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.

Location: Arkansas

179 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.

    • Kellie says:

      The red wasps will sting you with no provocation whatsoever. If you walk past them they will dive bomb you and chase you. I think what you are seeing is the Alabama paper wasp. It looks similar but has a darker hind end.

      • Killian Craft says:

        Ill second that. 5 years ago one stung my finger then preceded to chase me around the house til i ran inside. My hand was swollen by the time i looked at it.

      • Kristen says:

        That’s not true. I have a red wasp (paper wasp) nest right above my head under the awning above my sliding glass door, it’s literally maybe 10 inches from my head. I go out of that door multiple times a day in order to walk my dogs. They couldn’t care less. In fact, I usually stand outside and just observe them, sometimes for like a whole half hour, and they just go about their business like I’m not even there. It’s really cool to just stand there and watch their behavior. But as far as being aggressive, they couldn’t be more opposite, they leave me and my dogs completely alone. In fact, just to test this, I have stuck the handle of my broom right in their face, touching their nest and everything and they still do nothing, they don’t fly and attack it, literally nothing. They leave me alone, so I leave them alone. I feel no need to kill a creature that poses no threat to me, they need somewhere to live too, and how cruel it would be to extinguish them simply for being wasps when they’ve never done anything to me except make my day a little less boring by being really interesting to watch. They’ve actually become my little buddies. I have a theory (and it’s probably SO wrong, but this is just how I justify it in my head) that they’ve just gotten so used to seeing my dogs and I so many times during the day that they realize we mean them no harm and don’t pose a threat, therefore they don’t feel the need to attack…

        • Kathy says:

          That is how I’ve lived with mine for about 11 years now. But we had a very mild winter, and now there are 2 nests and a whole bunch of them hanging outside the nests. I think they are
          experiencing over population, and have become a bit cranky. Nowadays they wing up when I open the door. They’re right above my door, nesting inside the vinyl siding. I did have a lot of work done around the house, and I think that made them nervous as well. One of the workers go stung, and he subsequently sprayed the nest on the side of my house. That caused a lot of death, but the wasps repopulated. I’m hoping for a really frosty cold winter , so that they get back to normal. At any rate, since the work is done, they’ve calmed down. I don’t think your theory is wrong. They are bright enough to know when someone is a threat or not. I find them beautiful, their orange color in the sun is lovely to see, and they are super pollinators, so I hate to kill them, and I don’t.

        • RedWaspsAREAgressive says:

          Funny..My left ring finger is twice its normal size and still swelling due to those red wasps that you claim are “not aggressive.”

          I’ve been stung by them 6 times this year so far, and the next most recent (prior to tonight) was about 3 weeks ago when I was walking across my driveway minding my own business when out of nowhere I began to get stung, and stung, and stung. The culprit? A red wasp that fly into me as I was walking.

          There was no nest, nothing. Just blue sky and air, and I was attacked. My wife and children have also been stung.

          That said, either the wasps you are provoking as described either aren’t red wasps, or they’re a variant that aren’t the aggressive type that I and others have described.

          You stick the handle of a broom or anything near the nest of the red wasps that are in my attic and outside in my eaves, and I can assure you that you would have a whole nest of them stinging you incessantly.

          To anyone else who has these, don’t be reckless when you kill them! I now spray every one that I see with hornet spray and they come RIGHT AT ME after I spray them! This includes those that get inside my house and are NOWHERE near their nests!

          When I spray them, they fly right to me. I’ve been stung doing that, and to protect myself now, I wear long sleeves and safety glasses.

          It’s time for me to go. Since I started typing this, half of my left hand has become swollen. That normally doesn’t happen to me when they sting me. Stay safe if you see these people and DON’T take chances. If you are going to spray them, put on safety glasses and long sleeves and make sure to clear pets and other family members out to the area before you dare to spray of those HIGHLY AGGRESSIVE red wasps!

      • FNaF_PRO1987 says:

        Not true I raise all types of red wasps and when I walk pass the nests they don’t do that

        • Crystal Wisdom says:

          Then you need to come to my house and see for yourself that these red wasp are indeed aggressive and like others have stated you don’t have to do anything to provoke them. They will literally sit at the top of my window, post or wall and wait for you and when they see you they will come after you and its not just the one or two that you saw waiting others will join them. But if you think that is not true and you stated that you raise wasp then you are welcome to come and rehome these monsters.

      • Judith Hays says:

        We find these bright orange wasps much more aggressive than the red wasps we had around for years. These orange wasps are MEAN! They attack without provocation, they will chase you around, they are evil. Yesterday our 4 month old was stung while we walked down the sidewalk to the house; we never saw it coming it just dived us and attacked. I hate these thing and they are everywhere.

      • Sean says:

        Yes they are very aggressive. This is a new breed. We have some that if you are human and just get home out of your car they will attack. 3 of us has got stung on a week. No over the counter spray will kill them. I sprayed them and they shake it off their wings and fly away.

    • Eric Peters says:

      I think were are talking about 2 or 3 different species. One is the paper wasp red with dark wings and the body is fairly thin, Polistes annularis. I never had any trouble with these in Sulligent. They make their paper nest all over. The other is the one pictured above with the dark wings and larger body, the length is similar. These are also fairly docile but I would not get close to the nest. The other is a red hornet that is larger than the wasp and other hornet much heavier body. The wings are bright red and the body is close to 1.5 inches long. I reported these and tried to get info on these 16 years ago. They may be the queen of the other, but I have been stung a couple of times and they will hover above and dive bomb from 20 ,30 or 40 feet away. I have hit a couple with the shovel when I caught them on the attack. I took one to the side of the nose and took one to the chest. The nose was very painful and the chest was like a heart attack. What are these?

  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.

          • Sean says:

            Go ahead and try that with these.

        • Bill says:

          I saw the biggest wasp I ever have, it had the orange color and was twice as big as any wasp I ever saw. Best guess is 2/12 to 3 in, very large and thick all over. I have been stung by the usual wasps before and I cringe to think what this monster would do. Looked me over and flew off. I have not found a nest or hole anywhere close to where I saw it. Worries me, already killed all the regular wasps this year but this thing is not normal for Texas

          • bugman says:

            Sounds like possibly a Tarantula Hawk, but they are black with orange wings.

          • Bill says:

            It is definitely reddish orange, it hovered in front of me for 10, 12 secs. then flew off. Looked like a super sized wasp. Biggest damn bug I ever saw. About the size of a small hummingbird.

          • bugman says:

            Then our best guesses, without an image, are the European Hornet or a Cicada Killer.

          • Bill says:

            Thanks, but the available photos are not the same insect. This is a bright orange/red and huge. All body segments were 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick.

          • Bill says:

            I disturbed this insect while mowing, I was near some cross ties and may have bumped them or it may be nesting somewhere near and was disturbed by the noise. I found one hole that looked like insect borough(3/4 in. circular opening) but nothing flew up when I disturbed the cross ties again.
            Very loud riding mower. There are some I have looked at native to Florida still no match in pictures.

          • Paula Wood says:

            I just went & looked. Yeah these things are from up north. We called them hornet Wasps. Mean as a hornet & shaped like a Wasp just bigger. Thought I’d seen these before. We had a ditch in ILL we would go down behind the house, one of these monsters would chase you right back up it.

            Where there’s one there are more sooner or later. They hide everywhere. Not just in eves, houses, buildings, anywhere it’s is dark, dry & can make a nest. Yes they are mean & very aggressive. We used hair spray & lighters back then to get rid of them. until neighbor told us any auto motive spray oil to get rid of fliers then find the nest & destroy it, that includes the small attach part to the object is hangs from or they come back. Man these are even bigger then ones saw as a child. Mutation maybe. We saw these up north in 60’s, 70’s 80’s they were big but not as big as some of you are describing.

            Now I know they get bigger then ones I’ve got here. Oh goodie. Not. I hate these things. Red wasps & others I can handle but, these take the cake on aggression. Heavens to mercy.

        • Rachel says:

          I also live in NE TN and they are orange and are they ever mean.
          Earlier tonight around 8ish i went out to water my garden and I am always careful to watch for them because I am allergic to bee’s. I went to scoop up some water and I got nailed right in the muscle of my outer thigh. I been stung by all sorts of things and here at 2 am it is still throbbing like nothing i have ever experienced before. Got my 2x i thought they could only sting once. I pulled the stinger out it was huge tossed some clay on it right away/ tried all sorts of stuff nothing takes this awful throbbing pain away.

          • Denise says:

            My sister got stung twice also while we were in the pool, today, once in the neck and as she was trying to get it off it stung her hand. We put cortizone on it and ran and bought some benedryl pills and cream. She seems to be doing ok….oh, we put ice on it too. These things love the pool….I guess they are getting water for nest building. I drowned 12 last week, and killed three today. The one that stung her did not make it out of the pool. These are larger than any wasp I’ve ever seen, dark orange body and black wings. I live in Mississippi, just across the MS /TN state line. They have been bad here this summer.

          • David says:

            I’ve seen these super aggressive orange hornets once here in Vermont. They were nesting in a lawn and would chase me if I walked within 15 feet of the nest.

        • Country Girl says:

          To respond to ALL: I live in Walton County Florida-between Freeport & Defuniak Springs. We have these big orange with black wings, wasps also.. Our son opened the back roll up door to an old box truck to clean out & these things were everywhere! They chased him! I don’t know if it’s from disturbing them or what but they are not red but orange.

          • cheri says:

            I live in Tennessee. We have them. You don’t have to disturb them. I have seen them sitting on the eves of the house and look at me. Then they chase you. That’s the one guarding.
            They are vicious!!!

  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.

    • Dixie says:

      My husband did get stung twice just by walking by them. We have never seen them around our home until this . Now we are finding their nest everywhere. How do we stop them from nesting all around our home?

      • Kasi says:

        I live in south west tn and we have these giant orange wasp monsters also! I grew up living literally a stone’s throw from the wolf river, regular black wasps were a daily thing almost year around, red wasps were the ones we really stayed clear of, especially after my mom had a horrible allergic reaction to them, but these giant orange wasps are terrifying and supper aggressive.
        Pic of a gathering of them on my porch from March:

        • Gloria says:

          We live in Sugar Land TX and have these wasps in our overhang by our front door.
          I’ve sprayed in the entrance hole 3x and they’re still there.
          They have a guard on duty outside the nest on the wall and all the wasps that come to the nest have to stop by first.
          That guard watches and attacks if you’re questionable.
          Apparently my daughter was and she was stung in her calf.
          Still trying to get rid of them…

    • Kathy says:

      I live in the Texas Hill Country, and my red wasps are not ordinarily aggressive. This year they are a bit jumpy, and I think it’s an over population problem. The mild winter we had allowed them to over populate themselves. That always causes problems.

  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. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    • Njim says:

      My son read that studies done of the red wasps seem to indicate that they can remember faces/scents. If you are the one that threatened their nest, they WILL remember you. And while it’s only the female that sting, that’s of no comfort when you have one on your arm trying to repeatedly sting you ( I was just stung 3 times at once)!!! It is an AWFUL pain. Someone told me to spray them with Dawn liquid. I’m trying that at dusk tonight–pray for me. I can’t keep getting stung like this!!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

      • Debra Powell says:

        I have had red paper wasps at my house for the last two years. I have a nest right next to my back door. My dogs and I are in and out all the time. The wasps in the nest by the back door are used to us and don’t seem to mind us and we don’t mind them. However, I also had a wasp nest near the door to the workshop which is not used with any regularity. The wasps in that nest would become very aggressive when I had to go in/out of that door. Perhaps it is just a simple matter of what they see as their “norm”?

      • Kathleen G. says:

        I remember that last year, I decided to use my back door. I’m pretty sure they are guarding their young uns.

        At any rate, they certainly do remember me, after 10 years. Since my friend agitated them, they have neither threatened me by dive bombing, not by stinging. They do raise their wings, and there are more than usual, so I am very careful. For instance, I do not unload groceries, or take out garbage, until late at night.

        I figure they’ll calm down once their young are raised. I totally disagree about red wasps being prone to sting. It is exactly the opposite.

  15. 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.

    • WaspHelper says:

      Hi kblank, I do as well live in Tx and I see lots of wasps. The best time to see a wasp is around the noon time. If you are planning on spraying them I would recommend doing it at night, wasps are very sensitive around light. Wasps don’t sleep by infact they stay still to conserve energy. But remember always apart at night. And a good place to look for a nest could be in near trees, or bushes. Hope this helps!! If you need any more info just ask around

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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!

        • bugman says:

          Hi Charles,
          Your experience with Red Wasps is a priceless addition to our site.

        • Kathleen G. says:

          I had a similar experience, though not so dramatic.

          I’d behaved well, with my wasps, and they with me, but then as I walked to my porch railing to lean on it, and observe the day, a red wasp dove at me and began circling around me. I was irritated and, without thinking, waved my arm in her direction to ward her off, at the same time saying in a normal tho’ irritated voice, “oh, for heaven’s sake buzz off!” And she did.

          Another time, I was truly impressed by this wasp’s intelligence. It was a hot Texan summer, and I was washing my dog on the front porch some 4-6 feet from their nest above my entrance door. It was a long wash, and there were no wasps in sight. Truly they would have fried in their normal home, since it was over 100 degrees. After about an hour one wasp flew up from beneath the porch and stung me once on my hand. It was my right hand, the hand that held the hose that was disturbing their afternoon resting spot, with so much water for so long. I got the message, and finished the wash up on my back porch.

          These are very bright insects, and, I think, very fair minded.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.


  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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).

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!!

  34. 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…

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. TC says:

    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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. john wells says:

    Youtube has a lot of videos on making them…

  51. 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

  52. 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..

  53. 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

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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!

  58. 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.

  59. 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!

    • bugman says:

      We are sorry for your loss.

    • Dawne jarrett says:

      My husband & I live in Forrest city, ark. My husband was stung on the nose by one of these red wasps. He is highly allergic to them. He started feeling tight in his chest. I immediately took him to the ER & he was then having a heart attack. He was air lifted to Methodist University in memphis, TN. He had to have a double bypass. We feel like victims in our Iin home due to these WASPS. Please be careful, they do mean business.

      • Herman says:

        Last week a friend of mine who’s just bought a house on the shore of Lake Gantt, in Southeast Alabama, was doing some work on the outside of the house when he came too close to a red wasps’ nest. He was stung five times on head and arms. Fortunately without bad consequences, except for the pain–very intense.

  60. 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

  61. 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.

  62. David says:

    I just moved to Alabama. While applying sealer to my deck, these red devils have buzzed my. I’ve sprayed 4 of them, but to knock them out requires a direct hit with the spray.

  63. Lindsey says:

    I also live in Arkansas and was just chased around my yard by a red wasp. I did nothing but walk through the middle of my yard no where near a nest. They are very aggressive. They live in the eaves of my house and in the attic. We’ve had pest control come spray, and they stayed away for a few weeks but are now back in full force.

  64. Kathryne says:

    I just noticed the beginnings of a red wasp nest. The nest is about the size of my palm and I’ve counted 4 wasps working on it. There could be more. I’ve read a lot of the previous posts saying these “creatures” are very aggressive. I’ve looked online to learn about a natural way to get rid of them. It called for water, Dawn, and pure peppermint extract. I’d like to spray them with it, but if they’re aggressive, they might get me first before I get them. Or should I just call my pest control people?

  65. Debra Powell says:

    I have found that the red wasps that live outside my patio door are used to me and my dogs. I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me. Last year, there was a nest in a spot that I normally don’t go and they were aggressive. They eat other less desirable insets so I am fine with them if they don’t bother me. If you are intent on getting rid of them, I would have someone else do it.

  66. ZenArtist says:

    From what I have read and heard, recently, the red wasps won’t be aggressive unless you are near the nest which has the queen. If it is one of their satellite nests they won’t be aggressive.

  67. Wendy Peterman says:

    I live out on the river in Biloxi, Mississippi. I have had several red wasp nests build up each spring and summer over the years. I have found that these wasps have gotten less aggressive over the years. Of course, my deal with them are that if they are cool and leave us alone, they will survive…if they are aggressive, then they will definitely die. The nests I have encountered in the last few years have been totally passive, and almost shy. I have one, this year, right above my front door which is becoming enormous. These ‘ladies’ are wonderful…and they will survive.
    I have had to kill many colonies in the past because they were so aggressive. Survival of the fittest is my reasoning, as I am a retired biology teacher…the wasps that aren’t aggressive survive, therefore their passive young will do so in the future. I love my wasps, and have no problem with them around my house…

  68. Devonviolet says:

    I came to this site searching for info on these red wasps, as I just got stung the second time in a week.

    We moved to our beautiful five acre homestead in January, and started raising goats (to clear the remaining 4 acres of woods) and chickens for meat and eggs. This spring I noticed the large red wasps, with black wings, flying around the animal pen, and making paper nests in the eves, of our porch.

    Since these red wasps seemed to keep to themselves, I stood back and observed. when they left me alone, I figured we could have a peaceful co-existence.

    Then, about a month and a half ago, we were walking up the front porch steps, and WHAM! My DH got hit on his little finger. I have never heard him yell the way he did that day! He ended up with an 1/8 inch sore on his finger, which swelled up and burned and itched for two days. After it happened, we realized there was a red wasp nest under the hand rail, right where he put his hand, going up the steps. After that, he cleared away the nest and I was careful not to put my hand on the rail. There was another nest in the eves, of the front porch, but they kept to themselves. I noticed an occasional red wasp fly around me, while I was on the porch, but they left me alone.

    An interesting side note: I was on the porch one morning, talking to DH, who was on the standing on the ground, next to the porch. There was a red wasp flying around me, and then it was gone – POOF – disappeared! I didn’t see it happen, but DH did. We had a large Banana Spider, with a web up near the eves, of the porch. The wasp got itself caught in the web, and in a split second the Banana Spider had nailed the wasp and was spinning a 1/2″ wide swath of web strands, from it rear, wrapping the wasp in a cocoon type wrapping. When it was done the spider went back to its post, as if nothing had happened. The next morning the wasp ” cocoon” was gone. I’m guessing it made a tasty midnight snack.

    Fast forward to last Thursday. I walked out on the back porch, to call the kitties in. All of a sudden I felt something hit my hand, heard a crackling noise (like crumpled paper) and WHAM! I got hit with intense burning pain! I never even saw it! I looked at my hand and there was a red wasp! I screamed, shook it off, and ran into the house and got some ice in my hand immediately. After 5 minutes, of ice, I looked online and learned that apple cider vinegar tends to neutralize the venom of the wasp sting. So, I soaked a piece of paper towel in it, and wrapped it with gauge, to keep it in place. While I had some intermittent sharp pain, for about 3 hours, when I took the wrap off, you couldn’t tell I had been stung. Later, I went back out on the porch and found a 2″ nest under the concave porch rail. Grrrr!

    I thought DH had destroyed the nest, and this morning, as I went out to hang something on the clothes line, I proceeded with caution, checking where the nest had been. Nothing. So I went down the steps , and BAM, a red wasp hit my left hand! I screamed, shook my hand and ran down the stairs, thinking I had avoided a sting.
    WRONG!!! It fell down and hit the inside of my left ankle! I frantically shook my foot and looked down. It was clinging to my leg, and stung me again! So, I brushed it off, screaming bloody murder, because the burning pain was excruciating! Our LGDs, from across the yard, were barking their heads off, because I’m sure they thought I was being murdered! When DH came running, they calmed down.

    I ran in the house, screaming in agony, and grabbed a handful of ice, to put in a paper towel, so I could sit down and keep the ice on it. DH came in the house and soaked a paper towel in apple cider vinegar. When I lifted the ice, to put the vinegar on it, you could clearly see where it got me twice! I think the ice and vinegar has helped, as the pain is a lot less and it doesn’t appear to be swollen.

    It turns out DH had NOT removed the nest under the back porch hand rail. But, you had better believe it is no longer there, as I write this. I suspect that in the not too distant future, we will be buying a couple 8 foot lengths of 1X2″ lumber, to fill in the underside of the front and back porch hand rails! AND we will be more diligent about destroying red wasp nests, before they can get very big!

    There are those who say red wasps aren’t aggressive. Like them, I used to have a live and let live approach. Now??? NOT SO MUCH!!! These suckers are very aggressive! I was trying to avoid them, and that sucker sought me out and attacked! The fact that I was near its nest most likely was a huge factor in the attack. But, I would have to side with the “Aggressive Wasp Camp” now!

  69. Devonviolet says:

    You ‘re welcome. I found many of the comments her helpful. So I thought something in my story might help someone else.

    It turns out I didn’t get off as pain free, as I did last time. It’s not too swollen. But, feels bruised and keeps throbbing with sharp pains. I wonder if 2 stings 1/2″ apart resulted in twice the venom – hence, a LOT more pain?

    Thank you for having this thread. It has been very helpful. I ran into some of my neighbor’s yesterday, and they confirmed that the red wasps, here in East Texas, are indeed very agressive, and the stings hurt like the dickens.

    The consensus is that the heat of Summer (temp 98°, with heat index of 103°), brings out the worst in red wasps.

  70. Eric Peters says:

    I think there are 2 different red wasps or maybe the queen or drone of the one with dark wings. The normal red wasps I have and have seen at my farm in AL. They never bothered me. I have been stung a couple of times by a large red wasp with red/orange wings and eyes. I have not found any pictures of these, nor have I taken any picture. I have killed a few but never thought to take a picture until I could not find the wasp listed. They are over 1.25 inch long in the body and have a mean disposition. Some are closer to 1.5 inches. Considerably bigger than the normal red wasp. I have had them line me up and take runs at me from 20-30 feet in the air, when I was not near their nest. I had my hands full one time and it stung me on the chest. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The other time one stung me at the side of my nose, my whole face throbbed. I have been stung by the normal red wasp and it is no way near the pain.

    • Judith Hays says:

      Same here; can’t find photo of these orange monster wasps we’re living with here in rural central Alabama, but they are MEAN and dive bomb you without warning and for no reason. Having been stung by hornets, bumble bees, carpenter bee once, honey bees, yellow jackets, black and red wasps, guinea wasps and sweat bees I can tell you- it’s all painful. NOTHING compares to the pain and duration of pain from the orange wasps. I’d like to know where they came from…

  71. James says:

    I work as a cave tour guide in Texas and over the last year and 3 months I have seen my share of the red wasps. The only time I have ever been stung was when I came close to a nest that contained the queen. I know it contained the queen because when I found it after I had been stung multiple times by one wasp, the hole in the tree was sprayed and all the wasps exited including the queen which was about twice the size off all the other wasps.

    But I have never been stung even when the nests of the red wasps were disturbed 5 feet away from me. A customer happened to pound on a wooden railing that had a hidden nest underneath (playing drums).. about 10 wasps flew out all around me and flew away. Nobody got stung. The red wasps create nests in various locations outside of their main hive with the queen, and this nest didn’t have a queen because it was also exterminated and no queen emerged. But we had to be safe in case a queen decided to make the hive her home.

    So my anecdotal deduction is that the red wasps won’t bother you unless you are close to a nest with a queen.

  72. john wells says:

    This is a follow up post from the posts I wrote last year. Last year I experienced a lot of aggression from the red wasps on my property after running some heavy equipment on the new lot I purchased. This year I have poured new concrete, manually pulled weeds, done all kinds of work in already worked areas, erected a steel building and yet the red wasps in my yard have not shown one sign of aggression. There has been a lot of curious activity on their part, but no aggression. While they are buzzing around I can pass by them within a foot or less, and they will move out of my way with no aggressive behavior.
    I am going to be pulling out a gas powered weed eater tomorrow and using it if it will start. I’ll post their response if it changes to aggression from their present, live and let live attitude. My children have been very paranoid of them for the early spring till about a couple weeks ago, but even they are loosing their fear they had of them.
    This is an el nino year, I wonder if it has anything to do with their attitude change? Has anyone else seen them change their attitude this spring and summer, or is it just my good fortune?
    As I have said before, if they attack me, I’ll go after them, otherwise their pollination effects, benefits of their existence and such are welcomed. I tell my kids that they are just trying to make a living like we are, but if they try to go to war we can do that too.
    NOTE: I have been working on a sound frequency that repels them over the winter. I was all prepared to use it to drive them away from this property in the spring, but have not had to use it once. If they do get aggressive again, I will finish narrowing it down to the exact frequency and if fully successful, I can post the frequency set so others can make use of it.

    • bugman says:

      Perhaps the really aggressive strains in your area have already been eliminated and calmer genes are being passed down because they are evolving to endure human cohabitation.

  73. Felicity says:

    Red wasps are absolutely aggressive. As I type this now, I have just gotten stung while sitting on my front porch, doing absolutely nothing! I live in Alabama and they are so aggressive my brother in law got stung by three of them at once and he was just walking to his car nowhere near a nest!

  74. sue says:

    Well I am from Ontario Canada. Near the great lakes region. I have these giant orange hornets. They are twice the size of the bald headed hornet. Which both seem to have appeared last year in my yard. They love my Hummingbird feeders. They are both the meaness hornets I have ever come across. They both will chase the Hummingbirds and Orios a long way before returning. I am looking for a way to be ride of them forever.

  75. itching for relief says:

    We recently bought property in Mena AR. It’s been 2 years empty and is a revolting place. Even bobcats had taken up residence in there. We have decided to tear it down and try to salvage as much wood as we can since it has 100+ year old 2 inch thick pine and cedar. However the poor construction and cheap outer materials let numerous creatures take up shop and make it their home. The first week of demo the giant MASSIVE reddish orange wasps seemed docile, unfettered by our demolishing of their homes, would generally just fly away. Suddenly this week things have changed and we must be getting too close to the main hive as they are now incredibly aggressive. My first sting occurred 2 days ago. I have been stung many a times by other varieties of wasps but never want to get stung by these things again. One good sting on the wrist has swollen my arm up with sharp red lines and a stinging needle effect and what feels like my arm is on fire. Add the terrible itching on top of it and you can see how crazy it will make you. Benadryl and ice packs only give a small amount of relief. The spray doesn’t work on this species and it’s different from what this website shows. These things are monsters, maybe about 3 inches long, 1/2 inch thick. Bodies are thick and they are smart. They watch you, they stand guard, and they seem to communicate to the rest of the hive easily as to where you are located and if you are a threat. I admit I am scared beyond belief to tear down the porch where it appears the main hive is between the siding and wood roof under a metal roof. We have facilitated a plan to chain it and rip it down and keep driving, not returning for a day and armed with some type of industrial sprayer. That is the only thing we can do I think as these things are BIG, MEAN, and smarter than the average wasp.

    • bugman says:

      We suppose they are just “standing their ground.” Bobcats sound like a positive addition to the property to us.

  76. Shawn says:

    I have seen these all my life and never considered them aggressive. They are in my yard and I just leave them alone. A month ago, they started building a next in my window where I work at home so I watch them daily(I am inside so I am protected by glass). This has let me get a good close look at them and watch them build their nest.

    It started with just 2 wasps. They bring in balls of raw material and together the split it between them and then build the paper nest. This next is up to 6 now. They seem to emerge full grown as I can not seem to make out the differences in size very easily unless I look very close. One wasp, the queen I presume, has a slightly larger rear end.

    They see me through the window. When I make sudden moves or put my hand close to them, they make themselves look meaner and bigger. They stand tall, their wings stick out tall, they point their antenna at me and they face me. There heads track my movements back and forth and they move their bodies to help track. In defense mode, they move in quick jerky motions but when relaxed, they move slowly. After I remove my hand, they relax and lay their wings flat and resume going about their business.

    When a nest mate returns, they get spooked some times and do their defensive posture but as soon as they touch antenna, they relax. Younger wasps get spooked the most and pay attention to my hand the longest. If I move with slower smoother motions, the older wasps ignore me. Quicker motions get their attention the most.

    I have mowed the lawn within 5 feet of the nest without issue and did not consider them to be aggressive. I have had them investigate my peanut butter and jam sandwich I was holding. As I move it up and down, they follow it trying to land on it. They seem to like sweet stuff.

    They look just like the picture and are about 1.5 to 2 inches. I am in Dallas TX.

    When it gets hot, I have seen them fan the nest. I assume they are keeping the eggs cool.

  77. Paula Wood says:

    These are Red Wasps, They just look like one. There part of the hornet family. They aren’t Red they are a deep orange color. 3 times larger then Red Wasps very aggressive. Use to live up North & see these aggressive monsters all the time in spring & summer in fields. Yeah they will chase you down.

    We think that when one spices of hornet is being exterminated by humans, parasites many other forms of ways a spices dies off they mate with others to keep their line going. That even means mating with other spices of hornets. This was proven when man was slaughtering wolfs way back when & they started mating with coyotes. Insects do the same thing. We called these Orange hornet wasps up north. Looks like do to shipping, trucking & other forms of transport these nasty aggressive insects came south. Now they breeding more with other ones is why their are so many.

    I just killed a nest of bunches of them yesterday. Only way to kill them off is rubbing alcohol & peroxide in bottle that can shoot up several feet. They can see you coming. The Alcohol knocks them out & the peroxide penetrates the hard outer shell they have. They are mainly immuned to man’s insect killers. Hair spray if can get close enough sticks their wings together so they can’t fly. They can’t eat or breed either. Best bet use a super soaker that can shoot part alcohol/peroxide at the next near enough get the drones they fly which are guards that are very aggressive. Get them first. Do it on a sweeping spray motion so as to not let the others surround you to get you in the back or back legs. It might take several tries. If they are to close run & get inside until drone guards calm down. Then go back several feet away spray in sweeping motion again. Normally they don’t come back if few fly off. Then soak the nest good. I mean saturate it. Then knock it down. Do it again. Then bag it with gloves throw it in trash. You leave it they will come back. Survivors might come back to check then just soak them too. It’s getting close enough to soak them is the hard part. Took me 15 times. It’s worth it. Watch out for more other species that might get in your yard. I had to spray neighbors house today before doing mine. That’s were most were coming from. That house next to ours wasn’t taken care of for years. They are outside the structure everywhere. I had a time for many hours finding nests standing many feet off. Then spray & run. Talk about dive bombing. Yeah they can be killed. It just takes braver & smarts not to get stung. Like I said was raised around these aggressive monsters. They will makes nests in trees, bushes, buildings, wood piles, under a porch, farm equipment, so on just like fire ants do. I’m in Fort Worth Texas date October 15, 2015. Still fighting a good fight. I have to handle aggressive yellow jackets as well that decide to infest our backyard bushes & trees. Weeded areas that need cutting down. Son got stung other day cutting in between our fence & neighbors fence. Thank God he’s not allergenic. Thant’s when I went all out war. Never seen so many. They normally show up on outside of house. After he was stung I said where were you cutting. He showed me. I saw nest, then another not far on another small tree. I kept going. Counted 7 nests in one area. So walked around yard looking. Every small weed tree or bush had nests. So the war goes on. They ain’t staying. These aggressive yellow jackets & red hornets are leaving if I have my way. The brown paper wasps in my pecan tree I can walk right up the nest, shake the tree limb some are on & they don’t drive bomb me. These others they are just flat aggressive. They gonna find out I don’t take no for an answer. Out comes my super soaker & mixer of alcohol/peroxide. They either leave or die.

  78. Sheraleigh says:

    I am not sure how old this post is or if it’s still active. I came across it while Googling orange mean ass wasp. After reading several post I wanted to add to the discussion about them being non agressive and my experience with that.

    A few years ago, I wake up to a blood curdling cry from my daughters room. She was 6 month old at the time. I run quickly down the hall barge into her room and pick her up. She calms down ( granite I had no lights on aside from the hall ) so I lay her down on the changing table to change her diaper thinking maybe she’s uncomfortable. She let’s out another blood curdling cry. I pick her up again cradling her and go to sit down on the spare bed in her room. I’ll be damned if something doesn’t bite me on my bottom and I jump up screaming for my husband. He comes running down the hall pulls the cord to the light in her room. When the light comes on it was like a horror show. There were at least a dozen of these bright orange wasp flying around her room. I look over my baby girl and she has two welts on her forehead and 1 on the back of her neck. I went into freak out mommy mode and immediately threw a bag together and drove us to the er worried about shock and her being so little. Needless to say they hurt like crazy and she is now allergic to anything that stings. We have to carry an epi pen with us everywhere. They are extremely aggressive and even attack poor defenseless sleeping babies while in their crib 🙁

  79. Bil King says:

    I moved to Oklahoma in April of 2015. I live on a 22 acre angus cattle ranch. In September I was on the front porch putting together a new glider seat. This glider is an off yellow color, but was very shiny as it was new. Throughout the build I had several varieties of bees and wasps drawn to the area as I was putting it together. I joked how they all wanted to check out the huge new flower in the neighborhood (NEVER PURCHASE YELLOW IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC!). I’ve been working in construction and landscaping my entire life (45 yrs old) and I’ve come across just about every insect you can imagine as they LOVE fresh lumber used in new construction. And it’s always a battle with them for the area. Due to this, I’ve got zero fear of them and will commonly smash them mid-air between my hands (having never been stung even once while doing so). After grabbing a fly swatter from the house and chasing them all off I continued to work. Suddenly I heard a HUGE buzzing… and immediately went on the defensive. I look over and the largest FLAMING red -to- orange wasp with a bluish hue to the wings was sitting on the glider. At MINIMUM he was 2 3/4 inches in length (remember, I measure things daily) with very large red eyes. I’d never seen any wasp that large. Again, I do NOT fear these nor any other creatures, I merely deal with them with respect to their abilities. I was more intrigued by the uniqueness and beauty of the insect than afraid of it and I wanted to get pics as it was simply lovely! Awesome looking in fact! I moved very slowly, careful to not cast a shadow over it to scare it off, and got several nice photos of it. To this day I’ve seen several more of them and that’s what brought me to the page looking for information on them. As far as aggression, it was CLEAR that he was challenging me for the glider. Needless to say, with a swift smack of the swatter I was able to end the fight. I will note however, how eerily he was staring right back at me… head turning this way and that. Almost intelligently during this entire meeting. Because I have experience with them I didn’t provoke this one into action nor give him a chance. I would venture an opinion however from my vast experience in dealing with stinging insects. DO NOT challenge them if you have an allergy. There is zero doubt in my mind that he could very easily cause a major sting that will include a SERIOUS dose of poison.

  80. Christina H. says:

    I live in Houston, and I’ve seen these around a bit. In my first apartment, they would “tap ” on my bedroom window, due to flying straight into it. In my second apartment, I’ve only seen two, the first was on the wall along the stairwell, and I put a finger up next to it to take a photo, and the second one somehow ended up inside my bathroom on the window. Neither were the least bit aggressive toward me. I even took a cup and a little card stock flyer to get it outside, once I uncovered it, it didn’t even immediately fly off. I’m wondering if it was too young to fly just yet. But that has been my experience with these wasps.

  81. Jaelynn says:

    I am 13 and I got stung by 2 wasps I had to go to the hospital both times sense I am very allergic I haven’t been stung in years until the people next store cleaned out the garage a whole sworm came out I haven’t seen them sense last week when I was practicing flips on my trampoline I stepped right on one when I landed they weren’t red they were more like a light orange with a pink undertone my mom says those are not red wasps there something else and we need to find out becausenon of the exterminators can find a strong enough solution to kill them they keep coming back can you tell me what they are ?

  82. Kathleen G. says:

    Hill Country, Texas
    For 10 years I’ve had a nest under the siding of my home, over the entrance door. I’ve only been stung twice, once when I sat on one by mistake. Once when washing the dog on the porch, I inadvertantly watered their daytime cool-down shelter, which is below the front porch. Both times I found it reasonable behavior.

    But this year is different. They never used to have more than 1 – at most 2 – sentinels. This year they have 5 to 7 sentinels, and there’s a great deal of activity back and forth to the nest. They seem extremely jumpy and dive bomb me sometimes. They always did sort of warn me, but it’s the numbers that are different. It could be my imagination, but it seems their wings have some black in them, that I don’t remember being as dark as it is now. And they seem somewhat smaller. A few days ago, I got stung, probably because a neighbor was dumb enough to bang heavily on the side of my house which no doubt rocked the siding and disturbed the nest. It was not a very bad sting. But it itches like crazy.

    Since my neighbor’s foolishness, they have got even more jumpy, When I approach my front door, there are the usual one or sentinels, but as I grow closer , say 5 feet from my door, 5 or 6 more crawl out and raise their wings threatening me.

    I happen to like these guys, but I’m not sure how to handle the new situation. I wonder if they are presently feeding their young, and therefore more vigilant than usual? Or are they an unpleasant mutation, or is another species trying to take over their nest, or is their nest now too over-crowded? I have read that when a nest gets over crowded, any bug gets testy.

    I do hope you have an answer for me. I really don’t want to exterminate them. They are great pollinators, and have been my close neighbors for 10 years.

  83. Charles says:

    Orange with black wings. Definitely smaller than hornets and definutely aggressive whether you approach the nest or not. They nest in a crack in my roof overhang (Ozark, AR) and post a sentinel outside who is ready attack at the slightest provocation. Normally, I try to live and let live with all creatures except flies and roaches but these aggressive little buggers have to go.

  84. Nikki says:

    Just called Terminix… have nests in my soffits so heavy it bulges. Probably more than 5 queens. I’m paralyzed with fear, as they are ,MASSIVE, and attack even after hit with a pressure hose!! I wish I could say they are exclusive to my outside, but are somehow coming in__3 or 4 at a time!

    I went to WalMart, and bought something that looks like a tennis racket w/batteries.

    It takes a MINIMUM of 5 minutes to “cook” one of these red wasps.

    At my last home, they tried “smoking them out”. Nope. Not a chance.

    Good luck to ALL who have been terrorized by these nightmares!!

  85. Alyssa says:

    It is safe to say that I now have a phobia of these horrible wasps. I’ve never been stung by a red wasp (I have by a fat bumble bee) but these frighten me more than anything else. I used to be afraid of bees, as well, but since I’ve learned that bees tend to stay away from you and are endangered, I now adore them. These devil creatures are the worst. I am happiest in the fall and winter while these are dormant. Now, on the first day of spring this year, they are EVERYWHERE. I am scared to go outside. And I have a puppy who needs to be taken out often in the day. Just yesterday, I was walking to my car and I was being mindful of the one buzzing around it. My husband told me, “don’t mess with it and they won’t mess with you.” That is false! I was standing still, waiting for it to buzz off, and she came right after me. I literally made eye contact with the wasp. It was about 1.5 inches long! I was foolish and freaked out and tried to hit it away with my purse. I then tore off towards the road and ended up at the end of the driveway. I’m honestly surprised that it didn’t chase me further. I had to call my husband to bring the car to me because I was so freaked out. I could hardly breathe and was crying. I’m pretty sure I had a panic attack. I tried to conquer my fear and venture outside but these little creatures make it impossible. Apparently, they can tell you’re afraid. I had to make an appointment with a psychiatrist because they terrify me that much. I honestly wish daylight savings time didn’t exist so that I wouldn’t have to be out at the same time they are. But it takes longer for the sun to go down and they seem to be out when the sun is. I now carry a can of wasp spray everywhere I go and it doesn’t even work right away. They’re mean and horrible. I’m seriously considering moving from East Texas to somewhere these wasps don’t exist.

  86. John Wells says:

    Two years ago I had a very aggressive nest of red wasps on my property. I had been clearing some brush and must have hit their nest with my excavator. They repeatedly attacked the excavator bucket (fortunately they didn’t know I was the operator). They then turned their aggressive attention to me when I walked to or from the excavator. The whole rest of that year they would attack me even if I was not running the machine.
    Fast forward two years…
    Both last year and this year they completely ignore me. I have been in my shop welding, running the mower, running the excavator, hammering, etc. and no aggressive interest shown. They have been curious but totally benign. Go figure!

  87. Katie says:

    I and my 1 year old daughter were playing in our fenced in back yard in central New York. We weren’t out there more than 5 minutes and I had noticed about 5 bees that were too close for my comfort, one of them being this red wasp. I quickly grabbed my daughter and brought her inside and put her in the play pen. I went back out to the yard to grab her diaper bag and my cell phone. When I picked up the diaper bag the wasp came out of no where and chased me out of the yard so dropped the bag and ran. I waited about 5 minutes, took a peek into the yard to see if it was anywhere around the things I needed to grab, I didn’t see it. So I took about 2 steps into the back yard and this wasp came full force at me until I left the yard again. They are horrible insects, and from what I have read they remember faces or scents so it’s safe to say I will not be enjoying the out doors this year!

  88. Rebecca Franklin says:

    A couple of people have mentioned this, but no one seems to take note. There are TWO DIFFERENT TYPES of red wasps. Last summer, I was stung by both. The less aggressive red wasp is slightly darker, and acts like a normal wasp. It only stung me because I accidentally disturbed it when I was pulling weeds. It hurt like the dickens, and my hand swelled up for a few days.

    On a separate afternoon, I was innocently bent over on my hands and knees, looking at the rocks surrounding my herb garden. When out of nowhere, I suddenly felt the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. On my bum. I screamed. (I NEVER scream… not during scary movies… not on roller coasters… not even when Kevin Costner is playing the lead role in a movie. Not even then.) I turned around in shock to see what could have possibly assaulted me with such excruciating results. It was a “red wasp,” and it was wheeling around in its flight to attack me again. (I can only suppose my scream startled it enough to cause it to retreat for a brief moment.) I ran into the house as fast as I could, and closed the door just in time. I took an excessive amount of Benadryl and ibuprofen and sat on ice for a long time while crying. I felt like my body was on fire, and I wanted to vomit. Even with the ice and Benadryl and a high does of ibuprofen, the large angry red swollen area covered that whole part of my body, and lasted for many many days. This devil is NOT in the same category as the other red wasp. It would not surprise me in the least if this monster gleefully eats the other one for breakfast. (When it can’t find me, that is.)

    This happened in the springtime in Oklahoma. For the rest of the spring and summer, I could not go outside without a number of these vicious beasts dive-bombing me, no matter where I was. I have never been afraid of any insect and prefer to co-exist rather than cause harm. In fact, I generally find insects quite fascinating and interesting, and enjoy taking photos of them. But I am now deathly afraid of this type of wasp.

    In summary, the aggressive red wasps are a much brighter shade of red – even “orange-red.” They tend to build nests where you can’t see them (e.g. In my parents’ chimney, behind the siding of the house, etc.) They put out sentinels to watch, and if you come near (even several feet away), they will turn their heads and look right at you while moving into attack stance. You don’t need to be anywhere near their nest for them to fly down out of the sky and attack you (or attempt to attack you). You only have to exist. And they are VERY strong and resilient and difficult to kill.

    Questions (I am a university professor/researcher as well, and understand the importance of potential research questions):
    • Why is it that so few people seem to realize that there are two very distinctly different red wasp varieties? How can we provide descriptions that help people understand the difference?
    • Does a loud noise (e.g. A scream or yelling “no”) cause them to pause?
    • Why do they target me? (My parents live next door and have a nest in their chimney. Neither of them have been attacked. …yet.)
    o When I went back outside for the first time following the attack, and the wasp kept coming after me (I assume it was the same one – why did it hate me so much?!?), I somehow managed to get it down on the ground and kill it with a rock. Is it possible that the others saw what happened and made me their I-must-kill-you-target for the entire year? What kind of organizing behavior do they have? How do they communicate and organize this aggressive hatred for a specific individual over such a long amount of time?
    • Why are their nesting behaviors different from “paper wasps” and “hornets”?
    • Why is their venom so much more painful than other wasps or hornets? (I had some horrible hornet stings the previous year that were excruciating and caused awful physical reactions, but it was nothing compared to the red wasp devil sting.
    • Why are they increasingly angry? I grew up around both types of wasps. These “red/orange wasps” have always been a lot more aggressive than the other wasps. For example, it has always been the case that they might chase you if you run, and they will sting you if you flail your hand in their general direction. But this completely unprovoked sneaking-up-behind-you attack seems to be a new strategy. WHY?
    o A number of people made mention of noise disturbance. Is noise making them more aggressive? And if so, what type of noise, and how far does this effect reach? My house is at the end of a dead-end road in rural Oklahoma. There is no new development. Nothing but miles and miles of (mostly) undeveloped land. However, there is a new oil well a mile away. I can hear the oil well noise. Sometimes, despite the mile distance, the noise is quite annoying. There is also a lot of oil well activity in Texas (where a number of people claimed increasing aggression of these beasts. Is it possible that the noise and vibrations of modern oil wells – even when they are as far as a mile away – is a possible explanation for the increased level of aggression among red wasps? (Oil well noise, and the occasional accompanying earthquakes, certainly makes me feel more aggressively annoyed.)

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for your extensive comment. BugGuide recognizes at least 18 species of Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes in North America, and most are not aggressive. BugGuide refers to Polistes carolina as the Red Wasp, though other similar looking species are also red, including Polistes bellicosus, which BugGuide notes means “warlike, fierce, combative”, and that might be the species that is giving so many of our readers cause for concern, but comments without images are very difficult to speculate upon accurately.

    • Alyssa says:


      I’m not sure about your other questions but I did read that wasps and bees can remember your face. I was attacked again by the same wasp twice and didn’t think they were smart enough to remember me. I was wrong! I researched online and found that they can remember who you are. So if you are attacked once, it can happen again with the same wasp.

  89. Herman says:

    I was stung about 10 minutes ago by one of these “non-aggressive” wasps and it hurt like hell. I soaked my finger (she stung me on top of my left ring finger, right behind the fingernail. I soaked my finger in Windex (it contains ammonia) and there was no swelling. But it still hurts. I was going inside my home and it came out of nowhere and attacked me. There is no nest by the door or on the roof or under the eaves. From now on it’s war. I’ll destroy every nest I find and spray every individual wasp.

  90. Joshua says:

    Just like to let you know, I live in Sheridan AR. I spent my spring working around them tearing down a mobile home that they were living in. I didn’t have any protective gear. It was interesting because when i disturbed them they come down and land in a spot where I was working. I’d stop and wait for them to leave and than continue. This happened several times even when I took away the roof that their nest was attached to. It was weird because they didn’t show any aggression, more like passive aggressive. I wish I had recorded this behavior. It was so weird.

  91. Paula Wood says:

    July 31, 2017. I’m Paula of Fort Worth Texas. I have 2 different types of Red Wasps in my yard. Front yard a smaller Red wasp think it;s a female, she about 3/4 inches to 1 inch long. This wasp does not drive bomb you, fly around your head or anything as long as you leave her be. She got a nest inside some hanging small bird houses our son painted & hung earlier in the spring to close to door way. I moved them over as she watched me. Then she went back inside. No problems.

    In the back yard we have Huge Red Wasps with dark wings that showed up out of no where 4 days ago that are just flat aggressive. Looks almost like female in color in front yard, dark fire crimson stone red not light like the female. They are also more then 1 inch long. Trying 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, body is wider then the female in front. I got a good look at one after it tried to attack my son across the yard. I sent him inside, looked for a next as I got closer to an area more came out to greet me in attack mode.

    I ran back in house, got insect killer, BTW didn;t affect them, Bengal, TAT, flying hornet or wasp sprays didn’t touch them. So tried other sprays of insects like roach & ant. Got one down but not for long. Only thing that knock one out was Gear oil spray. that’s how I got description. It didn’t kill it either. Just knock it out for a bit. Got priers out picked it up, I was like body of a Red wasp but long & wider but aggressive as hornets up north we use to run from as children. Noticed spray brake fluid takes them out. Nothing else works. Yes even if not by the nest they will come after you.

    I had 50 come out of no where. Until I looked up. They land in pecan tree & lay in wait to protect a nest in a automobile we have stored & one nest was under the bumper, the other is way under the transmission area. The back yard tree is full of them watching those nests. Also found others under bumper area of our daughter’s ride as well. So I’m working on 2 nests as once. You can’t enter our back yard unless you want drive bombed.

    These are none aggressive regular Red wasps. These Red Wasps are bigger then normal red wasp. Had one come to front yard today looking around & tried to chase me. I was like no sir, it was a male guard is what I call them. He sat right on our tree, looking at me, moving head fast with every move I made in seconds. Never seen them this big. Yes they are mean & very aggressive. I think we got 2 different types. Nature finds a way to mate with others. Not sure if these are from South myself. I’m from ILL & live in Texas.

    I’ve seen other types up north that were smaller or medium sized, some not so aggressive & some really aggressive. I’m thinking with all the packages & items being transported & shipped all over. Maybe we got another species going on here. These huge red wasps a viciously aggressive.

    I got in 4 feet of the Truck, they came out going nuts from above, in the tree. Let them settle down, went to clip over grown bushes & trees in between fence ling no where near that nest & they came down drive bombing.

    I finally got next under the hood gone. Then find out bu son keep spray close, there’s a nest way down under the truck, inside the front bumper, one in side daughter back bumper. All come out going aggressive crazy. It’s war on these Red aggressive Wasps. One in front yard is nice Red Wasp, Then trying to take over my yard & her little space of pace. Not happening. These ain’t normal.

    I have other Wasps under front porch eve. I don;t mess with, they don;t mess with us. They have come & gone each spring same area, mud wasp as well. Little black ones & others no problems for 20 years. Then these came along. Don’t think all Red Wasps aren’t aggressive some can be. So can others. Something wrong with these. Over 50 years I’ve dealt with lots of bugs. These take the cake so far. Hope this help explain why some folks have no problems with Red Wasps & others do.

    • Paula Wood says:

      Adding to my Comment above. Rubbing Alcohol or a mixed of peroxide/Alcohol that normally knocks out any insect like in science class in school, didn;t work either. Only automotive brake fluid & gear oil did the trick. Wetting their wings with water, don;t phase their flying. They just shake it off, you ticked them off more. Watch your trees if you have these aggressive ones around. Once you get rid of them little by little remove the next by spraying it them deposing of it. Those don’t come back. Others in your yard will until to get rid of all nests. I wish you all luck. I’m having a time of it. It’s hot in Texas. I want to mow my yard & handle my garden. I thought fire ants where bad.


    In Missouri, we have multiple red, orange wasps. They hide their nests in between the old roof and the metal roof put on our house before we bought it. They also had nest in the attic space of a storage shed. They dive bombed anyone walking 10ft from shed. My husband after repeated attempts to spray them and fog them had to cut a hole in the ceiling and pull the quite large nest out to getrid of them. Unfortunately, we have several other nests that we cannot cut a hole in the ceiling. They have 2 nests in the attic space of our front porch, we have bombed several times but they keep repopulating the same area. We have sprayed and bombed with insecticide, but have been unable to ge rid of them for long. They attack if you walk within 10-15 ft of they’re nest. I have 14 grandchildren and am worried they will get attacked.

  93. Herman says:

    Last summer I noticed quite a few of these red wasps with dark purple–almost black–wings buzzing around my travel trailer. I watched them for a while and I realize that they must have made a nest inside, behind the fridge, going in and out of the grill-like panel that releases the warm air from the fridge’s coils. I sprayed heavy duty insecticide through the grill in the morning, before they became active, and soon enough about a dozen of them crawled out dying and fell on the ground below the grill. All activity ceased, and later I found several dead ones inside the travel trailer, on the floor and in the sink. Now I spray insecticide inside that grill at least once a month in the summer. The year before I noticed that the fan above the kitchen range in my house was not working properly. I looked outside and saw these wasps going in and out of the outside vent. I turned the fan on and I burned on a piece of aluminum foil placed on one of the burners a dozen black pepper kernels and several bay leaves. The pungent fumes (they were too pungent even for us, because the vent wasn’t drawing well and in the house my wife and I were coughing and wiping our teary eyes) drove them out of the vent outside. There must have been at least fifty of them. I waited until early next morning, and at first light I went out with a can of wasp and hornet foam. They had slept outside, under the eaves, all clustered together to keep warm. I sprayed them and the nest, and that was that. Then, later, when I was sure there wouldn’t be any survivors, I opened the vent and found inside two nests, either one the size and shape of an infrared bulb, with all the cells exposed on the convex surface of the “bulb.” I removed them, and the fan started working properly again. Last fall I had a close call. There was an old wastebasket outside that I kept upside down on top of the spigot that sends water to the cow trough, to keep my horse from messing around with it (he likes to chew on things). I noticed the wastebasket was lying sideways on the ground and picked it up… and the damn red wasps started flying around. I managed to jump backwards a few feet (not an easy feat due to my age and bulk), and run away. That night I went there with a flashlight and a can of hornet foam and soaked the inside of the wastebasket. The next morning I found the nest and about 20 of the little devils dead.
    I, too, have had a metal roof installed on top of the old one in March, and I wonder if the one that stung me and others that I have seen buzz by the door and that I have killed may also have made a nest between the old roof and the new, entering under the ridges of the metal roof, that leave multiple triangular openings at the edges of the roof. If they are there, only an exterminator with a high pressure spray wand inserted in each opening could kill them all.

  94. Janet says:

    I accidentally disturbed a nest of red wasps. I am very happy to report they left me alone even though I practically took their nest apart. I guess I really should wear glasses when I do yard work.

  95. Lights Out says:

    Just had a run in with some red wasp I got to my farm on Friday night in south west Missouri and noticed one flying into my grill i raised the lid very slow and sure enough there was a nest below the burner the size of a slice of bread i sprayed the hell out of them with hornet spray and then knocked the nest out as i sat there a few more came back and i finished them off two days later i was loading up to go home with my back to my cabin standing at my truck door and something started buzzing around me having a horse fly the day before biting me i figured that’s what it was as i thrash around the thing came straight at me and landed right on the end my nose like a little Cesna air plane and stung the daylights out of me i went back in the cabin and grabbed a potato and grated it up a little and applied it to the sting thinking it was just a fluke i went back to my truck to look for better first aid and again was stung this time on the back of my head behind my ear i knew there was a nest up in a crack between two pieces of metal 5 feet above my head and 8 feet behind me plenty of room i have sprayed them years before but not this time i went back inside and got every can of hornet spray i had and got in my truck and shut the door thinking i would roll my window down and spray them and roll the window back up after more thought realizing my power window was very slow i decided to open the door and spray them then shut the door. As soon as i sprayed that crack where the nest must be and as i shut my door one flew at me and hit the window like Kujo and i mean slammed straight into the glass i moved my truck away and loaded up and went home exactly 6 days later i’m just getting back to normal. They must have known i wiped out the other nest in the grill or it was because i had a generator running in the back of my truck part of the weekend 15 feet away and when i walked around there they attacked for what ever reason.( One word to the wise don’t skimp on hornet spray buy the best the chesp stuff will get you stung )

    • Herman says:

      Spray them in the morning, at first light, when they are all in the nest. Otherwise, those who were flying around and come to a nest that is now smelling of spray and impossible to enter will be infuriated and sting anything that moves within twenty yards of the dead nest. I have read that wasps can recognize people. Maybe those who came after you knew you were the bad guy who destroyed their home.

  96. Lights Out says:

    They were hiding in ambush in my grille and yes i did them in and i was the bad guy the others i left alone but nooooooo they had to attacked me from behind now its personal. i just emailed a bug guy what ever there called entomologist i think to find out why there so aggressive and what i did wrong maybe because i killed the other nest out or the generator running i want to know.

  97. Lights Out says:

    I’ll probably have a wanted poster out for me now

  98. John Dye says:

    Fairly sure the wasps in question are the Polistes Carolina….Since P. carolina nests in sheltered areas, it commonly constructs nests in close proximity to humans, such as the open space under a roof. They are also often attracted to humans due to loud noises, bright colors, and sweet smells, such as food and perfume.[4] Typical paper wasps are relatively unaggressive, only attacking humans and animals if they or their nests are being threatened. Red paper wasps are more aggressive and their stings can be more painful;[15] however, only females have the ability to sting.[20] Unlike bees, wasps do not lose their stingers, thus they are able to sting multiple times.[4]

    Red wasp stingers do not remain in their victims. A red wasp sting is often painful and causes localized swelling and itchiness. In some cases, people report developing a full-body, itchy rash.[4] Applying a cold compress or ice to the area can help relieve swelling, while application of calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream can help relieve itching and pain. If neither of these creams is available, a paste made from baking soda and water is an effective sting remedy. The paste should be thick enough to stay on the area of the sting until it dries.[15] Some individuals are known to have severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, to wasp stings, so should seek immediate medical attention if severe symptoms begin to present.[15] In very rare cases, children may develop shock after a red wasp sting.[4]

  99. Marie in NC says:

    I came here looking for the identity of the large orange insect that stung me in a rural part of Central North Carolina in mid-Summer.
    I was watching someone put sugar water in their many hummingbird feeders. There was a large bumblebee-type insect on site, so when I suddenly got buzzed and stung on my arm, I assumed it was a bee. However, there was no stinger in my skin, but a pinhead-sized patched of skin that looked punctured or bitten. My sister said it looked like a “large orange bee.” Although I was standing in the vicinity of the sugar water which I assumed attracted them, I was standing quietly back, so my experience was being loudly and suddenly buzzed and attacked at my midsection where my arm was held close to my body.
    The sting was immediately extremely painful. The sensation was a stinging pain that kept shooting out from the sting site, and along the arm. We didn’t have any topical medicatioon on hand, but I iced it, which seemed to help. Strangely enough, it did not swell much. There was a dull red patch that spread about two inches around and down the arm. More alarmingly, as I was driving home, I started feeling painful stinging sensations up my arm into my trapizod muscles between shoulder and neck. Parts of my forearm were also a little numb. Once home, I used a combination of ice, topical benedryl and oral benedryl to slow the reaction. (Too late in the day for Urgent Care.). After a very long sleep, the pain is almost gone, but I still have an area of my forearm with a “dead” sensation, which I assume is a lingering side effect of whatever venom this insect had.
    I have never heard of or seen such an unusual combination of characteristics, so I searched online for “large orange aggressive bee” and found this site. It sounds like there is an oranger, more aggressive wasp out there. I’m curious what exactly it is.

  100. Mandy Leason says:

    We moved to this house in March. I live in Kentucky, about 30 minutes south of Louisville. It was built in 2004, so fairly new. I work a lot so it was a slow process to transfer my flower bulbs and bushes and some had been left in pots until I had time to properly plant and mulch everything. During the time between March and July the only wasps I noticed on our property were on our back porch. They were yellow and black and would fly all around the porch and in and out of the nest and never bother anyone. I grew up on a farm and was fairly certain I’d been stung by pretty much everything at some point in my life. So one day in July I decided to really hunker down and get everything into the ground. Myself and my 15 year old son were digging and planting all day, and never saw any wasp near us. We went inside and ate dinner and I went back outside to give a thorough soaking to all the plants. Most I had planted in an area that I made a bed out of directly off the front porch, to the left of the door. I had one lilac bush that was larger though, and I had planted it on the right side. I also had a Shepard’s Hook with a hummingbird feeder on the right side. I’m out with the hose watering the entire left side bed, still no sightings, nothing. When I turned the hose to the lilac bush on the right side, I immediately heard a buzzing in my ear. I didn’t see anything, just buzz, instant reaction I waved my hand around my ear. IMMEDIATELY after that I felt a HORRIBLE pain on the inside of the right arm, bicep area. I literally SCREAMED, and ran in the house, where I dropped to my knees, it hurt so bad. I have never in my life been stung by anything that felt like that. I didn’t have any baking soda but I immediately washed it with soap and water. The pain still excruciating the whole time. Like I said, I never SAW anything. When I looked at my arm I had an actual hole in my arm where it stung, about twice the size of a pin head. The pain was so intense though that I started looking up possibilities of what it was. The closest thing that I found with no physical description to go off of, led me to assume it was a hornet as I had read they nest in the ground and are very painful, I also was slightly nauseous. The pain continued but I finally fell asleep. The next morning when I woke up, the swollen area had doubled in size. The pain was almost still as intense as the initial sting and my entire arm itched like mad. When I couldn’t help myself anymore I starting trying to rub the area as gently but as effectively as I could. I definitely was not “scratching” though. Even with the light touch the itch remained and was almost as if I could feel it on “top” of the pain. The pain, after I rubbed my arm was very very sore, like muscle fatigue. I could still see this divet in my arm, and the redness had expanded covering my entire inside arm. I had to work that night, and several people looked at it and said spider bite. I said, no, whatever it was buzzed me. By the night of day two, swelling had reached the inside of my elbow, swelling so much as to make it difficult to bend. When I woke up on the third morning, the itch engulfed my entire arm, and now the inside of my elbow and all the way down to my wrist and fingers was swollen. I still had no real idea what had stung me, but as the condition kept getting worse every day, I was intensively searching for any information. The most I found was that it was normal for wasp stings to get “worse” for 48 hours or so. I wasn’t really “sick” but I just didn’t feel right, and was extremely fatigued. Finally around day 5 swelling started to go down, I started feeling a better and that was that. Fast forward to today when we are out putting Halloween decorations up. I happen to look up at the house, and just sitting directly on the brick of our house, near the eve were at least 20 of the hugest RED wasps I had ever seen. They are almost two inches long, and they look wider as well. Their wings are dark black and so big when they are folded on their back I didn’t even notice the red at first. These are a very bright intense red. I don’t see a nest anywhere, they are just sitting on the side of my house! I did notice a crack in one of the joints of the roof though, directly to the right of where they are all hanging out. I called over my fiance shocked and a little scared of how big and how many of these there are. At the time I noticed them I was about 20 feet from the house. I moved up closer, slowly and they all started lifting their wings. I froze for awhile watching them and while probably 10 of them stayed on the house, the rest of them began flying back and forth between two large (20 foot tall) holly bushes that are on each side of the front porch. A couple flew by and buzzed my ear like last time. I froze, and it kept flying. Once they started doing that, I immediately sent my children inside and my fiance got the only can of bug spray we had in the house, for ants and roaches. I kept telling him he was crazy and would just make them mad. There were so many of them, they were so big, now I’m figuring this HAS to be what go me earlier this year, so I know how strong and painful that sting was. He doesn’t listen to me really, being of the male species, so I went in the house. He said that he couldn’t really even get any spray that high, but they never even left where they were sitting. None dived bombed him, he didn’t get stung. After actually *seeing* these creatures now I started my internet searching again, now with the words red wasp. When I read the initial definition of NON-aggressive, I kept digging and came upon this. It will be light in about half hour and I am going to go out there and see if they are still sitting on the house and will attempt to take pictures. They are so incredibly painful and debilitating that I get a little fear and anxiety looking at them, but for the most part today they left us alone and no one got stung. I’m sure it was just startled the first time, and of course agitated when I tried to wave it away. But, I will say they CAN be aggressive from what I’ve seen, but aren’t always. That pain though. I have an extremely high pain tolerance (2 natural births, 1 C-section, multiple tattoos, teeth pain, etc.) This thing was my 10 out of 10 on a pain chart and pretty much knocked me out of commission for a week. I will update again as to their behavior and the circumstances of seeing them if they are out there still this morning. I will be going out with my 15 year old for the bus, just to be sure. Oh, and my 15 and 5 year old go to school at separate times, but we sit on the front porch waiting for a bus every morning and have never seen these until yesterday.

  101. laura sousa says:

    About a month ago (today is Oct 28, 2018) I was outside talking with someone in the late afternoon and was just going inside the house when something hit me on the underside of my arm about 2 inches from my arm pit. I honestly thought I’d been shot by a b-b gun. I saw nothing but it hurt as if I’d ben hit with an iron pipe. I had noticed a lot of big orange wasp like insects flying near our house for several weeks by then. We relocated to Clarksville ,Tn the year before and I had no idea what they were, as I’d never seen them in northern California where I’m from. The area I was stung in had two puncture marks so I thought brown recluse spider but could find no spider. The injured area immediately started swelling about 2 inches solid in a ring around and up to the affected area. I felt like a big muscle in my arm had been ripped apart.The area was red and hot and within a few hours I had a 4 inch wide area of redness, swelling and rash heading toward my elbow. I’m a retired nurse, so I decided to just watch and wait since I wasn’t having any other ill affects. I cleaned and dried the area and applied calamine lotion and downed some benadryll and tylenol. The next four days my arm hurt and the area was clear to my elbow with redness, heat, swelling and rash. By this time my arm itched to the point that I felt miserable. My dad described a hornet attack as a similar experience in pain and reaction to the sting he’d received in the past. Because the area was a bit difficult for me to see well even with a mirror, I went to urgent care for an opinion and further treatment. I told the doctor that my brother had noticed a wasp nest in the corner of a gutter on the garage that we had to pass by from the house to the car. It had several orange wasps flying near it and near us as we passed by. I mentioned it because I wondered if she’d ever known a wasp to sting twice so close to the first puncture. She said she’s treated others with similar allergic reactions to mine who said they’d seen the orange wasp sting them. That convinced me to be more observant while outside and to stop “talking” with my hands and arms, and to buy an epi pen as the likelihood of never getting stung again with all those wasps about are slim. A month later and I see a bruise like area with a scab where those two stings were. I love this area, but if these wasps keep bothering me, I might have to move to an area without them. That would make me feel really bad.

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