Free Wasp Removal Helps Science Inquiry
photo by Dr. James Castner
Gary Fritz, “the yellowjacket man”, is offering to remove wasp infestations from private homes at no cost to further his research into developing and producing protection against their sting for those that have severe allergic reactions to the venom. Fritz holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida and has been removing the nests for more than 17 years. He says, “Venom immunotherapy is the closest thing to a cure and is 97 percent effective in preventing future allergic reactions.”
Fritz is investigating the genetics of social behavior in yellowjackets, particularly those that have multiple queens. In Florida, some nests can grow to more than nine feet tall and envelop trees and parts of corners of buildings, with hundreds of thousands of stinging insects. Fritz notes, “We still don’t know what leads a nest to become a huge, perennial colony with multiple queens, but I think that understanding the genetics of their social system will help us get the answer.”
For more information, call 1-866-852-9317.