Wasps are capable of painful stings that can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Wasps are also capable of stinging multiple times until they feel the threat is over. When you need to go to an area where wasps might be present, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the clothes you wear as this can help prevent stings.
Wasps can sting you through some types of clothes, especially clothes that are lightweight. They are able to sting through jeans, though you are more protected when wearing heavier clothing.
Can All Wasps Sting You?
All of the different types of wasps are capable of stinging, though it is only the female wasps that can sting. Wasps generally sting when they are annoyed or when they feel threatened. If they believe you are going to harm them or their nest, they are capable of stinging multiple times, unlike bees, to get you to leave them or their nest alone. When one wasps stings, they release a pheromone that attracts more wasps to the area to help them get rid of the threat, so it’s possible you’ll be stung multiple times if you happen to get too close to a wasp nest.
What Types of Clothes Can Wasps Sting Through?
Wasp stingers can reach through most types of clothes. However, they do have limited reach, so heavier clothes are more effective at helping you stay safe from wasp stings. It’s also more difficult for them to be able to sting through tightly woven clothes as the threads in the clothing help stop the stinger from getting through.
If you do need to go to an area where there are wasps, wear heavier clothes like jeans and sweaters to prevent as many stings as possible. Make sure you are completely covered by clothing and wear items to protect your head and face as well, so the wasps do not have as big of a chance of being able to sting you through your clothes or in places where you aren’t covered by clothes.
How Can Wasps Sting Through Clothes?
Wasp stingers are smooth and straight, so they’re able to sting through most lightweight clothing easily. T-shirts, for instance, do not provide much protection from stings because the material is typically thin and the threads woven to create the shirt are looser than the threads in jeans or sweaters. The wasp’s stinger can easily push through the threats in a t-shirt or lightweight pants, allowing them to reach your skin through the clothing.
Clothes that are loose on you may provide a small amount of extra protection as they will try to sting the clothes and, depending on how loose they are, might just sting the clothes without getting through to your skin. However, they can get underneath the looser clothing, which means they can sting you multiple times before you’re able to get them out of your clothes.
Can Wasps Sting Through Shoes?
Wasps cannot sting through most shoes. Wasps may be able to sting through shoes that are very thin, like water shoes, and can sting you if you’re wearing sandals. However, the material in most sneakers and similar shoes is too thick and strong for the wasps to sting through them. Since many wasps nest underground, your shoes can help protect your feet when you’re in an area that has hidden wasp nests.
What Types of Clothes Should be Avoided Near Wasps?
If you need to be near wasps or think you may be near wasps, it’s a good idea to avoid lightweight clothing they can easily sting through. You should also make sure you avoid wearing shorts or tank tops as this leaves too much of your skin exposed and make it easier for the wasp to sting. Likewise, avoid walking around barefoot or with sandals on as the wasps will be able to sting your feet if you’re not wearing shoes or wearing shoes that don’t fully cover your feet. The more coverage you have, the less likely it is the wasp will be able to sting you.
What Color Clothing Should be Avoided Near Wasps?
When you know you need to be in an area that has wasps, wearing the right type of clothing is not all you need to consider. Make sure you avoid wearing bright colors or very dark colors as both of those can attract wasps to you. Wasps don’t have very good eyesight, so they depend on the colors they see to determine if something is worth investigating as a possible flower when they’re foraging.
Bright colors make you look like a flower to wasps, especially if you’re wearing yellow or you’re wearing a floral pattern. Wasps that are out looking for food may see the bright colors and decide to go closer to you to see if you’re a flower.
Darker colors can also attract wasps to you, but not because they’re foraging. Most of the predators wasps need to deal with, such as bears and skunks, are darker, so the wasps are going to be more defensive if you’re wearing darker colors. They interpret those colors as you being a predator, so even if they do not attack you right away, they’re going to be watching you to see if they need to attack.
Should Perfumes be Avoided Near Wasps?
If you know you’re going to be in an area that has wasps, avoid wearing perfumes or other products that smell sweet. Flowers tend to smell sweet, so wasps will smell the perfume or other products and think you might be a flower, leading them to get much closer to you. Other products to be careful with include shampoos, lotions, soaps, and even the clothing detergent you typically use. Stick with products that do not have a smell to be as safe as possible when you need to be around wasps or think you might be around wasps.
What Clothing Colors Can Repel Wasps?
There are no colors that are actually going to repel wasps. However, there are some colors you can wear that will make you less attractive to wasps. Wasps are attracted to brighter colors as you might look like a flower as well as darker colors because you might be a predator they need to be worried about. Instead, wear clothing that is a pale or light color. White is typically the best color to wear because it lacks any color, which means the wasps won’t really think much about the color. This is why many professionals wear a white outfit when they need to deal with bees and wasps.
Besides Clothes, What Else Can Help You Prevent Stings?
Wearing the right clothing and avoiding colors that may attract wasps can go a long way towards preventing stings, but there are also other things you can do. When you need to be in an area that may have wasps, tie up your hair if you have long hair. This can help make sure the wasps cannot get stuck in your hair, causing them to sting repeatedly because they cannot escape you. Avoid drinking anything out of cans, as wasps can be attracted to the sweet smell inside the can then get stuck inside the can when they investigate it. This could lead to them getting in your mouth when you take a sip. Be careful about swatting the wasps as well since they can become agitated when you swing at them and decide to attack. If you do kill a wasp, it could attract more wasps to the area which could lead to more stings. Instead, just try to get out of the area and avoid the wasps.
What Clothing Can be Worn When Removing a Nest?
If you cannot avoid working near wasps, make sure you choose your clothing carefully. Use clothing that is thicker to help prevent stings and make sure you choose the right color. When possible, wear multiple layers of clothes, so they have a harder time stinging you through the clothes. You may also want to wear a beekeeper hat that provides protection for your head, neck, and shoulders. Taping your pants to your shoes or socks and your sleeves to your gloves can help stop wasps from getting inside of your clothes. The more you can cover your skin, the less likely it is they will be able to sting you.
It’s best to avoid wasps altogether, but if you do need to be in an area that has wasps or you’re trying to remove a nest from your home, pay close attention to the clothing you wear. Wasps can sting through clothing, even jeans, but their stingers can’t reach through multiple layers of clothes as easily. Make sure you’re fully covered and pay attention to the colors you’re wearing as well as how you smell to reduce the chance a wasp will decide you might be something they’re interested in or something they need to attack to protect their nest. Your clothes can be the difference between being stung multiple times and avoiding a sting altogether.