All About Red Wasps in Oklahoma: What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on April 13, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Oklahoma, chances are you’ve seen a red wasp buzzing around your backyard. These stinging insects can be intimidating, but with a little knowledge, you can coexist with them safely. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about red wasps in Oklahoma, from their appearance to their behavior and the best ways to keep them away from your home.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.


Red wasps (Polistes carolina) are named for their reddish-brown coloration. They have long, slender bodies that can grow up to an inch in length. The wings of red wasps are also reddish-brown, and their legs are yellow. Unlike some other wasps, they do not have any distinctive markings or stripes.


Red wasps are social insects that live in colonies. They build their nests in protected areas, such as under eaves, in trees, or on porches. Each nest typically contains 10-20 wasps, although bigger colonies are possible.

Red wasps are considered aggressive, and they will defend their nests if they feel threatened. If you disturb a red wasp nest, you could be stung multiple times. This can be dangerous, especially if you are allergic to insect venom.

Are Red Wasps Dangerous?

While red wasps are generally not dangerous to humans, their stings can be painful. Like all wasp stings, they can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you are stung by a red wasp and experience symptoms like swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.


The best way to avoid problems with red wasps is to prevent them from building nests near your home. Make sure that all potential nesting sites, such as eaves, gutters, and awnings, are well-sealed. Keep your outdoor garbage cans tightly closed, and avoid leaving food or drinks outside for extended periods.

What to Do If You Encounter a Red Wasp

If you encounter a red wasp, try to stay calm and still. Do not swat at it or make sudden movements, as this can provoke an attack. If the wasp lands on you, gently brush it off with a piece of paper or leaf.

If you find a red wasp nest on your property, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Instead, contact a professional pest control company. They will be able to remove the nest safely and without disturbing the wasps.


Red wasps are common in Oklahoma, but they don’t have to be a source of fear. By understanding their behavior and taking steps to prevent them from nesting near your home, you can enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about getting stung. If you do encounter a red wasp, remember to stay calm and seek medical attention if necessary. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can coexist with these stinging insects safely.