Hornets Make Man Jump From Roof

| by John Freund

A Washington man broke both of his feet in an accident involving hornets.

Ryan Larson claims he found a basketball-sized hornet nest hanging from the edge of his roof when he climbed up to pressure wash it, reports KOMO.  

"We knew it was there, so I was just going to stay away from that area," Larson said. "As soon as I pulled the trigger, the hornets were attacking me. It was like something out of a movie. Turn around and it was just like a black cloud."

Larson claims he tried to spray the hornets, but they forced him down to the edge of his roof.  That was when he knew his only option was to jump 12 feet down to the ground below to avoid being stung.  

"When I hit the ground, I knew immediately that I couldn't get up," Larson said. "It was just excruciating pain in my heels."

"Like a boom," said Larson's wife Kelli, who was unloading groceries from their car. "The first thing he said to me was take my shoes off. And I was like ‘OK.’ So, I took his shoes off and they just started swelling up."

X-rays taken later at the hospital revealed the impact from Larson's fall broke both of his feet.  He needed two surgeries to install several screws, pins and plates.

"I can't put any weight on it for four months," Larson said.

The father of five now relies on a wheelchair to get around until he can start physical therapy in late fall. He does have health insurance, but medical bills are already starting to add up, Larson said. He expects to miss at least six months of work, he added.

"Makes me emotional just ‘cause I’m a helper. So, I like to go help everybody else. And now it’s to the fact that people have to come help me and I’m not used to that," Larson, who has been a volunteer firefighter, said.

According to, hornets build nests that are composed of a paperlike substance derived from the insects' saliva and wood pulp. They are generally in trees, attic rafters or other covered areas. Hornets also tend to vigorously defend their nest, should it be attacked by an intruder.  

Larson said from now on he'll think twice before getting on his roof.

"I’ll probably do a lot of inspection before I get up there," Larson said. "Sometimes I want to stay here for a long time and sometimes I'm ready to leave. But, you know, it all depends on the mood you're in."

Larson's mother has set-up a GoFundMe page to help her son with medical expenses.

Sources: KOMO, Orkin / Photo credit: Vespa-Crabro

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