There do not exist many potentially deadly insect species in the northeast United States, but wasps happen to be one of the few exceptions. What makes wasps so dangerous is their habit of building nests on buildings, houses and in residential lawns. Wasps are always territorial and aggressive when they are inhabiting their nests, so simply brushing past a wasp nest located in a bush is enough to make the insects sting a person repeatedly. In such an instance a person would be lucky to escape a swarm alive.

Wasp nests are often located within lawn grass, making lawn-mowing a risky summertime activity. Professional landscapers are particularly vulnerable to falling victim to wasp attacks, and nobody knows this better than Alex Schneider. Last August, Schneider sustained more than a dozen wasp stings after he unwittingly mowed over a wasp nest while performing landscape work on a Braintree property. Schneider would likely have succumbed to the repeated wasp stings had it not been for his daughter’s heroic actions.

After mowing down an area of tall grass that contained a wasp nest, Schneider found himself at the center of a wasp swarm. Schneider’s daughter, Arianna, accompanied him to his worksite that day, and after witnessing her dad struggle in the lawn, Arianna yelled from her dad’s truck in an effort to find out what was causing his distress. Schneider could only yell, “wasps!” Schneider managed to shake the wasps loose from his body as his daughter ran to his aid. After helping her dad inside of his client’s home, it became clear that her dad was struggling to breathe and fell out of a chair she had set him on inside, seemingly without much control over his movements. Arianna called 911, struggling to maintain a clear head while speaking with the dispatcher. At the dispatcher’s recommendation, Arianna applied ice to her dad’s wounds and spoke to him in order to keep him as calm as possible. Arianna knew her dad was allergic to bees, and once paramedics arrived, he was on the verge of anaphylactic shock, which is often fatal, but he made a full recovery in a nearby hospital. Firefighters and paramedics at the scene believe that Arianna’s actions saved her dad’s life. The paramedics also claimed that emergency calls concerning wasp stings are common during the summer in Massachusetts. If you spot a wasp nest on your lawn, then do not approach it, and contact a pest control professional for the nest’s removal.

Have you ever found an active wasp nest in your yard?