As if 2020 hasn’t been challenging enough, you might have heard about “murder hornets” in the news. They were even featured in a comedy segment of “Not Now” on Late Night with Seth Meyers even though they’ve only been spotted so far on the West Coast. Some of what has been reported has focused on the sensational, but it’s not all hype – so let’s review the truth about the so-called “murder hornet”.
What Are Murder Hornets?
You should really be asking “What is the Asian Giant Hornet” because that’s the actual name for the insect the media has dubbed “murder hornets.” These two-inch hornets are native to Japan, China, and several other Asian countries. The New York Times claims it kills up to 50 people a year there.
The “murder” moniker actually applies to how they attack honeybees, though, not humans. The largest hornet in the world, the Asian giant hornet covers a territory in Asia that ranges from Thailand and Myanmar up through Japan and Russia.
A dead hornet was found in December 2019 in Washington state. Living ones had been found in British Columbia’s Vancouver Island in the late summer and fall of 2019.
Can a Giant Hornet Sting Kill You?
Yes, though that is more common when the person stung is allergic. The Asian Giant Hornet, a.k.a. murder hornet, is capable of stinging through most beekeeper suits. Hornets can also sting multiple times, unlike honey bees, who can only sting once, and delivers almost seven times the amount of venom in each sting as a honey bee does. Worse, the venom is highly toxic, damaging the nervous system and body tissues.
Due to the high risk of being stung with this dangerous venom, professional treatment is the best and safest solution for Asian giant hornets. Much like the recommendations for yellow-jackets, bald-faced hornets, and European hornets, their nests are difficult to eradicate. A professional can ensure thorough elimination of this dangerous hornet without putting you at risk.
Are Asian Giant Hornets Dangerous?
Asian giant hornets are mostly dangerous to the environment and honey bees. While human deaths are attributed to the Asian giant hornet each year, they got the nickname “murder hornets” from their vicious attacks on bees and their hives. Bees in Asia have developed defenses against Asian giant hornets that North American bees do not have.
The Asian giant hornet invades a honey bee hive and rips off the honey bees’ heads, destroying entire honey bee communities. Since honey bees are vital pollinators, the potential damage to the environment, especially food production, is dire. Government agencies and beekeepers on the West Coast are working to eradicate the Asian giant hornet in North America before it can significantly breed and spread, endangering our food supply.
Let Arrow Solve Your Hornet Problem
Hornets of any kind can be dangerous – especially if you or someone in your family is allergic. If you think hornets are on your property, don’t endanger yourself by trying to handle them on your own. Call or contact us today at Arrow Exterminating and let our professionals handle it.