Can Wasps Sting Through Gloves? The Surprising Answer

by Derrick | Last Updated: June 22, 2022

Most people looking to protect themselves from wasp stings are afraid they may have a face-disfiguring allergic reaction or otherwise wind up in the hospital. So, they try to cover their exposed body parts to avoid getting stung. But can wasps sting through clothing and gloves? 

Wasps are perfectly capable of stinging people through their clothing, gloves included. The only defense against them is to wear multiple layers of clothes and cover all parts of your body, including hands and feet. 

Getting stung by a wasp hurts. Deadly or not, most people would rather avoid the unpleasant experience. Read on to learn what precautions you can take to avoid the worst of a wasp’s sting.

Why Do Wasps Sting People?

Wasps sting people when they feel threatened. It may be confusing to most people since they’ve been stung while merely walking along, minding their own business. But if a wasp believes their home is in danger, they’ll attack. 

It’s likely the innocent target of the angry wasps was obviously close to stepping on the wasps’ nest. The wasp then charged in to defend their home and colony. And because wasps emit a pheromone that sends signals to nearby wasps, it’s easy for an entire colony to come out in a cloud and attack in defense of the hive.

Should this happen, don’t jump in a body of water thinking you’ll be safe. Wasps are relentless and will wait as long as it takes for you to reemerge. And to make matters worse, wasps don’t die after one sting like their cousin, the honey bee. Wasps live to sting you again and again. 

So the moment you rise out of the water, they’ll continue the attack, and now you’re cold, wet, blinded by water, and attacked by wasps. 

Wear Layers of Clothing

Probably your best defense against wasp stings is to wear thick layers of clothing. The more you cover, the more protection you have. Avoid lightweight clothing and clothing that exposes skin. 

A t-shirt, for example, isn’t only a very thin layer of clothing but also exposes your arms. A long-sleeved sweater would be ideal, given that it’s made of thicker weave and would cover your arms.

For example, jeans are made of a thicker material than a part of dress slacks. And, of course, boots or sneakers would provide more protection than flip flops or sandals.

While gloves can not provide 100% protection, it’s still a good idea to wear them. Some protection is better than no protection. When a bee stings through a glove, it’s not as painful as when it stings through bare skin. Beekeepers call these stings “micro stings.” 

When it comes to gloves, the best protection is in the form of animal hides. That sounds sort of primitive, but I promise you won’t have to dress like a caveman!

The best gloves for bee sting protection come layered either in goatskin or cowskin. These hides in particular are effective because cows and goats naturally have tough hides, one reason why leather is made from them! 

So if you’re going to be in an area near wasps, get yourself a good pair of gloves. Heck, get two pairs! 

You never know what could happen! An ideal pair of gloves would be Thick Goatskin Leather Beekeeper’s Gloves. Not only do you get two pairs of gloves for the price of one, but they are high quality and have many positive reviews!

Colors To Avoid When Near Wasps

If you want to avoid being attacked by bees in the first place, it’s a good idea to be careful about the color of the clothing you decide to wear, as well the scents you put on that day. Looking and smelling like a flower to a wasp won’t end pleasantly, so avoid bright colors and sweet perfumes.

Beekeepers tend to wear white or tan because those colors technically lack any color and won’t cause the bees to think you might be a giant flower. White, cream, tan, or gray are the best colors to wear around wasps and bees. And as an extra precaution, avoid brown, black, or red clothes. The color red is perceived as black by bees and wasps, which they view as a threat.

What To Do if Wasps Attack

If you’re minding your business only to look up and find a cloud of wasps coming your way, you can make a last desperate attempt to avoid getting stung. However, if it’s gotten to this point, it won’t be easy.

As mentioned earlier, don’t bother jumping into a body of water since the wasps will wait for you to come out. Playing dead also doesn’t work: wasps are smarter than the average bear. And lastly, although it’s probably tough not to, don’t wave your arms around and scream. This will only make the wasps angrier , as they perceive you as attacking them.

If wasps attack you, stay calm and walk slowly into a building or get inside a car. It can also help to walk into an area with many plants and trees to make it harder for them to swarm. Cover your face with your hands and wait for the attack to stop. 

Treating Wasp Stings

If the worst happens and you get stung, clean the bites with antiseptic immediately to avoid infection. If you know you’re going to be around wasps, it’s ideal to keep a Neosporin Ointment (available on ready at hand. Neosporin is a name-brand antibiotic ointment proven to prevent infection. 

For the itching, swelling, and pain, there are some home remedies that you can apply directly to the stings:

  • Baking Soda
  • Lavender Oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

When To Call 911

You can’t always treat wasp stings at home. Sometimes, the injury is so severe that you should immediately go to the emergency room. Here are some signs and symptoms signaling when you should do so: 

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Swollen face 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

If you have any of these symptoms, immediately go to the emergency room! These symptoms are signs of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction to wasp stings!


Wasp stings can be excruciating, and if you’re allergic, they can even kill you! But human beings aren’t entirely at the mercy of wasps. While gloves won’t provide complete protection, they can provide some protection. If you’re going to be in an area with wasps, wear gloves and as many layers of clothing (within reason) as you can to protect yourself from stings.