"Murder Hornets" Arrive in America

Tuesday, 05 May, 2020

A unsafe species of insect bluntly known as "murder hornets" have been discovered in the us, with scientists rushing to prevent the species from spreading before it is too late.

Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the species had earned the "murder hornet" nickname there because its aggressive group attacks can expose victims to doses of toxic venom equivalent to that of a venomous snake, a series of their stings can be fatal. The sting of these hornets contains a highly toxic poison that is unsafe to humans - a few bites of giant wasps can cause a person's death, even if he wasn't allergic to their venom, said RTVI.

The Bellingham Herald in Washington reported Saturday that the State Department received and verified four reports of Asian giant hornets near Blaine and Bellingham in December 2019.

These hornets are significantly larger than other species, with queens sometimes reaching two inches in length.

The giant hornets especially target bees between late summer and fall.

Multiple stings are deadly to humans and in their "slaughter phase" the hornets destroy honeybees, whose bodies they feed to their young. While scientists don't know how these hornets native to Asia ended up in Washington, it could be that they were transported in global cargo.

The WSU scientists will begin trapping queen murder hornets this spring, aiming to detect and eradicate the species. According to the Times, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year in Japan and folks on the receiving end of the sting have compared it to the feeling of being speared by hot metal.

Such is the threat posed by the giant hornets that the WSDA has an entire web page devoted to reporting sightings of the insects and instructions on how to trap them.

"They attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony", he added.

Chris Looney, the Washington state entomologist, has declared during its interview with The Times that this is America's only chance to prevent the bees from forming their ecosystem in the area.

So, uh, yeah, if you see one of these hornets in person, run away and call a local department of agriculture. Discovered in Europe, the nest of killer hornets must be destroyed. "It is really important for us to know of every sighting, if we're going to have any hope of eradication". For comparison, the much more common European hornet is about half the size, and yellowjacket wasps are around 0.5 inches to 0.75 inches.