Photo by Melody

Red Wasp, Paper Wasp (Polistes carolina)

Order: Hymenoptera (hy-men-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Vespidae (VES-pid-ee) (Info)
Genus: Polistes
Species: carolina


No positives
2 neutrals
1 negative


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Piggott, Arkansas
Grenada, Mississippi
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Bullard, Texas
Early, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Little Elm, Texas
Troup, Texas
Tyler, Texas

By debnes_dfw_tx
Thumbnail #1 of Red Wasp, Paper Wasp (Polistes carolina) by debnes_dfw_tx

By DWMike

Thumbnail #2 of Red Wasp, Paper Wasp (Polistes carolina) by DWMike

By DWMike

Thumbnail #3 of Red Wasp, Paper Wasp (Polistes carolina) by DWMike

Member Notes:

Negative DWMike On May 29, 2011, DWMike from Grenada, MS
(Zone 8a) wrote:

These wasp are very aggressive here. There are usually 2-3 that fan the nest with their wings and if you get close, they do attack and sting. I have been attacked and stung by numerous Red wasp on a nest that I was unaware of just walking by at over 10 feet away and not just on one occasion either...these guys mean business. The sting is almost as painful as a hornet and makes a large area (the size of a baseball) around the sting site to be sore and tender for several days after the sting.

Neutral bev27777 On Sep 3, 2012, bev27777 from Early, TX wrote:

We have about half our birdhouses taken over by the red wasp. They don't seem to bother us unless we get to close. As long as we stay calm around them they just buzz us to warn us away.
They were all over our peach tree trunks this summer, I don't know if they were after the sap or not?

Neutral Scribbles646 On Apr 23, 2015, Scribbles646 from Troup, TX wrote:

A common sight in spring, summer and fall, I've not found them to be particularly aggressive, perhaps curious, though wasps or bees don't concern me much, having been around honey bees a lot. The specimens I've seen in east-Texas are rather large at 1.2 to 2 inches long(3 to 5 cm), they may represent a particular sub-species or variety.

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