Saturday, June 28, 2014

Watch Out for Accidental Encounters with Wasp or Hornet Nests

Massive Wasp Nest Removed In Florida (Archives from NBC News).

Dangerous wasp nests are a possible encounter in Florida swamps and woods. This seasonal video released by NBC is an archive from a few years back. An accidental exposure to a nest of this size without any protective gear would be deadly.

Paramedics from Altamonte Springs, Florida responded about 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2014 to a wasp attack after two people ran out of the woods screaming. David Alvarez, his 7-year-old son, Jordan, and their dog were being attacked by yellow jackets. Both victims were covered with wasps. Itsis believed that they were following the family dog, when it accidentally stepped on an underground nest. The dog was taken to a vet and released, but David Alvarez and his son Jordan were still hospitalized as of June 25, 2014. Its was estimated that David Alvarez had about 300 stings.

A passerby stopped to call 9-1-1, but called from inside his vehicle with the windows rolled up. A wasp still managed to get in his car and under his shirt. Jordan was sitting up, screaming. David Alvarez was laying down and looking like he was losing consciousness.

A beekeeper happened to be nearby and grabbed his mask, veil and gloves and headed toward the direction of the screams. He picked up Jordan, put him in his truck and returned to David Alvarez, who still had about 15-20 wasps attacking him. The beekeeper, Jim Kunze, pinched off the wasps to kill them.

Tips to avoid swarms of wasps, bees and hornets

•Whenever you're in the yard or outdoors, always look for new nests and flying wasps or hornets flying to and from nests -- in bushes, up high on structures or trees, or underground in open ground or near the bases of trees or bushes.

•Beware of hidden nests, and inspect grills or electrical receptacles for signs of streams of wasps or hornets flying in and out of nests before opening outdoor enclosures.

•Avoid swatting at bees and wasps, which will irritate them and send them into attack.

•Instead, walk away calmly from wasps, bees or hornets if you see them swarming.

•Always inspect eaves and roof gables before getting up on a ladder -- again, look  for signs of streams of wasps or hornets flying in and out of nests before opening outdoor enclosures.

•Keep lids on garbage cans and empty the cans frequently.

•Clean outdoor grills after cooking to remove food "leftovers" for the wasps

•Beware that some species are more sensitive to the distance they allow perceived threats to encounter their nests. Bald-faced hornets have very little tolerance for humans within 25 feet of their nests. Yellow jackets will let you get closer before attacking. Honey Bees and Bumblebees

•Some species of hornets will dive bomb and attack from high altitudes (20 or 30 feet).

See also ...
Orlando Sentinel Father, son remain in hospital after Altamonte Springs yellow-jacket attack