Giant Murder Hornets horror film posterBecause 2020 wasn’t bizarre and frightening enough, we needed a freakish insect to appear and gain notoriety, and for this insect to be dubbed by the media as the “Murder Hornet.”

Just in time for the resurgence of drive-in movies. Now showing at the late-night Halloween fright fest: “Attack of the Giant Murder Hornets!” starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jokes aside, in an attempt to provide a few facts surrounding this pest, known officially as the Asian giant hornet, we’ve put together some brief information and resources. Yes, it is a large, disturbing looking wasp. No, it is not coming tomorrow to attack you and your loved ones like something out of a Stephen King novel. But it is a concern, mainly for its impact on other insects, and so it rightfully is drawing the interest of entomologists in the Northwest U.S. where it has been spotted recently.

Here’s some quick information about the hornet, starting with the good news first:

  • It is unlikely that the Asian giant hornet will be found in Texas for many years, if ever.
  • In Asian countries, the wasp mostly lived in forested areas and didn’t occupy high altitudes or open grasslands. So much of Texas does not have the ideal habitat for this wasp.
  • While the hornets do account for a few dozen deaths each year in Asia, it’s actually the same amount, or fewer, deaths that occur in the United States from existing bees, wasps and hornets.

Now, for the not so great news:

  • Despite not likely wanting to move to Texas—in contrast to seemingly everyone else recently—the wasp did travel across the Pacific Ocean. No one knows exactly how but one theory is that it “bedded down” for the winter in a potted plant that was subsequently shipped here. So traveling a little further may not be much of a barrier.
  • The wasps stings are extremely painful, and they can sting repeatedly. Yikes.
  • They can, uh, spit venom. Did we mention…YIKES?!
  • Despite those alien-like characteristics, most concerning is the harm they cause to honeybees. They attack them relentlessly and viciously. Whatever honeybees did to the murder hornet’s ancestors or whatever bad things the bees said about them has apparently not been forgiven or forgotten. Truly like a monster out of a horror movie they terrorize the poor bees, actually biting their heads off while destroying an entire honeybee colony in a matter of hours. Reminder: never insult a murder hornet.

One last piece of significant good news is that the heroes of this story, Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists, are on the case, and just this past weekend they successfully eradicated the first murder hornet nest found there.

So, hopefully next summer’s blockbuster, “Attack of the Giant Murder Hornets!” is rewritten and released instead as “Death of the Murder Hornet: The Honeybees Revenge!”

You can read more about the hornet below. If you have trouble with, hopefully, less dramatic local Austin pests and insects, fill out our online quote form for a free pest control quote today.

Insects In The City – Texas A&M

It’s a Murder Hornet! – Or Is It?

Murder Hornet Nest Eradicated