All About the Asian Giant Hornet
The Asian giant hornet, infamously known as the “murder hornet”, has certainly made the rounds in the media over the past couple of months. As the world’s largest hornet, they are also considered to be very dangerous. Originally from Japan, China, and other Asian countries, this hornet made its first appearance in Vancouver and Washington state late last year. Their sting is known to be potentially fatal, but the true threat they pose is to the honeybee population. The team at New Mexico Pest Control is here to share all you need to know about the Asian giant hornet.
Where are Asian Giant Hornets Being Spotted?
True to their name, the Asian giant hornet is usually found in China, Japan, and some other Asian countries. However, the first sightings of them in North America occurred several months ago in the Pacific Northwest. As of now, it’s still unknown how they arrived to the continent, but it’s predicted to be through international cargo. There have currently been no sightings of them in New Mexico. Thankfully, it’s unlikely they will arrive here considering they prefer the damp climate.
How to Identify the Murder Hornet
If you came across a murder hornet, you’d know it wasn’t your ordinary stinging insect.
Here’s how to identify them:
- Workers are 1 ½ – 2” in length while queens can exceed 2”
- Light orange head with an orange, black, and brown striped body.
- Large, prominent eyes
- Distinctly sharp mandibles
- Six legs and a set of antennae
- ¼” (6 mm) length stinger
The Dangers of Asian Giant Hornets
The main threat of these hornets is that they are a predator of the honeybee. They attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae. A single murder hornet can kill dozens of honeybees in minutes, and a group of 30 hornets can devour a hive of nearly 30,0000 bees in hours. Needless to say, this can severely affect the honeybee population.
Of course, everyone is concerned about their sting and the impact on human life. Like many stinging insects, the murder hornet will not attack humans unless they feel provoked or threatened. Their stings contain neurotoxins and are extremely painful. If someone is stung multiple times, the neurotoxins can cause organ failure and eventual death.
Eradicating Murder Hornets
As of now, scientists are currently leading the way to find, trap, and eradicate this pest before it becomes more widespread. Although no sightings have been found in New Mexico, it’s important to be wary of all stinging insects. For the safety of all, always enlist the help of a professional when you have a stinging insect problem!