Yellow jackets turn vacant Albany house into a nest

Yellow Jackets Take Over Home
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Code Enforcement is sending out a warning. Going into vacant houses or buildings can be dangerous, possibly even deadly.

One example is a home that was cleared just last week of hundreds of thousands of yellow jackets.

Master Beekeeper Dale Richter was called in to deal with the nesting inside a vacant house that yellow jackets had completely taken over by hundreds of thousands of yellow jackets. The insulation and drywall have been consumed by the yellow jackets, which built giant nests throughout the entire home.

"Looking at this and being in there, it took at least six to eight months to make this much," said Richter.  "It's just an incredible amount of nesting material, and yellow jackets."

Code enforcement officers found the vacant home and nest and called in Richter.  He says when he went inside wearing his protective gear, he was immediately covered.

If a child had wandered into this house by mistake, would they have made it out? "It would have been very serious," said Richter. "If not fatal, it would have been very serious. I was in there with very heavy protective clothing and still being stung."

This is some of the nesting that Richter collected. The engineering of the multilayer nest is amazing.

"They actual have little pillars that they build between the layers, if you see them right here," said Richter. "That separates the layers so they can move in between them."

Richter says the yellow jackets were so intense, city officials had an ambulance on standby. He said they weighed the yellow jackets when cleaning up, and it was 40 pounds.

Richter and code enforcement says the message is clear. He thinks all the rain has more yellow jackets, bees, and wasps nesting in vacant buildings. Code enforcement wants you to stay out of them.

"If they have an abandoned house or a house not being taken care of properly, they would like to know about it so they can investigate it. Look at it, and see what they need to do about the situation.

Richter emphasizes that if people suspect a  building has yellow jackets or bee nests, don't inspect them yourself. Call Code enforcement to check it.

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