Massive Wasp Super Nests Are Popping Up All Over Alabama

first_img Watch: Man Uses Roman Candle to Kill Hornets, Sets Roof on FireLas Vegas Pizzeria Offers ‘Grasshopper Pie’ Amid Insect Inva… Stay on target Officials are warning Alabama residents about massive “super nests,” housing up to 15,000 stinging yellow jackets, that have begun appearing throughout state. Some of the nests are the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, experts say.At least two “perennial yellow jacket nests” were spotted in Alabama in May, and more may pop up, according to Charles Ray, an entomologist working with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES).Entomologists believe that due to milder winters and an abundant food supply, wasps are able to survive and “enter spring with much larger numbers,” resulting in the appearance of the nests.A yellow jacket nest on a house. (Photo Credit: Alabama Cooperative Extension System)“These perennial nests may be several feet wide and have many thousands of workers, far more than an average nest,” said Ray, who is also a research fellow in Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. “We have found them attached to home exteriors and other places you might not expect to find yellow jackets.”Ray said the biggest amount of workers he has counted was about 15,000, which is three to four times bigger than a normal nest. However, there was one nest in South Carolina that was documented with more 250,000 workers.The state of Alabama may actually see larger numbers of perennial nests this year.A yellow jacket nest filling the interior of a car. (Photo Credit: Alabama Cooperative Extension System)“We confirmed two nests in May and have indications of a third,” Ray said. This means the nests have started appearing several weeks earlier than in 2006, when experts identified the first giant nest in June 13.“If we are seeing them a month sooner than we did in 2006, I am very concerned that there will be a large number of them in the state,” Ray said. “The nests I have seen this year already have more than 10,000 workers and are expanding rapidly.”In 2006, nests were located in multiple counties with the most northern location occurring in Talladega County.An above-ground yellow jacket nest. (Photo Credit: Alabama Cooperative Extension System)So what should Alabama residents do if they spot one of these massive nests?“First and foremost, do not disturb the nest,” said Ray. “While these giant nests often appear less aggressive than smaller colonies, it is important that people do not disturb the nests.”Next, Ray wants people to contact him so he can document the nest and collect insect specimens. People should contact him by email at [email protected] or at [email protected], if people need to have nests removed, Ray says it is a task only for licensed commercial pest control operators. He warns that even some commercial operators will not tackle these giant perennial yellow jacket nests.More on Geek.com:Watch : Florida Man Dodges Lovebugs With ‘The Matrix’ MovesDoctors Find Four Bees Living Inside Woman’s EyeSwarm of Mayflies Invades Ohio, Shows Up on Weather Radarlast_img read more