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The Truth About “Murder” Hornets

2020 was a crazy year, from a global pandemic, mass riots, political unrest, to a crazy invasive giant hornet species that people were calling “murder hornets” invading the United States. Fast forward to 2021, and while things are still very much crazy, they might have calmed down a bit. Hopefully, we can sort through the muck and get the low down on the infamous “murder” hornets.

bumble bee size compared to murder hornet sizeWhat exactly is a “murder” hornet? The real name of this species is the Asian giant hornet (Vespa Mandarinia) and it is native to you guessed it, Asia. A hornet is in the same insect family as bees, ants, and wasps, and is pretty much best described as a giant wasp. The Asian giant hornet is the largest species of hornet in the world coming in at a burly 2 inches. The good news is that for the most part hornets aren’t terribly aggressive unless one disturbs their nest. And here’s the better part for Upstate and North Carolina residents, the likelihood of Asian giant hornets coming here is extremely low. A few isolated incidents of verified Asian giant hornets were confirmed by state and local authorities in Washington State; however, through a diligent government control program, these pests appear to be have been eradicated. Only 1 Asian giant hornet specimen has been found in 2021, and it appears to be a dead, dried out male leftover from last year.

The main concern from these insects is obviously their large size and scary appearance and their threat to local honey bees. These hornets are so large that a standard bee suit will not prevent their stings from penetrating the skin. You may hay seen news footage of entomologists and government workers decked out in some pretty intense protective suits. Also, these hornets eat other insect which is generally a good thing since this will help keep insect pests in check; however, they can wreak havoc on beneficial honey bees. The Asian giant hornet has a very thick exoskeleton preventing bees from protecting themselves with their stinger. Whereas bees native to Asia have come up with a way to surround the hornets and basically cook them, the European honey bee (not native to the US either) hasn’t discovered this tactic.

Stinging Insects Hornets, Bees Wasps Control

But, thankfully this is all a moot point since these hornets haven’t established themselves here, however there are some stinging insects in the area that are a concern and need to be controlled especially when the nest in your house and outside areas where you frequent. Some of these include:

Bee Exterminator Service Greenville SC
  • – Bald-faced hornets (not a hornet but a species of aerial yellow jacket)
  • European Hornets (the smaller cousin of the Asian giant hornet-and not native to the US either) 
  • Yellow Jackets (probably the number 1 threat to upstate and NC residents)
  • – Cicada killers (although most of the time these beneficial insects do not need to be controlled)
  • Paper Wasps

If you have a stinging insect problem or need control in or around your home let the professionals at Spencer

Pest Services come out and identify what kind of insect you are dealing with and take care of it in the safest and most efficient way possible. Spencer Pest is just a call, click, or text away.