False claim Florida vet flared wasp nest with drone

The Claim: A Florida veteran was fined by the HOA for setting fire to a wasp’s nest with a flamethrower drone

A viral meme recently shared on Facebook claims a man took a drastic approach to wasps control.

“Florida veteran fined by HOA for setting wasp’s nest on fire with a flamethrower drone named after his ex-wife,” a March 4 post said with nearly 200 shares and over 558 reactions .

Below the text is a picture of a flying flamethrower destroying a wasp’s nest that is resting on the branches of a tree. The meme was shared in the Facebook group “A Page Specific For Gun Memes and Cursed Gun Images 3.0”.

The same photo appears on various meme sites like iFunny.co and Americasbestpics.com, where it is likely taken.

USA TODAY has requested a comment from the user.

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The picture is from a rescue team in China killing wasp nests

The photo included in the post is authentic, but dates from December 2020 when emergency services converted a drone into a flying flamethrower as part of a campaign to destroy over 100 wasp nests.

A search and rescue volunteer group, Blue Sky Rescue, has teamed up with villagers in Zhong County, near Chongqing, to raise $ 12,200 to buy a drone and equip it with a gas tank and arm-length nozzle so Associated Press.

The image in the post is from a video by Blue Sky Rescue showing one of the missions in which the flame-throwing drone hovers over a suitcase-sized beehive, Associated Press reported.

A local news app on Chongqing State Television reported that local residents cheered and praised the rescue team as the ashes of the wasp nest gradually peeled off and fell.

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No evidence Florida veteran set wasp nests on fire

The image used in the post was taken in China, and there are no reports of a Florida veteran being fined by a homeowners association for setting fire to a wasp’s nest with a flamethrower drone.

On January 10, 2017, a Florida man filmed himself pulling out a wasp’s nest with his bare hands, according to United Press International.

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The video shows the man crushing the insects with his hands while avoiding their spines. He told UPI that he had been killing wasps with his bare hands for over 20 years and had never been stung.

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Our rating: wrong

Claims that a Florida veteran was fined by the HOA for destroying a wasp nest with a flamethrower drone named after his ex-wife is FALSE based on our research. There is no evidence that this ever happened, and the image included in the post is from a campaign in central China to kill over 100 wasp nests.

Our fact check sources:

  • Associated Press, December 12, 2020, “Flamethrower Drone Burns Wasp Nests In China”
  • South China Morning Post YouTube, December 11, 2020, “Flame-throwing drone burns wasp nests in tall trees in China”
  • United Press International, Jan 18, 2017, “Florida man destroys nest full of wasps with bare hands”
  • YouTube, January 15, 2017, “Killing Wasps the Old-Fashioned Way II ViralHog”

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