Giant yellow jacket nest exterminated at Winter Garden home

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WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - A gigantic nest of yellow jackets has been exterminated from a central Florida home.

Ruthie Smarte's son first noticed the nest behind her Winter Garden home in March. At the time, it seemed small and nonthreatening, so they thought little of it.

Two of Smarte's cats eventually became apparent victims, though, and the nest kept growing and growing. Westley Bass, an exterminator with Florida Pest Control who tackled the nest on Friday, estimated it contained between 15,000 and 35,000 yellow jackets and stretched from the crawl space beneath the house outside, where it was fused with an old armchair. It would hold an estimated 35 gallons.

Bass tells The Ledger (http://bit.ly/1p2K20E) it's the biggest yellow jacket nest ever found in a residential area in his company's 65-year history.