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Red Wasps and Yellow Jackets

Wasps and Hate

I honestly can't claim to remember exactly when I first realized how much I hated red wasps and yellow jackets, but I can assure you that you can well guess the how I learned to hate them. When it is all said and done, I'm very similar to you, and we are all very close to being the same - we all learned to hate the wasps and hornets for the same reason - one of them stung us.

I can't tell you exactly how bad it hurts to be stung by a wasp, and most especially - the red wasps, but I can tell you that I've been hit by 120 volts, 240 volts, and 460 volts of electricity, and none of that hurts anywhere nearly as bad as being stung by a red wasp does. Yes - the electricity and the many times I've been bitten by voltage, amperage, and ohms - that stuff all put me vastly closer to death than does a red wasp sting, but I can assure you without the slightest reservation that it does not hurt anywhere nearly as bad or for as long a time as does being stung by a wasp.

The Red Wasp - This Is the Exact Devil I hate


Red Wasps

A couple years ago I was in the Dallas area running an air conditioning repair call - service work, and the call concerned how a roofing contractor's crew had damaged the air conditioning. I was searching for the refrigerant leak by listening - you could hear the gas leaking out, and I ran my hand up through the vinyl siding where the large copper pipe went into the wall - before I even knew it I was cursing loudly in front of my Lady customer, and I was on the other side of her yard from the air conditioner. The Lady and her husband both commented that they'd never seen anyone move so fast in their entire lives - and they quickly went inside their home to get me some liquid Benedryl.

Red wasps and yellow jacket hornets all like to build their homes or nests inside little out of site crevices or holes when possible, but they also will build them right out in plain site, but the ones where they are hidden behind some vinyl siding - those will get you every time! Also, Benedryl is exactly the perfect thing to take if you or someone you know has been stung and is allergic to the monstrous poison those satan spawn bugs inject into a human.

Yellow Jacket Wasp


Purchase Wasp or Hornet Killer Spray On!

Yellow Jacket Wasps

Another occasion years ago I was on top of the roof of the Davy Crockett building of the Dallas Public Schools. One of the air conditioners was down, and so I swung open the door to the breaker panel and soon found myself in a great deal of pain. I'd been stung by several yellow jacket wasps, and decided then and there that because I had no wasp killing spray in my service truck - that I'd not do anything more until I went to a supply house to buy some. I couldn't safely do anything more anyway - but while I was at the supply house buying my wasp killer a peculiar thing was said. The man behind the counter, an old friend named Butch, the man told me this:

I can't let you leave. You can't leave. I've got to take you to Baylor Hospital.

I'd been stung behind my left ear, and my old friend Butch said that since I'd been in his store he'd watched the back of my head swell at an alarming rate. So of course I let him drive me to the hospital, and there I got some shots of this and that, and I do very much appreciate a sales person behind a counter going out of his way to see to the health of his customer!

The Wasps Nest


Removing A Wasp's Nest

These paper wasps nests, i.e., red wasps or yellow jackets have been an ever present part of my life here in North East Texas, and they most often wind up being built under the eaves of a house just above the head of an adult, and this is far too close for anyone's comfort. There is never a good reason for anyone with children or elderly persons around to tolerate a wasp's nest. The best thing to do is to remove the thing straight away, and the best efforts at wasp nest removal always end in the death of all the wasps on the nest. Get that PETA humane garbage out of your minds here - people can die from the stings of these things, and it is generally a very unpleasant surprise to find yourself in just such a bad position - being stung by wasps.

There is nothing better on the planet than the exact product created for this job - wasp and hornet spray always does the trick, and typically sprays a nice strong current of chemical at very good distances and very accurately - and this nearly always destroys all the wasps on the nest, and should some have been out and about plotting death and destruction or at least extreme pain upon humanity - then when they return to a wasp nest sprayed by hornet spray, they will inevitably find the thing no longer habitable, and hopefully, those too will die of pure anguish.

Wasp and hornet spray, alas, is a very powerful chemical that couldn't possibly be good for anyone to get on them, or breath, or even be around - so what other sorts of things could be used?

Growing up my very wise Mother always would get some very hot water and mix some dish washing soap into it in a little bucket sized thing - this is where I would come in - I'd take the bucket of hot soapy water and hurl it upwards at the wasp nest. Were I to make a good show of the whole deal, i.e., effectively splash the wasp's nest with the hot and soapy water, then that would always kill the wasps. Sadly, hurling buckets of hot and soapy water isn't a tactic that is typically as highly successful a venture as is using the wasp and hornet spray.

European Wasps - Also Now Common In Australia and New Zealand


Polistes - Wasps

There are over three hundred species of wasps in this world, and they are thought to be beneficial for one reason - they eat lots of caterpillars No, I'm not sure what kind of butterfly hating individual would think that way, but I'd imagine there is a reason somewhere. Facts are this - I don't care. I advocate the killing of wasps at every turn. Better to kill the wasps and not get stung than to not kill them and suffer the extreme pain from their stings.

These bugs are often called paper wasps due to their almost cool ability to gather deadwood fiber and plant stems, mix it with their own saliva, and build their water resistant paper nests.Some sort of instinctual problem leads these creatures to forever build their nests on or near human habitation. Ayn Rand would certainly call them moochers.

According to Michael Sheehan a well known bug studying sort of fella, paper wasps have facial recognition capabilities equal to that of humans. No, they don't remember OUR faces - but can tell the exact difference in who is who in their wasps world. I very much like this as I want them to recognize their dead wasp loved ones after I've sprayed their nests. Are you sensing a theme here? I hope so. You might well say live and let live, but once stung you'll be twice shy. No, live and let die does not suffice - I say KILL THEM ALL.

Build A Wasp Trap!

KIll Every Single Wasp You See With Hornet Spray Purchased From!


Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 28, 2018:

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I had problems with yellow jackets last summer (and wrote a hub about them too). My reflexes weren't fast enough to spray them in mid-flight, so I resorted to a trap with attractant in it. Worked fine.

Ernest Duka from Albania (Tirane) on June 08, 2016:

Nice article bro very helpful thanks ^_^

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on January 04, 2016:

Saldriass, I'm told some species of wasps are good to have around as they are fond of killing other less desirable insects.

There's just too much pain involved with a sting for me to stomach any of that though!

saldriass from morocco on August 24, 2014:

nice artcile.

one of wasps that i like is bald faced hornets

thet are so cool even they are close from yallowjackets but they are bigger and close to human.....some ppl have theme as pets in there garden haha

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 26, 2012:

Efficient Admin - THANKS VERY MUCH!

I might try those nets if I were you...I'm about as scared of all the poisons in the spray as I am the damned wasp's stings!

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on December 26, 2012:

I also can't stand these little buggers and I fight with them every year on my balcony here in North Carolina where they are always trying to build their paper honeycomb nests. I had to spray 4 different nests this past summer. Of course they were in the beginning stages of building the nests and that's when I sprayed them.

Most of the time I can't even go out on the balcony because they are swarming around. I had the HOA spray dust 3 different times but they always come back. I don't know what else to do except try mosquito netting. This was a very interesting read and I'm sorry you got stung by them. Glad your buddy at the store took you to the hospital. Voted up and across.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 23, 2012:

I think the Wasp Spray chemical is surely very very bad to around....but the stuff works really really well!!!!!

HB on October 23, 2012:

Last week also bad here in NW Georgia !!! Have been killing the sneaky ones that come in to my screened porch since yesterday!! Hate them !!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 05, 2012:

A.H - so you've been stung then? UNFORGETTABLE PAIN!!

A.H on May 02, 2012:

I remember living in Houston T.X before moving up to N.C there were red wasps every where! i would never go uotside in the spring or summer for fear of being stung. just a picture of a red wasp is almost enough to make me scream!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 30, 2012:

maggs224 - THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

I enjoyed reading your story, and am glad to hear always about someone that overcame one of their fears!!!!!!

I'm glad for you that you've never been stung by one - the red wasps here in Texas....provide unspeakable pain...I couldn't describe that pain if I tried - truly it is horrible.

maggs224 from Sunny Spain on April 30, 2012:

My daughter was stung by the same wasp four or more times on the back of her neck when she was about five years old.

This wasp attack left her very fearful of wasps for quite a while.

When my children were young we had a small boat that we would go on holiday on and I remember one year there seemed to be almost a plague of wasps while we were on holiday.

I remember we bought some of the old fashioned sticky flypaper to hang in the boat and four fly swats.

It was that summer my daughter got over her fear of wasps as her skill and prowess with the swatter increased.

She was lethal with that swatter and could hit even a fast moving wasp every time.

Each swipe with her fly swatter almost always resulted in the instantaneous death of the targeted wasp.

I must admit I love to photograph bees and wasps but then I have never been stung by one.

If either invaded my home they would be encouraged to leave asap and if the wasp didn't take the hint then I am afraid a rolled up newspaper would soon put an end to its existence.

I like very much your style of writing you had me from the first word and held me to the last. I will be voting this hub up and hitting a few buttons on my way out

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 29, 2012:

Thanks very much, Audra, my problem seems to be that I'm a bumbling idiot that sticks his hands where they ought not to go!

iamaudraleigh on April 29, 2012:

I hate wasps, bees, etc!!! Never been stung because I run faster than the speed of light...far,far away from them!!!

Your hub was well written...very good!

Voted up and shared!!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 29, 2012:

Sharyn's Slant - Thanks very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those chemical sprays have to be bad for everything....but the good news about them is that they are very bad for the targeted insects...the wasps!

Oh I know about panic attacks - but it is the pain attacks I like the least!

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on April 29, 2012:

Extremely well written article Wesman! I have always felt bad for outside workers who have to risk the chance of coming across a wasp or bee nest. Especially those who work on things like air conditioning, gutters, siding, electrical boxes, etc. And I worry about it too when I am working in the yard or on the house. My fear of wasps and bees can seriously lead to a major panic attack. But I learned a lot here with your research and very much appreciate that!


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 16, 2012:

prasetio30 Thank You, Sir!

Yes - I can't even begin to describe how badly it hurts when the red wasps sting you. I hope you never find out - it is truly awful.

It hurts a lot when the yellow ones sting, but nowhere near as much as the red ones. I think "mother nature" or God gave them the colors to tell us about the danger!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 16, 2012:

I had never know about red wasps. Thanks for writing and share with us. Good job, my friend. Rated up and useful!


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 16, 2012:

Do you have the super evil red wasps??? Their sting hurts even WORSE in my opinion!!!!

Yup! Little town about seven miles away is the Scurry Yellow Jackets!

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on April 16, 2012:

We have a love hate relationships with yellow jackets where I live. It's our high school mascot. We have wasps and yellow jackets galore around here.

Wolf spiders and a few other large spiders will eat them but those spiders sting you too so you are only replacing one evil for another one.

They do love to live under the eaves of houses, it keeps their home dry.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 16, 2012:

one2get2no - WOW! that is sorta wild! Thanks very much!

I think my goal in life is to not get snake bitten!!!!

Philip Cooper from Olney on April 16, 2012:

Would you believe that I have never ever been stung by wasps or bees and I'm approaching 65 years of age. So I don't know how allergic I am to stings. Would I be the first person to go through life without being stung? Great hub. Voted up!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 14, 2012:

I wonder if they do that in Texas? For some reason I'm thinking they only do that further North, but that is only because I've never seen either wasps or bees have a nest in the ground here. I hope I don't see either of those types of nests either....I'm a shorts guy in the Summers!

....if they are under an eave or something - well, I can typically see that!

Joseph G Caldwell from Lexington, KY on April 14, 2012:

Bumble bees also make nests underground.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 12, 2012:

You got lucky that time!!!!!!!!

WOW - around here they'll sting for getting too near a nest, you don't have to touch it!

Almost always they are under over-hangs here....the last time I got stung was when I set something heavy on top of a picknick table...and a nest was under the table.

DoItForHer on April 12, 2012:

When the nest is disturbed too much, they just leave with their eggs and set up shop elsewhere.

Fortunately, if you have a nest that year, they (Yellow Jackets) don't use the same nest again next year! At least there is that.

They nest in the ground, in trees, under over-hangs, and most any cozy little place. I've stepped on a nest and stood there like a doofus before I realized they were frenzied around my open pants legs. No stings that I can remember that time, but man, I darn near freaked out. Some years seem worse than others, too.

Since I moved to Eastern Montana, have had fewer encounters.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 10, 2012:


Hey tmbridgeland - this might sound kinda whack, but....if possible, I want them to suffer a lot before they die. I can't truly hate people much, but these insects....wasps(especially the red ones) - I truly hate them!

tmbridgeland from Small Town, Illinois on April 10, 2012:

Gasoline or any petroleum based spray will work. I use WD-40. It sprays far enough that you can sneak up on the hive and give it a good shot and run away fast before they figure out who is attacking. The other advantage is that the smell seems to confuse them so they don't go hunting for their attacker. Plus, once oil gets on the hive they will abandon it. Even if you don't kill them all, the survivors leave.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 10, 2012:


That's bad!

You mean they make nests in the ground??????? That is a new one on me - must be a northern thing!

DoItForHer on April 10, 2012:

Didn't know the red ones existed till you wrote about them.

When the nests are in the ground, I simply have not been able to get them out without chemicals. The ground has been too sandy to drown them, too. I hate using chemicals, but they are effective. Stuffed a road flare in the entrance of a ground nest with a galvanized bucket over the top and all it did was make 'em cough. Very tough critters (Yellow Jackets).

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

You know, I haven't tried that - but I'm thinking that gasoline would TOTALLY WORK!!! Those wasp sprays seem to be oil based, and as corrosive as gasoline is to the skin - I'm thinking it would work, and is definitely cheaper than the wasp and hornet spray.

I feel dumb for not having tried it!!!!

hazelwood4 from Owensboro, Kentucky on April 08, 2012:

Todd, I sure will.:) Hopefully, the traps work really well, but you never know. My wife and I wanted to ask you a question, "Do you know if gasoline will kill them on contact or what is the best spray to get to kill these suckers?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

HAZELWOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sir, what an idea!!!!

I'd no idea they made TRAPS for them - I've not just gotta find out if they have them on amazon - so I can edit this hub and include that awesome product idea!

Thanks for that wonderful comment and idea - and let me know here later how that thing worked, or if it worked!

hazelwood4 from Owensboro, Kentucky on April 08, 2012:

Boy oh boy my wife and I have a bumper crop of these stinging son of bucks in our yard this year. I purchased a Wasp and Yellow Jacket trap the other day from Lowes, I hope that the trap takes care of the problem.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

tmbridgeland - THAT IS LUCKY ON ALL ACCOUNTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. decision made - by someone else!!!!!!

2. no red wasps???? SUPER DUPER LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment - love that story!!!!!!!

tmbridgeland from Small Town, Illinois on April 08, 2012:

Don't have the red ones here in Illinois, that I know of. Lots of different kinds though. Just today, in the Sunday service a lady right in front of me had a black one land on the top of her head. I was frozen, trying to decide if I should brush it off, or just leave it and hope it flew away. A guy did brush it off, so lucky.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

So no red ones? I believe that the red ones here hurt a lot more than the yellow jackets do, but someone else might have a different opinion about that.

DoItForHer on April 08, 2012:

I imagine they are aggressive, but I seldom see them and they've never been a problem when I did run into them.

I Googled the Blackjacket and they are similar to the Baldfaced Hornet, which is also in Montana, and apparently has quite the sting. I'll have to remember that as the yellow ones have a punch; would not want to compare the two.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

Heck no Willie!!!! There is no time to turn off a saw - you'd possible hurt yourself much worse from jerking about from wasp stings around running power saws!!!

Does the black and white one sting too?

DoItForHer on April 08, 2012:

Montana also has the Blackjacket wasp. It looks a lot like the Yellowjacket except it is black and white instead of the black and yellow.

Yellowjackets are a bugger and sometimes will swarm your face which is amazingly painful. When I was logging and ran into a swarm, I would drop the saw, sometimes without shutting it off, and run! I do not mess around with those demonic creations!!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

Thanks very much, Chris - I can never remember if I'm late or early, but Happy Easter!

I wonder if me being somewhat allergic to the sting of these things causes the sting to hurt more for me than it would for other folks? I have no idea.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on April 07, 2012:

I must admit, although I am generally a "live and let live" kind of person, I could never settle in a room where there was even one live wasp. I am with you all the way on this one Wesman. Show no mercy!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

Marcy Goodfleisch - OH WOW!!! What a horror that must have been to have a bee in your drink and to then have ....took a drink of ...bee!


One time I was swimming, and I was underwater...and when I surfaced from the swimming pool - my head broke the surface at the exact place where a bumble bee was hovering at the water's surface...and well, I got stung on my head!

I don't think I ever looked at swimming in quite the same way again!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

tmbridgeland - thanks VERY much for pointing out my absurd GAFF with the picture....I don't understand how I make such mistakes, but sometimes I do!

Oh gosh, that must have been AWFUL for your daughter to have been stung by one of those things!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

onthegrind - Thanks very much! There was one time when my skin was literally turning purple...I'd never seen anything like it, and luckily, haven't since.

I remember taking Benadryl for it - and the anti histamine knocked me on my butt....I mean, it shut my eyes - it literally closed them. I think that having been stung increased the sedative effect of the stuff.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

Joseph G Caldwell - I know just what you mean about the chemicals. Those sprays smell so foul that you absolutely know they are totally and horrifically toxic to humans.

On the upside - they work extremely well towards killing those bugs that sting with such horrifically painful toxins.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 07, 2012:

We get wasp nests around homes even in neighborhoods (Texas, again - Austin here), and they set up shop in the eaves under porches. Right where you come in and out of the house. They're scary to have around with little kids in the area. I also hate fire ants - my friends and family up north don't understand what I mean when I mention those; hope they never have to find out.

Even regular bees can be dangerous - a few years ago while I was at a beach in Cozumel, a bee climbed into the can of a soft drink I was enjoying. I took a swallow and it stung my tongue several times, requiring a quick trip for benadryl.

What a good soul you ran into - I'm glad he recognized the danger you were in and looked after you!

tmbridgeland from Small Town, Illinois on April 07, 2012:

Great story. I have been stung many times since I was a kid and up to last year. From bumble bees, to wasps to yellow jackets. Last year I got yellow jackets in my air conditioner. I couldn't get at the nest, so I had to spray the ones outside flying around, then sneak up and try to spray directly into the hole they were using. It took weeks of regular spraying to finally get them all. I feel sorry for them, really, but after I got stung and my daughter, they had to go.

By the way, I think that first picture of the yellow jackets is actually honey bees.

onthegrind from Florida, United States on April 07, 2012:

Those things hurt. Good thing you didn't have a full anaphylactic reaction in any of those stinging incidents. Interesting hub!

Joseph G Caldwell from Lexington, KY on April 07, 2012:

I've had to deal with wasps and buble bees for years. I have used bug sprays in the past, but after a while, I decided I didn't want to be exposed to these poisons, and I got used to these horrid creatures and they leave me alone too 99% of the time.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

Total AGREEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on April 07, 2012:

I was cringeing and my skin was crawling as I read this - I really, really hate wasps! I think they are the most awful insect ever. Last year, I saw one stinging the life out of a fat little caterpillar in my garden and I wondered what the caterpillar could have done to the wasp to deserve this? They're mean, pointless insects n I hate 'em.

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