There are multiple species of wasps in Arkansas, of which only the female is capable of stinging. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on two particular species. The yellowjacket and the red wasp. 

***The general spelling for the yellowjacket is two words (yellow jacket), however, the proper entomological spelling is one word “yellowjacket”.


Yellowjackets are an aggressive species of wasps, sometimes stinging when unprovoked. They generally make their homes in the ground but they can also be found in man made structures and in trees or tree stumps. They won’t just sting you once, they usually sting multiple times and they mark you for identification.  They aren’t above going after your pets, either.

Yellowjackets are sometimes confused with hornets and occasionally honey bees.  But the yellowjacket isn’t covered in small tan-brown hairs like the honey bee. Yellowjackets are capable of pollinating, though.


Red Wasps

The red wasp is a social insect, known for its rusty red body and black wings. They are typically about an inch long, and have a reputation for being aggressive, but they’re actually fairly docile compared to other social wasps. They will, however, sting if you get too close or if they feel threatened. Red wasps make their nest around homes, barns, and oftentimes in the attic, and their nests are usually unmistakable due to their size - reaching the size of a dinner plate in some cases.

The red wasp is a type of paper wasp, 22 types of paper wasps have been identified in North America, the red wasp isn’t the most common type of paper wasp, but its sting is among the most potent of the paper wasps, and like all wasps…can sting multiple times.