When Matt Krueger started hearing screams from his two-year-old son outside, he didn’t expect the terrifying sight he encountered.
Back in September, the dad-of-four shared a video on TikTok, which has since gone viral, documenting the moment his young son Ross was stung by nearly 20 bees in their backyard in Des Moines, Iowa.
Krueger, a lifelong real estate investor, tells PEOPLE that he was working on one of his properties on Sept. 15 and took his children so they could play in the yard.
“There’s a fenced yard where they can usually go to play because we have some play equipment for the kids and stuff, and while we’re in there, we take good care of them,” he explains. “But I just gave them snacks and water bottles at the front door and sent them back.”
“As they went into the yard, and I’m watching them from the window inside, I see him start screaming,” recalls his son Ross. “At first I wasn’t sure what was going on but I immediately ran out the front door and ran over to him to see he had been stung by a bunch of bees.”
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Krueger says he then grabbed the toddler and ran toward the back door, while he was stabbed himself.
“His two sisters, him and I were there, we all went inside and they’re still poking him while we’re inside. They were in his clothes so we had to rip all his clothes off him and I killed them once more and we were inside and in the back,” he shares. “They were just arguing [of his clothes] and flew in so that we slapped them out of the air and crushed them to the ground.”
Krueger, who shares Ross, Rilynn, 7, Anessa, 5, and Liam, 3 months, with wife Mariah, tells PEOPLE he didn’t realize exactly what was going on until he watched the security footage.
“Looking back, because we have a couple of security cameras on the side of the house, I saw that it was actually a bunch of bees that stung him. I think it was his sister that got into it and kind of woke them up and stirred them up, and then went through it.”
Fortunately, Krueger says Ross ended up not having any allergic reactions to the stings and making a good recovery.
Matt Krueger and son Ross.
“We watched him very closely. He was pretty strong through it all, but it was still pretty scary,” she recalls. “He was quite upset for a while, very itchy as we expected.”
“We counted close to 20 times he was stabbed in the body, so he was super freaked out. He kept saying his back hurt because that’s where he got the most stabs. He ended up crying for a while and we cuddled up to him and eventually just fell asleep.”
After the incident, Krueger says he went to a hardware store to get bee and wasp killer and “went home” to the area where Ross was stung.
Now, two months later, Krueger says his son is “dealing with it a lot better than I thought.”
Matt Krueger and family.
“He’s handling it a lot better than I thought. I think because he’s still so young it wasn’t as traumatic as it could have been, but whenever he sees a bee or something, he definitely gets scared and wants to run back,” he explains.
Krueger says he is now “a lot more careful” when it comes to “big gaping holes” in lawns and hopes his video will help raise awareness for others.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before and I wanted people to see what kind of things can happen and just watch their kids and be on the lookout for things like this,” he shares. “I wanted other people to know that it’s possible, because I personally assumed that most wasps and bees live in trees or things like that, but not actually in the ground. Learning that 70 percent of them actually live in the country was quite an eye-opener for me.”
Links: Dad Hears 2-Year-Old Son Screaming Outside. Runs Over to Find Him Stung by More Than 20 Bees (Exclusive) – Tekmonk Bio, Dad Hears 2-Year-Old Son Screaming Outside. Runs Over to Find Him Stung by More Than 20 Bees (Exclusive) – Kungfutv, Dad Hears 2-Year-Old Son Screaming Outside. Runs Over to Find Him Stung by More Than 20 Bees (Exclusive) – Hot News