Red wasps are a downright nuisance insect that many a homeowner has encountered. They are one of the two forms of paper wasps, because of its nesting characteristic. Red wasps can measure an inch or two in length. They are different from other species of wasps in their long, red to reddish-brown bodies and dark (sometimes black) wings. The scientific name of Red wasp is “Polistes Carolina.”
Red wasps are mainly located in Eastern US ranging from Texas to Nebraska. They have a head with reddish-brown color and brown stripes on the abdomen. Red wasps eat flies and dead insects and feed their offspring with small insects. A social wasp’s nest is likely to contain more than 700 wasps. Yellowjackets and Hornets can be very aggressive, but red paper wasps are not like them. Wasps usually only attack humans (and other animals too) when their nest (or themselves) are threatened. Their stings are pretty painful and may yield a potentially deadly anaphylactic reaction in some person. Its nest in human-inhabited areas may pose a severe hazard.
Red Wasp – What’s the Impact on Our Mother Nature?
“This is an ecosystem that’s evolved over tens of thousands, millions of years that we have come along and effectively changed because we’ve introduced wasps.”
- Professor Phil Lester,
Insect ecologist, Victoria University. Red and black wasps deliver benefits to human by preying on pesky and harmful insects and feeding to their larvae which help to control the pest population in our environment. It also helps pollinate, but they’re dying in masses and left scientists, environmentalist, and beekeepers puzzled, and the future of our food supply is at stake as their numbers are getting lower day by day. If you have all the bad experiences with wasps, no wonder if you are wondering why we need these insects in our nature. Well, I will try to answer you.
Wasps help pollinate
Like I already said, wasps literally help pollinate plants! They are very effective in this issue thanks to their hairy legs. Wasps provide extremely important ecological services, including pollination, parasitism, and predation. Simply put, we would be flooded with insect pests without wasps, and we would have no flowers and fruits for us.
Wasps and Yeast
Scientists at the University of Florence recently reported another significant role of both hornets and paper wasps–they carry yeast cells in their guts, it is an essential ingredient in making beer, bread, and wine. But we have very little information about how yeast survives in nature.
Wasps provide natural pest control.
While they also kill and eats some helpful insects, they can be useful in eating crop-destroying bugs too – such as caterpillars, weevils and grubs. They are so beneficial in this regard that farmers may sometimes import wasps as natural pest control for their crops as that’s an all-natural insecticide!
How to Avoid Red Wasp Sting?
You probably think about being stung whenever you think about wasps. Indeed, wasps do sting, and wasp stings do really hurt. Red wasps are regional and will likely defend their nests if they feel threatened so if you come across a red wasp nest, maintain your safe distance. And if a red wasp approaches you, just don’t try to be swatting it away. Your aggressive and attacking gestures may only provoke the wasp and increase the chances of being stung.
Your small backyard means that any wasp nest is easily bothered — that can make wasps angry and can lead to stings. You may note that only female red wasps will sting, not the male one.
What If You Get Caught by A Red Wasp? Symptoms and Treatments?
A red wasp sting causes pain and sourness and localized distension and irritation. In a few cases, people reported developing a full-body itchy rash. You may experience an allergic reaction which may result in difficulty while breathing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion and even in rare cases, ultimately death.
Every person responds uniquely to the wasp sting. Some people are severely sensitive to the allergy by the wasp stings poison. So you got to seek medical attention ASAP, and check if further symptoms begin to appear. In very rare cases, kids may also get shocked after a red wasp sting. But the good thing is, Red wasp stingers do not remain inside of the victim.
Some immediate treatments you should take to relieve pain are: Use cold compresses which include cold flannel or ice pack. Take painkillers to help you get the soothing effect against any pain. Take antihistamines to help reduce the localized swellings related with the sting.
Application of calamine lotion can help decrease itching and pain. If none of these creams is available to you, a paste comprises of baking soda and water is an effective sting home remedy. Remember, the paste has to be thick enough to stay on the surface of your skin where you got stung until it dries.
If wasps sting someone and show any of the following symptoms, s/he may be in danger of suffering a severe allergic reaction:
- Itching and/or pale skin
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- A rapid but weak pulse
- Diarrhea, vomiting or nausea
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness/Fainting
Anaphylactic shock is a rare but can be lethal if you don’t treat it right away. The risk of such shock increases if they sting you multiple times. And unlike bees, wasps do not lose their stingers, so they are able to sting multiple times. In the case of an extreme allergic reaction, call 911 or another emergency service straight away.
All About the Paper Wasp Nest
Red Paper wasps build nests under our eaves or in our lawns and swarm around our guests at backyard barbecues, some wasps that collect fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they combine with their saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of brown or gray, papery material.
Little red wasps are a form of very social insects, and their colony comprises three different types of individuals which include queen, males, and workers. Red wasps typically start building their nests in spring when the weather gets warm and stay ever warmer until late summer.
You can recognize the wasp nests by quite a few distinguishing features, such as:
- Wasp’s nest has a honey-comb and an umbrella appearance.
- The nest is a hanging structure and has a supporting frame by a single strand of material.
- The nest has paper material as its component. The wasps themselves produce this material by chewing and vomiting collected plant and wood fibers.
How to Get Rid of Red Wasps Naturally
I found some natural solutions that are very effective.
Killing with liquid soap
- Get a good quantity of dishwashing liquid in a hose-end sprayer
- Let the water going until the suds starts.
- Hit the nest from as far away as you can, while still maintaining a strong flow of spray.
- Do this in the evening a couple of days in a row, after all the wasps have returned home for the night.
- Don’t forget to wear long pants and sleeves clothing, especially if you have low water pressure.
The soapy water works well since insects of all kinds usually have their skeletons on the outside of their body. The cohesive property of water usually prevents the water from entering their exoskeleton, but soap disrupts the surface tension of water. Hence, it made this a very effective natural wasp killer.
Natural insecticide spray
EcoSmart’s Organic Wasp uses 100 % food-grade ingredients, including peppermint oil. When reading the instructions level of this spray, you’d know that this just like the ordinary poisonous spray, so if you want to treat the wasp the same way as usual but with a more natural spray, this could be your best choice. Though it will smell a bit strong, as, like as essential oils, that’s not a bad thing, I think.
Drowning an aerial nest
Place a cloth bag on the entire nest and tie it off at the top very quickly; as you draw in the tie, pull the nest to detach from its attachment on your wall or tree. Now make sure that you sealed the bag as well. Drown the bag inside a drum of water; you can put a rock on the bag to keep it completely underwater.
Hanging false nests
Another thing you can do to resolve a wasp problem is to hang a fake wasp nest by your house some look very much like a paper lantern, and others seem similar to a real nest. They will work as wasps don’t build a nest next to another nest. Some even claim that simply hanging up a brown paper bag worked fine for them too.
There is also a variation of glass wasp traps that many people claim is useful to get rid of wasp in their area. The trick is to ensure you keep changing the bait. Please consider using good bait as well, such as tuna, as it attracts the wasps. These glass traps look so nice, but you can also make your own budget version by any sort of plastic bottle.
Some other ways are
- Wasp Spray
- Mechanical Removal
- The Water Hose/A Long Garden Tool
- Call Your Pest Management Professional (PMP)
Some Safety Tips and Precautions
- You should thoroughly cover up to prevent stings (including wearing tight-fitting clothes, so they don’t climb into your garment) before going into the action,
- Covering a light source (for, i.e. a flashlight), with red paper will help prevent them from flying towards your light.
- Working after dark would be a wise idea since the wasps return to their nest at night. This will reduce the chances of sting and gives you a better opportunity to completely destroy the nest safely and easily.
- Make sure you have a clear and easy escape path, before attempting nest removal, just in case you need to run away from any wasps that try to get you.
- You should carefully remove the Red wasps that get inside your house by trapping, crushing or vacuuming. But exercise caution and precaution to avoid the sting.
Red wasps are usually active during the day but return to their nests at night. Removing wasp nests is the reliable way to get rid of wasps around your locality and prevents the risk of nasty stings. If the red wasp picks a dangerous position for you to build their nest, eliminate the nest before it gets larger, and the earlier in the nest building process, the better the results. If you leave your home untreated and the nest remains throughout the summer season, you will have to face the wasp problem. Call a Pest Management Professional to get help.
You can leave the red wasps by themselves if not damaging you or your property. Because insects are generally having a hard time these days due to a significant change in our environments and climate, habitat loss and the use of chemical insecticides, these all are taking their toll on these little creatures. So, if their hive isn’t in possibly a hazardous location, please consider leaving them alone.