A giant wasp nest was found underneath a Faulkville woman's home. The nest had been growing under the woman's porch for three years.
"I just took a notion to help her out," said Tony Young, who discovered the nest.
Young's neighbors, a mother and a three-year-old daughter, had been bothered by wasps since the little girl was born. The wasps would bother the woman whenever she walked out onto the porch.
"Every step she made was vibrating the nest," Young said.
Young picked up a rake and started probing under the front porch, and that's when yellow jackets, a particularly aggressive type of wasp, began to swarm.
"As I raked, the more they came out," Young said.
He didn't run for fear of angering the wasps further.
"I sit as still as I could," Young said.
Then calmly and methodically, he went back to work.
"I got stung one time," Young said.
And what he dug up was monstrous. Experts at Yates-Astro Pest Control estimated that there were more than 1,000 wasps in the nest.
"Even if you're not allergic, just getting stung repeatedly can cause you lots of problems," said James Poole of Yates-Astro.
Poole said those stings are particularly dangers to children and the elderly. And yellow jackets don't die after they sting the way that bees do.
"They can sting repeatedly," Poole said.
Another scary fact?
"Yellow jackets can actually have multiple queens," Poole said.
That's why nests can grow bigger and larger.
"A lot of times, they'll just keep expanding the one colony," Poole said.
Young and Poole have the same message: If you notice one or two wasps, keep an eye on their comings and goings. You may need to call in an expert.
"Don't rest easy that that's all there is to it," said Young. "There may be thousands more in the ground."
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