HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – In Eastern Hillsborough County, a giant nest of yellow jackets has grown for more than two years outside a family home.
“What we have here is a southern yellow jacket, a tropical yellow jacket are a multi-queen insect that continues on year after year after year,” said Jonathan Simkins of Insect I.Q.
Simkins is an entomologist with years of experience removing dangerous nests like this one.
“When you have all these queens laying eggs and all these workers coming out, you have more workers growing and building, it’s fantastic,” said Simkins.
Although Simkins is fascinated by his work, he knows the insects he works around can be very dangerous for the inexperienced.
“Yellow jackets are a different type of stinging insect. One, their stinger is not barbed, they can sting you multiple times. When you get these external nests, and you have several hundred on the outside, all of those can come after you and sting you,” said Simkins.
As his crew moved in to take out the nest, hundreds of yellow jackets swarmed around them.
Many on the crew were stung.
“Once you get in and you start messing with these and they get aggressive and they release the alarm pheromone, they’re going to come after you and they are going to attack any other human or animal that’s around,” said Simkins.
The professionals dug down two feet into the ground to get to the base of the nest, the top of the nest was more than eight feet up onto the side of a tree.
Their work removed a dangerous threat from the neighborhood where it was located.
“If you got into this without the knowledge and equipment, they say 500 stings from a yellow jacket is equal to a rattlesnake bite, so it’s that serious and that deadly. Keep in mind it only takes one sting to kill you if you are allergic to yellow jackets,” said Conner Keller with Insect I.Q.
It took more than an hour for the nest to be removed.
The homeowners are just happy that it’s gone.