp nest up inside a small roof area on a bay window. Last year there were only about 1/2 dozen wasps and they weren’t aggressive, so we didn’t take any steps and were going to seal off the area during the winter. Didn’t get it done, so this year, they’ve multiplied tremendously and while not terribly aggressive, there are a lot and they are more aggressive than before. So today we’ve been spraying them while they’re outside sunning themselves since we can’t get inside the nest. We’ll continue to do this until they get tired of it and leave or until winter comes again and we can seal it off. They are near high traffic areas on the deck and back yard with children playing all the time, not to mention outdoor grilling. I’m also very allergic to stings. While they are certainly not as agressive as the mud wasps we had in California, some hives are agressive and I used to have one where they always tried to attack my windshield whenever I drove in the yard. They lost. Fortunately, they weren’t as agressive with people. I generally leave bugs alone that have enough sense to stay outside, but stinging bugs close to the house or venomous spinders such as black widows and brown recluse need to make way for the humans, especially since we have young ones. Otherwise, if they aren’t threatening me or mine, they can live in peace.

  31. tacoburrito says:

    It’s been almost 3 years since my first post about these wasps. Since then I moved to a different house trying to avoid them…. I will be moving up north to maine soon and these are a contributing factor. I have avoided stings for a couple years by sheer vigilance. My wife tells me there are three of these in our new house right now and as I am at work I can not help her…. I’m sick of this. I kill every one of these I see now and I go out of my way to kill them. I cant even be outside or have a window open without seeing one every 5 minutes. Oklahoma is infested with these. These wasps are tough as nails too, I have been outside working on a spraypaint project and been flown at, chased, and when I sprayed the wasp it didn’t even bother it all I did was color it white (I was using white paint). I have spent so much money on wasp spray, sprayed nests and holes where they live in futility, they always come back. Recently I noticed spray de-icer (mostly compressed ethylene glycol, isopropanol, and methanol will knock them out of the air and stun them for five minutes…. go ahead and step on em or they will get back up after a few minutes of laying on their back kicking their legs. Black canned raid hornet and wasp killer is about the only thing I know of that kills them on contact but its not instant…. WD40 kills them eventually but the spray isn’t the best. Its just whatever I have had available to kill them with at the time. I only use the Raid when I find a nest but then the next day there will be more. I hate hate hate these things!

  32. i have seen these wasp outside sometimes but we have only had 1 or two get into the house.we have seen alot of them out by our bushes in swuanee georgia but i have yet to be stung and you are talking to a man who is freaked out by wasps or bees.I think we may have a nest but i am not sure near these bushes and i am not going to hang around to find out.I have seen them numerous at cdc too as i am walking about the campus.I have seen them espically but the dumpuster i think the like trash. I have yet like i said be stung by them but i do belive they are more agressivee.oh FYI they are also called maghongy wasps and they do see alot in our area.
    hope this helps

  33. Scott says:

    I’m in Austin and we had a red wasp nest under the stairs leading up to my apartment. These are VERY AGGRESSIVE wasps. They would chase me hundreds of feet away from the nest, they are NOT afraid of anyone or anything, and they are relentless. My girlfriend was walking up the stairs and was attacked and stung twice and she had to physically remove the wasp FROM her body because it was not going to stop.
    The nest was sprayed by maintenance, but not removed. Two days later, the wasps were rebuilding the nest. I have to hand it to them for their fortitude…..I’ve never encountered such an aggressive species that seems to ENJOY attacking. And I’ve lived in Texas all my life.

  34. Karl says:

    I have been reading the comments above, and if I may, I’d like to add to the discussion. I live in a rural area about 40 miles north of Houston. I’m 51, and have lived here almost my entire life so I am familiar with red wasps and the other paper wasps in this area. The other species are fairly easy-going, but the red wasp is different. I don’t know if I would describe them as aggressive- maybe hyper-defensive would be a better term. Think about it, wasps build nests for the purpose of raising their young, and if you have a flimsy paper nest full of nice juicy grubs that almost every critter for miles around would love to eat you had better be able and willing to defend it or your species won’t last long. We humans don’t like it, but that defensiveness is a positive attribute from the wasp’s perspective. We seem to have more red wasps in this area than any other species of paper wasp, and their hyper-defensive nature may be the reason for this.

    They have their place in the ecosystem and they were here before us, so I am willing to try to live with them. I let them live under my eaves and inside my soffits and haven’t had any problems ( we have shrubs under the eaves so I don’t have to mow closer then about 8 feet from the house), but I can’t let them live on my porches. I have shared the porches with other species of paper wasp with no problems at all, but the reds are just too high-strung for that kind of close contact with people.

    As others have noticed red wasps do like to build their nests in more sheltered and protected areas, which is consistent with their more defensive nature. They would rather live inside your soffits (usually nor more than a foot inside) than out in the open under the eaves. So I suspect that when people report “unprovoked” attacks they were really near a nest without knowing it. The only clue you will have is the presence of guard wasps at the entrance point to the nest. If you see some red wasps (sometimes as many as a dozen) just hanging out for no apparent reason in a particular area they are probably guarding the entrance to a nest. When they raise their wings they are getting agitated so keep your arms down and back away slowly. I do agree with some others who have noticed that a colony of reds will be more easily agitated as their numbers increase, usually later in the summer.

    I agree that wasps (all species) will only try to sting if they feel their nest is being threatened. They don’t wake up every morning with the goal of trying to attack as many people as possible that day. That said, if you want to avoid problems it is important that you be aware of what’s going around your house and property, especially any structures. Paper wasps commence nest building in the Spring, and then again in late July/early August, so if they are trying to build in an unsuitable place that’s the time to control them if it’s absolutely necessary. Some folks have said that insect poison in a can won’t kill red wasps, but I have never seen it fail. It may not drop them immediately, but it does work, at least in my experience. I absolutely hate using poison spray, so a pellet gun is my weapon of choice when the deed must be done (be careful).

    One last comment- some of the folks in this discussion have mentioned that they have noticed the red wasps in their area getting more defensive in recent years. I can only say that in my part of the country the reds have been easily agitated and different from the other wasps for as long as I can remember. For the last 47 years or so they haven’t changed a bit.

    That’s it. It’s probably obvious that I’m a big insect lover (especially all kinds of wasps), so I could probably write a small book on my observations over the years. I’m also a huge fan of What’s That Bug. You folks do great work. All the best!

    • bugman says:

      Wow, thanks so much for the informed comment Karl. We have been away from the office for several weeks and that is why it has taken us so long to respond and approve your comment.

  35. Pirdman says:

    I live north of Austin (Killeen area in the country) Grew up around cicada killers and hornets, but have never seen anything as aggressive as these “red wasps” I got stung walking by a nest two days ago on the back of my hand. My hand is so swollen I cannot close it, wear my wedding ring, or a watch. This was my 5th or 6th sting in the last 3 years. I usually have been stung on the neck or head, but the sting on the hand was the worst. We live in the country with Austin Stone walls. They find any crevice they can to nest. I am developing a real “dislike” for these buggers!!

  36. Spadarkly says:

    Okay, I am from near Little Rock. Maybe the accounts given by these folks are of a red hornet.
    We have some sort of highly aggressive red flying devil around here that will come out of nowhere and swoop down when we try to get in our front door or when we let our dog out the back door to potty. If you even stand in front of the back door, one will magically appear at the door and hover, waiting for you. We have checked the eaves around the doors and there are no active nests in the area for them to guard. The only nest in the area is one from another species of paper wasp.
    Looking closely at the pictures, however…this devil and the other red paper wasp don’t really look like our evil red devils. Ours are red and have lighter legs. They are fat and appear to have a tiny bit of fluff to them. They are mostly immune to even the strongest wasp sprays (my no-kill policy goes out the door when something threatens me and my family). I thought it might be a male cow killer, as I have encountered the female many times. It looks nothing like the pics of male cow killers, either. The legs do dangle when they fly, so I don’t think they are hornets despite their size. I don’t know what the heck we have, but now I want to try to snap a photo…

  37. Jennifer says:

    I have lived in east Texas my whole life and never seen a meaner insect than the red wasp! We have them badly at our house, and I can never get rid of them. Usually a squirt of Raid Wasp and Hornet spray will knock the little suckers on their heads. But, now they seem to be laughing at me when I use it! I literally have to drown them in the spray for it to finally kill them. Can they become immune to the spray?? I have never had any problems using that spray.

    • bugman says:

      While there is some evidence that insects like Cockroaches can develop a tolerance to insecticides, we do not think that is the case with the Red Wasps. The nest will have a queen and sterile workers. The workers are most likely doing the attacking. Since they do not pass down genetic material, they are most likely not developing a tolerance to your sprays.

  38. Thunder says:

    I’m not really saying anything that hasn’t already been said but just wanted to throw my comment in. I also have lived in east Texas (Jasper) all my life and am very familiar with the “red wasp”. I do agree that they seem to be very aggressive when you are around their nest but I do see them in the yard when mowing and just out and about and they don’t seem to care much about me. There seems to be two kind of what I call the “red wasp”. One species is the one that is solid red or “orange” and the other is the same color except for their tail, which is black. Both seem to be the same except for that. I have only been stung one time by one of these while I was weed eating near a raised deck. That sucker popped me on my forehead and it felt like I had been hit with a baseball bat. lol So, I do get rid of any nest I see around my house. I have found that most all of the spray that you buy seems to work well. Just wanted to my two cents in…..thanks.

  39. James lewis says:

    I live in Mississippi and am now 63 years old. I have always gone by the rule that leave wasps alone and they will leave you alone. I am outdoors all the time and have not been stung in years. However over the last two weeks I have witnessed someone attacked just for walking within 6-8 feet of a hidden nest and today my small dog was stung in a similar manner. These are Large orange – red wasps, with paper nests. They are very very aggressive!

  40. Randall says:

    I am a vinyl siding and window replacement guy. Needless to say wasps and their cousins are an every day part of my job during warm parts of the year.
    I constantly remind my employees, don’t bother them and they won’t bother you. Something has drastically changed over this past warm season. These big orange/red wasps are popping up everywhere and their aggression is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I have come across this type of wasp plenty of times in the past, but something is different. If you even go on the same side of the house where these wasps are nesting (and their nests are very well hidden inside the cornice) they attack. When they hit you, they grasp onto you like a thorn and you have to knock them off.

    They are no longer passive wasps, they are the most aggressive I have ever encountered. They make hornets seem passive.

  41. Randall says:

    They are also very poison resistant. The spray that will drop a regular wasp to the ground with a mist will take multiple cans to take out a nest of these particular wasp. Unfortunately, that seems the only way to deal with them. They will not simply leave you alone if you leave them alone.

  42. Linda K. says:

    It’s disconcerting when something that has never seemed to be aggressive before, suddenly changes and becomes a menace. I say suddenly because until this summer, I have co-existed quite well with these red wasps. I know they have their place, and never minded sharing my area with them. Something has changed. I do hope someone is researching this. At any rate, I live in rural northeastern Arkansas. For the first time I am being attacked. When you walk on your deck and a big red wasp flies straight for you and stings you in the face, just under your eye, you take notice. Ouch…painful. I have had these wasps build nests all around my house for years without a problem. I’ve gotten close often. They have never seemed to notice me. Until this year. I’m just glad it isn’t my favorite garden/yard beastie who is doing this. I LOVE my bumblebees!

    • bugman says:

      Hi LInda,
      We are documenting this in all the approved comments we have accepted, however as busy college professors, we don’t have time to research it at this moment. We will try to learn who is the premier Polistes authority in North America and try to get his opinion.

  43. Cathy says:

    This is a tip I’ve used my entire adult life, as I’m allergic to bee stings. Purchase a cheap can of hair spray (the aerosol ones like Aqua Net are no longer available, which is a bummer as their spray was the strongest). Test it in the store if need be, but make sure it sprays as forcefully as possible. You can then use the hair spray to spray any flying insect. If you hit it liberally with the spray, within a few seconds its wings stiffen/seize up and it can no longer fly. You will see it walking around trying to fly. That’s when you can safely kill it with a newspaper roll or fly swatter. Plus I figure the hair spray is not as toxic as insect killer (don’t know if I’m right about that, but I am supposing since you are supposed to be able to spray it on humans). Good luck to all; I am TERRIFIED of bees/wasps/hornets.

  44. Cheri Berry says:

    This is our 2nd or 3rd year of having those wasps. We live near Memphis tn. You can see them sitting on the house looking at you. then they attack. They are called Mahogany Wasps. Look them up, same ones!

  45. Chad says:

    I am having the same problem in Memphis, TN. I have seen a very aggressive strain of red-wasps emerge. Their nest is in my carport attic and have had little trouble in the past, but this blast of warm air has brought them all out. I have seen a mixture of what I would consider red wasps and a mixture of red-wasp/hornet (their tails are orangish red with black stripes) congregating in the same hole. I’m not sure about the species, but these suckers are way bigger than normal red wasps. I have sat in deer stands with red wasps buzzing around and have never had a problem. I consider it rather strange as I have never seen this type of behavior in the past. Active attacks are just plain odd.

    If the Queen was on the move, could that explain the behavior?

    • bugman says:

      The queen does not leave the nest, but rather dies with the hive at the end of the season with the rest of her colony. New queens leaving the nest might explain additional activity. New queens will leave the nest in autumn. They will mate and seek a place to hibernate over the winter, and they will begin a nest of their own the following spring.

  46. bob says:

    As I replied further up the thread, these are not hornets. They are mean and aggressive. They destroy hornet nests, as apparently the 2 species don’t get along well. They build diamond shaped nests in places that are difficult to see and get to. They can survive normal wasp sprays, I’ve seen them get up and fly away after being knocked down by the spray. Personally, I use the cap to squash them. In summertime, I usually carry a tennis racket on the porch.
    Their size is normally 1 – 1.5″, but I have seen them as big as 2.5″. And they hurt, bad.

  47. John Wells says:

    I just bought property around Elkhart, Texas. I had a mini excavator and cleared some land for a building and tore down an old mobile home frame. I noticed a large amount of reddish/orange wasp or hornets flying around. At first they were not aggressive to me but as the project progressed, they began to get extremely aggressive. They began dive-bombing the excavator arm and bucket while I was digging holes in the ground. The unit was diesel powered and I had a small amount of diesel on my hands so they didn’t seem to be attracted to me until the next day after I had showered and not handled fuel again. These were approx. 1-3/8″ to 1.75″ long and never changed their attitude back to the good and they would buzz me even when the machine was shut off overnight. The machine was delivered back to the rental source after a week but still they won’t leave me alone just walking around the property. Also when I started my plate compactor they went nuts! I was getting dive bombed by at least 10 of them until I shut it off. I am going to be gone for a couple months and hopefully they will forget me by then. If they are still aggressive at that time I’ll do something about them.

  48. TC says:

    Hello:
    I “met” one of these wasps today; it landed right by me while I was outside working on our deck. I was a little nervous at first (thinking of angry wasps/yellow jackets) but I couldn’t resist reaching for my phone to snap some shots since it was so close. I got some great macros that I posted on Instagram! The wasp never seemed overly perturbed by my presence. Occasionally it would drift off and then come back and sit for a bit.
    This web site helped me identify it (thanks) and I saw the retraction about these wasps being aggressive and I just wanted to share that my experience was non-aggressive despite my putting a scary iPhone up close to it (haha). So just wanted to ‘stick up for the bug’ – I know you don’t endorse terminating but just wanted to add my experience as well. Obviously folks with venom allergies is a whole ‘nother concern.

    • bugman says:

      Thank you for your comment. We like being able to provide a balance of comments, both for and against.

  49. john wells says:

    Thanks for your reply too. I don’t like to “mess” with mother nature, but if it “messes with me first I’ll defend myself. So far I haven’t been stung but I sure thought I was going to be nailed. If someone came and wiped out my home I’d be defensive too but I don’t think I got his place in my work on the property. Hopefully he’ll forget me when I return in the fall. I’m very much against poisoning critters, but may have to resort to repellent plants etc. There are a lot of plants they don’t like that will keep them away but not hurt them that I would like to try first. Hope yours stays passive.

  50. I n Louisiana we are having trouble with large wasps , horse flys and red wasps. Looking for suggestions. How to make a trap for wasps out of soda bottles to trap wasps. My girfriedin WV makes the bottles and very good results. Does anyone know how to make the bttes

  51. Can everyone help us make the soda bottle that cathes wasps and bees my girlfriend from west Virginia cathes them all the time
    I dont understand how she makes them. Can someone help us by drawing a picture or a plan. Thanks Patty and Ron

    • bugman says:

      Dear Patty and Ron,
      This might sound like a stupid question, but why don’t you just ask your girlfriend how to make the traps?

      • ron & patty says:

        Can someone draw a picture as to how to make them. By her just telling us does not help and we have many. R&P. We are new on making them and need a visual picture on how. We are new to the computer world. Help please.

  52. john wells says:

    Youtube has a lot of videos on making them…

  53. ron & patty says:

    Thank you everyone for the response and the drawing of the trap for the red wasp. I will be making it today (On Fathers Day). Everyone have a very Happy Fathers Day and once again, THANK YOU, Ron & Patty

  54. DBCC says:

    Screw these things… here in Texas they are satanic.. You walk by them and they chase you.. I cant even count the number of times I have been stung..

  55. Nancy says:

    We have these orange wasps in our overhang outside our house in Elmendorf, Texas. They are very aggressive. I have been stung a couple of times, my husband just once. But in his case, once was enough to send him(by ambulance) to hospital. He was stung on his head and immediately felt weak and short of breath. after getting him into house and giving benedryl his entire body began to tighten up and after about 10 minutes he could not move. All his muscles locked up! 911 was called and he even kinda blacked out due to blood pressure getting too high. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen. We now live with an epipen and he avoids them as much as possible. We are spraying them with wasp and hornet spray but by the next morning there are just as many back. They are driving us crazy! lol

  56. Rudy says:

    I live 10 miles south of Little Rock, AR. I have a colony of these large, red orange wasps take up in my siding cornice. I cannot see the nest, only the crack wher ethey travel in and out from my flashing and roof frame. Recently they have turned highly aggresive. I have been stung twince, both on my head, without warning. I will be calling an exterminator soon.

  57. Shamus P says:

    I have two colonies living in my roofing.
    They are not afraid to build near entryways, or doors.
    I smoke outside, and sit on my doorstep many times a day. They are really hard to ignore, so I watch them.
    They do watch people closely, and will attack swiftly if threatened. Threatening, to them, is moving fast, causing any vibrations, just being close to them is risky.

    Here is an interesting observation. On days where it is very hot they sometime post outside their nest, fanning with their wings.

    They do pack a vicious sting. While I haven’t been stung, my landlord has.

  58. Bwall says:

    I grew up in NE Ark (Wynne) and these red wasps were horrible! They would attack my brothers and I as soon as we walked outside. I went to the bathroom at my church and one went up my skirt and stung me 13 times when I was a little girl. I moved to North Central Ark when I was grown and have ran into some of these aggressive red wasps but this year they haven’t been bad. They float around the grass and go about their business. We’ve only had to kill one nest around the swimming pool…..I didn’t want my children stung! So far so good this year! (I am allergic, so we have to kill the aggressive ones) the rest can stay if they’ll be good.

  59. Suzy says:

    I live in nw Alabama , and have all my life . We had a run in with those large orange wasp also. I have never seen them before, the wings flutter like a butterfly and you may not notice them until they attack! My grandson was walking past my house when he got stung! He said he thought it was a small butterfly, but his leg swelled to twice its size. My husband proceeded to tear out the eave of my house and removed a very large nest, about the span of two men’s hands. They are still around somewhere I see one occasionally . And they are Very aggressive!

  60. ZenArtist says:

    I see a ton of comments regarding the aggressiveness of the red wasps. I’ve been stung two different times in 2 months at the same location even after the nest was destroyed a couple of months ago.. It seems they like a certain dead tree with a little hole close to the base.

    I am in the Texas hill country, and the first time I was stung on the upper right arm once by a red wasp. It burned and swelled and was feverish for about 2 days with plenty of itching. The second time was worse, one wasp stung me 3 times in the upper left arm before I could see where it was. I was carrying a flashlight and as it tried to sting me again I hit it in mid air with the flashlight. I knocked it about 5 feet away, but it came right back at me. I hit it again, it came back at me again. I hit it a 3rd time toward the ground and it bounced off the ground, flew around me about 4 times, then flew off.

    I’ve since read that sometimes the body remembers a similar sting and reacts much stronger to build up fluid to remove the poison from the body. That is certainly the case with me. I was stung yesterday (the second time) and today my arm is so swollen the the creases on the inside arm at the elbow are pushed out instead of creasing in. I can barely bend at the elbow because it is so swollen.

    Anyway, I just want to say that I did nothing to disturb the nest but just by standing 2 feet away seems to be enough of a threat to them that they will attack. Very aggressive wasps if you happen to be close to the nest. Around here they seem to prefer dead trees with hollow areas to build a nest inside.

  61. marva says:

    Yesterday, my nephew was removed from life support and pronounced dead. On Tuesday evening, he was repairing a fence when he picked up a board under which a nest of red wasps was living. He was stung ONCE. Four weeks earlier, he had been stung 24 times by yellow jackets and had to have emergency care. This time, within 30 minutes, he went into cardiac arrest and died. The EMTs revived him and transported him to the hospital 30 minutes away … en route, he was revived twice more. In all, he suffered 5 episodes of cardiac arrest during the first 12 hours after that sting on his thumb and was brain dead. Upon the insistence of his wife, he was given 48 hours and requisite tests given to assure her that everything had been done to ensure that he was, indeed, brain dead and there was no hope of recovery.

    The doctors informed the family that it is likely he still had residue of the yellow jacket venom in his blood stream and, when the new red wasp venom hit him, it caused the cardiac arrest. He knew he was allergic … had been stung twice in 2013 and carried an epipen with him while working outside. The error in judgment came when he refused to go immediately to the ER because he “felt OK”. The epipen is NOT intended to be the only medical treatment for such a sting but merely intended to give one time to reach an ER. The doctors also informed us that every sting will result in a more severe reaction … one may not be initially allergic. However, one may develop an allergy to the venom and one’s reaction will be more severe after each sting. BE CAUTIOUS WHEN THESE RED WASPS ARE IN YOUR PERSONAL SPACE. And, above all, seek medical care when stung!

  62. badugly90@aol.com says:

    I have found the orange wasp is bigger ,fatter, and seems to just comes over to sting you ,or just passing by it will sting and very painful

  63. Sheila says:

    I live in the midlands of South Carolina and I know it’s late in the year to be talking about wasps. I find it odd that in the last week I have been finding 2-3 red wasps a day in my house. My little cat is enthralled with any flying bug so she’s been chasing them and has caught many of them. The red wasps haven’t been aggressive, preferring to fly away from her and me when I approach them. I don’t know if our warmer than usual weather has played with their typical dormancy / dying out period. I have not been able to find a nest inside or out so I will probably have to call a professional in to take a look. I am highly allergic and live about 30 minutes from the nearest hospital so I do not want to take any chances.

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