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As a qualified pest control company serving Tennessee and Alabama, our clients often encounter red wasps and we understand the concerns they raise among residents. In this blog, we will shed light on the nature of red wasps, their prevalence in these areas, their stinging behavior, and effective methods for eradicating them. By providing comprehensive information, we aim to equip homeowners with the knowledge needed to deal with red wasp infestations confidently and seek professional assistance when necessary.

Red Wasps in the Southeastern U.S.A: Characteristics and Habits:

Red wasps, scientifically known as Polistes Carolina, are a common species found throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South and North Carolina, and Arkansas. They are part of the paper wasp family and are distinctively recognized by their reddish-brown coloration and slender bodies, usually measuring around 1 inch in length. Red wasps build paper-like nests, often in protected areas such as eaves, attics, or tree branches.

Red wasps are highly adaptable and can thrive in diverse environments, including urban and rural areas. They are known for their aggressive territorial behavior, defending their nests fiercely against potential threats. Red wasps primarily feed on nectar and insects, making them beneficial in controlling pest populations. However, their nesting habits near human dwellings can pose risks and instill fear among residents.

Stinging Behavior and Risks:

Red wasps are equipped with stingers and can sting when they perceive a threat to their nests or themselves. Unlike honeybees, red wasps are capable of stinging multiple times without dying. When a red wasp stings, it injects venom into the skin, which can cause pain, swelling, and allergic reactions in some individuals.

For those with allergies or sensitivities to insect stings, red wasp stings can lead to severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. It is crucial to exercise caution and seek medical attention promptly if stung by a red wasp, especially if experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, or swelling of the face and throat.

Methods to Control and Remove Red Wasp Nests:

When dealing with red wasp infestations, it is essential to prioritize safety and take appropriate measures to eliminate the nests. Here are some effective methods for controlling and removing red wasp nests:

  1. Professional Pest Control Services: Engaging a qualified pest control company like us who is experienced in wasp removal is often the safest and most effective solution. As a professional with years of experience, we have the knowledge, expertise, and protective equipment to handle red wasp nests, ensuring the safety of residents while effectively eliminating the infestation.
  2. Early Detection and Nest Destruction: Regular inspections of your property can help identify red wasp nests in their early stages. If you spot a small nest, you can carefully remove it using a long pole or broomstick, ensuring your safety by maintaining a safe distance from the nest. However, extreme caution must be exercised to avoid provoking the wasps and getting stung. It is crucial to note that attempting to remove large or multiple nests without professional assistance can be risky and should be avoided.
  3. Nest Exclusion and Prevention: After nest removal or professional treatment, taking preventive measures can reduce the likelihood of future red wasp infestations. Seal openings and gaps around your home to prevent red wasps from building new nests. Ensure that windows, doors, and vents have proper screens in place to block entry. Regularly inspect and repair any cracks or crevices in your property’s exterior.
  4. Avoiding Attractants: Red wasps are attracted to sugary substances and food sources. Minimize attractants by keeping outdoor eating areas clean and promptly disposing of food and beverage containers. Additionally, avoid wearing bright-colored clothing and floral-scented perfumes or lotions, as these can attract red wasps.
  5. Natural Deterrents: Some natural deterrents may help discourage red wasps from nesting near your property. Peppermint oil, spearmint, or cloves are known to repel wasps. However, it is essential to note that these deterrents may have limited effectiveness and should not be relied upon as the sole means of red wasp control.

Chemicals That Can Kill Red Wasps:

When dealing with red wasps, it’s important to prioritize safety and exercise caution. If you’re facing a red wasp infestation and considering using chemical solutions, it is highly recommended to consult with a professional pest control company like us! We have the knowledge, experience, and proper equipment to handle the situation safely and effectively. That being said, there are a few commonly used chemical options available for wasp control. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary safety precautions when using these products.

Here are a few chemicals that can be effective against red wasps:

  1. Pyrethroid-based Insecticides: Pyrethroid-based insecticides are widely used for wasp control. They are available in aerosol sprays or liquid concentrates that can be mixed with water. These insecticides work by directly targeting and killing the wasps upon contact. Examples include products containing active ingredients such as permethrin, bifenthrin, or cypermethrin.
  2. Wasp and Hornet Spray: Specifically designed for wasp control, commercially available wasp and hornet sprays can provide effective results. These aerosol sprays typically have a long-range spray that allows you to keep a safe distance from the nest while targeting the wasps. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully.
  3. Dust Insecticides: Dust insecticides, such as those containing carbaryl or diatomaceous earth, can be used for treating red wasp nests. These powdery substances are applied directly into the nest entrance, and when the wasps come into contact with the dust, it can lead to their demise. It is crucial to wear appropriate protective gear when applying dust insecticides.

Remember, when using any chemical insecticides, it is important to consider the potential risks associated with their use, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities. Additionally, always follow the product label instructions and guidelines, including proper application techniques, protective measures, and disposal guidelines.


Understanding red wasps’ characteristics, the prevalence in Tennessee and Alabama, stinging behavior, and effective control methods is crucial for homeowners seeking to address red wasp infestations. By prioritizing safety and considering professional assistance, homeowners can confidently address red wasp nests and minimize the associated risks. Remember, proactive prevention, regular inspections, and prompt action are key to maintaining a wasp-free environment and enjoying the peace of mind that comes with a pest-free home.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and found it helpful. If you are experiencing issues with red wasps in your home or business, we would love to earn your business and help solve your pest challenges. Head over to our locations page and select the location closest to you.

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