Numerous wasps that are capable of delivering painful stings have been documented within Louisiana. Some of these wasps include yellow jackets, great black wasps, mud daubers, potter wasps, European hornets and paper wasps. The most aggressive and dangerous wasps in the state include yellow jackets and European hornets (which are wasps). Another wasp species that has been spotted in the state, Polistes carolina, is known for inflicting painful stings that can result in serious medical conditions. This wasp species is commonly known as the Alabama red wasp, and this species is only one of two red paper wasp species described in scientific literature.
The Alabama red wasp is easy to recognize on account of its large red body which has been known to exceed one inch in length. Although Alabama red wasps are scarcely mentioned as being dangerous wasp species in the US, their populations become abundant throughout the eastern states during the summer, which has made them notorious among residents. Generally, paper wasp species are not particularly aggressive, and they will only sting when provoked or handled. This is not the case when it comes to the Alabama red wasp, which is one of many paper wasp species found in the US.
These wasps live in colonies that can grow to contain hundreds of individual specimens. Alabama red wasps break down plant matter in order to use the resulting material to build paper nests. Once these nests dry, they resemble a honeycomb-like structure, and if a nest is found in a residential area, contacting a pest control professional for nest removal may be a wise idea due to the aggression exhibited by this species. These wasps also nest within hollow trees, and paper nests are commonly found on the underside of eaves and on the underside of bridges. Due to their abundance during the summer months, Alabama red wasps frequently sting humans, and when this occurs, swelling, pain and local itchiness usually result. These wasps are also known for inducing severe allergic reactions, so if a sting should be sustained by a person with known allergies to insect venom, medical care should be sought out immediately.
Have you ever spotted an Alabama red wasp?