It has a name to strike fear into anyone, and now the Murder Hornet has been spotted here in the U.S.
Commonly known as the Asian giant hornet, or Vespa Mandarinia, it is a two-inch long hornet with a yellow-orange head. According to an article in the New York Times, it has been known to kill roughly 50 people in Japan, every year, and is incredibly destructive to the bee population.
So far, they have only been spotted in the Pacific Northwest, so there is little need to worry elsewhere right now. Experts in the U.S. have been tracking the hornet for months, but it was the article by the New York Times that got the name “Murder Hornet” trending.
They are very rarely deadly to humans, primarily because of allergic reactions, but its biggest threat is to the bee population. The Hornets attack bee hives for protein. Their active season starts in April and runs until early summer/early fall, which is when they become the most destructive.
Experts are telling anyone who sees one of these hornets to leave them alone and call the authorities:
“Don’t try to take them out yourself if you see them,” Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist, Chris Looney, said in an April press release, “If you get into them, run away, then call us! It is really important for us to know of every sighting, if we’re going to have any hope of eradication.”
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