Little more than two weeks ago I had a fateful run-in with a mob of my archenemy, the red wasp (Polistes carolina).
Since developing my deadly allergy to bee, ant and wasp stings almost three decades ago, this represents the only wasp species to sting me, a ubiquitous critter in the southern United States. As each sting has resulted in a reaction exponentially worse than the one before, over the years my loathing of these wasps has grown by leaps and bounds.
It’s the only species of wasp capable of eliciting palpable fear. Quite honestly, I don’t have a single good photo of a red wasp because I tend to run in the opposite direction when I see one. Any other wasp and I’m all up in its face asking it to smile for a portrait. But red wasps? Um, no, not so much.
As is typical with most Polistes spp., red wasps are just plain mean and always ready to pick a fight. Individually they tend toward being busy hunting or chewing wood to make pulp; collectively they’re a gang of thugs wanting to pummel anything that moves.
So when one got inside the house yesterday, barely two weeks after her ilk did significant bodily harm to me, I didn’t think twice about kicking her ass. I capture most home invaders and relocate them outside; red wasps are now on the list of things to kill first and ask questions never.