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Hornet headache at Dowagiac apartment complex

DOWAGIAC, Mich. -- A 2-year-old is recovering after his mom says he was stung by a hornet just steps outside their apartment, thanks to a nest that’s gone untreated for nearly a week.

Vineyard Place in Dowagiac is abuzz, but for all the wrong reasons.

“Probably at least 50 bees swarming the ground and I confronted the office people about it,” said Kelsi Birge, who has lived in the complex for almost two years.

That was early last week, after Birge said the maintenance crew at her complex mowed the lawn outside her apartment and seemingly cut into a huge hornet’s nest that was in the ground.

“The maintenance people came down here and they said that they could walk through it and they won’t harm you – if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone,” she said. “We have several kids out here just playing, riding bikes, yelling, screaming, being kids. And my son got stung by a bee.”

Her 2-year-old son, Kingzly, was stung while playing outside the same day the grass was cut.

“He got stung right here, right above his eye,” Birge said.

A small mark remains, but mom said her toddler’s face swelled up last week.

It prompted her to run Kingzly to the hospital.

“They said that he’s allergic,” Birge said. “The next time that he gets stung could be worse. And they gave him Benadryl, steroids. And this could’ve all been avoided if they would’ve sprayed the bees.”

Kingzly was back outside playing with his friends on Monday afternoon, but so were the hornets.

Birge said she’s also dealing with bugs inside her apartment.

She showed current bite marks and scars all over her body, from her arms to her legs.

“They’ve bombed for spiders, flees,” she said. “They’re telling me that I do not have bedbugs and they just continue to not do anything about it.”

But Birge said the hornet headache she’s been dealing with is the final straw.

“Today, after this, I’m going to Cass – the next town over – and putting an app in for another apartment complex because if they’re not going to do anything about it, I’m going to leave the premises,” she said. “This is ridiculous.”

An assistant manager at the complex would not speak on camera on Monday, but she said the affordable housing complex has an outside exterminating company that comes in ‘regularly.’

The manager declined to say how often ‘regularly’ is.

She also said an exterminator would be coming to the complex on Tuesday, though she wouldn’t say if that was in response to the hornet problem, or if it was just a regular checkup.

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