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“Murder Hornets” – Don’t Believe the Hype

You’ve heard it all over the news – the Murder Hornets are here! Well, let’s get real about these hornets. Here are three truths for you:

They are not murder hornets.

They’re actually called Asian Giant Hornets, or Vespa mandarinia if you want to get technical. They will not sting you unless they’re provoked, cornered, or you disturb their nest. Keep in mind, there probably isn’t even a nest domestically since only a couple insects have been found in Washington state so far. They certainly aren’t anywhere around us. They got the unfortunate nickname of murder hornets because they actually do murder honeybees. They will remove their heads, working all the way to the queen, and then eat the larvae and honey. Japanese Honey Bees have evolved to defend themselves against these hornets, but the European Honey Bees better get going on that evolution because they are a little behind.

They will not murder you.

If you do get stung, it will hurt. A lot. These things are about 2 inches long with a 3-inch wingspan. That’s like a small bird. No wonder they’re called Asian Giant Hornets. The larger the insect, the more potent the venom. So, swelling and pain for a good 36 hours is possible. But murder? It would take 20-30 stings and an allergy to begin with to threaten a human life. Obviously, if you’re allergic to bee stings, be careful and carry your epi-pen as usual, but mostly because in the States… there are waaaaaay more bees than Asian Giant Hornets.

They are not going to take over the U.S.

Of the two specimens found in the Pacific Northwest one was dead. And they were most likely stowaways on a cargo ship from somewhere in Asia. In all the time we have been getting shipments from Asia, this is the first we are seeing of them? There is no threat of infestation. And don’t worry about them flying over here. They would exhaust themselves and die before getting anywhere near close.

So, are they ugly if you’re not into this type of thing? Yes. But should you believe the hype and panic? No. But if you see any of the normal bee, wasp, and hornet nests around, give us a call. Waltham Pest Services can deal with them for you

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